In the wake of the Pledgemusic scandal, none of the artists will ever see a dime of the money they raised through the Pledgemusic platform. Much like the people who’re involved in the TTM Guitars scandal, they’ll never see the guitars or money they invested. What do both scandals have in common? Benji Rogers and Pledgemusic are using bankruptcy and liquidation laws in Europe as Lance Benedict will be using United States Bankruptcy laws to try and shield him from paying back his customers and business partners the hundreds of thousands of dollars that he’s stolen from them.
How is Benedict’s scheme similar to Pledgemusic’s?
- He is 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 were 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.
- His eBay Scam in 2010 was talked about all over the internet to the point where dozens of people were out thousands of dollars.
- When people began to realize the “made in the USA,” guitars were Chinese parts assembled in the USA, people started pursuing legal action against Benedict.
- 2010 Benedict published a contest to give away a free TTM guitar, which he never did give away, although he did collect personal information from all applicants.
- When customers began to pursue legal action, he filed bankruptcy in 2012 to avoid any judgments.
- Fast forward to 2017; he announces TTM Guitars is back and is going to be made in the USA.
- He convinced to invest his inheritance money into TTM and offered him a position in artist relations. As soon as Benedict got his money, he transferred him to the paint department.
- The current business model of TTM guitars seems to be identical to the past before bankruptcy.
- Requesting payment in advance and not rendering service. Clients were waiting over a year for their guitar with no delivery insight. Waiting for refunds and getting a variety of creative excuses, the latest of which was received by a customer asking for his money back after a year is “there’s a new board of directors, he has been bought out, or he promises payments to people if they remove negative comments about him and TTM off the internet. If there was a Board of Directors, he’d had to modify his incorporation papers with the State, which he hasn’t and is an outright lie.
- NAMM has banned him from attending future shows as an exhibitor or attendee.
- Sold illegal franchises, taking people’s money fully knowing he wasn’t going to give them a franchise or a “distributorship.”
- Illegally dissolved his LLC with the State of California without consulting his 61% majority ownership of TTM Guitars to try and avoid any legal obligation to lawsuits that may arise.
- Has pending hearings with the Department of Labor for not paying his employees
- Was evicted out of his Grass Valley, CA, shop for not paying the rent.
- Are under investigation for tax, wire, and mail fraud and workman’s comp and payroll fraud from State and Federal officials.
- Will be filing bankruptcy to try and avoid paying people he’s stolen money from.
The difference between Pledgemusic and Benedict is the UK system allows you to liquidate while the only liquidation Benedict will be doing is hopefully in a 4X8 prison cell.