Be careful who you invest with

125 Replies

@Matt R.

I take responsibility for not doing my own due diligence before I agreed to partner with Wendell and Garrett. I don't know what BP's policy of procedures are before they interview individuals or place them on a podcast. You have to understand that professional scammers want to have there presence known and create a large persona. They know that BP, Forbes, US Report are not going to do a background check on them.  

BP now provides me a platform to tell individuals what happened and to let everyone know that dishonest individuals are everywhere! Even in the BP community. Yes it is sad. Yes it is upsetting and makes me angry. They are also at your REIA's they are at the education seminars. When it comes to working in an industry that involves money, there will be greed and there will be scams. So it is not BP to blame. BP is actually where I found the buyer for the property at the end of this ordeal. So where it started is where it ended as well.

I feel like I have a responsibility to tell my story to the BP community. I have no money to give nor to take.  I have nothing but my ability to share my experience, and what people do with this information is up to them. God bless.

I actually pulled the 12 homes that he has for sale now.... I don't know the local market so can't tell if they are priced reasonably.... Any local expertise here?   

@ sylvia pomazak - it is hard to swallow that there is nothing that can be done to these guys.... But I guess such is life sometimes....Never fair......

@Sylvia Pomazak Wow. I totally hate to hear that for you, that really sucks. @Jay Hinrichs is right - lots of people get taken, even those that "know better", and losses are more common than anyone wants to admit, so don't beat yourself up too bad. Hell, I lost more +6 figures on new construction, and while that was painful as hell (and chased me from real estate for years), it was some education and directly correlates to the success I've had later on, and overall I'm on the up side of things. 

Take it as a learning experience. Thanks for posting up your experience - it takes more guts to admit "I got snookered" than it does to post about the $100k you made in 15 minutes. 

Originally posted by @Sylvia Pomazak :

@Matt R.

I take responsibility for not doing my own due diligence before I agreed to partner with Wendell and Garrett. I don't know what BP's policy of procedures are before they interview individuals or place them on a podcast. You have to understand that professional scammers want to have there presence known and create a large persona. They know that BP, Forbes, US Report are not going to do a background check on them.  

BP now provides me a platform to tell individuals what happened and to let everyone know that dishonest individuals are everywhere! Even in the BP community. Yes it is sad. Yes it is upsetting and makes me angry. They are also at your REIA's they are at the education seminars. When it comes to working in an industry that involves money, there will be greed and there will be scams. So it is not BP to blame. BP is actually where I found the buyer for the property at the end of this ordeal. So where it started is where it ended as well.

I feel like I have a responsibility to tell my story to the BP community. I have no money to give nor to take.  I have nothing but my ability to share my experience, and what people do with this information is up to them. God bless.

I totally agree with that. I hate that you had a scam pulled on you and hope it never happens again. But, we are all responsible for our own mistakes. BP is here for us but as they always say,"do your own due diligence." 

I hope that going forward you have only the best of luck. 

Originally posted by @Sylvia Pomazak :

@Matt R.

I take responsibility for not doing my own due diligence before I agreed to partner with Wendell and Garrett. I don't know what BP's policy of procedures are before they interview individuals or place them on a podcast. You have to understand that professional scammers want to have there presence known and create a large persona. They know that BP, Forbes, US Report are not going to do a background check on them.  

BP now provides me a platform to tell individuals what happened and to let everyone know that dishonest individuals are everywhere! Even in the BP community. Yes it is sad. Yes it is upsetting and makes me angry. They are also at your REIA's they are at the education seminars. When it comes to working in an industry that involves money, there will be greed and there will be scams. So it is not BP to blame. BP is actually where I found the buyer for the property at the end of this ordeal. So where it started is where it ended as well.

I feel like I have a responsibility to tell my story to the BP community. I have no money to give nor to take.  I have nothing but my ability to share my experience, and what people do with this information is up to them. God bless.

I understand and thanks for helping the community. It is not bps policy to promote scammers but in this case so far it appears that way. We are talking thousands of dollars on just one. Overall the community, thanks to you, did work to help protect future investors, however one simple step by this site/podcast beforehand could have likely prevented the circumstances in the first place. A podcast by an investor site like bp seems to extend a higher level of cred. I could speculate most bpers would agree. Perhaps it became easier to skip a step and if it did I could totally understand.

Good luck!

Sorry this happened to you. This is such a painful experience but surely it is not because of real estate investing itself. Hope you can find ways to recover losses and become much stronger in future. Good luck!

@Sylvia Pomazak Very sad to hear about your story. I really really wish we could go back in time for your sake to get a do over. I can empathize as we also lost a great deal of money to a contractor who left us without performing for work paid. His was not an outright scam like yours nor quite as brazen, but he cost us about 35k in cash and much more in time, opportunity cost, etc. Thankfully we still got out of that flip breaking even and we certainly learned a lot and improved our processes from that experience. He also had a number of criminal judgments against him which we never thought to look for before. Since then, we have met many people who have had similar issues with contractors so I guess we are certainly not alone!

All I can say to you is 1) if you and your family have your health and each other at least you can regroup and continue on your path to success. It's just a stumbling block, albeit a mighty large one. 2) Thank you for sharing your story. I am certain that it will help others, and I kinda feel like I needed this reminder as my wife and I are sometimes a bit too trusting and carefree. 

That is difficult to see. I hope you're able to perform any legal actions against them for all the wrong doing.  Thank you for sharing the insight, BP is built on a community and as a community we should stand strong and proud. Never being ashamed of questioning and seeking help. It will definitely keep me on my toes on my next venture.

