Embattled TTM Guitars owner Lance Benedict has been pushing forward and making a rosy picture with his devoted followers with new models he promises for the 2020 NAMM show. He is entirely ignoring the ongoing investigations from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, The State of California Department of Oversight for his illegal franchises and lying about closing. The California Attorney Generals Office for customers not receiving their guitars or money back, The State of California Department of Industrial Relations for unpaid wages to his former employees at his Grass Valley, California shop. The United States Postal Inspection Service for allegations of wire and mail fraud. We can now add two more agencies: The Internal Revenue Service and The California Department Of Tax And Fee Administration.
All That Shreds has learned through sources speaking on the condition of anonymity as they’re not authorized to publicly talk about the subject that the IRS and the CA Department of Tax and Fee Administration have opened an investigation Against Lance Benedict and TTM Guitars into allegations of unpaid personal and business taxes and alleged tax fraud. We’ve reached out to both agencies for comment, and as of this writing, they haven’t responded.
Last week, we reported that Benedict dissolved TTM Guitars LLC in the State of California and removed all franchise wording off his website in hopes to get California and Washington State officials off his back. He’s now referring to his franchises as “dealers.” Benedict is looking to move his operations to the midwest as those states usually have fewer regulations than states like California. That won’t lessen his exposure to the ongoing investigations of 7 state and federal agencies and counting against him and his guitar company. We’ve received word that Mr. Benedict has filed a new corporation. As soon as we confirm it’s him, we’ll let you know.
One question needs to be asked, if criminal and civil charges are brought against Benedict and his TTM Guitars cohorts, how involved are his “dealers” Golden State Music Consulting and Sales that are owned and operated by Mike Lucero, Curtis Berry, John, & Chris Hussey, and Jason J McCullough? How much do they know of the alleged fraud? Were they involved in any aspect of it? What does Jess and Pat Toby, the owners of the Grass Valley shop know about these allegations?
Benedict has listed some A musicians that he lists in his “Hall of Fame” which was rewritten from “Endorsed Artists.” He has a disclaimer at the bottom stating, “We might’ve made them a custom guitar at one time.” We asked Mark Kendall, the guitarist for the rock band Great White, if he had any knowledge of his photo and name being used on the TTM Guitars website, Mark stated to All That Shreds:
We also reached out to representatives for Guitarist Alex Lifeson of Rush as he’s also listed as an “endorsee” to the Hall of Fame. All That Shreds received this statement:
“Alex Lifeson has enjoyed a long relationship with Gibson Guitars. Mr. Lifeson has nothing to do with or endorses TTM Guitars. The use of his name and photograph for such purposes is strictly prohibited. We will be following up with TTM Guitars for the removal of Mr. Lifeson’s information.”
We’ve reached out to C.C. Deville of Poison, and Vince Neil and Mick Mars of Motley Crue for comment as there names are also listed on endorsers of TTM.
The quality of TTM Guitars is also something we look at. We looked at the TTM Devastator model on his website and as you can see from the photos of the terrible design of this all-access neck joint:
You too would be devastated if this arrived at your house.
With the Postal Inspector investigating, Benedict has switched shipping carriers to Federal Express. We’ve reached out to Federal Express about the allegations made against TTM Guitars and what is their protocol if they get similar complaints, FedEx told All That Shreds:
“We take allegations like this very seriously. Federal Express would investigate the claims thoroughly and make referrals to law enforcement when necessary.”
We are also investigating if Benedict is back to using Chinese parts for his guitars and selling them under the disguise of being “Made in the USA.” We will report and new information we receive.
If you’ve been a victim of Lance Benedict and TTM Guitars, you can use the following links to file a complaint.