Be careful who you invest with

125 Replies

Sorry to hear you got scammed and thanks for sharing your tale. 

There is no legal recourse here? 

Sorry to were scammed. Very unfortunate story. Hope you haven't given up on real estate. 

This is a disturbing tale on so many levels.

Not least of which being that it involves mr Wendell de Guzman, someone that has been featured on a bp podcast and praised on his podcast page as a savvy investor with a lot of know how.

Have you reached out to Josh Dorkin and Brandon turner ? If this actually happened, not questioning your story but all things need to be verified and 2 sides to every story, this person's podcast should be removed so others don't listen to it .

You were naive, but the person who took advantage of you has to be held accountable.

Sylvia,

Thank you very much for sharing this painful story to everyone. @Brandon Turner  and @Joshua Dorkin , please read Sylvia's story and respond to the community. This deserves an investigation. Can't let the shysters ruin this community.

Thanks.

Minh

@Sylvia Pomazak - Your first property.. and you decided to invest 5 hrs away. I just did Google search from Gilberts, IL to Cincy, OH. I am a big proponent of investing within driving distance at first. Imagine if you were investing in the local area, you would have been able to catch scam right away.

Yikes. Would for sure of done an LLC. The second they had to come to the table to sign the legal docs and operating agreement they would of walked or tried to talk you out of it (both major red flags). Also would setup the bank account so you were the only one who could write the checks since you were fronting all the money and only paid the money directly to a (vetted) contractor.

this is far more common than you can imagine... remote rehab should only be attempted with those you have fully vetted.. It happens to many many people myself included over the years..  So don't beat yourself up.

this is good detective work on your part to bring to light alter ego's etc etc. 

It is a bit of a mystery... landlords check out tenants every which way but Sunday .. but investors tend to just believe....  

one take away is to alway treat a potential investor partner like a tenant.. you want a full credit report and a back ground check.. cost you probably 100 bucks to do this.

if the potential partner gives you some static like this is insulting etc.. you then know your answer up front.

However again I want to stress this can and does happen with a lot of frequency your just brave enough  to post it... I know some pretty sophisticated investors who ran into the same thing with the same groups like this.. 

Wow!!  So sorry to read your story @Sylvia Pomazak but thanks for sharing it to potentially prevent others from the same mistake.

Sorry this happened to you Sylvia and thanks for sharing your story.

@Chinmay J. Did you really just say it's her fault for getting scammed????? Yes she could have done some things to decrease her risk, but at the end of the day it's the two scum bags that took advantage of her who are to blame. 

@Sylvia Pomazak Sorry to hear this happened to you.

@Sylvia Pomazak - So sorry to hear this.  I have partners who give me money to invest and I always send them a full background and credit check on myself, and my husband, so that they know who they are working with.  I don't do it on them but moving forward I might just to be extra cautious.  

I'm sorry that happened to you. I hope many people read this and to always always do research and always make sure you have your *** covered by something material

Thank you to all that have posted. 

@Diane G.  in reply to your question is their any legal recourse. I have contacted an attorney regarding this matter. I have also reported both parties to the attorney generals office. Unfortunately stuff like this happens all the time, and people like Wendell and Garrett continue to get away with it. In fact, they still are doing deals today. 

@Steve D. Yes I have reached our to BP and was told that unless I have a court order they would not be able to remove him from the site. 

@Minh Le Thank you. Yes I posted this story (as embarrassing as it is) because I don't know if anything can really be done legally. He has been doing this since 2009 I believe. I am trying to prevent someone else from becoming the next victim of Wendell de Guzman aka Trace Wendell Trajano and Garrett Stevenson Jr. 

@Chinmay J. yes, i can imagine a lot of different scenarios and what I could have or should have done, but what happened happened and now I have to move on. I will make sure my next investment is something 15 minutes away.

@Jay 

@Jay Hinrichs I agree. The next person I partner with I will be doing a background check. 

I was very nervous to post this story for fear of being judged and criticized, or even that people would not believe me because of Wendell's presence on BP. But you know what. I don't care. Let the truth be told. 

@ slyvia pomazak - I have been a big advocate of investing locally, as in within an hour drive kind of local.... To me, that is the only way how you can have a in depth understanding on the market...Drive around on a day tour or listening to someone's just do NOT cut it.....

Also, I would go one step further to suggest NOT to partner with anybody until you have 10 years of RE experience.....Yes that could limit your scale, so what? 

Full disclosure - I only invest in local, only A, no partnership.... Now looking (researching, studying, analyzing) to get into B class like....And yes, I will never get rich this way, will always need a day job....So be it...

This is every investors nightmare. There's guys like this in every facet of investing; contractors, tenants, agents, it's terrible. If they spent as much time and effort being productive as they do on their scams, they would be far better off in the long run. 

@William Walker - Not one bit. It definitely was her fault to be trusting enough to allow the scam to have happened. Based on her replies, I think she got my point.

Sorry to hear about the scam. But you are doing an important service to others by sharing your story and exposing the scammers. Hopefully it will prevent others from loosing money and time.

Looks like Mr Guzman posted 12 properties for sales in the BP marketplace just a few days ago https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/517/topics/401029-need-to-sell-12-houses-so-i-can-buy-27-houses

Sorry to hear this happened and thanks for sharing/warning. The old changing name trick seems to be something of concern in my experience. I had a guy do business under my company name, plural version of it...take money then change his name. For me that name change thing is first possible red flag. I realize you probably found out after the deal on this one. Good luck!

Originally posted by @Ryan K. :

Sorry to hear about the scam. But you are doing an important service to others by sharing your story and exposing the scammers. Hopefully it will prevent others from loosing money and time.

Looks like Mr Guzman posted 12 properties for sales in the BP marketplace just a few days ago https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/517/topics/40...

Yes he is still actively trying to find buyers and investors and likes to work with the "newbies". Hmmmm, I wonder why? 

He also had a website called the diligent wholesaler where he gets people to buy his $1000.00 seminar and partner with him. 

He doesn't stop. Why would he since he has never been caught. 

Account Closed, 

Can you shed some light on this? We'd love to hear it from both sides. 

BP and others sites should do background checks and more on podcasters beforehand. In my book BP had a bit of influence in lending credibilty to all of this and might have been able to prevent or at least minimize investors losses from a scam. Instead the exact opposite took place. 

So sorry to hear about this. Can't imagine going through something like that.

Hopefully BP will do the right thing and ban this scammer!

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