Minuteman Press fraudulent inducement Farmingdale New York
In August of 2005, I found an ad in the Pennysaver stating there was a good opportunity for owning a printing franchise. Today, I look back and wish I'd never saw that ad.
I was out of work at the time and needed some new direction in my life so I thought a business would be a sound idea. The advertisement stated there was training and that the investment was reasonable.
So of course I contacted the number on the ad and a man named Jim answered.
He was very encouraging at first, answering my questions promptly and saying that Minuteman printing franchises make alot of money. I told him I was interested and he asked me to call him back.
On calling him back the second time he already gave me a sales breakdown of potential income in the first few months in business. He said it as if it were set in stone so I believed him. He told me that in January, which was my first month in business, I would make $5,000. Then in February I should be at 10,000, March 15,000. This was his luring in or verbal inducement for getting me to sign a business contract.
He set up a meeting in a hotel and I brought my mom with me because she was going to finance it. Again there he told us that these franchises make alot of money and that he would be lying if they didn't. In my case, he lied.
Jim promised us that he would find a good location for the business and that he would research the areas well enough to decide which location was best for me. Almost 2 months had passed since our meeting and he still hadn't come up with a location.
I was getting impatient, complaining to my mother but the day before halloween
he calls us saying he found a good spot in Mamaroneck, NY. He showed us the area and said there was great earning potential because I was the only game in town, or so I found out later. How did we really know if he was researching a good location ? There was no proof that he ever did.
There was no pre-screening or qualifying basis to get into the business, which I found odd because I had no experience in business or printing for that matter.
It seemed Jim just wanted the money so that he could fatten his paycheck.
The first few months were horrendous. The company gave me shoddy equipment such as a malfunctioning press, old shelving units, a sink which was not installed properly, a bad paint job and they even cracked the front window.
Also, the place was literally falling apart; old, uneven floor and walls and no ac.
Someone in the business world would have ran away but Jim knew he had us in his trap.
It turned out I wasn't making profits like he promised. Jim asked me to market more aggressively but that wasn't the case. Mamaroneck is not moneyville and besides there were 4 printers in the area. As a newcomer my chances were slim as for making profits.
Jim was quick to criticise my progress with reports I had to sign off, but at the time I should have been giving him reports because he wasn't helping me at all.
I asked him once if he could market with me for a day and he only came for 1 hour. The guy didn't even know how to use Minuteman's software properly.
He was one of the regional VP's and yet didn't know his own company's marketing program ?
We kept pouring money into the business and I wasn't keeping up with the pace. The company gave me bad reps to assist but they failed to prop up the business properly when it was most called for. One guy they did help me hire without my consent and it turned out that he was an ex drug addict who had no clue what printing was about. He just knew how to manipulate computer graphic programs. For six months they could not get the press to work efficiently and still Jim was telling us that it was okay. And I was paying for the parts myself to fix it.
After many tense meetings with him and accusatory language, we decided that this business was no good and that Jim had deceived us by fraudulentally inducing me to join business I had no business being in period.
He even walked out on my mom after saying he could no longer help and any concerns we had should be brought to the company. This was the person who got us into this, why would we go over him to address something to the company ?
We ended up losing 130,000 dollars as a result of painstaking investments to try and keep the business running. My lawyer tells me that only a class action lawsuit would work in prosecuting Jim/Minuteman Press. We had no chance because if we lost a suit, my mother would lose her home because the line of credit loan she had was tied to the mortgage.
There are others who have been ripped off by Minuteman Press. The FTC had filed a lawsuit against them 1998 and won. Although I don't know if Jim Galasso has robbed others, he has sure robbed an honest family like ours and he, along with Minuteman Press need to be held accountable .
yonkers, New YorkU.S.A.