IUNIVERSE LACK OF ACCURATE SALES DATA RESULTING IN LOW ROYALTY PAYMENTS AND LACKLUSTER SALES STATUS Ripoff Reports, Complaints, Reviews, Scams, Lawsuits and Frauds Reported

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1, Report #889155
Jul 02 2012
06:23 PM
iUniverse Lack of accurate sales data resulting in low royalty payments and lackluster sales status/programs Internet
iUniverse has been ripping me off since I published my book in 2007.  They have failed to, or intentionally have not, accurately tracked my online and in-store (Barnes & Noble) book sales. Their Star Program requires a certain amount of retail books to be sold, which I am certain I have met, yet they continue to tell me that I am not eligible yet. Based on my calculations alone I have near double the sales they are reporting.  Their web site is antequated and usually months behind in sales tracking. I constantly get the run-around on my numerous email and phone inquiries, yet they constantly hound me (with phone calls from foriegners I can hardly understand) to pay them to promote my first book... and, they want me to publish my second book with them!!! I understand that they are a business... but they put the author third or fourth wanting them to seel their own books or pay them big bucks for little return. Stay clear!
Entity: , Internet
2, Report #955342
Oct 15 2012
01:44 PM
Iuniverse has ripped me off in every area of my book. From reporting known sales and report to IRS. Internet
Iuniverse is nothing but a rip-off company. They sent an amount to the IRS that did not not match my   sales and then took 28% off of the amount that they owed me of which I did not give them permission. Second I paid to have 100,000 e-mails sent out and according to them I did not sell one book.                                                                                                                                                                                                   I also know of sales from my book that are not showing up on my iuniverse sales and royalties account. Now they want me to send them proof of sales that I know of before they give me credit.
Entity: , Internet
3, Report #935241
Aug 31 2012
08:33 AM
iUniverse Self Publishing PSA: Jill Serinas Unauthorized publication of my book, will not report sales stats of book on my- myumiverse account. Internet
After paying iUniverse's editorial team (AUTHOR HOUSE) they destroyed my book in all it's form. Bad grammar, connected words and spaced apart words throughout. Their process is to (after editing) send you a internal book block. The AUTHOR is to make changes & corrections on both parties behalf. Not enough room. I demanded that they re-edit. Their charge to fix all errors...$500 and some odd dollars. After months of exhaustion I told them to go with production but DO NOT PUBLISH, I simply wanted something for my $1800. My book is now for sale on all major book retailers web site. Unauthorized.   Punitive damage is...my name as an AUTHOR is trashed, and I can never again publish under my name. Jill Serinas refuses to remove my book from sales, unless I physically write and mail them a signed letter stating to do so. To late for that, my book I later learned had been for sale for two months. How do you fight them. I eventually threatened that my ATTORNEY prefers leaving my book live in order to gather inflicting facts against them. My book is still live, but, they;ll not let me see my sales stats or royalties. Unauthorized publication 6/11/2012       
Entity: , Internet
4, Report #1195965
Dec 17 2014
07:14 AM
iUniverse/Author House Company does not respond with full sales figures. Bloomington Indiana
I published my book, Vlad Dracula, The Dragon Prince, with iUniverse in December 2004.  At first, everything went smoothly.  Sales were steady enough that I was entered into iU's STAR program.  I purchased a marketing program from them for several hundred dollars, in which they claimed that they would send e-mails to a target audience of book buyers.  I have no way of knowing what they did, but I did not generate one sale that I know of from this program.  I decided to try a more focused approach and purchased another marketing program from them for $1200, this time supposedly targeted to blogs on the subject of Dracula.  Sparing the details here. that program was a mess, and, after several e-mails back and forth, they finally refunded my money. In the meantime, my book sold well enough that it was published in Italy, Poland, China, and Viet-Nam by commercial publishers.  It carries solid 4-Star reviews on amazon in the US, and 4 1/2 Stars in the UK.  I did make one inquiry--not an accusation--regarding iU's royalty reporting to the Indiana Consumer Protection Bureau.  They (uselessly) referred the question to iU instead of doing an actual investigation into the matter.  I suppose they do not have the resources to investigate every question raised with them.  I asked the question because of my own doubts and things I saw posted on-line about iU. Recently, I asked iU for gross sales figures for my book since its publication in December 2004.  I made it clear that this was not a royalty issue, that I just needed a gross figure of sales to refer to my agent in the hopes of getting a US publisher interested.  I even said they could lump all sales--e-books, hard cover, paperback--together, so I wouldn't even be able to estimate what total royalties should have been. Well, I am now four e-mails into it with them, the last being sent by me today, 12/17/14.  The only response I received was a partial report of sales from this calendar year after my second e-mail (their on-line posting of sales are rarely, if ever, up to date), which is useless and does not answer my question. This has all raised further questions in my mind, which I intend to refer to another legal agency, one which, I hope, does investigate iU.  As I said, there are several other complaints posted on-line about iU.  Again, I am not making any allegations, just raising questions, like, Why won't iU send a meaningful response to my recent request?  Do they, in fact, report all sales and pay all royalties?  Do they keep all sales records on books published?  If not, why not? I posted before about their poor record with my book on their marketing programs.  And how, when they entered my book in their STAR Program because of its number of sales, they had the back cover description written by someone who either did not speak English as his/her first language or was just very poor at grammar. At any rate, that is my story to date.  
Entity: Bloomington, Indiana
5, Report #470690
Jul 17 2009
08:07 AM
Iuniverse Careless service, low class agents, and bad decisions, make consumers suffer Nationwide
When I was thinking to put my thoughts into a book, all the poetry I had proudly written from age 17, the e- based publishers seemed my quickest outlet. I universe hooked me with their snazzy graphics and all on one package offers,my package totaling about $800.00. About a few months after the publishing, I was browsing the net and, someone had contacted me that they thought I was writing religious poetry. Confused, since I am nature and family based, I went online and found to my dismay, i universe had published another author with the same cover they gave to me. This was a graphic that they insisted would be the best one, even though, I offered the graphics services of my brother, a great artist. When I called them, I asked them to take the other author's pictures off and let me keep mine, All my tool kit had been printed with that image, the same one she had, my business cards, my book marks, my event posters, post cards: and it would be disastrous to my event planning to change all that.After a short pause on the phone she said ,sorry, we gave her (the other author) the cover one month before we assigned it to your book! It took me a good deal of anger to convince, them they would have to replace my tool kit and my cover. I was even angry enough that they paid for extra changes, when my new artwork went in. They paid to replace the cover, but told me, since my tool kit had been done by a local Kinkos and not them, the could not refund me, although they got me a new tool kit with my new cover. I lost more than six months back then and my motivation to push my book. Within the last year, in searching my account information, and I find that they have me living in Kalamazoo Michigan., according to them..and my address at registration was always in Central New York where I live and have lived all along, Where are the royalties I have been expecting? Maybe some trailer park in Kalamazoo, but not back in my pocket where they belong. If you want a trip down Fantasy lane, don't mind being insulted, and don't really want to get rewarded for your hard work and stay passionate about your individual voice, I suggest you throw your money at i universe and let them abuse you. Once they have the money, they don't care anyway. It is a never ending battle with them and you can't win-- even before the holding company took over, they were in the dumper as far as I am concerned. Diane Camillus, New YorkU.S.A.
Entity: Nationwide
6, Report #996548
Jan 14 2013
10:55 AM
Iuniverse AuthorHouse, Other ? Betrayal, Deception, Theft of Intellectual Property, Fraud, Monetary Theft, Psychological Trauma and Pain Internet
In 2007 I had three books published via IUniverse - a company that worked with me via the Internet and phone calls - through the completion of each manuscript / book - with everything relatively easy to access via thier site up until that point.  Once sales began, however, I could no longer (it got more complex and then impossible) access any information about any of my books - not the number of sales, nothing about royalties, nothing (other than the fact that the books were still listed for sale) - period.  I would go online periodically in search of my books and found them accessible / for sale throughout the country via Iuniverse and other sites - and even in other parts of the world.  Sometimes these were new copies - sometimes they were (ahem) used (Amazon, EBay, other) copies.  All of these books / copies for which I was receiving no notice, no royalties / payment, etc.  [I did receive two small royalty checks early on, and then nothing.]  These books (published in 2007) remain on the IUniverse active status (January 2013) - and are still to be be found (for sale) at IUniverse, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, EBay and a multitude of other websites.  I am shaking with anger as I write this, as I have every time I have tried to locate a way to find out what is going on with my books, my copyright, my (I would assume) monies.  The only calls and/or emails I get (periodically) from IUniverse - and I always speak my mind when I speak to someone on the phone - are to try and sell me new products.  In fact, the latest slam was a request to make each of my three books into ebooks - to which I stated (verbally and through an email) a more than explicit no.  No.  No.  No.  Irregardless, IUniverse went on to make each one of my books - against my explicit refusal - into e-books - adding ripoff to ripoff to ripoff.  I am intested in pursuing a lawsuit - definitely.  Three books.  My heart and soul.  Where are my rights?  Where are my royalties?  Where is my human dignity to be found in any of a situation that moved way beyond exploitation a long time (but ongoing...) ago.  I would love to hear from others in regard to this matter.  I would happily pursue a lawsuit.  My heart has been broken. 
Entity: , Internet
7, Report #536336
Nov 15 2011
12:59 PM
Perission Entertainment Harry T. Kean Jr., Harry Keane, Harry Keane Jr, HK, hkproducer@yahoo.com, hkproducer@hotmail.com, hkproducer@gmail.com Perission Entertainment (Harry Keane) Did not produce The Bible Game Lawrence, Fremont, IMAGINEX, Wegener, Bill Richardson, Texas
Investor Beware ! The phone number to contact never picks up. The Bible Game listed on other christain websites our out of stock and posted way before the request for investors and before Perission or Nu Vista Studios existed on the web.  The book has not sold well for some reason and is not stocked well on the sale websites.  Can be found on Amazon or E-bay but there is little know of the original author.  It is similar to a business plan example produced by CBNET a caribbean small business supporter. You may be told when you arrive at the warehouse that the game is out of stock and please return.  When you return the office will be closed. Beware of  this scam and do not provide money without a lawyer's review of documents or to secure a copy. Perission Entertainment of www.perission.com did not produce The Bible Game as indicated on the web site. If you are an investor I suggest contact the above name to verify the conditions the Game was acquired and if there are any pending suits to prevent the sale. This is the link of a post for The Bible Game in 2004 The game was acquired by Harry Keane that, I believe, should be investigated. The origin comes from   Lawrence, Fremont, IMAGINEX, Wegener, Bill IMAGINEX is the publisher of the board game originating in England. The ISBN number has a starting digit of 0 which indicates it was published in in an english speaking country. The game has and ISBN number containing 10 digits.  This means it was produced prior to 2007.  Around the time Harry was scamming his Italian fine dining resturant in Plano.   This site explains the ISBN number http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Standard_Book_Number Perform a Google search on the ISBN numbers alone and see what you find: New Testiment Version   ISBN: 0975362011 Old Testiment Version    ISBN: 0975362003 If you are an investor I suggest that you contact the above name to verify the conditions the Game was acquired and if there are any pending suits to prevent the sale. This is the link of a post for The Bible Game in 2004 http://www.chegg.com/details/bible-game-new-testament-the-bible-game-new-testament/0975362011/
Entity: Richardson, Texas
8, Report #1014163
Feb 14 2013
10:12 AM
DVD Royalty dvd sales, Internet
I purchased The Twilight Zone DVD original series box set as a birthday gift in mid January 2013 - still no sign of delivery of this item. I emailed them after about 3 weeks and they responded confirming dispatch and asking me to wait for delivery.  Over five weeks now and still not sign of delivery and emails to DVD Royalty won't send and their Webpage won't load.  I am so annoyed that i've been taken in by these theives. i hope they get what they deserve and are made to pay up. I'm guessing i've lost my money forever now
Entity: , Internet
9, Report #840149
Feb 16 2012
10:36 AM
Resorts Royalty Josh Freeman Scammers, rip offs Internet
Was approached by these 2 men on the telephone about selling our timeshare. My husband and I thought it would be a great idea. We were told that they could sell it very quickly and that it would cost $795.00 do this , that would cover the cost of adsolutely everything, but they needed a credit card, so I was very STUPID and gave them the card. I was told that nothing would be put on the card until I signed the papers and faxed them back. Wee you guessed it they took my money. After that I was never able to get a hold of anyone. I have found out that the phone numbers and fax numbers are no longer hooked up and that they have moved on under a different name. I have filed complaints with my credit card company as well as the On Line Business Bureau, and by the way Resorts Royalty use thier logo on thier website. The Online Business Bureau has marked Resorts Royalty with a RED FLAG. The people that I spoke with from Resorts Royalty were Josh Freeman and Ed Willimas. BEWARE BEWARE be VERY CAREFUL IF THESE PEOPLE CALL YOU< JUST HANG UP.
Entity: , Internet
10, Report #849232
Mar 05 2012
09:03 PM
Iuniverse Author Solutions Inc. I have proof that Iuniverse doesn't report royalties correctly, and that they are going to rip you off and take there time by redirecting your phone calls, misinforming you of tech issues etc. Please Internet
Iuniverse is a complete rip off, and will not pay you for your royalties on books sold.  They do not account for all book sales, and I have documentation of their miss representation. Please beware and get involved with a class action lawsuit. If you have sold books, they will give you a run-around, be rude and make you talk to customer support over seas. Pamela Hawkins is supposed to be the customer support supervisor in the USA, however will not be of any support.Please look for a class action suit.
Entity: , Internet
11, Report #1377767
Jun 07 2017
06:59 PM
Royalty Skin Serum Royalty Anti Aging Serum Rip off California California
Ordered what I thought was a product sample ofr Royalty Skin Serum.  1st of all when I first ordred I could not get past a pop up of an additional eye cream product.   When I got past it and processed my order I discovered I was charged 3 separate charges of $4.90 $1.99 & $5.90.  I called the company same day at 877-348-2110 and was assured that the eye cream was canceled and given a confirmation #C2793407.  About 2 weeks  later I got in the mail both the Skin Serum and the eye cream.  Looked online at my credit card statement and still had all 3 charges.   I did not want to waste anymore time calling on a $5.90 charge.   Well today I get my credit card statement another charge for $94.90 from the same company.  The phone number on my credit card statement is different than the one I first called.    THe one on my statement was 888-596-3997.  I called and spoke to a man who kept saying I did authorize the charge.  I advised him I did not.   He stated that the 1st product was a 14 day trial, if you dont return it you are charged.  I advised him there was no disclosure that the product was a 14 day trial all there was was another pop up on a product I did not want.  Even when I got the product there was no paper or anythin with the product to still indicate it was a trial offer.   He stated that I do not have to see it for it to be disclosed.  WHAT.... really just what does he think a disclosure is?  I advised him if it is a disclosure it must be made visable to read.    I demanded a refund, all he wanted to do was argue with me.   He than puts me on hold and said he spoke to his supervisor and was willing to give me 35% discout, I said no! I want a full refund.   Than puts me on hold again and said his supervisor was not willling to come down anymore, but that he can give me his employee discount for a total of 50%.  I again said no, I want a full refund.  He continued to want to argue that it was all my fault and that I authorized.   Than he stated he told his supervisor I was screaming at him.  No screaming here, just a demand for my money back.   I ended up hanging up on him after 17 minutes of getting no where.    I called my credit card company and stopped the charges and they refunded all my money.    This company needs to be stopped.   They are a comnplete ripoff that is not disclosing anything about a trial offer and the additional charges.