@Sylvia Pomazak - I live 5 min away from you and this could have as easily happened to me or anyone else. Thank you for sharing your story and exposing the scam and what you went through, as heartbreaking as it is you more then likely may have spared someone else from having to go through the same thing with these two.... until they make a new profile name I guess =/

@Sylvia Pomazak sorry to hear about your ordeal. This is unfortunate. Howeverthanks for sharing your story and making others aware of sharks lurking in this space. we all make mistakes and learn from it, events like this makes us wise. Hopefully we all will learn from this. In the end I will say, the nature of this business is team work and somewhere we all have to trust someone to get started. Always "trust but verify" is the way to go.

Thank you for sharing your story. I am sorry that you were scammed. Hopefully the story will give them enough bad press that they have to close their doors and do something legit.

@Sylvia Pomazak

I hope you have reached out to an attorney to see if there is any recourse on your losses. There may not be if you did not have any written agreements, but it is worth a shot. Additionally, I hope @Brandon Turner and @Joshua Dorkin investigate this situation related to how he is using their platform and podcast to promote his scams. Hopefully, they do more background on their guest in the future. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, most investors here in Cincinnati are honest, hardworking people!

@Sylvia Pomazak I am truly sorry about what happened to you.

I really hope that @Joshua Dorkin and @brandon turner post a reply on here with a full response and also start doing background checks on who they allow on the podcasts.

Allowing someone on the podcasts gives listeners a false sense of security and trustworthiness that BP has some responsibility for.

Thank you for sharing the story. It take some gut to admit your failure & share it publicly. It's an lesson for us all.

There are scammers everywhere, and BP community is no exception. So far, in my area alone, I have seen whole sellers posting properties with rosy comp / estimate return. I have meet a few people at local real estate meet up who promise me 20+% return with no risk. ... Scammers a everywhere, trust no one & do your own duo diligent!

I don't think bp should be blamed in any way for having mr de Guzman on a podcast. Crooks or cockroaches can pop up in any organization and should not be a reflection of the organization as a whole. However, once the problem is identified, how that organization handles it and responds to the allegations IS a reflection of its values and character. Sweeping criminal behavior under the rug or turning a blind eye to it will damage its credibility. We should give them a chance to investigate this a bit. It would be a mistake for them to prematurely comment on these serious allegations without doing THEIR due diligence.

Thank you for sharing and please don't let this bad experience discourage you from future investments. Even though you might not be able to receive your money back through legal action please file a formal complaint with your local district attorney. 

MH 

@Sylvia Pomazak as I read Bigger Pockets forum, I imagine how many of these people are either not landlords or are misrepresenting their credentials. I see it all the time. People are giving investment advice and they have never purchased a property in their life. I just saw a post from an investor looking for partners. When I googled his name, it turns out he was arrested for drug trafficking a couple years ago. Yet, I see people responding to him and offering to connect. People don't take the time to Google, let alone do a real verification. 

What makes this harder is that @Joshua Dorkin and @Brandon Turner  created an implied trust by having him on their podcast. Of course they are not responsible, but the Bigger Pockets brand value is tied to their credibility, so stuff like this is very damaging. Of course we don't know both sides of the story, but they should take the podcast down while they review the situation.

I have to agree with @Chinmay J. that it is your fault for letting this happen. Every time something bad happens to me, I take responsibility and learn from it. Don't beat yourself up, but make sure it doesn't happen again.  

I only do local deals and I don't invest with partners. You need to be a little paranoid when you are investing. Assume people are out to get you and look for proof that they are not. Trust but verify. Example: Tenant of mine pays in cash and I count the money in front of them every time. Even after 20 times of it being correct, I still count it. 

If you are not watching your business, then someone will steal from you. Plain and simple.

Hi everyone,

This issue has been weighing heavily on my mind lately.  I get soooooooooo many people that contact me and don't take my advice.  Education is power.  I can't tell you how many people have reached out to me on BP to ask about this deal or that deal.  They are chasing this outrageous cap rates and have now clue how dangerous that is.  I simply tell them to check out the area and its demographics from 2015 listed on loopnet, Google Earth the neighborhood, and talk to investors that are actually investing in that area that don't want anything from you at all.  What are they selling? Are they selling something for nothing, instantaneous gratification, pie in the sky, basically diseased mind set. 

When I just start checking for people and Google Earth the area, I see a dive bar across the street, boards over windows of buildings, basically areas that my property manager won't go in at night time.  Just check these areas on a Friday or Saturday night and you would be amazed at what you would see.

If it is seems like it is too good to be true it is too good to be true.   I just don't want you to make some of the mistakes I have made and others here are making too.  There are soooooo many land mines to avoid.

Swanny

it's very telling that Wendell hasn't shown up to defend himself.  I know I would be defending myself to the death if I were innocent.  

@Sylvia Pomazak make sure you post all this information and links into the comments section of his podcast, I know I always read through those comments of episodes I listen to, that will save a lot of people.

@Michael Swan   one reason you are getting this folks reaching out to you is that BP is a basically begineers website.. granted there area a core of experienced folks here like a J Scott and others.

but the vast majority are trying to start their investing careers and they come here for free advice

and boy you can get a lot of it... LOL.  However on the flip side there are many many very successful investors on this site.... its just navigating those that are all talk and no action or ... those that are just scammers plain and simple.. the scammers hammer this site on the lending side...

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