T-PS May112015 Wingate

Wingate Exclusive Events LLC

May 11, 2015

Jack is an Aimfair member. He wanted to share with everyone his experiences with a non-company called Wingate Exclusive Events LLC. We say "non-company" because it is not legally operating in Beloit, Wisconsin under the rules set forth by that state's Secretary of State.

This group is becoming more sophisticated. The price offered is reasonable and below what some would say is market. So, the first phase of the "Smell Test" seems to be OK. Here is what Jack had to say:

Hi again - attached is the offer from WG Exclusive events. They sound legit. They plan to have a convention at GL Nuevo the last week of September every year. this year for Gerber Foods. I just spoke with "Lisa" at Vidanta customer service and she seems to think it is a scam. I am tempted to sign this initial letter/contract as to me and two lawyer-sons does not seem to commit me to anything. The deal according to Steve (W/G Exclusive) is that they will then send me the contract that has 21 clauses, protecting them and me.

Jack felt the people he talked with sounded legitiamate. However, he called Vidanta customer service and was advised that the offer sounded like a scam. So who do you believe?

The next step is to look at the documentation. The Letter of Intent or Proposal Letter is fairly standard, complete with statements about the quality of the service the company offers its clients and number of events complete in 2009. Well that is all well and good, but there is a company called Wingate, which is a very large company and it likely did arrange many events for its clients. BUT, it is not the same Wingate!

In addition, the Proposal Letter outlines the appropriate guarantees, commissions and assurances that payment from the seller is not requried until after the proposed transaction closes. All standard stuff!

Then the contract. Initially, the contact person said Jack had to first sign the Proposal Letter before he could see the contract. Well, as luck would have it, the sales person was able to get authorization to send the contract before Jack agreed to the Proposal Letter terms.

So, the Contract is emailed to Jack and he has a chance to look it over. Again, all standard stuff, except there are contradictions that appear in all of these generic contracts:
  • The Owner agrees that all encumbrances and taxes, shall be paid and all existing liens shall be paid by the Owner, prior to time of closing and that the owner is guaranteed full reimbursement on the final check. Full reimbursement of what? Monies that are paid out before buyer's money is in the "escrow" account? Sounds like Seller has to pay money beforehand.....
  • In the event, "Owner" decides to rescind on property agreement or weeks contracted, all monies will be forfeited by seller. Oops....we thought there were no upfront monies to forfeit.
  • The Owner(s) agree(s) to pay to the Agent at the time of closing. A commission of (7%) percent is paid to Wingate Exclusive Events LLC, 5 to 7 business days after owner receives final funding in full. (Note: This sentence is very confusing because the Agent is not Wingate Exclusive Events LLC.)
  • The Owner hereby authorizes the Agent to solicit and obtain any and all information concerning “Grand Luxxe Residence Club” and all encumbrances thereon. This does not seem like a very good idea....we don't even know the "Agent" and therefore do not think it is a good idea to give him cart blanche to all personal information that may be related to the interests in the Grand Luxxe.
OK. So Jack has the terms of the agreement and still feels the company is legit. So, he follows our suggestion of sending by "certified and return receipt mail" a letter to the "Company" and "Agent" to their advertised address. What happens is what is expected: The parcel is not deliverable because there is no one by the name of Wingate Exclusive Events LLC at the address.

Jack is now relieved that he did not sign the contract and send money to the scammers. He does not believe he would ever be able to recover that money, which could ultimately have been in the thousands of dollars.

For reference purposes, following is information Jack received and uncovered that might be interesting:

Wingate Proposal Letter

Wingate Exclusive Events LLC Proposal Letter
Wingate Exclusive Events LLC Proposal Letter
Wingate Exclusive Events LLC Proposal Letter
Wingate Exclusive Events LLC Proposal Letter

Thank you Jack for sharing your experinece with us and for taking the test. A certified return receipt letter that contains instructions the recipient is to follow when he receives the letter is a good step to take in your due diligence process. Remember....Only You Can Write The Check....!
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