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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A "Pyramid Scheme" in Copiers - The Struggles of Governor French Academy Continue

This story has legs - four of them.

We first brought you this account last month. The same, familiar routine, "shady" copier dealer churns customers, flexing buyouts into upgrades, never returns equipment to leasing company. Lease company continues to bill, receives no payments, sends letter, customer is shocked to learn they are still on the hook for the original lease.

This is excessive - there are around 7 leasing companies involved, possibly an eighth, and they all want this school to pay up. The school owes about 50 million clicks worth of Francs.

Nasty business, this.

And yet, so delicious...

When I first started on my DOTC, writing journey I would review my Google Analytics daily.

Checking how many hits came in and from where - I could tell my parents looked once, a few hits from my sister, some acquaintances etc. And after things "blew up" I would occasionally check the popularity of particular articles.

Those days have long since past - I rarely look at the stats - until last week.

A quick perusal of the most popular articles revealed an interesting point - views of lease related articles tripled over the last 60 days. Tripled.

I credit this spike to:

1. More interest in leasing because more people are making decisions to get new copiers
2. More people are looking for ways to get out of their existing lease

And unfortunately, this type of action makes our jobs that more difficult.

Escalation -

Now, the Illinois Attorney General's is involved. They announced an investigation, and the local gendarmes, already on the case, are cooperating with federal authorities.

Officials at Governor French Academy say the school owes at least $500,000 after leasing copiers from Kevin Welch of Okawville, in what they now call a complicated Ponzi scheme.

Thus far, no criminal charges have been filed.

So, copiers are at the heart of this intrigue - greed, schemes, local non-profit, and federal investigations.

Keep an eye out for a little sex, some drugs, gambling and hookers in this escapade.

Quel dommage!


  1. Why am I NOT surprised?

    What is it about this industry that continues to attract the sleaze we continue to see?

    Thing is it's not just the Sales Person. I've lost countless deals for refusing to offer a "Gratuity" to the buyer.

    While it's easy to blame the shady copier rep/dealer, in my experience their is plenty of blame to go around. In fact I can't help but wonder what, if any culpability those at the school who are responsible for exercising oversight and to monitor, direct and inspect the actions of their employees charged with buying copiers and MFP's. Any brand new swimming pools in their back yards?

    Where are the leasing companies and their loan officers? Apparently in their zeal to write deals they overlooked certain things as it would seem to me all of these unsettled lease obligations would have hindered the borrowing capability of the school. Unless of course someone was advised to "overlook it" by a superior.

    Perhaps the Feds and State Attorney General can sort it all out.

  2. Piney -

    This has got hair all over it - the dealer is a criminal, and will probably spend time in the whoscow.

    The client should have trusted no one and the leasing companies have a serious case of "it's not my problem..."

    Love it!


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