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Rob K.
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  • Southeast, MI
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What happened to Carlton Sheets?

Rob K.
  • Investor
  • Southeast, MI
Posted Jun 23 2012, 14:09

Remember that guy? He was on TV all the time. He talked about buying houses and making a fortune. He never talked about tenants, repairs, evictions, problems, etc. I wonder what happened to him. I know that Tom Vu went to prison and now plays poker. Dave DelDotto went out like Vin Diesel. That McCorcoran clown went to prison. Those guru sideshows used to crack me up. How about Armando Montelongo? Haven't heard his name in years. I get emails all the time from Than Merril peddling his crap.

Good times.....

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Michael Quarles#1 Marketing Your Property Contributor
  • Flipper/Rehabber
  • Bakersfield, CA
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Michael Quarles#1 Marketing Your Property Contributor
  • Flipper/Rehabber
  • Bakersfield, CA
Replied Jun 28 2012, 18:56

who's Donald trump?

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Tom A.
  • Investor
  • West Bloomfield, MI
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Tom A.
  • Investor
  • West Bloomfield, MI
Replied Jun 28 2012, 20:02

Back when the flipping TV shows were big I ran across a webpage with hundreds of comments on Armando Montelongo. http://www.flipthislawsuit.com/2007/04/anyone-purchased-armando-montelongos-real-estate-package/

The "Flip This Lawsuit" website was originally created by fans of the show and of Richard from SC's Trademark Properties to track the developments in his lawsuit with A&E, but the Armando Montelongo page has been buzzing for over 5 years now. It's on the first page of Google when you search Armando's name but I guess a lot of folks don't do much research before whipping out the credit card, or they simply want to believe so badly that they disregard all the negative critiques.

A few local San Antonio guys ("Mike Voss" and "Steve in Texas") made a habit of DVRing the shows and figuring out exactly which house was featured in each episode. Then they'd search courthouse records, drive by, check the MLS and see how much BS the Montelongo's and A&E were shoveling that week.

There were houses that were rehabbed on the show that the Montelongo's never owned, houses that supposedly sold on the show but not in real life, improvements and landscaping that were taken out after the show, and a woman that, if I recall correctly, was the mother-in-law one week and the open house buyer another week.

All part of "reality shows", I suppose, but Armando made it part of his credibility kit, claiming huge numbers of successful rehab flips despite a lack of evidence in the real world. He's turned it into a multi-million dollar guru business, with all the worst guru tricks, getting people to shell out $25K or more to be guru'd by some low-level flunkie with unknown credentials. He's my poster child for evil gurus.

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Dale Osborn
  • Mobile Home Investor
  • Spanaway, WA
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Dale Osborn
  • Mobile Home Investor
  • Spanaway, WA
Replied Jul 7 2012, 00:32

Others are Robert G. Allen, Ron LeGrand, Wright Thurston, and another group whose name I can't remember that was shut down but paid a franchise fee to continue operations under the Rich Dad logo.

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Timothy C.
  • Homeowner
  • Lawrence, KS
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Timothy C.
  • Homeowner
  • Lawrence, KS
Replied Oct 19 2012, 22:26

I am really glad that I came across this website BEFORE going to listen to [another guru] tonight. The free sales pitch sounded great ... the only way to not make money was to do nothing and impossible to actually lose money. It was pretty great to see that there were different approaches that his program could teach you, each sold separately of course! Surprisingly all my questions were answered with "That is what they will cover in the 3 day training." So yes some motivation and back here to learn!

Account Closed
  • Landlord
  • Seattle, WA
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Account Closed
  • Landlord
  • Seattle, WA
Replied Oct 19 2012, 23:12

I've gone to some these guru events many years ago. Always the free events full of laughs and lots of fluff. They are very entertaining.

I love the joke that you can make 100,000s by working a few hours a week. It doesn't take much of a leap to realize that if this was really true there is no way they would give away the secret and there would be absolutely no need for a hard sell. If it worked as claimed they would probably still be working 40 plus hours making multiple millions and doing everything in there power to hide the real secret.

Thing is there are no real secrets in real estate. It requires an investment of time, a willingness to learn, it may mean crawling out of your shell, it can mean building a thick skin and will mean making some mistakes along the way.

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Jon Klaus
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Jon Klaus
  • Developer
  • Garland, TX
Replied Oct 20 2012, 04:37

But, you can make a $100 000 a year in just 5 hours a week. Add a decent real estate strategy to a million dollars to invest. And if you want it to be easy, make it 2 million to invest.