Entity: Nationwide
12, Report #62419
Jul 02 2003
12:03 AM
Sprint PCS Dishonest practices Lack of User Service & Misrepresentations Nationwide
I only recently found this site and decided this morning to report on several issues I have had over the past 6 months with SprintPCS. I have never had the misfortune of suffering from a service blackout in pouplated areas, though I have heard many complaints about this. My own complaints are with the billing process and the support personel. Bill Payments: It only came to my attention after my phone was actually shut off that the online payment system (billpay) does not actually submit charges within 12 hours as stated on the website. This system may take up to 3 days to actually submit the charges to the bank. The charges do have a date in the description, but this date is generally one to two days after the charge was really placed by the customer (myself). The company then adds an additional couple days after the charges are sent to the bank(supposedly the amount of time it took for the bank to get back to them) and uses this as your paid date. On two seperate occasionas I have had my phone turned off because the bill was not paid when the cycle turned to the next cycle, causing my account to be over the specified limit. In the first case the bill was due on the 12th(mon.) of the month. The initial payment was made on the website on the 5th (mon.) The bank processed the payment on the 12th(mon) with a description from Sprint/Billpay using the date of the 10th(thurs). The banks submission time was wed. night. The phone was shutoff early Thursday(15th) morning. I checked the website and noticed I was marked as up to date on payments, with the payment being listed as made on the 12th(1 day late). I attempted to call customer service but was automatically being rerouted to the automated pay system, from which there is no way to talk to a human. The local store does not open until 10am. I walked into the store at 10am, explained the issue, and had the phone on in under 20 minutes. The store rep was extremely helpful and mentioned that he had seen these type of problems before. So we have numerous wrong dates from Sprint/Billpay. Since then I have noticed that the charges are always marked at least 1 or two days after I make them in the charge description, and generally are sent to the bank at least a day after the marked date (+2 days from actualy payment). Policy Changes: Do not do it online. Updated my policy online to include more minutes after going over one month. Kept a copy of the webpage for my records (as with all online transactions). Didn't notice that the policy hadn't changed until 6 months later when I went over again. Also be aware that your signing a new contract when you alter your policy. Yes you never sign, and yes you never see the contract, but that is what your doing. They will attempt to say the conditions and terms are the exact same set as was on your original contract, but if you call them on this they will admit the exact opposite and say you should have requested a new copy. Billing: The numbers may or may not be correct. There is no way to verify these numbers as all incoming calls, despite having caller id, are listed only as incoming rather than by phone number. The account balance due on the website is almost never in agreement with customer service if you get them on the phone. Minutes: You get x anytime minutes, x sprint-to-sprint minutes, and x night and weekend minutes. I am unable to get a clear story from sprint about whether the sprint-to-sprint minutes are used on the weekends + nights or if they count those as part of your unlimited minutes. I have had this conversation on numerous occasions. Customer Rep: The phone representatives are incredibly unhelpful and rude. On two different occasions I had the problem I outlined above with the billing taking a week or more to process. In both cases I had full documentation and the best they could do was offer to not charge me a late fee. In one case I was out of phone contact for 4 hours, a loss that can be measured at a minimum of $320 as I was doing off-site consulting. The other case was longer, but the phone wasn't as necessary to doing my job. How much is my Bill? The website says one thing the phone service says another, and the customer rep has yet another number. There doesn't seem to be any relationship between these three sets of numbers and any payments I have made. I don't bother to look at the amounts on the paper bills anymore because by the time I receive them it has already changed in such a way that the number liste there couldn't possibly have ever been correct. I actually asked a customer rep over the phone the following quiestion: Which source does the automatic phone shutoff get it's data from? Or in other words, which one of these three numbers is the one that you use to base the decision to turn off my phone. She couldn't tell me, only that she knew that the website was rarely correct and that the billpay system wasn't necessarally updated often enough either. Or, in a word, she didn't know. In conclusion we have a company that lies to itself about billing dates, who's representatives cannot agree with the same policies, and who often reports at least two sides to every billing statement. One thing to keep in mind. This company bills your for your plan for the next month and overage minutes for the previous month. Make sure they don't charge you for your plan on the final bill (ie, right after turning off their phone and going to someone else). Thats basically just giving them money for nothing. Also keep in my mind that when you sign a contract with one of these companies (or change your plan), they may or may not fulfill their end of it, it only matters if you do (to them). As for rebuttals, feel free. I have 15 pages of documentation to back up the majority of this as well as documentation for the two other occasions where Sprint made mistakes that cost me my servie for a period of time due to no fault of my own. I call that breach of contract, ie they didn't do what they said they would. I see no reason why I should have to pay anything to get out of this contract. Eli Wilmington, North CarolinaU.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Sprint
Entity: Nationwide
13, Report #1023857
Mar 05 2013
12:32 PM
publishamerica the last two royalty periods of six months I have not recieved anything from publishamerica regarding the sales of either of my novels, over the last two six month royalty periods between August and F Fredrick, Maryland
During the last two royalty periods of August 2012 and February 2013. I haven't recieved nothing regarding the sales of either of my two novels Sworn not to betray or my second novel A silent killer within. As a matter of fact I haven't heard anything from publishamerica for actually quite some, I believe it's been since February 2012 was the last time I heard anything from them in relation to recieving a statement concerning the sales of my two novels. Since that amentioned time period the only thing I've heard from or recieved are these solicitations for authors who written two or more books. Their phone number is disconnected and my emails are able to be submitted. Thousands of aspiring authors have written ripoff reports concerning this company and nothing seems to be being done about what they are being allowed to get away with. No national spotlight is shined on this company and how they are just taking advantage of many folks who have aspirations becoming sucessful authors. It's ludicrous. These ripoff reports appear to be of no avail! 
Entity: Fredrick, Maryland
14, Report #1158048
Jun 27 2014
04:03 PM
Denny B. Royalty denny bob royalty replacement. of roof and siding indianapolis Indiana
 He had been a friend for twenty years. He had traded work with me in the past. When storm damaged my roof we let him bid the job. Being the lowest bidder we let him do the work, a crew of guys started tearing off old roof. Then he came to me and claimed he had made a mestake on bid, of a thousand dollars. Being a friend i didnt want him to take a loss, i not only gave him the thousand i gave him five hundred more so he would make money on the job. Later that week we had made a deal on wrapind windows with aluminum, i advanced him the three hundred we agreed on for supplys, and he called me for aditional money to buy aluminum. When i asked him about the three hundred id advanced him, he got angry and hung up on me. later my wife called him to come to an agreement, he cursed her and made her cry. now that he showed his true colors im sure he just lied about under bidding roof job. He will rob his own mom!
Entity: indianapolis, Indiana
15, Report #163920
Feb 28 2006
08:16 AM
Mark Four Enterprises, Home Remodelers Group, Jerry Leen, Bill Thiede ripoff employee contract does not complete work, pay salespeople Fairfield New Jersey
I was hired by Home Remodelers Group in February, 2004 to sell windows. Within a few weeks the sunroom and deck division learned that I had sold sunrooms and I was put in that division. Within two months it became evident the company did not have the expertise or ability to so much as apply for building permits in timely fashion. Worse, Denise Cabello, the coordinator for the division, lied repeatedly about the status of filings for building permits. Even though applications for permits had never been submitted to cities and towns, the company sent letters to my customers stating due to circumstances beyond our control, your project is delayed in zoning. Customers not being nearly as dumb as the company expects, they called their zoning departments to complain of the delay, only to be told that the company never had filed applications. Of course customers were (rightfully) distrusting of the company after that, and many canceled their contracts. Because the contracts were canceled, I was not paid. I quit at the end of May, with NONE of my deck and sunroom sales completed. Some of the jobs were eventually built.... some six, seven and eight months after the dates of the contracts. In June of 2006 I decided to give the company another try. Working in the windows division last year was both profitable and fun. Because building permits are not generally needed for replacement windows, and because the personnel in the windows division were much more competent, I knew I would be successful. On arrival for my interview with the new manager, Kevin Spitzer, I told Kevin I absolutely did not want to sell decks because of Denise Cabello's and Andy Gemeindhart's failure to get the jobs done last year. Kevin informed me the problems were not Denise's fault, but Andy's. He told me he had assurances from both Denise and Andy that decks would be built in 8 weeks and sunrooms in 12 weeks. It seemed logical that in the year I was gone the personnel would have learned to work more efficiently, so I reluctantly agreed provided I would be given window sales leads. I expressed my concerns on virtually daily basis, and was assured by Kevin Spitzer that the jobs would be done. My sales amounted to $222,798 for the months of June, July and August. The problem was.... not a single building permit had been applied for ..... not one. During these months I continually followed up with Kevin Spitzer and inquired about the status of the jobs of Denise Cabello and Andy Gemeindhart. Finally, at the end of August, I demanded that Denise give me the drawings and permit applications for my jobs so that I could obtain the permits myself. In reviewing my files, she told me that she had mailed a permit to Matawan, NJ but had not received a reply back. A simple phone call to the building department revealed that the permit application was received by Matawan Building Department, but it was the wrong agency to file the request with. Matawan had phoned the office weeks earlier instructing that the application be picked up, but noone was given the message by Denise. So... I drove to Matawan to pick up the permit and deliver it to Old Bridge Township, then went to the Edison Building Department to file the only other permit request Denise Cabello ahd prepared. The zoning officer at Edison was a very agreeable guy. He advised me he could not accept the application on the form provided by Denise Cabello (interestingly, she had on a number of occasions bragged about how good she was at working with Edison because she knew ALL of their procedures). The zoning officer provided me with the proper form, which I immediately drove to the customer's business and had signed. That same afternoon, contrary to the complaints often heard about zoning and building departments, the zoning officer approved the application. On my way out of the building, I noticed that the dimensions of the structure were wrong. The sunroom and deck dimensions were not drawn to scale. The zoning officer approved the size indicated by the drawing on the survey. I went back to the zoning officer, who instructed me in amending the drawing to the correct dimensions and he changed the approval on the form. From there, engineering and building departments completed their reviews and provided the permit in only two weeks. The next morning, I wrote Bill Thiede, Vice President, a letter explaining the events described, and urgently requesting a transfer to the windows sales division. That afternoon, he called me on my cell phone. In his office were the sales managers for the windows division, the company's ace salesman, and training manager. The conversation was on speaker phone so all could hear. Bill Thiede quoted from letter, calling my descriptions of events bullshit repeatedly. He basically said that my objections were not valid because Dan Raia, his ace salesman, sells $2,000,000 per year. I told Mr. Theide that he cannot compare my sales to Dan's, as he phones the marketing company in Dallas every morning to review all of the day's appointments and pick those most promising.... a practice specifically prohibited within the company, but obviously done by Dan with Bill's knowledge and consent. At this point, Mr. Thiede agreed to my transfer to the windows division provided I never repeat to anyone in the office what I knew about Dan's special priveleges. As you might imagine, I no longer work for Mark Four Enterprises. From June 1 through October 13, 2006, I put 25,000 on my vehicle, paying for my own gas and expenses. In the meantime, I was paid some $4,500 in advances, most of which will have to be repaid if the jobs are not built. During the course of this writing, I received a call from a customer in West Orange telling me he is canceling his contract because he get no return phone calls from Denise Cabello and Andy Gemeindhart. In five months of sales, one sunroom has been built... the one in Edison that I obtained the permit for. That contract called for the construction of a sunroom and a deck for the sum of $38,000. On completion of the sunroom, the installer requested payment of $23,000, even though work had not begun on the deck (work has still not begun on the deck). The owner refused to pay, citing the terms in the contract. Kevin Spitzer phoned me to tell me it is my responsibility to get the owner to pay. I said no, the terms of the contract call for payment on completion of the entire job. That customer told me 4 months ago she is going to India for an extended stay at the end of November. I made numerous comments to Kevin Sptizer and to Andy about this over the months, and told andy when the sunroom job was almost complete to get ready for the deck. All was simply ignored. The customer in Matawan called yesterday to say that Andy told her the building inspectors were scheduled to inspect the holes for the footings today. She called the building department and was told that no such appointment existed. Bill Bethlehem, PennsylvaniaU.S.A.
