During the third week of October, 2012, I was contacted by Blaine Riley or Intl Monetary who called to ask how much I would charge for a re-do of a power point presentation. He needed to run the cost past his partner. He had sent me a copy of the power point and after looking over it and when through conversation that I had determined that it was just to turn the current presentation into more of a story and add some visuals, I quoted $750. However, as he and his partner were new clients and he told me he would refer much business to me if all turned out well, I discounted the amount to $500. He then told me to proceed, his partner would be okay with that fee.
Then I was deluged with report and paper upon paper by Mr Riley, his partner Mr Esposito and the owner of the mine, for whom the presentation was to be done, Mr. Abraham at Lion Gold Brazil inc. Seventy five thousand words of documentation that Mr Abraham wanted to include in the power point, much of it conflicting information and out of date. One example was they told me that the company was Lion Gold Brazil Inc NOT Lions Gold Brazil Corporation although that information came directly from the Legal Disclaimer on the original power point done by Mr. Abraham. So too were mispelled surnames, again
taken directly from the original and the piece de resistance, I wrote and elaborated on a recent acquisition by the company of 200,000 ha of land, a stand out feature and big close to the presentation, onlky to find out that deal had long fallen through. Furthermore, this turned out to be a presentation of not one project really but three under one umbrella: two alluvial
mining sites (with tailings to be reprocessed), one deep mining site and one invention of Mr Abraham, a system to reprocess the mine tailings economically. I had less one week to deliver and so, altho I now knew it was more than a redo I dug in. I reduced all the information into a 3000 power point with visuals as supplied by LGBI. Mr Esposito sent me an email claiming:
the PPT is excellent, I made 3 corrections in regards to their names de Castro and Abergel.. I love it...I sent a copy to Abergel (Abraham) to make sure he approves...anyway, the word doc attached has the appropriate changes to the spelling of their names
Mr Abrahams email said: Wow!!! you know how to tell a story! Quite a copywriter!!
They were so happy they told me they decided that they would pay $650 instead of $500 with the proviso that a couple of press releases would be included in that amount. As $75 is my fee for press releases it was not really a gain for me. Plus, I had to write a tear sheet for the original $500 after the fact. As they were new clients and I wanted to make them happy, I agreed and let that one go. However, the enormous work was done and I was happy they were happy and that I would get paid.
Blaine Rileys partner was the aforementioned Chris Esposito and when asked for wire transfer information from him I sent an email with that information as well as telling him that while I live and work in Canada, I should be paid in US funds and as such, had a US dollar account for it to be deposited to. When the wire arrived I found that I had been charged three exchange
fees and an extra surcharge over and above simple wire transfer for having to do so. It seems Mr Esposito HAD wired Canadian funds which then were sent as CDN funds to my bank (Ist exchange), that then the monies were converted to US
funds (as the account was a US account, 2nd exchange) and when I removed the monies to be used here in Canada, to be converted to CDN funds again (3rd exchange). Normally the fee for a wire transfer was $15. I paid $25. When I asked Mr Esposito why he had wired CDN funds he claimed vociferously that he DID NOT. I then had my bank follow the wire transfer
information back to his bank to see where a slip-up may have occurred and if so, I would receive a refund for all the extra charges. Jumping ahead for a moment, when a further retainer fee was wired to me Mr Esposito emailed me a
copy of the document where it was clearly shown that CDN funds again had been wired and his signature at the bottom of the document confirmed this. At this point my bank had been in touch with Mr Espositos bank about the first wire
transfer and Mr Esposito called and told me that I should never fu**ing call his bank again. Since this was my bank
contacting his bank referencing the overcharges from the first wire transfer, I was appalled at his behaviour. In retrospect, I probably should have ended things here but I was on very good terms with Mr. Riley and Mr Abraham so I let it go.
Off they went to a financial conference in Boca Raton the following week after I was retained to do the redo. As stated earlier, two of the partners announced their pleasure of it. In the meantime, I had asked Mr Riley if he would like me to take a look at the Lion Gold Brazil website to see what should be done to make it more current. Mr Riley asked assured me to do so and to give them a quote when they got back from the conference.
I cannot know for sure what happened at this conference. All I know for sure was all of a sudden I was being told that what I had done was NOT a power point presentation. It needed more visuals, it was too much of a story. In trying to assure future work with Mr Riley and Mr Esposito, I told them I would perform two more hours on the power point, delete some copy and add so visuals. Both partners wanted me to get back on SKYPE with Mr Abraham, to get this right. Knowing how long my conversations were with Mr Abraham in the past and that there was nothing more to add I then asked for a retainer. I
asked for $1000. $50 of the retainer would be for $50 left off the original wire transfer, my mistake. $80 was deducted for losses on currency exchanges. Over and above that I would be charging $40 an hour for conferencing with Mr Abraham, $40 an hour for researching, looking for visuals etc and $75 an hour for writing (over and above the initial free two hours I offered. That before I would do any further work for the company, I would send them a quote for approval.
So, I began the process of trying to do what three separate parties were now pronouncing me to do. I found the visuals and cut as much as I could from the story and still make it interesting. I have written for investors, both individuals and institutional, and have had over 26 years in doing so. Still, every conversation with any of them required more and more
technical writing as more stuff went in and more stuff came out. Then it was to now be made in bullet form and so on, for more than two more weeks. At every opportunity I explained my frustration to Mr Riley, that every time they made a
change it altered the plates of the power point. It was not like writing a story. I also told him that I have technical writing in my background so this was NOT simply a case of I did not know what I was doing but rather it was minutae, over and over again and at some point it had to stop. Finally, I stopped it. I sent a final copy around for approval of contents and VERACITY, nothing more after which I would clean up the copy, any typos remaining and send it off.
