Does Spring Mean a New Start?
May started out beautifully; we were surrounded by potential investors who appeared to have their act together, and Frank Cmero was progressing with his plans for his last fish farm. And sometimes, it’s actually a lucky thing to have nothing in the way of funds...
May 1, 2010
Deb, good news!!! I have the money for interest prepayment! My lawyer in Prague will collect it before our trip to Italy. The meeting in the bank is set up on 17th of May. After that I will have 3 million euros within 72 hours. Here comes the bad news. I desperately need some money for the trip to Italy. Originally I would have money for the trip from the 250,000 euros for the interest prepayment as there's a small reserve for travel expenses and unexpected costs. Now, the lawyer will receive that on 15th, and that's too late for me because I have to fly from Perth on 13th. I am trying to put the money together from family and friends. Can you please help with at least a couple of thousand dollars? I pay it back by 20th. Thanks.
I felt badly at the time because we were so unable to help with this, but as I said, sometimes that’s the best thing that can happen.
May 5, 2010
So you probably knew Mercury is retrograde in Taurus until the 11th of this month. Lots of miscommunication, etc. Frank has finished the arrangements for the 3 million euros for his fish farm funding, and apparently he can invest the money in the CMBS if he wishes, which is the plan. But he had to make an initial interest payment on the money (sounds fishy to me, but he's been in this business a long time so I guess he knows the procedure) and arranged for a small financing to cover this. Since he has to go back to Italy to sign the final loan papers, there was travel money built into the smaller loan amount to cover his travel expenses, as he exhausted his money for the first trip. But the final contract for the 3 mill has to be signed on the 17th and the travel money won't be available until the 15th, which for some reason isn't early enough...sigh. sometimes it's hard to understand Frank, but obviously we're all pulling for him!
On the 9th of May Frank got his money together for his second trip to Milan, and Vesuvius erupted, shutting down airports all over Europe, including Vienna, where he was scheduled to land four days later.
May 10, 2010
This is a 'what if' scenario, based on Frank pulling off his financial coup next week. If he does and depending on how long it takes for him to get into the CMBS program, we should have a payout by the end of June. The second week's payout (the first week goes to the brokers) of the film half of the proceeds (as opposed to the fish farm half, which is all Frank's) will be used partially for a signing advance for Richard J. Dubin and Tom Krejci, we agreed on $100,000 each. Some will go to pay people who have already done work for LMI or the films or both, such as the LMI website, which will have pages for each film and Ian Christensen's former work as the Production Coordinator. All the partners (that's the four of us) will receive their parts of the writer's fee and other fees included in the contract, including Frank's Executive Producer fees for DC and GW, $900,000.
We will begin to accrue money for the productions themselves the third week of payout, and I also propose each of the four partners gets a one million U.S. bonus -- Sandra and I need our 2 mill of that to buy the LMI headquarters, which will need to be large (over 5,000 square feet) to satisfy the requirement that 50% of it be used for business. I suggest Scott use his 1 million to start his own film fund; we don't expect any part of that, but we do have one request -- that one of the first two films funded through the White Tiger film fund be one of Tom Deedy's. Frank's 1 million bonus will be at his discretion, of course.
We should be able to start pre-production in July on both films, if this scenario is successful. I haven't informed Richard or Tom K. yet; we should wait until Frank actually has the seed investment. Richard calls me a lot; I haven't actually spoken to Tom in a couple of months, so I'm hoping he's still available.
What do you think of this plan?
Frank’s deal started to fall apart around the middle of the month. On the 18th he told me the funders were requiring tax returns from some years of the company, and he would have to return to Australia to get them, then send them back to Italy.
May 29, 2010
You were expecting to hear from me before this date with good news. I know this, and Richard J. reminded me of this today. But as always nothing is as simple as it is supposed to be, at least not in our universe.
Frank went to Italy to sign the final papers for his seed investment. He had all his documents with him, he thought -- and had arranged for the 250,000 euros required for the pre-payment of interest for one year in the event he pays off the loan early (as he is planning to do). He signed the final papers, left Milan and got as far as Rome when he was called to say there were two years of corporate income tax returns missing from the package. He called his office in Australia and went on to Prague, to his sister's house there.
From there he flew home, arriving last Tuesday, I believe. He collected the required forms from his office on Wednesday and overnighted them to Milan -- they couldn't be faxed. So, they arrived in Milan and on Friday he was waiting for word.
We haven't stopped working on other seed investors and have four good possibilities now, but Frank really wanted us to get started -- it has been so long. He even found some alternate investors but they wanted to take over the company in return for the investment money, and if something goes wrong with the Italian money this late in the game I think he's going to go for it.
So I'll have more news on Monday, hopefully...still in there pitching. Just nobody catching...damn it.
Cheers, talk soon hopefully!