Entity: Fairfield, New Jersey
16, Report #104646
Jan 17 2012
09:29 AM
Publish America - House Of Publishing Rip-Off Misleading and Deceptive Trade Practices Frederick Maryland
Publish America Quotes: Each day, an average 12 times a PublishAmerica author is invited to do a book signing or another in - store event at a bookstore or a library. An average 250 times each day, a bookstore calls or logs on to order a Publish America title. Of all the brick-and-mortar bookstores, Barnes and Noble is our largest customer. Borders/Waldenbooks and Books-A-Million are second and third. I spoke to Marcella Smith who is the Director of Operations at the Barnes and Noble New York Small Press Department. (All purchases through B&N must go threw her office.) She informed me that no Publish America book has ever been allowed purchase through her department and because of the lack of editing, poor cover design, lack of industry standard binding and pricing, PA books will never be allowed for shelf placement. They are only available online. Readers need to know that 80% (According to Writers Digest) or more of books purchased are by viewing them on the shelves. Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Publish America Standard New Author Contract Paragraph 17: Sales promotion, advertising and publicity shall be at the Publisher's election and discretions to the extent, scope and character thereof and in all matters pertaining thereto. The author agrees to actively participate in promoting the sales o the said literary work in his home town area and elsewhere, by making himself available to media interviews, book readings and/or signings, and other public sales promotional appearances. Publish America's marketing consists of sending 100 form letters to your family and friends. It's marketing department is structured to provide necessary information to other authors so that they can have their MSS and sell to their families. PA never sends out a press release about your book, never advertises. Author's pay to advertise their products. Authors pay for all marketing, mail-outs, radio promotion, etc. Authors pay - not the publishing company. Publish America Quotes: PublishAmerica is NOT in any way a POD, vanity press, or subsidy publisher, and has nothing in common with them. Obviously, our authors are also not being self-published. In the most commonly used context, POD indicates Publish On Demand, or vanity publishing. Vanity publishers charge for their services. Some charge a few hundred dollars, others a thousand or more. We are not in that league, in any way, shape or fashion. Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Authors Believe that there is no evidence of what is considered a Traditional Publishing company or what is considered a Print on Demand or POD company. I strongly disagree. There are many sources for information on this issue. One for example is found through the hyperlink below. http://www.sfwa.org/beware/printondemand.html Furthermore, I received an email from Publish America where they claimed to be a POD company. A Vice President at Barnes and Noble wrote us a letter recently, saying, We very much believe in print-on-demand (POD) technology as a cost-effective tool available for publishers to extend the range of their title offerings to Barnes & Noble... We believe that POD represents an opportunity to increase the range of titles we offer... We will continue to stock every title that you publish, which enables us to rapidly replenish our stores... Again, these titles are available only online. Publish America Quotes: The only area where the acronym POD comes in sight, is the printing stage of a book. Among printers, POD means print-on-demand, a digital technology that enables the printer to manufacture a book one at a time. This is in contrast with the offset technology that, by definition, must produce at least hundreds of copies of a book at a time at a minimum, but preferably thousands, to justify the expense of running the press. Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Publish America uses Lightning Source as the sole printer for their product. They do not use offset technology. You can confirm this by contacting http://www.lightningsource.com/. Publish America is listed as one of their customers. Publish America also has a company called http://www.authorsmarket.net/, which is labeled itself a POD company and sends new authors to its only publishing POD company on record: Publish America. By their own admission, they are in fact a POD Company. Dear Author, We have much good news to share. Publish America Quotes: PublishAmerica continues to grow faster than any other traditional publisher, and today we are apparently the most popular publisher among new authors. More than 50 new authors contact us every day, hoping to join you as a PublishAmerica author. That's more than 12,000 hopefuls per year. At least 80 percent of them never make it to the published author status, because they don't pass our acquisitions process, but that does not seem to discourage anyone from submitting their work to us in ever growing, and frankly astonishing, numbers. We read every single submission before we accept or refuse. Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: With a staff of less than one dozen how does PA read each and every manuscript? How many books would each of them have to read on a daily basis? How many acquisition editors are there? (2 or 3?) So let's put this into perspective. 2 or 3 editors at a reading rate of 50 novels a day or 12,000 per year. This means that the aquisition editors read an average of 16 novels per day. I don't know about you, but I am a graduate of Evelyn Woods and even I cannot read that fast. Publish America Quotes: PublishAmerica is a traditional, royalty paying publisher. We are strongly opposed to charging fees, ever. There's no catch, no hidden surprises. We even pay small advances to indicate our principle. The author is never, ever, under any obligation to pull their wallet to make any purchase whatsoever. We don't want their money. We want their book. All expenses involved with acquiring, producing, manufacturing, and publishing a book, and marketing it to the industry's wholesale and distribution channels for full availability through all bookstores at home and abroad are underwritten by PublishAmerica solely. This is one of our main claims to fame, and one that we are very proud of. Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Publish America pays authors a principal amount of $1.00 advance for signing a non standard 7-year contract. 8% of the first 2,000 copies sold. 10% of 8,000 copies sold and 12.5% of 10,000 copies or more sold. (It's been rumored that the average author sales per product is generally 100 books sold.) I have heard a story of one gal who had a contract with KROGER opening and potential sales errupting. She'd sold over 1,000 copies and PA dropped her immediately, before the negotiations could be finalized. You can read her posts at: Mindsight! Author's pay no up front fees, but are encouraged through emails to purchase two products called Publicize your Book and Guerilla Marketing. They are asked to follow the instructions of those products, which specify much needed cash to promote a POD book. Furthermore, in an email sent by PA, they urge you to purchase their book. They do not charge you upfront fees but make it understood that unless you invest your own money into marketing, your book would fail. From the PA e-mail: Dear Author, There are books about marketing, about guerrilla marketing, about how to promote yourself, and about how to promote books, but there is no book about how to promote a published author. Those of you who regularly visit our Author Message Board may have noticed that over the course of the years many hundreds of authors have shared probably thousands of very useful tips, experiences, suggestions, and innovative ideas. Publish America Quotes: No publisher guarantees book sales to bookstores. Major chain bookstores have no policy against stocking non-returnable books. Actually, Barnes and Noble has quadrupled the number of books they order from Publish America during the past year and we sell to them directly each and every day. Thousands, each and every month, of PublishAmerica books are sold in bookstores. Hundreds of bookstores across the nation stock our books. Bookstores will generally stock a book that they think will sell, regardless of whether it is returnable or not, and regardless of whether it is printed on digital or offset presses. Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: I challenge any person to go into any Barnes and Noble bookseller across the country and find an in-stock copy of a Publish America book. Dear Ms Easton, Thank you for your interest in having a signing at the Tattered Cover. I have looked at your web site and see that your novel is published by PUBLISH AMERICA a print-on-demand company. Unfortunately we do not do signings for print-on-demand books because of the problems inherent in that format. I will add your book to our system so that customers will be able to order it. Thank you again for your interest. Margaret Maupin Purchasing Manager Tattered Cover. Dear Rebecca, Thank you for the information about your new book, Trophy Abyss. I have looked your book up in our computer system and although the ISBN does come up, it is not defined in our database and is therefore deemed non-returnable. Do you know if the book has been submitted to our Small Press Department in New York? If not, it will need to be sent in for their review and they will determine if it is something we will place in our stores. It is at that point in time that we can discuss a possible signing. Jessie Aschbrenner, Author Relations Manager Barnes & Noble Rebecca -- I received your letter this morning inquiring into book signing events at the Borders stores in Colorado. Unfortunately, we do not host author events with print-on-demand titles where the product is non-returnable to the publisher (Publish America). Thank you for your interest in Borders, and good luck with your books.Best regards, Greg Near Area Marketing Manager, Borders Group Inc. Publish America Quotes: All authors are treated equally here. Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Authors who complain about editing or any part of the PA process are banned, slandered in e-mails and released. This is common business practice. Just check writer's forums to gather all kinds of posts that are directly from PA executives. According to Dave Kuzminski, d.l.kuzminski@att.net there are two sets of releases for Publish America and there is no basis for judgment on who gets which release, signifying that not all authors are treated equally. Some are released because they sell too much and some because of various reasons. One only need to read writer's forum boards to understand that at best, PA deals with its authors very volotile and abusive. Publish America Quotes: Each day, an average 65 new authors who are looking to find a book publishing company ask us to publish their book. We review not only the quality but also the genre of their work. PublishAmerica specializes in books about, for, or by people who confront a challenge in life, and who are determined to overcome it, real or imagined, fiction or nonfiction. Like all serious book-publishing companies we have to be picky as we can only accept the works that meet our requirements in both areas. Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Kevin sent a mss to PA but what I did was take 30 pages and cut and paste it over and over and over till it was about a three hundred page book. And now I just wanted to say....they sent me a contract for it. Source: Kevin Yarbrough at ayky@charter.net Dear Mr. Andrews: As this is an important piece of email regarding your book, please read it completely from start to finish. I am happy to inform you that PublishAmerica has decided to give Eli Smith and The Purple Pony the chance it deserves. An email will follow this one with the sample contract attached for your review. If you do not receive the email with the attached sample contract in twenty-four hours, please contact me, so I can resend the document via another method. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have concerning the contract and to guide you through the contract negotiations phase. Please note that once you have requested that we send the official contract, we cannot further amend the contract. Upon receiving your e-mail in acceptance with the terms, we will forward the final contract documents to you via regular mail for your signature. Along with your e-mail acceptance please include your legal name, current address, telephone number and title of work as you would like it to appear on the final contract. The main terms of the contract are that we will pay you climbing royalties starting at 8%, you retain the copyright, and we will begin production on the book within 365 days of the date we receive the signed contract. A symbolic $1 advance underlines that all financial risk is carried by the Publisher, as we firmly believe it should be. Once the signed contract has been processed in our offices, you will be contacted by our Production department regarding the next step for your book in the publishing process. After both parties have signed the contract, you will be contacted by our production department with a list of questions and suggestions. Please feel free to e-mail any concerns or questions dealing with the terms of the contract to meg@publishamerica.com. Also, please visit our web site at www.PublishAmerica.com. Welcome to PublishAmerica, and congratulations on what promises to be an exciting time ahead. Sincerely, Meg Phillips Acquisitions Editor PublishAmerica Publish America Quotes: Unique among all traditional book-publishing companies, PublishAmerica counts more than 8000 happy authors. Each day, an average 5 of them ask us to also accept their next work, 25 second-book authors per week, 100 per month. By any standard, this is an amazingly high number of return authors, unseen in the rest of the book publishing company industry. Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Check out These Sites to be Aware of that false fact. http://www.mindsightseries.com/cgi-bin/discus/discus.cgi http://p197.ezboard.com/fabsolutewritefrm11 http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pebp.htm http://www.writers.net Publish America Quotes: We assign an editor who goes through the text line by line. Let's put this in perspective. We don't touch style issues, we don't edit the author's voice, tone, or delivery. We edit for spelling, mechanics, grammar, typos, and trust us, that's a vital and time consuming job. Together, our editing staff makes more than 35,000 (!) corrections, each day, to the books they work on that day. We then send a book back to the author, up to three times, to ensure that it looks exactly as the author wants it to look. We assign a graphic designer who comes up with a unique cover design. They communicate with the authors, to hear their suggestions and ideas, so that they can be incorporated into the design. All of that takes time, and we believe that the authors WANT it to take time. After all, this is their life's work. They want it to be treated accordingly. They want time control, they want quality over hurry. We assure them both. Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Publish America Standard New Author Contract Paragraph 13: The publisher shall furnish the Author with an electronic page proof of the work which conforms to the completed manuscript as submitted by the author. The author agrees to return such proof to the publisher with his (grammar and/or spelling and/or typo and/or non-substantial editing) corrections within (15) days of the receipt thereof by him. The cost of alterations in the page proof required by the author other than corrections of the Publisher's errors, in excess of 15% of the original cost of composition shall be charged against the earnings of the Author under this agreement Publish America Quotes: PublishAmerica is only interested in a book's publishing rights. We don't want any other rights, unless an author insists that we carry them on his/her behalf. Movie rights, audio rights, TV rights, merchandising rights, the copyright, they all remain the author's. We are a BOOK publisher, the only way we earn our money is by selling books, and we're very good at that. Everything else can be done better by others. Our contracts expire after seven years, unlike the life term that most other traditional publishers require. Maybe that's one of the reasons why our contracts seem to be particularly liked by lawyers: we count a few hundred attorneys among our authors. Evidentiary information rebutting PA claim: Publish America Standard New Author Contract Paragraph 20: Author hereby agrees that the Publisher shall have the exclusive right for the duration of this agreement to negotiate for the sale, lease, license, or other disposition of the said literary work in the motion picture, dramatic, radio, television, and/or all other fields Publish America's profit from the sale to any of above listed entities50%. Publish America Released my novel (via Paragraph 24 of the contract which states: 24. When in the judgement of the Publisher, the public demand for the work is no longer sufficient to warrant its continued manufacture, the Publisher may discontinue further manufacture and destroy any or all plates, books, sheets and electronic files without any liability in connection therewith to the Author. However, the Publisher agrees to notify the Author of such decision in writing, and will offer to transfer to the Author the work and its rights in the copyrights thereon, the plates (if any), the bound copies and sheet stock (if any) on the following terms F.O.B. point of shipment: the plates, at their value for old metal, the engravings (to be used only in the work) at one-half (1/2) their original cost, the bound stock at one-half (1/2) the list price, and the sheet stock at the cost of gathering, folding, sewing and preparing for shipment, all without royalties. In the latter event, unless the Author shall, within 30 days, accept said offer and pay the amount set forth in said writing, the Publisher may dispose of the work, copyrights, plates, books, sheets and other property without further liability for royalties or otherwise.) Then I received a letter specifying Publishing Relationship has been Terminated. Then for two months PA continued to sell several copies of my product on their web site and obtain profits. I have not to date seen royalties or profit from those sales. In a letter I sent via certified mail to the Support Team about this issue, they sent the response: (After writing your office initally PA eliminated the novel from their site, but continue to place it in their catalog for sale through online booksellers.) Ms. Easton, Please address future correspondence to support@publishamerica.com. Future letters addressed to individuals within the company will not be considered. We ignore all of your demands and deadlines. We will consider your request at our next review meeting, to be held at our pleasure, probably within the next month or so. Rebecca Higlands Ranch, ColoradoU.S.A.
Entity: Frederick, Maryland
17, Report #707410
Mar 17 2011
04:24 PM
iUniverse I published with iUniverse and never heard anything about my book royalties or anything at all... ever.... , Internet
I published with iUniverse back in 2000 and did a 15 minute radio talk show about my book but never ever heard anything about my royalties... I have tried several attempts at trying to find out about this matter and keep getting the run around from one person to the next... It has been over ten years now and still I haven't heard anything... please help
Entity: Internet, Internet
18, Report #107519
Aug 08 2008
12:04 PM
The Living Scriptures Re: ripoff scheme using religious material Ogden Utah
I will start with as I was at the crossroads mall obtaining eyeglasses from Lenscrafter As I was waiting for the eyeglasses to be made. I meet a young Lady offerig a free DVD that consisted of the teachings of Jesus Christ. After speaking with this representive she stated her company offered a wide variety of DVD's or Video cassets of religious material. I asked the sales representative how much this would cost. She asked how much could I afford. I informed her I could spend up to $33.00 she stated that would be fine. She requested that I sign on the bottom Line. I then returned home and did not think to much about it. Approximatly three weeks later I received a shipment of DVDs and Children's Coloring Books. Attached to the shipment was a letter thanking me for the purchase of $870.00 and My first payment of $50.00 would be due at the beginning of the month. I then returned the merchandise attached with a letter explaining the Error of Communication on The price. Living Scripture responed by sending me a Malcious letter stating that I could not Cancel my order. They advised me they had already paid the Sales Representive the Commision. I asked them what the Pentality Fee was for Cancellation. They informed Me that it would be $500.00 without any of the material. Is that crazy or what? Since this time this company has threatened me to report me to the Collection Agency even if I return their product to them. I have began thinking to myself how many people are finacial in truble due to the lack of understanding and cooperation from The Living Scripture. I do not intend to yield to their threats and malicious letters. I will continue to return their shipments. This product teaches good values. THe Living Scripture Company teaches on how to make money deceiving Consumers. To all that are out there Beware of the Living Scriptures Company. Living Scriptures Does not tell the truth on the Product they are selling or How long you will be paying. Yours Sincerley Disgusted and Dismayed. Tommy Carson City, NevadaU.S.A.
