• Report: #950239
Complaint Review:

Will Divine

  • Submitted: Wed, October 03, 2012
  • Updated: Tue, October 23, 2012

  • Reported By: Alpha Resource Management — Toronto Ontario Canada
Will Divine
406 Broadway St, # 195b, santa monics, california Santa monica, California United States of America

Will Divine Concessions International Wil Divine of Concessions International; Scammer, Bull-s**t Artist or ........ ? You decide! Santa monica, California

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: This Complaint Does Not Describe a Scam

*UPDATE Employee: Extortion by Mike Hepworth, Basil Botha, Raul Sanabria, Rick Brown, Latin American Mineral, Inc.

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Posting false information on the internet

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Mike Hepworth, Rick Brown, Basil Botha, Raul Sanabria a new way to extort money via the internet

*General Comment: also had contact with mr. devine

*Author of original report: Will Divine Update

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Using the media for extortion is illegal

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Printing untrue things about a company or person is not the right thing to do

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I dont generally publish material like this, but believe the circumstances warrant a concerted effort on our part to warn everyone we know who might be seduced by promises of great oil prospects, about an experience we recently had with Wil Divine of Concessions International in California. He took money but delivered nothing. He agreed to deal with us on an exclusive basis but was dealing with others behind our backs. His initial estimates of costs were so far off the mark that I cant help wondering if he intentionally mislead us. 

If Wil Divine comes to you looking for money, all I can say is beware! Remember this guy!
Here are the facts. After you read them you can decide if you are prepared to do business with someone who does business this way. I think he has proven to be high risk, but as I say you can decide.

Wil Divine came to us in June 2012 with a proposal to secure an oil deal in Iraq. He told us that deposits likely to produce less than 25,000 barrels per day were being handled by the provinces instead of the Iraqi oil ministry and that there were many deposits available that could be acquired with very little effort and/or risk. Whats more, he told us that it would cost no more than $20,000 to send him over to Iraq to secure a number of these deposits and set up JVs with the Iraqi provinces concerned. We signed an agreement to solidify the arrangements. Wil told us that our deal was exclusive to us and that he was our guy in Iraq.

Following the signing of the agreement, we sent him the requested $20,000.  Once Wil was in Iraq, he told us within days, he had signed several MOUs with provincial authorities. He sent us maps of the areas he was supposedly visiting and told us his preferred targets. Obviously we were happy to hear about the targets and the signed MOUs and told him we were keen to conclude a deal. Following this, Will very quickly began asking for more money; he needed to hire someone to assist him, he needed a security team, he needed to buy a vehicle, he needed an office in Iraq, he needed an Iraqi company set up. Further money was sent. In fact we ended up providing close to $78,000 before discovering he was busy soliciting other merchant and investment banks etc. to fund an oil deal in Iraq. When we heard this news, we immediately pulled out of the deal with him.

Despite numerous requests we never saw any signed MOUs nor any other evidence that he was doing what he promised or that he was even in Iraq. Daily calls were via Skype so it was impossible to determine his location. We asked for receipts, none arrived. We asked for a budget and received something that was so lacking in detail and out of touch with reality that it could not be taken seriously.

When we confronted him about his double dealing with other investors, he initially denied it. When we gave him names, he danced around and tried to sidestep it with excuses about the fact that we had not provided him with sufficient money and that our resistance to sending more money was because of an inability to provide more funds.

When we asked for our money back he immediately told us he would pay us back but said he needed time. We agreed to accommodate him and that he could pay us $10,000 immediately and $5,000 per month until it was paid off.  However no money was returned despite sending a series of lawyers demand letters. When he started telling us we could not win a case against him and that all he could pay was $2,000per month, we realized he had no intention of settling. To date no money has been returned and no proof of any business activity in Iraq on our behalf has been received.

I dont believe we were negligent in how we set up this deal with Wil Divine, so in my opinion, doing business with Will Divine and Concessions International carries a serious risk that you will spend money with no return. 

Are you prepared to risk that something similar will happen to you?

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/03/2012 10:38 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/will-divine/santa-monica-california-90401/will-divine-concessions-international-wil-divine-of-concessions-international-scammer-bu-950239. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

This Complaint Does Not Describe a Scam

AUTHOR: N. Carpenter - (USA)

I’ve known about the existence of this complaint for some time now but have been hesitant to post a reply because I have no firsthand knowledge of the underlying dispute. But I do have firsthand knowledge about Wil. Although I haven’t been in touch with Wil Divine for years, I’ve known Wil both personally and professionally. Knowing Wil, I find the conclusions in this complaint to be farfetched. Moreover, I don’t believe that the facts presented in this complaint support the complainant’s conclusions.

This complaint contains some pretty harsh language, such as scam, BS artist, and rip-off. Terms like that generally refer to situations where money is invested for one purpose, and then the money is either spent on something else or someone simply absconded with the funds. But that’s not what this complaint alleges. What is alleged in the complaint is a lack of success, or in the complainant’s own words:

“He took money but delivered nothing.”

