Breaking MLM News: Global Verge’s former interim CEO, Steve Lewis and CFO, Teresa Curits, break their silence, reveling some very interesting information on the inside workings of Global Verge and Buzzirk Mobile, by founders Ted Robbins and Mark Petschel.
This open letter answers some questions, and raises even more to those who have been watching this saga unfold over the last year.
(Email validation is located at the end of this post)
“We have been quiet long enough and we are using this letter to be proactive so that everyone can understand the actions of Steve Lewis and Teresa Curtis in the matter of Global Verge. Our purpose is to get the facts straight so the rumors and lies that are being circulated will be totally dispelled.
Fact – Steve and Teresa were asked in May 2009 by Mark and Ted to help them to organize a company that was going wild and out of their control. Steve and Teresa agreed to help behind the scenes to get things started and straightened out.
Fact – In late June Steve and Teresa agreed to help on an interim level acting as CEO and Secretary to the corporation (which we were for all of three weeks.) The agreement included the following:
• Teresa worked on scripts that were supposed to be turned into videos for the company
• Steve as acting CEO until such time as Warren Hanchey could take over as CEO.
• Teresa as overseer of the Accounting and office operations, including training Craig Perry, an excellent business man and attorney, who was not going to be the corporate attorney, but the operations manager in the issues and specialties of MLM operations.
• Teresa would also work on customer service to bring it up to date as Mark’s wife was handling it and didn’t want to.
• Gerry Nehra must be hired as MLM attorney.
• A Canadian MLM attorney was to be hired to make Canada legal as far as MLM was concerned.
• An Australian MLM attorney would be found to make Australia legal.
• Steve and Teresa would find merchant accounts because Mark and Ted could not obtain one on their own (we found out later it was because Mark had pled guilty on a 2005 securities fraud charge and was currently sentenced to 5 years probation plus repayment) For details see http://stlouis.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2004/06/07/daily15.html
• Steve would also act as Marketing Director, starting a Triple diamond call to keep distributors apprised of the day by day current situation of the company.
• All Contracts were to be sent to Teresa to ascertain all legal liabilities of the company.
• Teresa would also become resident agent for the Nevada Corporation and therefore was supposed to get all the legal paperwork of the company as its agent.
All of this was agreed upon by Mark, Ted, Steve, Teresa, Warren and Craig in our living room in Las Vegas.
What we found out when things started to trickle in was:
• There was no accounting books anywhere. The commissions were being handled byXennsoft, an excellent software company, but the Global Verge ‘books’ were nonexistent. An August 2, 2009 email from Teresa to Ted shows that she was still trying to find out who was owed money and how much.
• What arrived for Teresa was a box with lots of paper in it, which had to be sorted out with Ted there as there was no rhyme or reason to it.
• The customer service ticket system was like a big pot that only a couple of people could handle and then they had to go through all of tickets to find the new ones and answer them. Teresa went in and organized it so that small issues could be taken care of immediately and larger issues were routed to the proper person.
• Teresa also found contracts to people for large sums of money. There was no record of this money coming in to Global Verge. When she raised this issue, it became the first time that Mark stated that Buzzirk Mobile was separate from Global Verge and that all of our work was with Global Verge and NOT Buzzirk Mobile.
• The next issue came when Teresa was looking for contracts between Global Verge, Buzzirk Mobile and Zer01. We were all told that the contract with Zer01 was with Buzzirk Mobile and Zer01 and that Global Verge had nothing to do with it. Craig Perry was then asked to put together a contract with Zer01 and Buzzirk Mobile. The management staff kept insisting that Global Verge have a written contract with Buzzirk, but we have no knowledge if this was ever done.
• At this point we also found out that Mark was on probation for securities fraud and that he wasn’t allowed to leave the state, sell securities or solicit funds in any way. Teresa immediately asked Mark and Ted about the trips that Mark was taking and about the contracts that Mark had signed regarding money solicited for investment from Canada and Australia. She was informed that those contracts were with Buzzirk and not Global Verge and she basically should ‘butt out’.
• Steve and Warren had also gone out on a personal and financial limb and had convinced 2 merchant account dealers that they would back Global Verge’s credit card accounts. All of us began to feel really uneasy about that.
• We had also helped find funding for Global Verge, (yes Mark solicited us for it) fortunately that money was on a short term basis and did indeed get paid back.
Needless to say, all of these incidents were raising red flags. The biggest red flag that was raised came from Mark’s refusal to allow us to even talk to Zer01. We wanted some straight answers instead of the changing commentary that we were getting from Mark. The story was changing daily. We finally insisted on meeting with Ben Piilani which was agreed to as long as Ted was with us. During that meeting we found out several things that for us put the icing on the cake as far as Mark was concerned.