Entity: Ogden, Utah
19, Report #466450
Jun 30 2009
01:35 PM
Xbox Live Changed account name resulting in repeated and unautherised billing... Redmond Washington
Let me start by saying that i feel the laws and enforcement on the consumers behalf is completely lacking in this country right now and this little stunt still came as a suprise... Couple years ago i had an xbox live account and i barely used it and never had a subscription on it. Maybe a year or so ago i changed the name on my xbox live account and started to use it more, just enough to play my games on the 360.. At the start of this year 6 months ago i got a gold membership so i could watch netflix on my xbox which is one of the best features iv seen on a gameing platform.. I dont deal with banks for the very reasons i stateing in the beginning, one of the best tools iv ever found is the walmart prepaid card, no overdrafts, no fuss, and always works.. And thats what i was useing to pay for my account. I noticed after a couple months i was being billed twice by xbox. So i desided to just not put money on the card so the account would close and i could reopen it later and it should only bill me once.. The money wasent much 7.99 each time so i didnt want to make a big fuss about it.. well i let it lapse for a month and then went to pay some bills and fell short of paying the last one... went to check my card online to see what happen and there it was, over 15ish charges pending from xbox over and over again almost every 48 hours or less. And they took the money i had put there for bills.. In the end they only got the 2 charges so i let it go for the time being.. I hit some ruff patches in my life and frankly had better stuff to worry about so for 4 more months they got 2 charges a month.. Finally enough is enough and i figure they can just refund the charges or apply them correctly to my account.. This is when i find out they didnt change my account name but created a second account and somehow attached it to the old one and that i was paying for both of them.. heres the funny part.. !they addmited the error!.. And then proceeded to tell me they have no way to do refunds, point blank, their fault or not, they dont ever do refunds.. And they told me to contact my card company to dispute the charges.. I informed him it wasent my card companys problem and that they shouldnt be out money when its an xbox problem.. well customer service is like talking to a wall.. I ask for a supe and i ask for a manager which apparently dosent exsist at the site (BS).. The supe gives me the same line of hummis the last guy did.. I tried everything i could think of even informing him he is attaining funds without my auth on the second account and that i need to file a police report for stolen money and asked for his name to put in the report.. I hear a faint click on the end of the phone.. 3 hours of communication later... At no time did i raise my voice or swear at him.. I used to work collections over the phone for years so i know that wont benefit the call at all.. End of story: They have over 50.oo of my money and they are going to get away with it.. My god where is the consumer defence in this, what choice do we have besides bending over and takeing it while creditors make off with our money.. these problems are getting worse.. And for years now i wear my bad credit as a badge of honor showing that i will not take it and id rather do without.. Companys make mistakes and so do consumers, but when one side or the other refuses to make ammends we all lose.. Where is our Protection we pay for... Consumer vengance Kent, WashingtonU.S.A.
Entity: Redmond, Washington
20, Report #1135805
May 19 2014
09:18 AM
B2B Sales Generation Deceptive marketing strategy, horrible customer service and lack of management governance Internet
The folks from B2B contacted my company about doing some lead geenration and appointment setting. We signed up for a trial period and in that period it was to provide a certain number of appointments. Not one of the appointments was set and the three or so that were passed on were bogus. The folks we contacted never heard of us, or were even in the know of who B2B was. We contacted the sales management and even attempted to speak to a more senior member of their ledership and our calls were not returned or email communications followed up on. After the initial missfire there was mention of improvemnts to their QA process and such. We were charged above and beyond the trial period incorrectly, credits promised were not provided and the monies we spent was a farce. We ahd to cancel our credit card to avoid additional charges. These folks are not providing a good service and they are stealing from people.
Entity: Internet
21, Report #1202793
Jan 19 2015
04:55 PM
AuthorHouse AuthorSolutions, iUniverse In violation of RICO laws for racketeering in the USA Bloomington Indiana
This company presented as a wonderful asset for the first half of my experience: hard working minions in the Philipines, most likely being paid nothing and working 14 hours a day.  It then progressed to total rip off: Pressure to sell me books while telling me I would get only a few hardcovers and soft covers.  Telling me I was getting a HUGE discount on additional books.  Then shipping me more books than I have space for (and they're still coming). Misrepresentation, gross fraud: telling me I was chosen because my book was so unique, so wonderful, to be reviewed in the sixth (LAST SLOT AVAILABLE) review of books for Reader's Digest a worldwide publication. I then discovered that Reader's Digest filed for bankruptcy in 2013 and stopped all publication except for North America; also, the only review of books is done by a freelancer and includes only books on the NY Times best seller list, or famous published authors.  This is called FRAUD and, in the United States of America, deliberately representing a service which is NOT actually available, and taking or soliciting money for that service, is called RACKETEERING and is punishable under the Federal RICO law.  
Entity: Internet
22, Report #1013046
Feb 12 2013
02:24 PM
DVD Royalty Theft and non-existent contact to explain situation, Internet
Ordered box set of Law and Order (complete series 1 - 20) from DVD Royalty.co.uk after being offered their website by either Ebay or Amazon here in UK. This was originally beginning December 2012. Was Emailed confirmation of order giving timescale of 4 - 6weeks. Received confirmation of delivery Email 4th January 2013 stating that item was complet and would be with me 1 - 3 weeks. My order number with them 6783. Still nothing has arrived.Have Emailed company many times , either as a response to their latest Email or (when it was working) the contact Email service on their website ?website unavailable for 2 days - no company contact telephone number or address given on any of original (or website) Emails. Obviously, this lot of thieves need some sort of action/legal action taken against them - can you advise best way to proceed with this?
Entity: , Internet
23, Report #1065319
Jul 12 2013
12:18 PM
State Farm Bad Faith San Jose California
    June 25, 2013                                                                            T                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ACXIOM AND TRANS UNION DATA THEFT, WIRE AND SECURITIES                       FRAUD, TAX EVASION AND EVIDENCE DESTRUCTION                                                                    AND                           VALUATION OF $1.10 PER SINGLE FILE ACCESS                                                                    In 2000, Cliff Mortensen hired Bruce MacLeod of Hennigan, Bennett and Dorman (now McKool, Smith,  Hennigan) in Los Angeles, CA to represent him in a wire fraud, data theft and computer hacking federal lawsuit against Trans Union LLC, 555 W. Adams,  Chicago, IL and Acxiom Corporation (ACXM) 601 E. 3rd Street, Little Rock, AR 72201. Trans Union was represented by Michael O’Neil of DLA Piper, Chicago, and Acxiom was represented by Amy Stewart of the Rose Law Firm (Hillary Clinton’s former employer) of Little Rock, AR. Mortensen and his companies were represented in a trademark SLAPP and data theft lawsuit by Steve Baron and Steve Mandell, intellectual property and trademark experts at the law firm of Mandell Menkes, Chicago, IL. This representation was funded by Mortensen’s insurance carrier, State Farm, 2590 N. First Street, San Jose, CA 95131, 408.503.4505. Mortensen had a comprehensive business policy including a provision for theft with State Farm. Steve Baron and Bruce MacLeod both failed to file a theft loss claim under Mortensen’s State Farm business policy. The policy limit was 3 million dollars. (Steve Baron was being paid by and directed by State Farm). The claims adjuster for this claim is Stephanie Pastor, Salinas, CA. The attorney representing State Farm is Dean Pappas of Ropers, Majeski, Kohn and Bentley, Redwood City, CA. State Farm never paid the theft claim and failed to acknowledge it in 2001. That claim with State Farm has been re-opened and officially denied by State Farm on April 30, 2013. Mortensen is presently pursuing a “bad faith” action against State Farm Insurance Company. State Farm is one of the worst rated insurance companies for bad faith practices in the United States. State Farm aggressively tries to avoid paying significant valid claims. They have one of the worst records for “bad faith claims”. State Farm refused to provide Mortensen with his insurance file when he requested it. Acxiom and Trans Union had been secretly stealing and hijacking billions of dollars worth of credit data from Cliff Mortensen and his companies, Credit Bureau of Carmel and Pebble Beach, Inc., Credit Research, Inc. and many other independent Trans Union credit bureau franchisees (unregistered) across the country for at least fifteen years. Trans Union and Acxiom called it “data mining”. Cliff Mortensen’s lawyers called it “conversion, theft and fraud”. It is the largest data theft, computer hacking, securities fraud, tax evasion and wire fraud crime in United States’ history. Trans Union during this period was controlled by the Marmon Group and attorneys Penny Pritzker and Robert Pritzker (d.) of Chicago, IL. These are significant litigation and material facts which should have been disclosed to The Securities and Exchange Commission by Trans Union and Acxiom and their subsidiaries. It has never been reported in any required public disclosures including SEC Forms S-1, S-4, 10K, and 10Q. Since no taxes were paid during these data burglaries and subsequent free disbursements, the United States Treasury was deprived of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. This is tax evasion on a grand scale.  The case number (filed under protective order) was 00 C 3885 Northern District of Illinois, Judge James B. Moran (d.). This was a peremptory filing by Trans Union for venue choice, jurisdiction, filing position and “gag order” friendly judges (Remember Operation Greylord in the early 80’s concerning corrupt judges in Chicago?). This filing was an unfair business move by Trans Union to bankrupt Cliff Mortensen to prevent him from asserting his legal rights against Trans Union. Cliff Mortensen was a defendant and a counter plaintiff in this SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) suit. Dr. George “Rock” Pring of the University of Denver was the first to identify and name this SLAPP form of malicious prosecution lawsuit which abuses the court process. The data hacking and data hijacking occurred on IBM super computers at Trans Union facilities in Chicago, IL, Emeryville, CA, and Fullerton, CA, as well as Acxiom facilities in Westlake, CA, and Little Rock, AR, during routine daily database maintenance and “batch processing”. This data theft conducted on IBM super computers occurred in terabyte quantities at nanosecond speeds. Acxiom managed (and managed to steal) the data files which were resident on the Trans Union Cronus (franchisee) database computers at these and other Trans Union locations. Ten subsidiaries of Acxiom and twenty-five Trans Union subsidiaries were granted unlimited access to hundreds of millions of data files most of which were not the property of the grantor, Trans Union. These files were the information root of hundreds of millions of Trans Union and Acxiom target marketing lists and credit reports which were sold to most banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and the United States Government for credit making decisions and identity verification. These privately owned credit files were subject to the copyright laws of the United States of America. They were the intellectual property of the individual credit bureau owners and were subject to royalty payments per contract @ $1.10 per single file access. These files were stolen property. Acxiom paid Trans Union for this stolen data with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stock warrants (ACXM). The total number of warrants was in excess of six million shares. Acxiom never reported to the capital markets, the Securities and Exchange Commission or the data owners that these hundreds of millions of dollars worth of illicit payments were disguised payments for the stolen data provided by Trans Union without informing investors of the actual theft or the identity of the rightful owners of the data. Trans Union had a fiduciary responsibility to insure the integrity, ownership and safe handling of this data and to redistribute the shared revenue with the lawful owners of this data, the independent Trans Union affiliated credit bureau owners across the United States. Trans Union referred to the affiliation as “The Partnership That Works” (The key word being “partnership”). It appears that the management of Trans Union and Acxiom believed that if the data theft, computer hacking, wire fraud and tax evasion were conducted on IBM super computers in “batch processing” at speeds faster than the eye could see, it wasn’t really provable theft or tax evasion and no taxes were due.  Database theft is a unique crime. It leaves no evidentiary “footprint” no matter how often the data is copied, transcribed or illegally accessed (stolen) and Trans Union and Acxiom knew it. Trans Union passed this stolen data “tax free” through to its 25 subsidiary companies and to Acxiom’s 10 subsidiaries with no payment to the rightful owners of the data, the independently owned credit bureaus. It was the “perfect burglary” crime. Trans Union wanted to acquire complete ownership of the entire Trans Union affiliate-owned database without paying anything for it. They wanted to steal it and they did. The entire database was eventually sold by the Pritzkers for 3.2 billion dollars in early 2012. The true owners of the data were swindled out of 1.6 billion dollars. They stole their franchisees “blind” and paid no income or transfer taxes during the transfers of these billions of credit data files.  Penny Pritzker and Robert Pritzker got their money the “old fashioned way”-they just stole it when they thought no one was paying attention!  These actions violated the published code of ethics at Acxiom Corporation, the Code of Business Conduct of Trans Union, federal credit reporting law and common decency. (When one is stealing billions of pieces of data, one would certainly not want to appear “unethical”). This data theft began to occur after Trans Union installed many new IBM mega-computers in Chicago, just as Allen J. Flitcraft, formerly with IBM, was leaving his position as president of Trans Union. Charles Morgan was president of Acxiom Corporation and Harry Gambill was president of Trans Union during this period of wire fraud, data theft, securities fraud, tax evasion and insider trading cybercrimes. Harry Gambill was also on the board of directors of Acxiom Corporation, a publicly traded company, while he was President of Trans Union. Charles Morgan of Acxiom stated at his deposition in 2007, “Hell, if I had known that data was stolen I never would have paid for it”! He did not say he would not have used it; he just “wouldn’t have paid for it”. He stated that he “did not know the data was stolen”? He stole it and he knew it was stolen! He was replaced at Acxiom shortly thereafter in 2007. He first became aware of his own ongoing theft beginning in 1992 when Acxiom and Trans Union fabricated the “Database management” scheme to disguise hundreds of millions of dollars worth of illicit stock warrant payments to Trans Union for credit data access. Charles Morgan was abruptly replaced in 2007 when this criminal activity lawsuit was settled with Cliff Mortensen for 11 million dollars. He had been at the helm of Acxiom Corporation for thirty years when he was released in 2007, the year Trans Union and Acxiom settled their secret lawsuit with Cliff Mortensen. Harry Gambill has been replaced at Trans Union LLC and is no longer on the board of directors of Acxiom Corporation. Robert Pritzker, a former Acxiom board member is now deceased.  General Wesley Clark (ret.) was formerly a paid lobbyist for Acxiom and has now been replaced on the Acxiom board of directors. Most all of senior management at Trans Union LLC and Acxiom Corporation have been cauterized and replaced after exposure of this data theft criminal enterprise.   