There had been so much time devoted to this power point, in trying to please three parties and having to include so much information to make Mr Abraham happy oh and still keep it to about 25 plates. Even though Mr Riley had assured me he would stand by anything I asked for as he was pleased with getting this new power point finished and even though Mr Abraham also backed me about the time and energy put into this project, I felt uncomfortable with billing my true hours on this 2nd NEW power point. So, when I sent the power point out for this last verification, I asked for $1200. There was $550 left over from the retainer and I billed another $650 over and above that to arrive at $1200.
Suddenly, there was a whirlwind of emails from Mr Esposito, telling me that I didnt do anything. That I didnt know how to do power points. Mr Riley now claimed to like Mr Abrahams power point more than mine even tho his NEW power point was MY power point with the addition of some maps from him I requested and two more pages of information. He hadnt apparently
even read the two so when I called him on this by phone he could do nothing but stammer. Mr Riley then started backtracking in support of Mr Esposito but not to the point where he would take the balme. He told me he HAD NOT hired me, Mr
Esposito did and my quarrel was only with him, not Mr Riley nor Mr Abraham. Mr Abraham on the other hand continued to claim that he had told Mr Esposito to pay me what was asked for.
In an effort to break the logjam and salvage something for all my time and effort and now having been told there would be no more work for me from them as I didnt know what I was doing, I negotiated a settlement of $500 instead of the $650 owed and threw in two press releases. Mr Esposito agreed on a Thursday. Friday there was no wire transfer of funds. Mr Esposito
would not return my phone calls. Emails went back and forth between Mr Riley and Mr Abraham and I. Finally, with no more energy to battle with these people I simply wrote to all parties that I would now proceed with any legal means I had available to me to collect and that I felt it incumbent upon me to ensure that investors and other contractors know of the type of behaviour exhibited by all parties, especially Mr Esposito. I told Mr Abraham that the power point could NOT be posted on the Lion Gold Brazil website as I still held the copyright on the material. Some minor changes were made but the substance of my
This is Mr Espositos answer to that email:
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2012 9:08 PM
To: Jennifer L Nxxxxx
Cc: 'Blaine Riley'
Subject: RE: You are right, Chris was the one who said it was excellent in his email as you will see below.
Jen, how dare you threaten me.... it is considered extortion (threatening someone unless they pay)... let me be
clear, the only reason why I told you the PPT was excellent was because Blaine asked me to, to make you feel appreciated.. The reality is, you're a clueless annoying b*tch. Now, you can go stick the $500 up your fat f**king a**..
Be warned, I am ther last person on earth, on f**king earth to threaten. If I find out that my Company or I have been badmouthed by you or anyone for that matter, I will then assume that you initiated it.. i will be on the next plane to Vancouver at your doorstep.. If you think for 1 second that I am f**king with you..I am not f**king with you.
Now, you are to forward me your NIN # for the $ that was wired to you..If you choose to ignore that request, I will contact the local and national tax authorities in CAN. I will then post on over a dozen wesbsites such as www.ripoffreport.com
and will detail how you in fact ripped me off by not delivering what you were paid to do... I will make sure that when your name and/or Company is Googled that every potential customer is warned about the little scam that you have going on.
now, you have 48 hours to send me the tax number for that little sh*t business that you run for my tax records, if not I will
unlease a a fury ..I am dead serious.
Lionshare Ventures LLC
900 Cummings Center Suite: BO7U
Beverly, MA. 01915
bus# 617.307.4901 cell# 978.335.4066 fax# 978.338.5828 skype: Lionsharevc
II have since had to file police complaints against Mr Esposito as I have no way of knowing how serious a threat he is to my person. I have filed with the Beverly, Boston (as Mr Esposito is also connected with Boston Metals Exchange and its
corporate offices seem to actually be where Mr Esposito works as MD of Lionshare Ventures LLC. As well, a complaint has been filed with Canadas RCMP who may find it necessary to place Mr Esposito on Canadas no-fly list denying entry into Canada in future.
Whether or not there is something to fear from Mr Esposito, and I do, this is no way to negotiate business. This is out and out
abuse, as was his first lashing out about the bank call. I doubt very much that I will ever see a penny more from these people. And abuse is all about power and control. By lowering, again, my fee, I had hoped it would be enough to let Mr Esposito save face. By agreeing to pay and then not, I can only assume it was not enough.
Mr Riley posited in an email to me, how did this all get so negative so suddenly for $500? You tell me? I went over and above what was requested, twice. In the real world these people would have had to pay anywhere from $3-5K for all the work that was finally done on this project. These people, excepting Mr Abraham, (who seems can do nothing to ensure payment
as he doesnt have the money, Mr Esposito does,) charge THEIR clients thousands and thousands of dollars monthly while expecting contractors to work for pennies. Mr Riley has a successful IR company, Intl Monetary and, I assume as
with Mr Esposito, helps to finance companies such as LGBI. As for Mr Abraham, as CEO of Lion Gold Brazil Inc is ultimately responsible for any outstanding invoices to the company.
So yes, with all the thousands of dollars these people collect from clients, why would they refuse payment of a $500 invoice for work they knowingly knew was far and away what was asked for and, as per Mr Espositos comment was excellent. Regarding this comment? Mr Esposito now claims he only wrote that to me per Mr Rileys instruction, so that it would make me feel good.