TTM Guitars: Fraud, Bankruptcy, Is Lance Benedict Repeating His Troubled Past?
In our continuing series on TTM Guitars and Lance Benedict, we look at the similarities of deception and false advertising that Benedict orchestrated in 2009 and how it mirrors the scheme he’s running in 2019. Let’s examine the similarities:
- The scam seems to be that consumers are lured in by an endorsement deal and promise of worldwide exposure for which they pay for a guitar in advance. Once the money is received by TTM, the consumer never receives the guitar or their money back and all customer contact is scarce or broken off completely.
- Benedict cites multiple reasons for the delays, in many cases over 1 year. These reasons include; they can no longer refund money due to the “statute of limitations on refunds”, “being bought out and no longer in control of finances”, or that only if the customer agrees to remove negative internet reviews he will then supply the refund.
- This scam is an identical business model to his 2009-2010 scams that led to Benedict’s bankruptcy and consumers being fleeced of thousands of dollars with no recourse.
- Lance Benedict created TTM Guitars in 2007. Buying guitar parts from China, assembling them in California and fraudulently promoting his product as Made in the USA.
- He began swindling consumers on eBay through direct buying, accepting money and never delivering their guitars. Consumers waiting over a year for their guitar. When asking for their money back Mr. Benedict would stall, make excuses and in most cases never deliver the product or refund the money to the consumer.
- When customers began to realize the “Made in the USA” guitars were merely Chinese parts assembled in the USA, they began pursuing legal action against Benedict.
- 2010 Benedict published a contest to give away a free TTM guitar which he never did actually give away although he did collect personal information from all applicants.
- When customers began to pursue legal action TTM filed bankruptcy in 2012 to avoid any judgments.
- Fast forward to 2017, he announces TTM Guitars is back and will be manufactured in the USA.
- He convinced a young man to invest his inheritance money into TTM and offered him a position in artist relations, shortly after he made the investment he was transferred to the “paint department”.
- The current business model of TTM guitars seems to be identical to the past prior to bankruptcy –
- Requesting payment in advance and not rendering service.
- Clients waiting over a year for their guitar with no delivery in sight.
- Waiting for refunds and getting a variety of creative excuses, the latest of which was received by one customer asking for his money back after a year is “there’s a new board of directors, we have been bought out” or he promises refunds to people if they remove all negative comments about him and TTM Guitars off the internet.
- If there was a Board of Directors or a sale of the company, he would have had to modify his incorporation papers with the State which we found no record of.
One employee interviewed stated he was hired for three months and never received any payment for his work, a direct violation of California labor law
If you’ve been a victim of TTM Guitars and Lance Benedict, it’s always good to consult with an attorney or your local police to see if any criminal and/or civil penalties can be
You can also file a complaint with California Attorney General’s Office and you don’t have to to be a California resident. International residents can apply too at:
6 thoughts on “TTM Guitars: Fraud, Bankruptcy, Is Lance Benedict Repeating His Troubled Past?”
I am a luthier. In January, I answered an ad on Craigslist requesting a luthier for some short term work. The requesting person was Lance Benedict, with TTM Guitars. He hired me to help assemble some guitars, at the Grass Valley shop, that were going to be on display at TTM’s booth at NAMM. I put in a total of 60 hours the week leading up to the show. To date I have not been paid for my services. I have contacted TTM Guitars, and Lance Benedict directly several times. All correspondence has been ignored. No wonder TTM cannot deliver guitars to it’s customers when it can’t even pay it’s employees.
John I’m sorry to hear but not surprisingly so from the other stories from people coming forward. Please contact me at your convenience.
Lance Benedict is my daughter’s boyfriend’s father. I can tell you first hand, this guy is a con man. I have had dealings with him that were fraudulent. I had to hire an attorney to mend the damage. This is not a man you want to trust. Believe me. He has no conscience at all. I am not surprised at what I am reading. I only pray that my daughter isn’t getting caught up in this.
Lance did actually send out free guitars. It was part of a promotion on Harmony Central Guitar Forums circa 2010. I myself received a TTM Slayer.
And for the hundreds, he ripped off for hundreds of thousands of dollars got what?
Hi, I’m a little late to the party, however, I was looking on their website at their “guitars” (check out the photos section) they have images of “guitars” with no pick ups in, lots of skulls and other patterns which might be cool if you are an 11 year old boy.
anyway, look closer at the detail, they are all the same guitar that has photoshopped images on them, the photoshopping is extremely bad too, even the rear strap hook shares the same image for half of it (look at the skull with the red blobs on, the pattern continues exactly, as does the one with the naked woman, follow the line down her back, it goes into the chrome continuously). That’s not the worst of it, look at the craftsmanship of the routed cavities, especially where the whammy bar block would go. The worst bit by far is the spring bracket screws have come all the way through the body and into the neck pick up cavity! Not such a good feature for your pups i would imagine!
The original looks to be a plain red guitar, check out the edges of the cavities, they have exactly the same red line around every image and the inside of the top horn.
Look at the images of the two guitars with all the band names on, both have all the names in exactly the same place, these are just photoshopped images too. flip between the two you will see what I mean.
They are such badly done hack jobs, if they were real they might be cool images….for a child, however, given how everything else is faked too, including their existence, I think I will pass up such an opportunity to waste money, maybe I will become a crack addict instead, at least there would be a product involved…