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Scam: #492

Scam Alert


  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • Submitted: 03/27/2010
  • Severity: 10

Joe Cooper - Funds and Loans Company

Investment Scam

New York, New York

I was looking for an investment into my company, and found Mr. Cooper online. He was a broker for the company "Funds and Loans" who had a fairly impressive website, including other companies F&L had helped get funding for. I contacted him through e-mail and sent him my business plan. Now, I knew online scammers are easy to find, so I made sure to ask all the right questions about him and his company, and do my research. His company had a pool of investors in which they approved business plans for and assisted in funding. We spoke for 5 months in the process. He said there was a "fee" for the company for $3,500 in which was "refundable" if the investment did not go through. This was the big red flag for me. Everything I had read said to not go with any company that took upfront money or fees. But this guy had a smooth, convincing British accent, was intelligent, and conducted a professional image in our correspondence. I did everything I could, except fly to NY to meet this guy in person or have my attorney talk to him, to make sure it wasn't a fraud. Google Mapped the company to see the street view, had my accountant call him to question him, had a reference of his call me to discuss his business experience with him. The whole time I had a weird pit in my stomach about it all, but what can I say, I had my eyes on the money. It was a very large sum, and I was blinded by the hope of lots of green. He had a long list of pro formas which took a while to get together. The fact that he needed so much documentation was a sign, to me, that he was legit. So, after going through all the phone calls, the e-mails, the contracts, I said "okay, lets do this." However, I didn't have the start-up money for it. So I ::cringe:: borrowed $3.5k from a friend of mine with the promise of "if the investment went through, I would double their loan back as a thank you." So, I wired the money to Joe Cooper. HOWEVER, at this point I was so excited to get started that I don't think if Joe said he himself was a liar I would have listened. When I went to the bank to wire the money, I noticed the wire was for a different name. I assumed (and NO I didn't even ask at this point) it was a person he worked with at his investment firm. I assumed he was the broker, and someone else received the money. Honestly I think some part of me felt better there was another name. After I sent the money, Joe stayed in touch with me over the next 2 months going over all of the documents and the process of closing the investment. This was a great feeling knowing I hadn't been scammed. ("oh good, he didn't disappear. He's legit") After about 6 weeks he said he needed another $800 to get through the last process of the closing. This made sense to me since his original closing costs were about $12,000 but he came down on the price for my company due to the original price he gave me. He said he needed the money to pay his attorneys. Now, at this point I really started to get a little weird on the whole thing, because a company dealing with millions of dollars shouldn't "need" to contact the client for 800 measly bucks. But, like I said before, I had my eyes on the possibility of green, and we had already been working together on the project for quite a bit of time, I knew it wasn't just another "in and out" scam. I didn't think it was a scam at all, actually, at this point, just worried it was. So, I sent him the 800 bucks and we continued through the process for about a week. This is when he stopped picking up the phone when I called him, and the e-mails slowed down to almost no responses. It would take at least 5 days for him to respond, sometimes a week. This was quite a bit unusual for him. THIS is the point I started to freak out. As you can guess it, and as I had the hunch all along, after about 4 weeks after I sent him the last $800, the Funds and Loans website went down. THIS is where I started to really freak out and get the pit in my stomach. I sent him a letter questioning him about the site, and 5 days later he contacted me back saying it was just
"normal website maintenance" and it should be back up within a few days. I waited a few days. Nothing. This was the last communication I received from Mr. Joe to this day. I have sent numerous emails, and he has yet to respond. Not sure if he could do much with $4k in his pocket, however, I wonder how many people he has scammed, or continues to scam.
My reason for writing this, is I am an intelligent person, who has a history of business sense and even extensive legal knowledge. I convinced myself that I had checked all the corners of this business deal that I could before being legit and still decided to do it. I decided to do it because of the "hope" of a large sum of money.
There are better ways to grow, and smarter ways to act. I knew the whole time there was something fishy, but didn't trust myself.
If you are looking to financially expand, do your research and FOR GODS SAKE call your attorney. A $800 attorney bill would have saved me over 4 thousand dollars, plus. Sometimes things that seem too good to be true, really are indeed true. Just don't get screwed when they aren't.


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The NY address is a front. He spends most of his time in the Bahamas. He claims to want to pay back the money. I know of about 5 to 6 people he has taken “guaranteed “retainers from. About $85,000 not including the program he got GamePlan Financial in Atlanta to do.
He leveraged his way into that organization by telling them he needed agents to do life polices to cover the loans. Not one loan was ever done but he got 50 agents or so to pony up $500 to have the exclusive right in several states to write key man life insurance on the loans he got. I have never him of him ever doing one loan.
In fact, we have some of the names of the people he used in Florida to set up that part.
I would venture to say if he is doing the same thing year after year and never producing a loan he will continue until he is caught. My understanding from one attorney is that if the Bahamas catch him they will throw away the key because they don’t like individuals or firms running scams, bad publicity for the island.
The problem is we don’t really know if it is his real name but it looks like he hasn’t slowed down on pitching loans & taking retainers.
I could go on & on but thinking about him but it is a disgusting task. Soon I will have him tracked down. If he is brought to court at least we can get a judgment against him. He might do time & be ordered to pay back the people or firms. Of course he might never pay back a dime but at least it is on record.
I am glad to see that his name is showing up.

I now one guy that was going to report him to the FBI. I do not know if he has for sure.

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