The guru who got me interested in 1992 was Wade Cook. Wikipedia says he is currently serving an 88 months sentence in jail for failure to pay taxes

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John Jackson
  • Investor
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John Jackson
  • Investor
  • North Richland Hills, TX
Replied Oct 24 2012, 09:16

Jon Klaus Ol' Wade got me started in options trading YEEEEEARS ago....I remember reading his book sitting in my car eating my crappy lunch....
Then he came out with another book on options...I was reading it and though..."wait a minute"...I held it up to his first book, and turned the pages....it was almost the IDENTICAL BOOK AS THE FIRST!!!! No ****!!! They just moved some chapters around, and put a different cover on it!!
But I have read where he forgot to send off a check to the IRS and now he's making boyfriends in prison....

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Jason S.
  • Investor
  • Diamond Bar, CA
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Jason S.
  • Investor
  • Diamond Bar, CA
Replied Oct 24 2012, 13:00
Originally posted by John Jackson:
Jon Klaus Ol' Wade got me started in options trading YEEEEEARS ago....I remember reading his book sitting in my car eating my crappy lunch....
Then he came out with another book on options...I was reading it and though..."wait a minute"...I held it up to his first book, and turned the pages....it was almost the IDENTICAL BOOK AS THE FIRST!!!! No ****!!! They just moved some chapters around, and put a different cover on it!!
But I have read where he forgot to send off a check to the IRS and now he's making boyfriends in prison....

That's funny, I too read both Cook books. To be honest I still tell people to read the Options book if they are interested in Options and to read McMillan on Options. Not because what he says works, but because he explains things and theories simplistically and then you have a base of knowledge for the more technical material in McMillan. There's probably better "simple" books, but most are confusing for those that know absolutely nothing.

Did you ever read Robert's on commodities? Same type of stuff from the same era.

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Gary Dobbs
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Gary Dobbs
  • Developer
  • Fullerton, CA
Replied Jun 6 2013, 14:43

Real estate guru's have been replaced in the information age … Now there is quality programming on HGTV, DIY and others that provide a good look at part of the picture to consider when investing in Real Estate.

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Tom Meade
  • Real Estate Investor
  • Boston, MA
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Tom Meade
  • Real Estate Investor
  • Boston, MA
Replied Feb 28 2014, 11:33

had to revive this thread...it popped up in the "related discussions" of another thread I was just on. I too got my start from a Carlton Sheets VIDEO TAPE!

I was young and impressionable, so I didn't see through the BS then, and somehow found a way to buy my first house "creatively" with "no money down". Definitely thanks to that course - can't remember that I used any of his specific methods, but it got me thinking about creative ways to try and structure deals with OPM. And I knew I wanted to make my living in real estate.

But as has been posted here, there is no magic bullet. I quit a really good job in financial services to be a laborer for a small residential remodeling company. I literally learned the business from the ground up - first construction, then worked at an equity syndication shop and now a commercial mortgage company - doing some principal investing along the way.

Thanks to Carlton and a local "guru" to whom I "donated" over $15k (bootcamp and an unsecured promissory note before he filed BK). OUCH!

But hey, that's how I got to where I am today!

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Mary B.
  • Real Estate Investor
  • Lansdowne, PA
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Mary B.
  • Real Estate Investor
  • Lansdowne, PA
Replied Feb 28 2014, 11:49

Carlton Sheets was my first coach on real estate investing. (followed by Russ Whitley :-)) I bought his books and videos, learned how to secure & utilize OPM and secured my first closing. That was pre-internet bombarding with a ton of emails to buy more or a ton of calls and whathaveyou. I appreciate his knowledge and would do it again. I give props where they're due. He's likely retired and if his business of coaching / mentoring is still around he's probably not involved whatsoever.

Kudos,

Mary

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Ben Leybovich
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Phoenix/Lima, Arizona/OH
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Ben Leybovich
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Phoenix/Lima, Arizona/OH
Replied Feb 28 2014, 12:37

@Rob K.

You, sir, like to stir it up almost as much as I...hahaha

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George C.
  • Involved In Real Estate
  • My City, NJ
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George C.
  • Involved In Real Estate
  • My City, NJ
Replied Feb 28 2014, 14:46

Carlton Sheets got me thinking back in the mid eighties when I was 15-16, I bought his tapes, but I already knew the Landlord side of things. I grew up in a two family home that my Father owned, and I was the "go to guy" if anything broke & was the one to collect the rent starting at 10. I knew there was more to LLing than just collecting rents. I did end up doing a no money down deal when I bought that same two family from my Father at 22, so it did come in handy.