On May 16, 2007, Acxiom announced a planned sale to Silver Lake and ValueAct Capital for $3.0 billion. The transaction ultimately failed to consummate. II.                           RECIPIENTS OF STOLEN DATA IDENTIFIED                 INCLUDING ACXIOM AND TRANS UNION SUBSIDIARIES, THE                                          CIA, THE NSA AND THE FBI                                                                                                                          Trans Union has been a major stockholder in Acxiom Corporation since 1992. At one point, they were the largest single stockholder. In Acxiom’s 10-Q for June 30, 1994, they listed Trans Union’s ownership of Acxiom stock at 16.31 % of outstanding shares. They had interlocking directorates and non-public information about the stolen nature of the credit data in their main database. Harry Gambill of Trans Union was on the board of directors at Acxiom. Trans Union was the primary source for the very current credit data content in Acxiom’s database. It was a clone of the database at Trans Union which was a patchwork of stolen privately owned and corporate owned databases. The payback to Trans Union for the stolen data was in the form of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Acxiom stock warrants (six million shares), unbeknownst to their shareholders or the ultimate owners of the data who were the independent Trans Union credit bureau franchisees, most of whom are clueless today that they have been the victims of the largest data hijacking cybercrime in U. S. history. Trans Union subsidiaries which had unlimited free and tax-free access to the purloined data are:      Trans Union International Inc.    DE Source USA Insurance Agency, Inc.    IL TransUnion International Holdings LLC    DE TransUnion HealthCare LLC    DE Diversified Data Development Corporation    CA Financial Healthcare Systems, LLC    CO TransUnion Teledata LLC    OR Decision Systems, Inc.    GA TransUnion Exchange Corporation    CA TransUnion Reverse Exchange Corporation    DE TransUnion Intelligence LLC    NV TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions, Inc.    DE INSDEC LLC    DE TransUnion Consumer Solutions LLC    DE Trans Union Content Solutions LLC    DE TransUnion Interactive, Inc.    DE Title Insurance Services Corporation    SC Trans Union LLC    DE TransUnion Corp.    DE TransUnion Marketing Solutions, Inc.    IL Trans Union Real Estate Services, Inc.    DE Visionary Systems, Inc.    GA Worthknowing, Inc.    GA TransUnion Financing Corporation      DE      These twenty-five Trans Union subsidiary companies all had “free and tax free” access to the stolen data. The U. S. Treasury was deprived of income taxes due on these felonious transfers of billions of bytes of data. Each of these companies required fresh credit data in their daily operations. They received the stolen data directly from the parent company, Trans Union LLC, a criminal enterprise, which stole the data from the independent credit bureau owners while the data was resident on Trans Union computers for daily “maintenance” and updating. Trans Union operated the largest tax free, stolen data “fencing operation” in the world. The amount and value of data Trans Union gave to their subsidiaries is almost incalculable. Trans Union never acknowledged nor reported anywhere the amount of stolen data given to their subsidiaries. Barry Botruff, data manager at Trans Union, boldly stated at one Cronus (franchisee) meeting, “after thirty days in our possession the data belongs to us (Trans Union)”. He later retracted that statement which was truly a Freudian slip. It is easy to grow a database dependant business quickly to twenty-five subsidiaries when start-up data costs are zero! Acxiom subsidiaries which had similar access to the stolen data are:Acxiom, CDC, Inc.                                                                ARAcxiom, CH, Inc.                                                                   DEAcxiom Digital, Inc.                                                               DEAcxiom Direct, Inc.                                                                TNAcxiom Direct Media, Inc.                                                    ARAcxiom Dutch Holdings, LLC.                                              DEAcxiom Identity Solutions, Inc.                                             COAcxiom Information Security Services, Inc.                        ARAcxiom/ May and Speh, Inc.                                                  DEAcxiom RM-Tools, Inc.                                                          AR Trans Union, LLC is a corporate fraud and tax evader “par excellence” which defrauded over 100 Trans Union credit bureau owners, credit grantors, investors, The United States Treasury and the truth sensitive capital markets out of billions of dollars. In 1992 Trans Union had the audacity to sue the U. S. Federal Trade Commission. Trans Union lost that battle but it allowed them years of extra marketing time and extra hundreds of millions of dollars of profits. When the federal government began to impose a $2500.00 penalty per name, per violation of the F.T.C. Order regarding sales of target marketing lists, Trans Union decided it would be prudent to stop violating federal law. Trans Union had no regard for Federal Law, the Federal Trade Commission or the ownership rights of the data owners. Trans Union and Acxiom should have reported and identified all end users which accessed the stolen data for legal, permissible purposes at the end of each credit report. Leaving a footprint or a record of inquiry would have allowed for traceability of all legal uses of the data for determination of all permissible purposes, ownership and accountability. That is federal law.  The governmental agencies which had secret access to the credit data of all adult U.S. citizens were the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, Central Security Service, Social Security, the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Secret access by these agencies violated the constitutional privacy rights of all adult Americans. Again, the rightful owners were not paid for access and there were no required disclosures of the end users which should have been reported on each of the credit reports. Trans Union and Acxiom billed these entities and were paid by these agencies secretly. There was no payment or accounting to the rightful owners of this data nor access disclosures to the subjects of the credit reports.  The major national banks, financial institutions, large credit data brokers and data users, including the United States government, which unknowingly purchased the hacked and stolen data from Trans Union, its subsidiaries and the subsidiaries of Acxiom Corporation were Chase Bank, Citibank, Bank of America, Wells-Fargo Bank, HSBC, Capital One, Bank One, American Express, U. S. Bank, Discover Card, LexisNexis, and most banks which issued credit cards including First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO). None of these data purchasers performed “due diligence” or certified the rightful owners of these billions of data files. The original acquisition (theft) and free disbursement of this stolen data to their subsidiaries was unaccounted for and “tax evaded” and therefore “tax free”. Trans Union has a bountiful history of data theft and tax evasion in the building of their ill-gotten database. “Theft” is always a “tax free” transaction particularly at nanosecond speeds. In 1997, FNBO received a $23,000,000.00 court judgment against Trans Union for data theft and breach of contract, case number 8:95CV-57, United States District Court District of Nebraska (Allen Rugg, Esq., of Powell Goldstein for the plaintiff; Roger Longtin, DLA Piper, for the defense). The data theft at FNBO was discovered during a “sting operation” where FNBO seeded their database with the names of Disney and Warner Brothers cartoon characters with the addresses of FNBO bank branch managers. They then gave the tapes to Trans Union monthly for “credit file updating” only. Shortly after Trans Union got their hands on FNBO’s customer computer tapes, the FNBO bank managers (“Daffy Duck, Porky Pig”, ad nauseum) began to receive credit card solicitations from competing banks. Trans Union fell right into the “briar patch” trap and began to illegally access (steal) and sell FNBO’s data files without permission or payment. Trans Union’s data theft breach of contract cost Trans Union a $23,000,000.00 judgment which they paid. FNBO had a penalty clause of $100.00 per stolen name. Trans Union has never reported this satisfied judgment or data theft in any of their public filings. This is information investors and the capital markets needed to know. For fifteen  years, Trans Union, LLC and Acxiom Corporation shared the ill gotten proceeds without paying the rightful owners of the data, the hundred or so local Trans Union franchisees across the United States including the bureau owned by Cliff Mortensen. This wire fraud, conversion and data theft continued for at least fifteen years before Trans Union admitted to it during settlement of one of the many federal cases against Trans Union. Trans Union admitted to their criminal activity and they wanted all settlements to be “secret” to avoid scrutiny by The Securities and Exchange Commission, the capital markets, other franchisees and the Internal Revenue Service.  Eric Holder, (appointed by Barack Obama), of the Department of Justice, Andrew Cuomo (Attorney General and now governor of New York), Kamala Harris (Attorney General of California) and the F.B.I. have failed to prosecute these crimes by these Pritzker- owned entities. Penny Pritzker is part of the notorious Pritzker family of Chicago (Hyatt Hotels, Trans Union Credit, Trans Union Healthcare, the Superior Bank collapse and the Marmon Group). Penny Pritzker’s grandfather and great-grandfather were lawyers for organized crime in the early days of Chicago. Penny Pritzker is a graduate of Harvard University and Stanford University Law School. Penny Pritzker was the finance chair for President Obama’s campaign in 2008 and was considered for but not offered the cabinet position of Commerce Secretary in 2009. At this writing, Penny Pritzker has been nominated for the Secretary of Commerce Cabinet position (again-subject to Senate confirmation). The Obama-Pritzker connection has been validated. They are longtime Chicago cronies.  In 2002 Penny Pritzker was a defendant in a RICO (Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations) lawsuit filed against her in the Superior Bank (Chicago) collapse. For that debacle Penny Pritzker and other Pritzker family members agreed to pay $460,000,000.00 (with a fifteen year payback) to the federal government. Mortensen asked Bruce MacLeod (now with Mc Kool Smith Hennigan, Los Angeles, to file a RICO action against the Pritzkers and Trans Union for wire fraud, extortion and anti-trust crimes.  Bruce MacLeod refused to file a RICO or organized crime action against Trans Union and Penny Pritzker on several occasions. The subject was even discussed in Judge Moran’s chambers. III.                              CONFLICTED WORKING RELATIONSHIPS                                                          OF LAW FIRMS Mr. MacLeod was referred to Cliff Mortensen by his attorney Ralph Wegis, a pioneer in SLAPP lawsuits, of Bakersfield, CA. Bruce MacLeod evaluated the case for twelve months before he decided to accept it. This was a major delay that benefitted Trans Union, Acxiom and DLA Piper.  Mr. MacLeod had a prior working relationship with opposing counsel, DLA Piper of Chicago. Both firms worked together successfully on the 1994 bankruptcy of Orange County, CA and later (without Mortensen’s knowledge) worked together representing John Hancock Life Insurance Company (v. Bank of America) on the international Parmalat (Italy) bankruptcy case. Both firms have represented the Catholic Church in the United States. Michael Hennigan represented the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in the defense of hundreds of pedophilic priests. Michael Hennigan and Bruce MacLeod had mutual friends at DLA Piper. Mortensen was not aware of this ongoing conflicted friendship and dual working relationship until August 15, 2012. Mortensen would have never permitted it and would have terminated Bruce MacLeod and Michael Hennigan had he known. IV.                                                 ABUSE OF PROCESS         Initially, Michael O’Neil of DLA Piper sued Cliff Mortensen in a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) lawsuit to quell Mortensen’s impending lawsuit for data theft, fraud and breach of contract. This was a malicious prosecution case filed by DLA Piper to bankrupt and stifle Cliff Mortensen’s legal claims and damages. This was abuse of the court process. The $222,000.00 cost to defend this malicious prosecution lawsuit was paid for by Cliff Mortensen’s insurance carrier, State Farm. Cliff Mortensen was represented by Steve Baron and Steve Mandell of Mandell Menkes of Chicago. This case settled for $19,000.00. There were no SLAPP Back, malicious prosecution or punitive damage lawsuits filed on Mortensen’s behalf.  Neither Steve Baron nor Steve Mandell of Mandell Menkes, ever attended the global settlement conference. He said “State Farm would not authorize it”!  They made no claim to State Farm for theft of data on Mortensen’s behalf. V.                                                  CASE VALUATION On the first discovery trip to Chicago, the home of Trans Union, Bruce MacLeod mentioned to Cliff Mortensen that if his case were only worth $4,000,000.00 or less his firm would not be interested in representing him. He then excused himself for a lunch meeting with his old pals at DLA to establish a case trajectory.  Bruce MacLeod later indicated the case was worth in excess of $100,000,000.00 per appraisal by Monica Ip, a forensic accountant, at HemmingMorse, San Francisco, due to contract breach and fraud. Crucial to this valuation was a royalty fee of $1.10 per single file access per contract. This appraisal value did not consider the billions of data files which were “passed through” (tax free) to the twenty-five domestic Trans Union subsidiaries with no royalty payments to the  rightful owners of the data including Cliff Mortensen and his companies. At a settlement conference in 2004, Anthony Piazza suggested that the case was only worth $400,000.00. Ralph Wegis and Bruce Mac Leod were at that settlement conference. Steve Baron was not present and offered no guidance regarding case value. VI.                              CASE SECRECY AND PROTECTIVE ORDER                             TO HIDE INSIDER TRADING, STOCK FRAUD                                                  AND TAX EVASION                                                Bruce MacLeod, Michael Hennigan and Ralph Wegis allowed the case to be filed “under seal” with a protective order (against the strong protestations of Cliff Mortensen).  Mortensen told Bruce Mac Leod on several occasions that he did not approve of this secrecy strategy, yet Bruce Mac Leod insisted on secrecy. He said this would hasten settlement (seven years). This protective order only protected Trans Union LLC and it’s 25 subsidiaries, Acxiom, Penny Pritzker and the Pritzker family from public exposure of their data theft, wire fraud, stock fraud, tax evasion and anti-trust crimes. Wall Street investors, the capital markets and The Internal Revenue Service would have benefitted from public exposure of these crimes. Bruce MacLeod was asked by Mortensen on at least fifteen occasions to remove the case from protective order, to unseal the filings and to amend the complaint to include anti-trust and RICO pleadings against Trans Union and Acxiom. Bruce MacLeod always refused to amend and would become very irritated whenever the subject was broached by Cliff Mortensen. He stated that the “appropriate people” knew how to access the case file through Lexis Nexis and Pacer case tracking systems. He had an “unhealthy” fixation with secrecy fueled by lawyer greed. This case should have been in the public realm. Mortensen preferred “daylight and openness” not “the mushroom treatment” in his litigation. This secrecy and failure to amend only accommodated MacLeod’s friends’ wishes at DLA Piper while ingratiating himself with them for amicable and profitable working relationships while ignoring the demands and best interests of his clients, Cliff and Pat Mortensen.  Secrecy weakened the case and settlement position for seven years. It fortified Trans Union’s and Acxiom’s position by delays and statute of limitations constraints. Secrecy of Mortensen’s fraud case facilitated “insider trading and willful securities fraud” by allowing Trans Union to sell out their overvalued position in Acxiom stock at around $40.00 per share. Acxiom stock today trades in the $20.00 range. Investors have lost fortunes.  If Cliff Mortensen’s theories of data theft were so “misguided”, as Michael O’Neil of DLA Piper stated, why was secrecy paramount in Trans Union’s and Acxiom’s strategy? The answers are “insider trading, wire fraud, securities fraud and income tax evasion”.   