May was disappointing all round. Frank’s deal in Italy fell through, so he lost money again. It sounded like a scam from the beginning – who has to pre-pay a quarter of a million euros in interest on a corporate loan? He made a new deal with a company in Australia to build the last fish farm, and Frank would become the coordinator for the project but not own it. There was really no money involved except a salary for Frank, so we were back to square one on the investor front. The dozens of other investors who were swirling around us had thusfar been useless as well, so I was once again facing the dreaded proposal posting.
The second round of scammers entered the picture in May of 2010, and they came from a website called Vcequity.com. This website had the seeker post a profile and supposedly investors would then contact the seeker if they had interest. All three of the investors who contacted me through this site were scammers – they had gotten very creative in their approach. The first was a man named Mycroft Daniels (at least that was the name he used) and he told us he was located In England. For some reason Nigerian scammers love to say they’re in England; never could figure out why.
June 18, 2010
Dear Business Associate:
You are receiving this message because you have been contacted by Debora Hill of Lost Myths Ink LLC in the last several months - some of you very recently. (LMI is co-owned with Sandra Brandenburg). Debora has been working with me to help obtain funding for her LMI film projects. She has chosen an unusual route. Instead of a conventional loan or a simple equity share, she is offering an opportunity for an investment with shared profits that will quickly surpass the principal invested, provide ample capital for her project, and provide additional profits for the investor and their referring agents. This family of investments is known to a few, and is generally unfamiliar to financiers who are accustomed to conventional markets.
The most important features are “no-risk” and exceptionally high returns in a short time frame. If you prefer to be a “lender” rather than an “investor,” the loan will be repaid very quickly, and you can negotiate the best interest rate. Some particulars of the film projects are available. However, the Return-On-Investment (ROI) has no relationship to the profitability of the film projects themselves.
The current minimum investment is $1.2 Million. For those familiar with our business, this opportunity is best of breed. For those who have no prior exposure, the protocols may seem strange. It is by invitation only. A no-risk, no-fee application is required, and a background check is done. Only after the investor passes compliance are the introduction to principals, contracts and due diligence possible.
Because of privacy and non-disclosure regulations, we can provide no written proof of prior history. This apparent lack of up-front transparency does not sit well with consultants who believe this will risk credibility with their clients, and mistakenly compare it to fraudulent offerings. For those who can get past this imaginary fear, the reward is good and true! To be sure, insiders have jumped at this opportunity. In my view, this is the best investment anywhere. When we talk, I will explain exactly why that is.
For those who do know the business but question it, I urge you to examine this program on its own merits - rather than basing your decision on generalities, rumors, or past experiences.
A clear understanding of the mechanisms underlying the industry is a long-term educational process. I can give specifics about the program, but with regard to the industry, I can only give a brief verbal explanation of what it is and how it works. I don’t have the capability to be an educator, and written materials about the overall industry create confusion about the particulars of this deal. The safety and return of the program should be sufficient incentive to participate, and those features will be provided at the proper time. If you want deeper information about the industry, I suggest that you save those inquiries for later, after you have made your profits.
The reason I am sending out this reminder about our CMBS program now is that we have approximately 5 weeks until the principals go on summer break. After that, it will be another 6 weeks until the program re-opens. However, there is no guarantee that it will. It takes time to go through the steps, so I strongly recommend that if you or your clients are interested, please take action now.
For various reasons, I cannot share anything in writing without first talking to you. I will describe the program (including historical ROI, profit, terms, etc.) and ask questions about your investment qualifications - or about your status with your investors. If I then send you a courtesy overview, even with disclaimers, it is to be used only as a guideline in your conversations with investors and advisors. Or, you may introduce me to the investor so we can go through the same process.
Finally, since this introduction is coming through Debora Hill, there is a required profit share with Lost Myths Ink. Because of the high profit, there is plenty of money to go around, so LMI's share need be of no concern. You also have the pleasure of supporting LMI's great film projects! And as a bonus, Lost Myths Ink is offering an equity share in the projects financed through this fund.
If we have already spoken, please note that some details of the program may have changed. If you are simply not interested, please ignore this message. Otherwise, feel free to contact me by phone, email or Skype. You may also contact Debora Hill.
Sincerely, Steve Glanz
None of the dozen people on our investor list responded in a positive way to Steve’s letter. Several said they wouldn’t be ready to invest until after the summer hiatus, but I’d learned all that meant was they didn’t have the money. Mycroft Daniels disappeared after I told him we wouldn’t pay any upfront fees, period, and another one surfaced in a John Bayer...also supposedly in England. An investor in Australia surfaced, a man who worked with Scott Ferguson about five years earlier. His name was David King, and I sent him information about the program and our Joint Venture proposal, but when I didn’t hear back from him I thought that was the end of it. Later I would wish it had been. Scott had a note from him on the 11th of July – it would have been just one of dozens of similar notes if it had not become important in October.
Thanks for the opportunity but I have no further interest in creating a film fund nor funding any movies.
I am investing in/developing a new software company.
All the Best.
Kind regards, David King