The deal; He added me to the deed & we refinanced 80% which he pocketed & we (wife & I) paid him on the side the 20% over 9 years. We refinanced again after two years and he was then off the new mortgage & deed. Win/win, I was a kid with no credit & no real $. It was a $300K home back in 1990, and would've needed a hefty down payment otherwise.

When most people live week to week and are lucky to own just one home, even heavily financed...It's nice to own multiple properties, some paid off, all because of some guy (Carlton Sheets) was peddling some R/E ideas. I feel that I got my monies worth out of that course. I might even still have it packed away.

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Kirsten Walstedt
  • Scottsdale, AZ
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Kirsten Walstedt
  • Scottsdale, AZ
Replied Apr 9 2014, 23:47

My background is in internet marketing and consulting for large companies and I will say that I may or may not (for legal reasons) have worked at a company that may or may not have done some of the online and other direct marketing for some of the gurus listed on here (or companies like them.) We were highly consultative and didn't just throw up some advertising for our clients and let them get whatever response they got. We got deeply into every client's business and had to learn their business model and entire sales lead flow from start to finish, including post-sale upsells and "drip marketing" campaigns and how the call center qualified the leads and divided them into 3 piles. This process required the filtering of prospects into low priority (i.e., "no money" prospects) that you would just ding with a onetime software sale, to midsize fish (sell 'em the software and then get them on a monthly continuity program where they can charge them $100 to $200 per month for access to "learning materials," weekly group calls and limited access to an advice hotline), all the way up to whales who they could get several thousand dollars out of for full on coaching services. Nowhere in this was it ever explained to me how the gurus actually made money in real estate or if they had done that previously but gave it up because they could make more on the guru circuit. Although I heard of a tiny handful of success stories among their customers (which were featured prominently on the walls of their offices) the vast majority of customers made no money at all.

Nevertheless, I respect that some of the people here got the inspiration to go ahead from some of the guru programs and there is nothing wrong with that.

Account Closed
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Account Closed
  • Homeowner
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Replied Jun 25 2014, 11:16

The "too good to be true" alarm kept me from purchasing any of these courses, but it didn't stop me from stopping and watching whenever I stumbled upon them while channel surfing.

Account Closed
  • Dallas, TX
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Account Closed
  • Dallas, TX
Replied Jun 25 2014, 11:26



Carlton Sheets and Armando Montelongo are both snake-oil salesmen, and either one will not take you by the hand and show their method will work in the real world. I approach Armando about proving his snake oil will work in the real world, and he started to sweat, and he tried to find an exit.


Joe Gore

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Wayne Woodson
  • Investor
  • Nashville, TN
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Wayne Woodson
  • Investor
  • Nashville, TN
Replied Jun 25 2014, 12:13

Here is the info on Montelongo

www.johntreed.com/Reedgururating.html#ancho...

and 

Carlton Sheets

www.johntreed.com/Reedgururating.html#ancho...

Apparently Armando’s brother David Montelongo and his wife Melina filed Chapter 7 (total liquidation) bankruptcy in May 2013 claiming $31,000 in assets and debts of $600,000. The bankruptcy petition said they own no real estate and live in rented apartment.

Among other troubles the Montelongo brothers were in litigation against each other.

How many of you guys want to learn how to flip houses from guys that own no Real Estate and have $31k in assets? I also have some ocean front properties in Tennessee I will sell to you.

Account Closed
  • Dallas, TX
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Account Closed
  • Dallas, TX
Replied Jun 25 2014, 12:26

I show Armando Montelongo has three social security numbers and lives in a rental home.


My experience,


Joe Gore

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John Ma
  • Investor
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John Ma
  • Investor
  • Arlington, VA
Replied Mar 10 2015, 17:28

Sorry for bringing this thread back from the grave.

I'm curious, what was Carlton Sheet's program or system?   Perhaps I'm just too young to have remembered his infomercials, but I just heard of this name recently from a discussion that wasn't real estate related.   Someone mentioned a some what wealthy neighbor back in the days who was involved in real estate.  He later realized he was in the Carlton Sheet's infomercial as a testimonial.   

I've never really paid much attention to "get rich quick" infomercials in the past, however perhaps I shouldn't be so one-sided before even looking at the product and judging by the hard selling.

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Jay Hinrichs#1 All Forums Contributor
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Lake Oswego OR Summerlin, NV
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Jay Hinrichs#1 All Forums Contributor
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Lake Oswego OR Summerlin, NV
Replied Mar 10 2015, 17:36

@Rob K.