• According to Ben, Mark had lied to us about what Ben had promised. Since Ben also was not living up to his contract about providing service, we were willing to give Mark the benefit of the doubt.
• Ben told us that he thought we might have service in the US in about a month.
• Canada was at least 6 months away
• Australia was at least a year away.
• He did have a voip service that he might be able to use in Canada and Australia.
We left that meeting in shock and horror. Ted Robbins showing as much shock and horror as the rest of us. We sat down and decided that the only way to save the company was to:
• Remove Mark’s name from all ties with the company and put all the stock in Ted’s name. We NEVER asked for stock to be put in our name. The closest we came to that is to ask that stock be set aside for rewards to Employees who had been there at least five years.
• Find another true cellular phone company that we could use for Canada and Australia until such time as Zer01 was ready with their product.
• Find out where all the money that Mark had received from Canada and Australia had gone to. Had some of it gone to Zer01? Was that why Mark did not want us involved with it? What deal did he personally have with Zer01?
Ted got Mark on the phone and Mark agreed that he would do whatever it took to make Global Verge successful. He agreed to hand over to Ted his stock certificates, stating that after all the money was in Buzzirk and not Global Verge. Ted went back to the office to accomplish this task, Warren contacted another phone company that we had talked to and we set about putting a service together that would satisfy Global Verge’s international clients.
The next thing we hear is that Mark is NOT going to turn over his stock. This was a complete reversal on what he had said. All of a sudden Ted was agreeing with him, after all his posturing when he was at our house. They also stated in no uncertain terms that were not even going to look at another phone company for Canada and Australia and that they are going to stick strictly with Zer01. We were told that Australia and Canada were NOT to be told what we had found out about from Zer01. In other words, lie to the distributors.
We then had a meeting with Steve, Teresa and Warren who agreed that this was totally unsatisfactory and against our integrity. We told Mark and Ted that unless they came up with a satisfactory way to solve the issue, we would all resign by Friday. On Thursday morning, after Craig Perry had left for another meeting with Zer01 in an attempt to reconcile everything, Mark and Ted fired the three of us.
We were told that we could keep the approximately 32,000 person downline that we had and nothing else would be affected. Even though this obviously meant a great deal of money to us, we could NOT be that far out of integrity. We told them in no uncertain terms that we were NOT going to have anything else to do with them and we all resigned from our distributorships.
They immediately put out a rush email and ambushed Craig on his way back from the meeting with Ben and staged a “isn’t it wonderful how we have everything going for us” call. We then put out an email to the Triple Diamonds and had a call where we told them the truth.
Craig Perry stayed with the program for a few more months and finally resigned.
Zer01 resigned from them and I hear there is a lawsuit going on. There should be. Our feeling is that Zer01 may have had the technology, but they were nowhere near being able to produce it. Zer01 did not resign because of us and it has been long enough now that people know the truth, we did NOT start another company with Zer01, though both
Mark and Ted used that as an excuse and as usual needed a scapegoat and our resignation left them a perfect target.
After we realized what liars Mark and Ted were, we no longer backed the merchant accounts. So yes we were responsible for those getting shut down, but we can’t figure out why Mark and Ted would think that we would financially back them after the things we found out.
We talked to no other vendors or tried to harm Global Verge in any way.
Craig Perry remains a staunch friend and assured us that while Mark and Ted were bad mouthing us in private, they had promised not to do so in public. Craig totally denied ever hearing Mark and Ted blaming us in public for anything.
Yet he also couldn’t deny that he was hearing all kinds of strange things from the distributors that were totally untrue. We only have the distributors who called and cussed us out for trying to steal the company to know that they blamed us as they blamed everyone else for the previous company going under. Craig finally had had enough and resigned a few months after we did.
It’s amazing how the story of E-verge and the story of Global Verge coincide so well. Could it be that Mark and Ted have played this game before and that’s how they got their money?
I think it is amazing that we have copies of contracts where Mark got almost a million dollars, yet what did he do with it? There was a lot of interaction between Zer01 and Buzzirk – or really a lot of interaction between Mark and Ben.
Could it be that there was something going on over at Zer01 that Mark was a part of? We all thought that until Zer01 quit Buzzirk a week later. Then we couldn’t figure out what the “cloak and dagger” business was about between Mark and Zer01.
Did Ben take that million dollars and screw Mark? Is Mark still involved with Ben? We found that relationship really strange and couldn’t figure out what Mark and Ted had done with all the money.
There were so many underhanded things going on behind the scenes that had to come to light. We found out so much that we left and warned everyone what was going to happen. Oh, yeah – it did happen. Guess we were right all along!
But it couldn’t have been Mark or Ted’s fault after all, could it? It had to all be the fault of Steve, Teresa and Warren. We had a whole 3 weeks to try and get a company together that Mark and Ted had spent two years and many lies to create.