VII.                             SECURITIES FRAUD AND INSIDER TRADING                                                                           Public exposure of their willful securities fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion crimes terrified the management and owners of Trans Union and Acxiom (ACXM), a publicly traded company (NASDAQ). Penny Pritzker eventually planned to take Trans Union public (TRUN). The secrecy and delays benefitted Trans Union and Acxiom by keeping the other franchised credit bureaus, Wall Street investors, The Internal Revenue Service, the capital markets and the Securities and Exchange Commission uninformed about their blatant data theft, wire fraud, willful securities fraud, “insider trading”, anti-trust and tax evasion schemes. Public exposure of these crimes would have resulted in more lawsuits, sanctions, penalties, possible “de-listing” from the Exchanges, potential prison sentences, profit disgorgement and significant financial loss for Trans Union and Acxiom with subsequent erosion of stock value in those securities and potential corporate dissolution. Trans Union was paid hundreds of millions of dollars in stock warrants by Acxiom for unlimited tax free access to stolen data which should have included the royalty fee of $1.10 per single file access to the data owners. In 2000, Trans Union “cashed in” their Acxiom stock warrants for hundreds of millions of dollars with an Acxiom stock price around $40.00.  They had insider non-public material knowledge that the data was stolen and therefore worthless.  Other investors were not similarly enlightened.  Today, Acxiom stock trades in the $20.00 range, a loss of over 50% of Trans Union’s “unload price” of around $40.00.  Investors have lost billions of dollars of stock equity. This constitutes willful securities fraud and insider trading based non-public information.  Public companies are required by The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to report on their 10-K annual and 10-Q quarterly forms to disclose all significant litigation in which a public company is involved. They are also required to report if their base product belongs to another entity or is stolen. Acxiom and Trans Union failed to disclose this major litigation and the contested data ownership on their 10-K, 10-Q, S-1, and S-4 forms for several years. They were willfully violating federal securities statutes by these omissions. Significantly, after Cliff Mortensen exposed these federal crimes, Trans Union’s planned IPO was withdrawn February 17, 2012 and Acxiom began buying back $50,000,000.00 more of Acxiom stock in early 2013 for a total repurchase of $200,000,000.00! This is an unusually high and abnormal percentage of stock repurchase. Bruce MacLeod was accommodating Trans Union and Acxiom to Mortensen’s peril. Cliff Mortensen’s lawyers by their secret filings enabled Trans Union and Acxiom Corporation in their criminal theft “cover up” and securities fraud of copyright law protected credit data files, privately owned intellectual property and tax evasion. Even the lead Judge James B. Moran (d.) said he was tired of the ongoing, senseless secrecy.   VIII.                SCOPE OF THE DATA THEFT AND BRUCE MAC LEOD’S                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 FAILURE TO FILE WIRE AND SECURITIES FRAUD                                                CAUSES OF ACTION                         After an error filled initial filing, Bruce MacLeod eventually did some extensive legal discovery work regarding Mortensen’s claims of fraud, breach of contract and data theft in a first amended complaint. He found that Trans Union and Acxiom had stolen billions of dollars worth of data from individual Trans Union credit bureau franchisees across the United States and over $100,000,000.00 from Cliff Mortensen alone. Mr. MacLeod called it “fraud”. He never claimed “wire fraud or securities fraud”. These are felonies and some people could have and should have gone to prison. Bruce MacLeod accessed SEC cross filings of Trans Union and other NASDAQ and NYSE listed companies and downloaded 800 pages of EDGAR filings in 2000. These filings showed license agreements with hundreds of companies that bought stolen data from Trans Union including Acxiom. The $1.10 royalty fee per single name access was avoided on billions of transactions. Bruce Mac Leod should have filed a RICO action which should have included: Conspiracy to monopolize, anti-trust, trade secrets violations, tortious interference with business, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, tortious interference with contract, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of statutory duty.  Again, Mr. MacLeod was protecting the upper management and owners of Trans Union LLC and Acxiom Corporation. He should have been more concerned with his own clients, Cliff and Pat Mortensen, The Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, The I. R. S., The U. S. Treasury,  the capital markets and securities investors who lost hundreds of millions of dollars in this stock manipulation scheme.  Mr. Roger Longtin of DLA Piper told one of the court reporters in Chicago that Bruce MacLeod had “cracked the data theft case” but he (Roger Longtin) would deny it if queried.  Roger Longtin, Michael O’Neil, Bruce MacLeod, Michael Hennigan, Amy Stewart, Ralph Wegis and Steve Baron are officers of the Federal Courts. Not one of them reported any Securities and Exchange Commission “willful violations” by Acxiom or Trans Union.  MacLeod demanded to see the personal computer hard drives of Cliff Mortensen, his son, Cliff Mortensen, Jr., his wife, Pat Mortensen and all of their business computers plus all of Mortensen’s personal tax and corporate tax filings.  Cliff Mortensen asked Bruce MacLeod for discovery reciprocity from Robert Pritzker, Penny Pritzker, Trans Union LLC and Acxiom Corporation. Bruce MacLeod flatly refused Cliff Mortensen’s requests. Had Bruce MacLeod done this, the depth of Trans Union’s fraud and theft would have been discovered. Investors, the I. R. S. The capital markets would have been saved or collected hundreds of millions of dollars. As an officer of the courts, Bruce MacLeod was obliged to expose this massive stock and tax fraud as federal crimes. He failed to do that. Bruce MacLeod allowed Trans Union and Acxiom to take Mortensen’s personal videotaped deposition on ten (abusive) different occasions, yet he never deposed Robert Pritzker (d.) nor Penny Pritzker, the “de facto” owners of Trans Union. Had he done that, the securities fraud and the depth of the theft would have been exposed much sooner. IX.                                          ANTI-TRUST CYBERCRIMES AND                                          CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT FRAUD In an anti-trust move, Experian denied database access to Cliff Mortensen in 2000. Trans Union, in a similar anti-trust move, denied Cliff Mortensen access to his own database in July of 2001. He was forced to terminate twenty employees. This was an extortionate, fraudulent, monopolistic and illegal attempt to force Cliff Mortensen to drop his lawsuit against Trans Union and Acxiom. Trans Union and Experian, which is a British owned company, then aggressively pursued Cliff Mortensen’s customers in a blatant anti-trust and unfair competition move. Cliff Mortensen asked Bruce MacLeod to enjoin Trans Union from denying Cliff Mortensen access to his own database. Bruce MacLeod refused as it would be “too much legal work”. It would have also provided cash flow to Cliff Mortensen’s struggling companies. There was a conspiracy between Trans Union and Experian to destroy Mortensen’s businesses. They succeeded. Bruce Mac Leod accommodated them by inaction. Today there are only four major credit bureau companies in the United States. It is a virtual oligarchy. There are no local credit bureaus remaining. 600 independent credit bureaus have been closed. The destruction of competition was complete within seven years. The Federal Trade Commission did not intervene. Fait accompli! Co-incidentally with the destruction of all local credit bureaus and the introduction of automated credit reporting, the financial meltdown of the U.S. financial system began its infamous demise.      X.                                              EXTORTION       During this access denial period David Emery, Chief Financial Officer of Trans Union at that time (affectionately known as “Thief Financial Officer” by the bureau owners), asked Cliff Mortensen if he was “ready to talk about signing the contract amendment now”?  David Emery was clearly committing extortion against Cliff Mortensen. Bill Rogers, V. P., said Trans Union would withhold revenue (which they already were doing) unless Mortensen signed the amendment. This also was extortion. Signing the amendment would have allowed Trans Union, LLC and Acxiom Corporation to continue with their data theft. Mortensen refused to sign any amendments. Alice Conlon of Trans Union was the credit bureau liaison for the independent credit bureaus and worked for Jay Frank, Jr. (d.), V. P. of Trans Union during this period. She is still employed at Trans Union. She threatened (attempted to extort) Cliff Mortensen with the statement that “If you don’t do what Trans Union wants you to do by amending your contract, they can do plenty to you”. They did. Jay Frank, Jr., V.P., cautioned the independent bureau owners during the annual Cronus (franchisee) meeting in Chicago that the databases belonged to the individual franchisees; that it was the franchisees’ main asset and not to underestimate the value of the asset. He was terminated shortly after that cautionary speech. He retired to Florida.                                      XI.                                  RACKETEERING INFLUENCED CORRUPT                                ORGANIZATIONS (RICO) AND TAX EVASION Trans Union and Acxiom are corrupt organizations which have used extortion, theft, wire fraud, securities fraud, computer hacking, tax evasion and perjury to achieve their profit goals and revenue streams by stealing billions of credit records from individual credit bureaus in  tax evading transactions. This clearly qualified as a RICO (Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations) action. This is the largest data theft, wire fraud and tax evasion scheme in history. Trans Union would file fraudulent computer “green bar” printout reports (wire fraud) with Cliff Mortensen’s credit bureau offices in Salinas, CA (and other franchisee locations) on a daily basis for fifteen years. Trans Union freely dispensed the stolen credit data to their twenty five subsidiaries and Acxiom. Acxiom in turn passed the data to their ten subsidiaries. It was theft compounded. They did not disclose to the Securities and Exchange Commission their stock manipulation, securities fraud, wire fraud, major compound data theft, pending or past litigation or tax evasion. Mr. Hennigan belittled the value of the Mortensen’s case on many occasions. He stated the case was “only worth $400,000.00”; Ralph Wegis said the same case was worth $20,000,000.00; MacLeod said the case was appraised at more than $100,000,000.00. When queried, Bruce MacLeod did not have an explanation why one of the Pritzker companies, Conwood Smokeless Tobacco, prevailed in a similar unfair competition and anti-trust lawsuit against United States Tobacco for 3 billion dollars including punitive damages (Upheld at U.S. Supreme Court and satisfied). Perhaps it was just superior lawyering with no conflict of interest. United States Tobacco was forced to issue stock to fund this upheld award. Conwood Tobacco v. U.S. Tobacco was an anti-trust case as was Mortensen’s. Bruce MacLeod and Michael Hennigan refused on several occasions to include an anti-trust, RICO or criminal pleading in his case. Again, their lack of action protected Trans Union and Acxiom and kept the revenue streams flowing.  Cliff Mortensen was so disappointed in his legal representation at this point that he contacted the law firm of Boies, Schiller and Flexner, LLP for representation.  Mr. Boies declined Mortensen’s case for “a variety of reasons”.  In a 2006 mediation, John Blenke, chief counsel at Trans Union offered Mortensen $7,000,000.00 to settle with “secrecy”. Mortensen rejected that offer. This offer was made in the presence of Ralph Wegis (telephonically) and Bruce MacLeod. John Blenke closed the meeting with the statement to Cliff Mortensen “Cliff, you can call me at any time to discuss settlement”! Cliff Mortensen was taken aback. He thought he had his own legal counsel. What were Bruce Mac Leod and Ralph Wegis being paid for? This was unethical for John Blenke to address Cliff Mortensen as he did. It was equally unethical for Bruce MacLeod and Ralph Wegis not to object and say nothing. Steve Baron of Mandell Menkes was also not present at this mediation. Either he had no interest or State Farm was paying “on the cheap”! Since Mortensen’s case was under seal, Trans Union and Acxiom had no motivation to “true up” with Cliff Mortensen and settle for their data theft and wire fraud. They did not admit to their theft and wire fraud until seven years later at settlement. Then they wanted a secret settlement as their admission of wire fraud crimes would “be embarrassing to Penny Pritzker and the Trans Union organization”.  It also would have exposed their securities fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion actions to the capital markets. Bruce MacLeod and Michael Hennigan were always willing to oblige DLA Piper’s secrecy wishes even when criminal activity was involved and should have been exposed.  Under Bruce MacLeod’s guidance the case was progressing very slowly through the courts. Mortensen had large financial obligations and he informed Bruce MacLeod of his dire financial condition for years, yet Bruce MacLeod still deliberately kept the case progression slow and under seal. He suggested that Mortensen borrow $200,000.00 from Ralph Wegis to help his financial position. That money only lasted six months. Bruce MacLeod also suggested that Cliff Mortensen allow all of his real estate investments to go into foreclosure. He was insolvent by 2007 and forced into a weak settlement position. On settlement day, Mortensen was in debt approximately $5,000,000.00 and had already liquidated about $3,000,000.00 of his personal assets. Bruce MacLeod had copies of Cliff Mortensen’s tax returns. MacLeod has extensive accounting expertise and he understood Cliff Mortensen’s untenable financial and emotional position. Bruce MacLeod’s actions had “broken” Mortensen emotionally and financially. He set him up for minimal settlement. Five years before settlement, Bruce MacLeod had Mortensen petition the Court to explain his financial position to a special master. XII.                                      DUAL CONFLICTED REPRESENTATION Incredibly, prior to settlement, Bruce MacLeod suggested that he (Bruce MacLeod) “become employed by opposing counsel, DLA Piper,   or Trans Union to facilitate settlement”. His stated theory was that it “would entice Trans Union to settle” as Bruce Mac Leod would then be barred from accepting any new cases against Trans Union or Acxiom. He told Cliff Mortensen he did not want to litigate with Trans Union or Acxiom again. (Mortensen believed that successful litigation was the “traditional” way lawyers got paid). MacLeod stated that it would be illegal for him to decline other similar cases unless he was employed by opposing counsel and/or Trans Union.  Cliff Mortensen was flabbergasted!  He believed Bruce MacLeod was either breaking the law or at least violating California State Bar ethics. He could not believe what Bruce MacLeod was saying. Cliff Mortensen told him “absolutely not”! Mortensen felt this would be legal malpractice and certainly not in his best interest. He no longer had any trust in Bruce MacLeod, Michael Hennigan or their law firm. He began to believe that the fraternal relationship with DLA Piper was even “cozier” than suspected. On August 15, 2012, Mortensen discovered that both firms had been working together for the John Hancock Insurance Company on the Parmalat (Italy) bankruptcy case and Catholic Church litigation for years. Had Mortensen known this, he would have terminated Hennigan, Bennett and Dorman “post haste”. XIII.                                    LACK OF TRIAL PREPARATION    Mortensen was forced into a weak settlement position particularly when Bruce said “Don’t start believing your own bullshit” (not very encouraging). Still, there were no “trial ready” motions or “at issue memoranda” filed on Mortensen’s behalf by any of his attorneys. Bruce MacLeod never demanded a “true up” of what was owed to Mortensen. This would have exposed the free and “tax free” pass-through of stolen data to the 25 subsidiaries of Trans Union and 10 subsidiaries of Acxiom.  