No place in this report does the complainant allege that Wil did not go to Iraq or did not make a good faith effort to bring the project to fruition. The complainant only alleges that Wil was not able to procure the contractual agreements they had hoped for. That is, of course, unfortunate for everyone involved, but it does not describe a scam.

As a career oilman myself, I can tell you that oil ventures are, by nature, high risk/high return investments. It would not be unusual to invest $50K and get a return of $500K. It would also not be unusual lose $50K on an oil investment, or even lose $50K several times in a row. That risk is the price investors pay for a chance at high returns. Clearly, oil investment isn’t for everyone.

As for the project failing, the project ended when the complainant pulled funding for the project. The complaint does not allege that Wil no longer wanted to bargain for contracts. The effort ended because the complainant lost faith in the project and didn’t want to risk additional funds. While understandable, he had to know at that the project was doomed without funding. On that point, the complainant has to accept his share of responsibility for the project failing.

The next issue in the complaint alleges that Wil tried to bring other investors into the deal. When I saw that, I couldn’t help but wonder if it happened at a time when Wil was sensing that the complainant was about to cut funding to the project. Rather than lose all efforts to date, it would be reasonable to look for other capital. The complaint stated that Wil gave his word that the deal would be exclusive, but made no mention of a written contractual agreement to do so. We have only the complainant’s word on a verbal promise.

The last issue in the complaint is that Wil did not refund the investment capital. That would be highly unusual. In fact I’ve never heard of it happening. Again, the promise stems from another verbal agreement, since no written contractual promise was alleged. I have to wonder what kind of pressure the complainant might have put on Wil to get him to make such a promise.

I have sympathy for the complainant’s investment loss. I understand that any loss is a big deal to an investment manager. I get that. But the amount of anger displayed in this complaint suggests that the source of investment capital might not have been appropriate for the kind of risks that oil ventures typically carry. Was this investment manager risking the life savings of elderly pensioners? I can’t help but wonder how the complainant got himself into the position of losing money that could make him become this upset, and how experienced of an investment manager he might be.

I’ll conclude with some detailed information about Wil Divine. Wil has spent his entire adult life in the oil business, mostly managing oil lease properties. Wil has specific talents. He was schooled by a family member on the thought processes and motivations of major oil company land managers. Wil knows when a major oil company sees an oil lease as a liability, and what he can say to get a land manager to divest the lease to Wil, sometimes for very little. In fact I’ve seen Wil actually be given oil leases for nothing but the $10 legal peppercorn. What’s more, land managers at Shell, Chevron, Texaco and other major oil companies will take his phone calls, which is a major feat, in and of itself. That’s because Wil speaks their language, understands their problems, and they know him. I’ve always contended that if Wil didn’t have health challenges that a major oil company would have picked him up as a land manager decades ago.

I’m genuinely sorry that the complainant lost money, but knowing Wil I’m confident that he gave this project his best effort. There is nothing in the complaint that suggests otherwise. Wil doesn’t seem to be around anymore and I’m more than a little concerned about him. That could be due, at least in part, to this complaint.

In my opinion this complaint should be taken down, for the simple reason that the complaint does not describe a rip-off or scam. Instead, the complaint describes an effort to procure contractual agreements that never materialized. While unfortunate, it doesn’t rise to the level of a rip-off or scam.

Contact:  o i l p a t c h @ u n o c a l . o r g

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#2 UPDATE Employee

Extortion by Mike Hepworth, Basil Botha, Raul Sanabria, Rick Brown, Latin American Mineral, Inc.

AUTHOR: William Divine - ()

Mike Hepworth, Basil Botha, Raul Sanabria, Rick Brown, Latin American Mineral, Inc.

I went to Iraq and risked my life on the behalf of these four individuals, I spent all the money I had and even did not have body guards and other security measures to seek oil and gas fields on behalf of these people.
When they felt the costs were too high they wanted out since they do not understand the oil business, I told them I will repay them even though I was not obligated but they demanded all the money otherwise they would invent stories and smear me on the internet.

Do not trust any of these individuals. If you need to see additional details on this including a video please see:

These individuals have no shame and will invent false things and put them on the internet unless you pay them extortion fees.



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#3 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Posting false information on the internet

AUTHOR: William Divine - ()

It seems like anyone can use the internet to post false information about you then demand money from you to take it down. I had a business dispute with these guys for a small amount of money which I agreed to pay back but apparently not fast enough for them so they have posted all sorts of false information about me and twisted the truth to make me look bad.  What these people are doing is not right, I never owed them any money but agreed to pay them back to keep them happy.  However in the end I had to sue them in court to make them stop posting all the false information about me and my company because it has greatly hurt both my business and personal life.  Myself and out company has very little financial resources but we have had to spend all our savings on this law suit because these people would not stop.  Recently a key employee and someone very important in my life had her mother diagnosed with kidney cancer and she needs $70,000 dollars for an operation to save her life which I do not have because I have spent it on this lawsuit.  So I hope that these people realize that when you do dirty dishonest things to get money it does have a ripple effect that can end up killing someone.  I have given all the money we can and I am her only real hope so I hope we all can take this is an example that our actions have often severe and lasting consequences. Here are some pics of her in the hospital and deaths door. In my opinion Mike Hepworth, Rick Brown, Basil Botha, Raul Sanabria are responsible for her death if it comes to that. They also call themselves Alpha Resources Management, Inc.  They also have a company called Northern Iron Corp., Condor Precious Metals, Firesteel Resources Ltd., G4G Resources and Hepworth + Co.

