I received my first unsolicited call from USA Grants on Dec 6, 2007 by a person named Jimmy Barraza. He told me all about grant money being so readily available and going to waste because people were not claiming it. Women business owners in my part of the country were desperately needed to meet the needs of the many grants that were going to waste right now! Hundreds of thousands of dollars would be thrown away if they were not claimed by the end of the year. If I would write him a check for only $7500 I could take advantage of these grants available for women business owners.
I told him I did not have the money, but he said I would regret it and asked if he could send me information and call back after the first of the year. I told him I didn't think things would change, but he could call again.
He called back in January on the 11th. Again, he told me how desperately they needed women business owners in our part of the country and knew I could qualify for at least $375,000 right now! This sounded too good to be true, so I should have known it was, but I fell for it. We negotiated until I only had to pay $1500 down and the remaining $6000 after the grant came in which he assured me would be within a month with my qualifications.
On January 24, 2008, I signed a contract with Richard Guiterrez as the company rep and sent a check for $1500. At that point, they asked me to fill out a profile on the business and all the things I aspired to do with the funds. This time I worked with Ignacio on a "budget." Well, they called back and told me I could qualify for $675,000! I was worth way more than I thought in the beginning!
The research dept sent some information on organizations and foundations that gave grants on Feb. 21, 2008. When I looked through these I knew they had nothing to do with me or the business I was in. They were almost all for nonprofit, education, research, or government grants. There was nothing to do with business and especially not retail furniture! When I stated my concern, they said that was not a problem because we would set up the company as a nonprofit organization. They attempted to explain to me how this would happen and I was totally confused. They said we would set up a "Family Trust" to own the company and then the company would continue doing business as usual. The only difference is we would give a certain percentage away to nonprofit groups
I received a call in March from Heath Iliescu. He told me he found a company ready to fund the entire $675,000. All I needed to do was get my supplemental docs together by the following week and to do this I needed to have National Professional Filings do it for me at a cost of $14,500. I told him that was impossible and he said I could put $2500 down and pay the rest when I received my grant. He said he knew I would be funded within 3 - 4 weeks and could receive my money back right away so there was no risk to me. He told me the supplemental docs were necessary in order for the government to approve the grants given by the companies. If these were not provided, the grants could not be awarded according to him. I did not send the money at this time.
The next person who had a grant lined up for me was Joe Shuerger (pronounced Sugar). He said it was also for the full amount, but once again I needed to have NPF do the supplemental docs or I wouldn't be able to submit it to the government to receive the funding. Again, it would have to be set up as a nonprofit organization. This time, he convinced me I would receive the funding within 3-4 weeks so there would be NO RISK. Never listen to them!! When I tried to call him back and ask him who the company was he said he couldn't tell me because I would try to call and harrass them and he wouldn't have that. Needless to say, I did not get the money.
I could go on and on, this was only the first 3 months working with them. Unfortunately I did not learn. These are some other people you need to avoid: Millicent Mantriel, Candy, Todd, Bernard McGee, and Pete C. At National Professional Filings which, by the way is the same company, Terry and Christine G. Also, National Professional Filings did a horrible job on a "business plan." A grade schooler could have done better!