The delays accommodating Trans Union and Acxiom Corporation continued for years. The case was not positioned for serious settlement negotiations by either Bruce MacLeod or Steve Baron of Mandell Menkes. Cliff Mortensen was financially broke and emotionally broken and unable to continue with the stalled litigation. Cliff Mortensen’s hacked and stolen data was valued in excess of $100,000,000.00 (per contract breach) by forensic accountant and appraiser Monica Ip of HemmingMorse, San Francisco, CA. This figure did not include the value of the stolen data given directly to the twenty-five Trans Union subsidiaries (with no accounting or tax payment). There were at least one hundred other Trans Union franchised bureaus in similar situations. XIV.                                                    MEDIATION At the suggestion of Michael Hennigan, the third mediation took place at the law offices of Anthony Piazza of Gregorio, Haldeman, Piazza, Rotman, Feder and Frank, 201 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA, 415.543.3366. This was the first time Mortensen had ever met Michael Hennigan. During mediation, Cliff Mortensen stated to his lawyers that he wanted Trans Union to offer a settlement figure before he did. They all said “no” that Cliff Mortensen “would have to come up with a figure first”.  Cliff Mortensen felt this would be bidding against himself and not good strategy.  His lawyers gave no guidance in developing a settlement strategy or case settlement value during or prior to mediation.  Mr. Wegis said Mortensen had “fought the good fight” but it was “time to settle” even though there were no “at issue memoranda” filed.  Mortensen’s lawyers were silent during the Anthony Piazza meeting. Cliff Mortensen felt he had been set up and “railroaded” into settlement. Bruce MacLeod, Michael Hennigan, and Ralph Wegis offered no counsel or guidance during the mediation. Mortensen was forced to fend for himself with three of his “high powered” attorneys present and silent as lambs.  Mortensen’s State Farm Insurance paid defense costs of $222,000.00+ to attorney, Steve Baron of Mandell Menkes, Chicago, IL, who was absent. State Farm “in bad faith” paid nothing for the theft loss with a policy limit of $3,000,000.00.  Amy Stewart of the Rose Law Firm representing Acxiom Corporation was absent as well. Acxiom had an indemnity clause from Trans Union regarding liability. This should have been disclosed in public disclosure filings for Acxiom and Trans Union. It was not. As of this date, Mortensen has not been provided a copy of the signed settlement document from Acxiom Corporation. XV.                                       SETTLEMENT AND FAILURE TO                                  CLAIM DISGORGEMENT OF PROFITS       Eventually, during the mediation, Cliff Mortensen proposed a settlement figure of $15,000,000.00. Anthony Piazza said “No” he “would not present the offer to Trans Union”. This refusal violated negotiation protocol. Anthony Piazza said the figure was “too high” but he did not say on what he based his conclusion. He just pulled a number out of the air with no consideration for the professional forensic appraisal of Monica Ip at HemmingMorse.  Attorney Anthony Piazza was supposed to be a neutral mediator. His bias toward Trans Union and Acxiom and his lack of neutrality cost Mortensen a fortune. He then beat Cliff Mortensen down to $10,000,000.00. Cliff Mortensen’s lawyers were silent and did not advocate his position at all. The smirk on Michael O’Neil’s face revealed the incongruity of the settlement.  Bruce MacLeod did not inform Cliff Mortensen of the massive similar cyber crimes litigation in which Trans Union was involved or the fact that Trans Union gave free access of Cliff Mortensen’s database to all twenty-five of Trans Union’s subsidiaries and ten of Acxiom’s subsidiaries without payment to Mortensen. During mediation, Bruce Mac Leod made no demand for disgorgement of profits from Trans Union or Acxiom. Disgorgement of profits is the legal remedy for theft and fraud. The case settled on October 31, 2007 for $11,000,000.00. The settlement called for forgiveness of all transgressions “known or unknown” and global settlement with a non-disclosure (complete secrecy) clause and a $500,000.00 penalty for secrecy breach clause. The phrase “known or unknown” must have related to the undisclosed sales to Acxiom and the free stolen data access and tax free access Trans Union provided to its subsidiaries. This allowed Trans Union to profit from Cliff Mortensen’s database in present and future undisclosed credit products. Trans Union operated the largest tax free data “chop shop fencing operation” in history. Mortensen received $6,000,000.00 net and his lawyers received $5,000,000.00. From Mortensen’s proceeds he repaid Mr. Wegis the $200,000.00 loan from his retirement fund plus interest. He also paid Wood & Porter Attorneys (referred by Bruce MacLeod) $125,000.00 for tax advice since Michael Hennigan said during the mediation that his firm “did not dispense tax advice”. Bruce MacLeod cautioned Cliff Mortensen to “be very conservative with any settlement money as it may be needed it to pay federal taxes”. Bruce MacLeod and Michael Hennigan knew it was a “net negative” settlement. Yet, they remained silent. So much for Super Lawyers and their personal agenda! Nowhere has this settlement of data theft and secret settlements been publicly acknowledged in required 8-K, 10-Q, 10-K and S-1 filings for Trans Union LLC and Acxiom Corporation or elsewhere. This violated Security and Exchange Rules of Disclosure and kept the investors and capital markets uninformed of this data theft litigation. This also violated Internal Revenue Statutes. It is classic tax evasion on a grand scale. John Blenke, chief counsel for Trans Union, initially offered Cliff Mortensen $7,000,000.00 in 2006 to settle secretly. This should have been public information to protect investors and the capital markets. John Blenke’s signature is on the forms 8-K, 10-K, 10-Q and S-1 filings for Trans Union all of which omitted the legal disclosure. Acxiom Corporation had similar filing requirements under Securities and Exchange Commission regulations. Trans Union benefitted from insider knowledge and insider trading of Acxiom stock. Trans Union was not forthright in disclosing their data theft and criminal fraud lawsuits and settlements in their initial public offering of Trans Union stock (TRUN). That initial public offering was withdrawn February 17, 2012.  The day Cliff Mortensen settled for $6,000,000.00 net, he was bankrupt by three million dollars and Bruce MacLeod knew it. He, Ralph Wegis and Michael Hennigan settled Cliff Mortensen into bankruptcy. Bruce Mac Leod had earlier petitioned the Court on Mortensen’s insolvency yet he denied knowledge of Mortensen’s finances when he was queried recently by Mr. Eli Morgenstern of the California State Bar, Los Angeles, CA. This was not Mortensen’s plan for successful prosecution of his case. Cliff Mortensen subsequently defaulted on seventeen real estate loans (mostly government insured) totaling millions of dollars. He felt he was forced to settle as his lawyers had no plans to take his case to trial and the opposition knew it. Cliff Mortensen was not “made whole” and the subject was never mentioned by Bruce MacLeod, Ralph Wegis, Michael Hennigan, Antonio Piazza, Michael O’Neil or Steve Baron. Two weeks after the mediation and prior to final settlement Cliff Mortensen asked Bruce MacLeod if the mediation was binding. Cliff Mortensen wanted to cancel it as he realized the incongruity of it. Bruce MacLeod prevaricated when he stated that the mediation was indeed “binding and could not be cancelled”. This was not true. Cliff Mortensen relied on Bruce MacLeod’s false statement. This is unethical and malpractice. XVI.                          DESTRUCTION OF COURT RECORDS AND EVIDENCE There was a confidentiality agreement on the Acxiom and Trans Union settlement with a $500,000.00 penalty clause if Cliff Mortensen divulged the settlement terms. DLA Piper demanded that Cliff Mortensen destroy all personal court records, documents and digital records of the legal proceedings and evidence. Criminal evidence destruction is a criminal act. Cliff Mortensen did not destroy his litigation records. Bruce MacLeod maintained all of his legal records and case log history on his computer. He has that digital record today. Two years after settlement Ralph Wegis returned to Cliff Mortensen all legal documents in his possession.  Bruce MacLeod refused to do the same when requested. He destroyed them against Cliff Mortensen’s wishes. This is destruction of evidence of criminal activity. This is a criminal act. Steve Baron of Mandell Menkes never returned Mortensen’s litigation file. XVII.                             INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING CANCELLED                                                   BY TRANS UNION                                       In April of 2011, Cliff Mortensen posted the details of the case on Yahoo! Finance message boards. Within 72 hours he received a disturbing telephone call from an irate Bruce MacLeod, of McKool Smith Hennigan, who threatened Cliff Mortensen with legal repercussions from DLA Piper and demanded that he “take down” the offensive posting immediately. Mortensen informed him that he would not remove the posting. Oddly, Bruce MacLeod stated that he “did not and could not represent Mortensen any longer”. He had attorney Andrew Swartz of Spiering, Swartz and Kennedy of Monterey call Mortensen. Mr. Swartz stated that Bruce MacLeod requested that he call as Mortensen was in need of representation. Mr. Swartz was clueless about the call. Mortensen thanked him for his concern and told him he had no legal issues presently. The next day Mortensen received another disturbing call from equally irate opposing counsel, Michael O’Neil of DLA Piper. He threatened to sue Mortensen for $500,000.00 and to enjoin him from breaching the confidentiality agreement. He demanded that Mortensen take down the Yahoo! Finance posting. Mortensen informed Mr. O’Neil that he had every legal right to discuss any federal crimes committed against him at anytime and anywhere he chose. Michael O’Neil of DLA Piper queried maniacally “Why now”? He followed up his request in email format at Cliff Mortensen’s request. Trans Union was in the process of an Initial Public Offering at $325 million and a financing issue of $645 million. This theft and fraud case secret settlement was potentially a disclosure issue of concern at the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The capital markets would have been exposed to one billion dollars in fraudulent securities issuance. Cliff Mortensen’s actions alerted the capital markets, The Securities and Exchange Commission and The Internal Revenue Service of significant tax evasion and securities fraud. Hennigan, Bennett and Dorman (Los Angeles) merged with McKool and Smith (Dallas) in September of 2011 to form McKool, Smith and Hennigan in Los Angeles. The S-4 filing for Trans Union Financing LLC Exchange Offer dated March 1, 2011 was for $645,000,000.00 at 11.375% due 2018. The registration fee of $74,884.50 was paid. The co-registrants were: Diversified Data Development Corporation, Trans Union Healthcare, LLC, Trans Union LLC, Trans Union Interactive, Inc., Trans Union Financing Corporation, Trans Union Rental Screening Solutions, Inc., Trans Union Teledata, LLC, and Visionary Systems, Inc. The address for all co-registrants and the agent for service is John Blenke, 555 W. Adams Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60661. Nowhere in this S-4 filing is there any mention of the stolen data status of Trans Union’s database and the secret lawsuits that were settled regarding same. Again, John Blenke’s name surfaced on those documents. On July 5, 2011, Ernst and Young filed a Consent form S-1 for Trans Union’s Initial Public Offering (TRUN). John Blenke’s name was listed on that filing as Executive Vice President and Corporate Counsel for Trans Union. The underwriting investment banks, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase, Credit Suisse, BofA Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley were published and the registration fee of $37,732.50 had been paid. The proposed maximum aggregate initial offering was for $325,000,000.00. In this IPO filing there was no specific mention of the legal issues with the disputed ownership and past secretive litigation of the database, Mortensen’s   paid settlement of $11,000,000.00 and other paid claims. The Trans Union IPO (TRUN) was withdrawn February 17, 2012. Apparently there was fear of potential trouble at the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding undisclosed criminal legal matters at Trans Union.  The 10-Q for Trans Union was that was filed August 7, 2012 and was signed by Samuel A. Hamood, EVP and Chief Financial Officer and Gordon E. Schaechterle, Chief Accounting Officer of Trans Union. It was certified by Siddarth N. Mehta. It contained no mention of the disputed ownership of the data in the main database of Trans Union. In August of 2011, four months after Cliff Mortensen “went public” on Yahoo! Finance Message Boards about Acxiom, Acxiom Corporation announced the planned buyback of $150,000,000.00 worth of Acxiom stock. In February of 2013 they raised the amount of Acxiom stock buyback to $200,000,000.00, an unusually high percentage of “buyback” stock! XVIII.                                            CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP                                               AND THE PLAYERS In 2010, Trans Union was sold to a partnership of Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC.  Trans Union was sold again to affiliates of Goldman Sachs’ GS Capital Partners and Advent International for 3.2 billion dollars in early 2012, shortly after the IPO was withdrawn. Cliff Mortensen’s actions alerted the capital markets and saved the capital markets from more severe damage due to willful securities violations and fraud. The database of Trans Union is the result of massive criminal data theft and wire fraud. The Marmon Group and the Pritzkers wanted to distance themselves from the criminal activity they condoned at Trans Union. The Marmon Group (excluding Trans Union) had earlier been sold to Berkshire Hathaway, the company headed by Warren Buffett. The sale was handled by GoldmanSachs. Warren Buffett paid $4.5 billion for 60% control of The Marmon Group (not including Trans Union) in 2008. Trans Union and Acxiom Corporations have recently “cleaned house” of upper management. Trans Union has terminated “Bobby” (Siddharth) Mehta, Trans Union’s former president; Oscar Marquis, Trans Union’s former Chief Counsel; David Emery, Trans Union’s former CFO and COO and Harry Gambill (former president of Trans Union and board member of Acxiom). Gambill is now on the board of directors at Black Oak Partners, of Little Rock, AR, and not affiliated with Trans Union or Acxiom. Charles Morgan (former CEO of Acxiom Corporation) has been replaced. Most all of upper management at both Trans Union LLC and Acxiom Corporation have been cauterized. Jim Peck is the president of Trans Union today, a position he has held since December, 2012. He is the former CEO of Lexis Nexis, a large customer of Trans Union and a recipient of the data in question.  Chet Wiermanski, former Global Chief Scientist at Trans Union has recently departed Trans Union. While at Trans Union he was responsible for the algorithmic conversions of Trans Union’s stolen credit files to credit “appends of attributes” and “characteristics”. He is currently employed at Black Oak Partners where he is the expert on Credit InsightTM Solutions. Chet Wiermanski is also a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Board in Philadelphia.  Cliff Mortensen has never heard from DLA Piper, Amy Stewart, the Rose Law Firm, Penny Pritzker, Michael O’Neil, Bruce MacLeod, Ralph Wegis or Michael Hennigan ever again. XIX.                                                     MALPRACTICE                                                             1.     Bruce MacLeod allowed the case to be filed “under seal” with a protective (gag) order against the wishes and demands of Cliff Mortensen.  This kept The Securities and Exchange Commission and The Internal Revenue Service uninformed about Trans Union’s and Acxiom’s data theft, securities fraud and major tax evasion. 2.     Bruce Mac Leod failed to include causes of action for wire fraud, RICO, anti-trust, SLAPP Back, stock fraud or malicious prosecution lawsuits. 3.     Bruce MacLeod failed to file a claim with State Farm Insurance Company for “theft of data”. Cliff Mortensen had a business policy with State Farm Insurance Company, which would have covered up to $3 million of his theft loss. This would have provided immediate cash flow to Mortensen.   4.     Bruce MacLeod failed to disclose that both Bruce MacLeod and DLA Piper (adversary) both represented John Hancock Life Insurance Company v. Bank of America in the Parmalat bankruptcy.  5.     Bruce MacLeod failed to disclose that DLA Piper and Hennigan, Bennett and Dorman both represented the Catholic Church and were involved in the Parmalat litigation.   6.     Bruce MacLeod allowed ten depositions of Cliff Mortensen (abusive) and no depositions of  Penny Pritzker or Robert Pritzker, the “de facto” owners of Trans Union. They owned hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Acxiom   securities. Cliff Mortensen protested to Bruce MacLeod that this was not fair nor in his best interest. 