  Dave Del Dotto was my neighbor when I lived in the Napa valley his winery ( one of them ) was right across the street from my home.. ( its the one on Atlas peak road if you google it)

But just Google Del Dotto wine's Napa and you will see Dave is living the life.. one of the nicest spots in America to live is the Napa valley hands down...IMHO  but I am biased of course.

I can Assure you Mr. Del Dotto is doing just fine these days.. He is a really fun guy to hang with and drink wine.. When I had guest come to Napa to visit me we would always get the last tasting tour and he was generally there... We would mention a few things about Real estate he would pop bottles of wine we would sit around and have some nice Napa cab and shoot the bull for way longer than we should.. Of course when I left I simply walked 350 feet home to my front door..

I know Armando as well as I funded many of his students deals when he first started on the Guru tour in.. First city he worked was Indy.. Selling the exact same homes as most of the current INdy TK guys on this site sell nothing different or unique... Armando's students were some of my very best borrowers ever.. By the time you get to his Bus tour those with money are the only one's left  :)  Its not a bunch of broke people who maxed credit cards to be there... There is a lot of money people at those events who can easily afford 30k for the seminar.... Have talked to many of them... Most of the one's that can't really afford it are flushed out early in the process.. either they go to the first pitch and then come to  a place like BP and get talked out of going further or just do the 3 day event and either think its not worth it or have the sense enough not to go further in debt.

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Gene Hacker
Pro Member
  • Flipper/Rehabber
  • Lake Isabella, CA
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Gene Hacker
Pro Member
  • Flipper/Rehabber
  • Lake Isabella, CA
Replied Mar 10 2015, 17:55

I was probably 2 deals in when I bought a Carlton Sheets kit on eBay.  It was probably 1999 or there about.  At the time I thought it was over hyped BS.  But I was at a point in my education when I wanted to get my hands on anything and everything.  I have to admit I remember getting a lot of good ideas, and just as when I read any book or course, I took tons of notes.  I did some really good deals the few years after that.  A few years later I got my hands on a full set of cds from Ron LeGrand.  A family member bought the set and never even opened the package. I got a ton of ideas from that material as well.  

Those guys made money selling the dream (super easy, no effort, huge profits, no money needed, no experience needed).  Of course that isn't truthful.  But the content still had value to me (especially at the eBay prices I paid).  

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Phil Hensley
  • Lexington, KY
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Phil Hensley
  • Lexington, KY
Replied Mar 10 2015, 18:04

My experience is seemingly different than most in this thread.  I purchased Sheets' course in 1995 and have had great success because of it.  I had little sense that his material was good/bad or indifferent, or that he was a snake oil salesman as some have stated.  I knew I could get my money back if unsatisfied so I bought it.  Following his prescribed methodology I purchased my first investment property within 90 days and have turned many people onto it since.  I found the information exceedingly helpful.

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Wendy Noble
  • Investor
  • Sunnyside, NY
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Wendy Noble
  • Investor
  • Sunnyside, NY
Replied Mar 10 2015, 18:26

From Carlton Sheet's website:

"Today, on his own or with partners, Carleton has bought and sold more than $50 million worth of commercial and residential income-producing real estate. And although he is semi-retired, he divides his time between investing and writing, and still continues to educate consumers so they can benefit from his knowledge and start on their own path toward financial independence"

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Joe Cummings
  • Philly Burbs, PA
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Joe Cummings
  • Philly Burbs, PA
Replied May 10 2015, 08:51
Originally posted by @Don Konipol:

Armando Montelongo was a speaker at a real estate investment club meeting I attended a couple years back. He said he went broke, went into a depression for 6 months, and now how found inspiration and desire to help others succeed. This must be the only business where people will pay big bucks to learn the secrets of success from a total failure.

ALL real estate guru stuff is an outgrowth, twist, or extension (often fantasy) of Bill Nickerson's "How I turned $5000 into a Million Investing in Real Estate in my Spare Time". Save yourself money, time and aggravation, study the book and apply it's principles. It's as valid today as it was in 1959 when it was first published.

$40,570.27 In today's money.

Seriously, how many people in the guru's target market have 40k in cash laying around? I think Bill Nickerson was writing for a different demographic.

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Karyn T.
  • Investor
  • Bellingham, WA
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Karyn T.
  • Investor
  • Bellingham, WA
Replied May 10 2015, 09:06

"Giving credit to Carlton Sheets for getting you into real estate is like giving credit to a snake oil salesman for getting you into being healthy." @Loc R.

Oh, I dunno...people go to snake oil salesmen all the time.  If you get burned, it's a life lesson, and the smart people out there learn from it.  You learn what NOT to do, how NOT to act, and how to get healthy (in your real estate business!)