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#4 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Mike Hepworth, Rick Brown, Basil Botha, Raul Sanabria a new way to extort money via the internet

AUTHOR: William Divine - ()

I think an explanation is necessary. A new form of extortion is emerging, post false information about a company or individual unless they pay them money. Not long ago our company made a JV with Mike Hepworth, Rick Brown, Basil Botha, Raul Sanabria who called themselves Alpha Resources Management, Inc. They also have a company called Northern Iron Corp., Condor Precious Metals, Firesteel Resources Ltd., G4G Resources and Hepworth + Co.

The JV was to develop oil projects in Iraq and they put up some money to sponsor the first trip to Iraq, they wanted out of the deal when it became necessary for me to look for other parties because they were not fully supporting our operations there. I agreed to pay them back even though we were not obligated to do so. However since our financial situation has not been good since we ended up solely supporting our operations in Iraq without their help up we could only afford $2,000 per month.

The guys threatened a “media campaign” unless I paid them more which was not possible so they launched into this posting all sorts of false information about me and my company all over the internet including the accusation that we did not even go to Iraq but it was some sort of scam. This is very offensive in that me and my country manager risked our lives there for almost a month and my country manager has been there for months afterwards to pursue projects there. We are all over the Iraqi media, on TV, on radio, in the newspapers so in essence these guys are posting false information to extort money out of us.

These guys were threatening a second wave of their “media campaign” and what they are doing is inventing fictitious people to post on the internet all sort of absurd things. If finally dawned on me because I have never heard of these people and they simply do not exist, also we have traced the IP address back to this guy Mike Hepworth. They have even created fictitious woman to post all sorts of negative things about me that they have made up saying bizarre things that has got my finance’ so upset she has left me and gone back to Russia.

The day when you can let a person destroy another person’s life by posting false information on the internet is a sad day, so your help in creating something positive here would be greatly appreciated. So if you know of these guys please ask them to stop since this crosses the line of all decency.

Well people should think about doing business Alpha Resources Management, guys who pose as different fictitious people posting false information on the internet which is a criminal offense especially when they attack my personal relationship with my wife to be who is so upset by this false fraudulent postings that she has left me and gone back to Russia. We have proof because we have traced the IP addresses of these fictitious people back to their computers.

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#5 General Comment

also had contact with mr. devine

AUTHOR: responded to email - ()

got emails of multiple deals, asked for details, offered to fly to California at our expense to see data rooms.

got no details, no details, demands for fee agreements.

told him only success based fees.

no details, told him to not contact him

now got demand for money for his "expenses" finding deals for us.

Beware, this guy is bad news.


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#6 Author of original report

Will Divine Update

AUTHOR: Alpha Resource Management - ()

Will Divine tried to sue us in California for posting this report. The case was dismissed on 26th April by the court in Santa Monica. Case # SC119326.

We have now filed a case against him and Concessions international for fraud.

Stand by for further updates.

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#7 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Using the media for extortion is illegal

AUTHOR: William Divine - (United States of America)

I would like to add that I do not owe them any money, we had a joint venture of high risk and we spent the money in Iraq risking our lives for the JV.  In our agreement there is no provision for paying back money but I agreed to do so to keep good relations.  However since they pulled out of the JV we continued to support the project in Iraq with our own money and therefore are very low in funds to pay them back.  We offered a payment schedule but it was not enough and the threatened to "launch a media campaign" to make me and my company look back unless we gave them the money back. First saying lies about a person or company is illegal and so is extortion.  I am still willing to pay them back on a payment plan that we can afford but they have already started this campaign of lies which is very childish in my opinion, and it only makes them look bad.  Again if anyone wants to hear the whole story I am here at 310-531-7600, Thank you William Divine
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#8 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Printing untrue things about a company or person is not the right thing to do

AUTHOR: William Divine - (United States of America)

I guess it is very sad that I have to go through this but the truth is that we entered into a JV relationship with this company to pursue projects in Iraq.  This company put up the money and I and an associate went to Iraq and spent almost a month there risking our lives to pursue oil projects. This company did not send us funds in a timely manner which put our operations in Iraq is serious trouble so we sought outside help from other parties and this group found out about our efforts and decided to end our JV and asked for the money back.  I have agreed to give there money back but the pay back schedule is not enough money for them soon enough so they are trying to extort us by putting false information around the internet because they know we are very sensitive about our reputation.  It is a sad day in this world when people can post untrue information on the internet to hurt others. If anyone wants to hear the story in detail they can call my office at 310-531-7600  William Divine
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