7.     Bruce MacLeod demanded to see all of Cliff Mortensen’s personal and business tax records and none from Penny Pritzker, Robert Pritzker, Trans Union (and subsidiaries) or Acxiom.   8.     Bruce MacLeod failed to include “extortion” claims against David Emery, Chief Financial Officer of Trans Union, Bill Rodgers, EVP TransUnion, and Alice Conlon, the credit bureau liaison for Trans Union. 9.     Bruce MacLeod, Michael Hennigan and Ralph Wegis failed to advise that Trans Union provided free access to at least 25 Trans Union subsidiaries and to Acxiom   Mortensen’s database without payment or acknowledgement.  10.  Bruce MacLeod, Michael Hennigan and Ralph Wegis failed to force mediator, Anthony Piazza, to deliver Mortensen’s settlement demand for $15,000,000.00 to Trans Union during mediation. 11.  Bruce MacLeod suggested that he go to work for Trans Union so that he “could never again sue Trans Union or Acxiom”. This dual representation of both plaintiff and defendant was not in Mortensen’s best interests. McLeod proceeded without Mortensen’s approval. Mortensen never agreed to this and it was never presented in writing as required by rules of the California State Bar.   12.  Bruce MacLeod, Michael Hennigan and Ralph Wegis settled Mortensen into bankruptcy. Mortensen subsequently defaulted on 17 (mostly government insured) real estate loans.  13.  When Mortensen wanted to cancel the settlement he asked Bruce MacLeod if it was binding, Bruce McLeod lied and stated that it “could not be cancelled and was indeed binding”. This was a lie that cost Mortensen dearly.  14.  Bruce MacLeod let the case languish for seven years. At the time of mediation no “at issue” memoranda or “trial ready” motions had been filed with the court. 15.  MacLeod was ordered by Mortensen to remove the case from protective order and unseal it. MacLeod refused on fifteen occasions. This was a fiduciary failure that weakened the value of Mortensen’s case.    16.  Cliff Mortensen informed Bruce MacLeod of his insolvency and still he let the case languish for seven years. This benefitted Trans Union and Acxiom and forced Mortensen to settle the case which was a “bankrupt” settlement. Mortensen was not “made whole”. 17.  Bruce MacLeod failed to notify the Securities and Exchange Commission of           “insider trading” and willful securities fraud at Trans Union and Acxiom.             He also failed to notify the DOJ of the wire fraud.                        18. Bruce Mac Leod failed to claim “disgorgement of profits”                      against Trans Union and Acxiom during settlement negotiations.        19. Bruce MacLeod failed to inform Cliff Mortensen that in 2004 Penny                        Pritzker became chairman of the board of Trans Union.                 XX.                                                              SUMMARY Cliff  Mortensen has alerted the Securities and Exchange Commission, The Internal Revenue Service and the capital markets of the securities fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion criminal activity secretly perpetrated by Trans Union and Acxiom and their subsidiaries. His public actions prevented further damage to the capital markets, investors and The United States Treasury. Trans Union has cancelled an Initial Public Stock Offering for $325 million and a financing issue of $645 million. Acxiom has begun a major stock repurchase program totaling over $200,000,000.00. Acxiom’s and Trans Union’s fear of public exposure and Securities and Exchange Commission accountability has protected the capital markets from further financial damage and exploitation.         Trans Union and twenty-five of its’ subsidiaries and Acxiom Corporation and ten of its subsidiaries stole billions of dollars worth of data from Trans Union franchised credit bureaus including the Credit Bureau of Carmel and Pebble Beach, Inc., which was owned by Cliff Mortensen,  Pat Mortensen and Cliff Mortensen, Jr. Since this data was stolen, these billions of transactions were tax free and not a declared value transfer. This is tax evasion.   Trans Union, LLC and Acxiom Corporation willfully failed to disclose all serious litigation in which they were involved to the capital markets and the Securities and Exchange Commission as required by the Securities Exchange Act of 1933. This failure to disclose defrauded Wall Street investors of billions of dollars as this was a deliberate and willful securities fraud. The core data of the databases of Trans Union, LLC and Acxiom Corporation were stolen. Whenever Trans Union got caught in the act of stealing data and was subsequently sued, they would then settle all litigation in secret to avoid IRS tax liability and SEC oversight. Bruce MacLeod and Michael Hennigan placed their own professional and profitable relationships with DLA Piper above Mortensen’s financial interests and well being. After a brilliant start Bruce MacLeod was side-tracked by the intensive Parmalat litigation, a referral from DLA Piper. Mortensen’s case was bartered to DLA Piper for economic gain. They deliberately stalled and cloaked the case in secrecy to Mortensen’s detriment and to the detriment of the capital markets, The IRS and The Securities and Exchange Commission. Their secrecy benefitted Trans Union and all their U. S. subsidiaries, Acxiom, DLA Piper and HBD Lawyers while they were working at the same time on the huge international Parmalat bankruptcy case where they represented John Hancock Life Insurance Company (v. Bank of America).  HBD lawyers also worked on the Roman Catholic Church cases as well as DLA Piper.  Their actions caused Cliff Mortensen and his family great financial and emotional stress. The damage to Mortensen’s credit is ongoing, yet Trans Union’s credit rating is unblemished after defrauding and destroying the businesses of over one hundred Trans Union credit bureau franchisees. The bureau owners lost billions of dollars. Trans Union’s criminal actions and the criminal actions of Penny Pritzker have depleted Mortensen’s substantial net worth and retirement fund. The Pritzkers “robbed the bank, split the booty and split” with $3,200,000,000.00 for their final sale of the Trans Union stolen database. As of this date, more than 600 independent credit bureaus have been put out of business by the anti-trust and unfair business practices of Trans Union, Experian and Equifax credit companies. Most customer service divisions of these bureaus have been greatly curtailed or moved off shore. The Federal Trade Commission has been investigating the lack of customer service and rampant violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for eight years. “Sixty Minutes” ran a story on February 10, 2013, which exposed the disdain that Equifax, Experian and Trans Union have for the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the accuracy of consumers’ credit files. When local bureaus were privately owned the customer service was superior. Ten thousand American credit bureau customer service positions have been eliminated in the United States since the oligarchistic practices of Experian, Equifax and Trans Union were implemented. All local bureaus were put out of business. In seven years all competition was eliminated. Fait accompli! Messrs. MacLeod and Hennigan can be reached presently at The Law Firm of McKool Smith and Hennigan, 865 Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90017, 213.694.1200. They are partners there. Mr. Hennigan can also be reached at Quail H Farms, 5301 Robin Avenue, Livingston, CA 95334, 209.394.8001. Steve Baron, of Mandell Menkes, telephoned Cliff Mortensen at noon on March 14, 2013 and expressed extreme angst about his name appearing on “RipoffReport.com” regarding his representation of Mortensen. While claiming his dissatisfaction with the posting, he advised Mortensen that he had every right to exercise his freedom of speech. Mortensen concurred. On June 24, Sean Mc Kessy, Chief of the Whistleblower Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission, called Mortensen directly to personally thank Mortensen for reporting Trans Union and Acxiom Corporations to the Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Program. After sending Mortensen seven  letters thanking Mortensen for the reports and updates, he said the Whistleblower Program would take no action against Trans Union or Acxiom and that there would be no Whistleblower reward payment. Mortensen told Mr. Mc Kessy that he believed the decision was based on newly appointed Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker’s  involvement with Trans Union and Acxiom. Mr. Mc Kessy had no comment. Certified as true and correct, June 24, 2013  Cliff M(((REDACTED)))  
Entity: San Jose, California
24, Report #116863
Jul 14 2005
04:26 AM
Edgewood Marketing Aka Victory Promotions rip-off! What a joke. I felt as if I had been kidknapped. Chicago & Suburbs Illinois
This is such a joke. After my initial interview with Victory Promotions/ Edgewood Marketing (they work out of the same office and have the same staff, kind of like a dirty criminal with many alias') they asked that I come back for a Day of Observation where I could see what the job entailed. They made me feel that I was one of the few that would get this opportunity. I should have known this was a huge scam. They build you up make you feel special and then lie about what the job truly is. Unofortunately I fell for their dirty scam to waste my entire day. I showed up for my day of observation with 3 other unsuspecting, good looking 20 somethings. The 3 other girls were all recent college grads. I just had been laid off from a great job, I was the midwest marketing manager for a huge company. All four of us were WAY OVER QUALIFIED but from the BS they sold us on in the interview, we were interested to see the potential that they spoke of...SO we met up with the Trainer and got ready to go. I live in Chicago, right downtown by their so called office and that is where I expected to work. They tell you that you will have to be with them all day... 8 HOURS of NON PAID training I figured whatever, if it sucks I will just go home. WRONG! The trainer (yeah right, some idiot kid that got suckered into this job is more like it) picked me and this other girl up in his car and started driving, and interviewing me in the car. He was a total bonehead with no idea what he was talking about. Mind you I have 5+ years of upper level marketing management experience and this kid was supposedly my trainer. I started to really question what was going on at this point, and why we were still driving. I asked where we were going and he told me that we were going to JOLIET IL. That is an hour away from Chicago!!! I felt as if I had been kidknapped. The worst however was yet to come. We stopped for lunch at Quiznos. I now understood why they drag you out to the boonies... so there is no escape!Anyways this stop was really so that the trainer could continue to feed me BS about how the management trainee program works. You start in the field marketing..what a euphamism! You then become a trainer (still working in the field with no base pay or benefits, however you have an added responsibilty, to train new field reps) After that then you supposedly are assistant to the manager (still same, field marketing) then you open up your own location and make hundreds of thousands of dollars. I couldnt believe what nonsence I had gotten myself into! I was ready to go home. I was stranded though, and after we had lunch, (which I also had to pay for) we were bound for the streets of Joliet. This trainer dropped us off in the middle of some random neighborhood in Joliet IL and left. Now am stuck in the middle of nowhere without a car? The other girl had some coupon books with her and that was her job, to sell the coupon books for a commission, no base at all, not even a draw. THIS WAS THE JOB!?! Door to door pizza coupon sales? Why would anyone need job experience or a college degree for this???? I talked calmly with the girl that I was with. Poor thing. I assured her that there were better jobs out there for her. This was the first job she had been offered after she graduated from Michigan. She was suckered. I told her some good places to start looking and then let her know that I was leaving. I had to take the train back into the city. What a huge waste of my time. This company is very misleading. Go with your gut. If you feel something is shady, it probably is. As I continued my job hunt another company, seemingly identical to VICTORY PROMOTIONS AND EDGEWOOD MARKETING, contacted me for employment. The name of the company is KDSM Executive Companies. I did a little research and found the following. Who knows maybe it is just another alias for Edgewood marketing or Victory Promotions... I went to a interview with KDSM executive co. on the first interview they tell you they are looking for management personnel to do different types of work so you go thru it thinking customer service, clerical, and so on. Little do you know thats not what they have in store for you, what you are gonna do you don't have any clue until you go on the second interview. On the second interview they have you wait a little while they you meet the person you interviewed with (Kevin) and a Corporate Trainer supposedly the Trainer said I would be observing him for the day in the Buffalo Grove area. Which leads you to believe they have an office around there nope, nope, nope. The trainer starts talking you while your heading to Buffalo Grove and tells you about the company ask some BS questions then you arrive in Buffalo Grove you get out of the car and he starts getting little books and we head out walking. What you are about to do is sell coupon books for CMS (Cause Marketing Solutions) and you do that for about 8 hours yes you get a lunch and all but you are walking around all day trying to sell these books. Which you were never told you would be doing. I called it Door-to-Door sales the Trained disagreed and said what he was doing was PR (public relations, the only time you will be in any type of management position is after you have moved up about 5 positions and that is also the only time you will do any clerical work. So what I think is that this company should be fined or something for misleading people when they go to there interview. So anyone else with hopes to get something out of this company, all I have to say is I hope you like selling door-to-door cause thats all you will do. Erik Maywood, Illinois U.S.A. Sara chicago, IllinoisU.S.A.
Entity: Chicago, Illinois
25, Report #539174
Dec 14 2009
02:01 PM
Duke Automotive Sales And Leasing Mike DAVIS Lack of integrity, deceptive sales, not truthful. Augusta, Georgia
We started out on the right foot with MIKE DAVIS at Duke Automotive. HE said the 4Runner was showroom quaity and that absolutely NOTHING was wrong with the vehicle. He also stated that if we would agree to buy, and wire the money he would deliver the 4Runner to us(Tallahassee, Florida). After we in fact wired the $20,000.00 to him, and he got it. He said that it would be sometime next wieek. After I told the sales manager I was going to stop payment he agreed to meet us 1/2 way (Cordele) for 400.00, we finally settled on 200.00. That is not QUITE We will deliver it to you, but I wanted away from MIKE DAVIS and his shoddy  attitude. It was delivered by a nice gentleman, Chris. That is when it turned south. The back seat had a 4 inch tear in the leather, the horn did not work (matter of safety), the blower motor that MIKE DAVIS said was going to be replaced, was not. The temporary tag was a year off, so we were driving illegally. I tried to rememdy this with Mike and was called a liar, it was obvious he got what he wanted and he was done with me. The sales manager took over the case, Kevin?? I told Kevin I wanted NO further contact with MIKE DAVIS ever again, he agreed that MIKE's behavior was uncalled for and childish. Kevin Wallace again?? said that he would send me his e-mail so I could send a pic of the tear and they would take care of it. He never e-mailed me. I called back about 1 week later because the tag needed to be replaced, nobody answered. About 20 minutes later MIKE DAVIS called back in a rude monotone voice (after I said I wanted NO contact with him) I told him that I had to have the correct tag and that I needed it soon, he replied Yup you sure do and then hung up on me. I called back and got some one else, his words were You have to call back after 10 or so when Kevin comes in I asked him to give my number and name to Kevin and he said he would not do it. Does this sound like anyone you want to spend 20,000.00$ with? Look at the website, it actually says No BS here What professional would EVER put that on their website? This looks to be a family owned business where accountability, responsibility, integrity, honesty, do not matter. My vehicle STILL needs work to get it to where DUKE AUTOMOTIVE said it was in the first place. They have their money - GAME OVER                                        CAVEAT  EMPTOR
Entity: Augusta, Georgia

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