Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Message from You

Seems like this blog is serving it's purpose. Here is a posting I received earlier today

Thank you for creating this site. We ordered a leather couch, chair and ottoman through fresh living, in December 2004. Robin assured us that we would receive the furniture in 8 weeks time... but since he "really liked us" he would put a rush on it.. and he'd try to get it in 6 weeks. He was giving us a "really good deal" too. The same furniture in Toronto would have been $3500 more, according to Robin. Wanting to support local business... and fully trusting such a "nice guy"... who had a show on T.V. no less... we paid by cheque... not wanting Robin to be gouged an additional % by putting it on visa. (retro-spectively... a clear misjudgement on my part). They cashed the cheque... and after months of promising the furniture would be in "next week"... we continued to press him on the whereabouts of our furniture... he made all kinds of excuses... saying the company he had ordered the furniture from had been purchased by a company in the States... and they wouldn't honour his cheque... implying that "fresh living" was out the $$ too... one time he said that the furniture had arrived... but in the wrong colour... so he sent it back... and on & on with excuses... We started pressing him for a "certified" cheque to reimburse us (once we heard that there were others facing similar problems with them). More excuses. My husband filed a claim against the store, in small claims court. No reply from the boys... not surprised once we saw the windows out at the old Plaza downtown. Many others are now disillusioned. Try contacting CHUC... there may be some upaid advertising bills. Anyways... we feel very naive to trust those people... who seemed so genuinely nice... but ROBBED us of approx. $7000.00. We are left wondering how it is possible to steal so much from our trusting community and not face criminal charges. I hope this helps with your research... at this time, we would like to remain anonymous.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Surprise Surprise

So in his last hysterical voicemail Robin said we could either wait for the furnature until he could straighten things out with the upholsterer (like that's going to happen - he problably owes the poor guy thousands) or I could get a credit on my Amex. Emmet emailed and told him to do the latter. And guess what happened . . . .. NOTHING. No credit, no message. Isn't that a surprise. The only just desserts out of this is that Robin de Groot will never get another design client. Isn't it ironic that by screwing clients he screwed himself right out of his livelyhood (if you want to call it that). I called Alliance Atlantis and told them about the Cobourg fiasco. Revenge is sweet.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Coming Soon . . .

Watch this site over the next few days for new posts with information on:
Who Robin de Groot and Evan Karras owe money too
Who mortgaged the properties and for how much
Personal information including Evan's real name and cell number
When and where their next court date is
And comments and letters from you, the blog readers. Thanks for your input!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Finally - A Response!

I have told Robin and Evan about this blog and offered to take it down if I receive a credit on my Amex. It must have made some impact because I received a rather long message from Robin claiming that he is, in fact, the one who is being screwed by the real estate agent, developer and other citizens of Cobourg. Last time I checked a power of sale had to do with defaulting a loan, not a bad real estate agent. It is interesting to note that when "the boys" moved out of their George St. house the moving company (Busch) receive no less than 4 calls from angry people that they owe money to. Even more telling is the fact that the Cobourg Star showed up to take photos of the big move. These guys owe enough people money that is big news in Cobourg. Other business they owe money to include the Benjamin Moore paint store on the main street and Watershed Magazine. More are coming out of the woodwork all the time.

If I do see the money or a credit on my card I will take this blog down. If I don't I will continue to expose these guys for what they are including conversations with everyone I know in the business. In fact, I am having dinner at David Adjay's place tonight and intend to tell him all the gory details. He'll get a huge kick out of it.

The Real Estate Scoop

It wasn't difficult to find out what the deal is with the 3 properties Robin de Groot and Evan Karras "purchased" (and purchased is a stretch since it appears that none of the money was theirs). They actually tried to list the properties with a local agenda named Sandy Lauwson who knew something was up when they said they didn't want to advertise. As it turns out, the money owed on the properties (to someone in Burlington and someone in Oakville) exceeds the value of them. They are now under Power of Sale and sadly, are sitting in disrepair. The pipes and sprinkler systems have frozen and burst in the Sidbrook property, decreasing it's value even more. The hotel on the main street was sitting mid-construction with no windows in the middle of winter. It is my understanding that the city waded in a paid to have windows installed.

Get this One!

One day we received a call from Robin claiming that the Fresh Living store on the main street of Cobourg had been broken into and some signed cheques were stolen. He said that all his bank accounts were tied up as part of the investigation and then . . . get this . . asked us if he could borrow $12,000 - $15,000! Can you believe it? Phoning customers and asking them to borrow money?

Turns out we were not alone. As I talk to more and more people about these cons I have learned that they called several customers. They seemed to prey on lonely widows. I heard that a Mrs. Hewston wrote them a cheque for $50,000!

The sad thing is that very few people have gone to the police. They are harbouring hope that these guys will actually turn up with their money. Detective Constable Terry Stanley is the officer who is assigned to their case. Evan was supposed to show up in court last week but phoned in and said he couldn't attend because of a migrane. Poor soul.

Karma comes back to you boys

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I Can't Believe We Were So Dumb

When Fresh Living was opened in the town of Cobourg, Ontario by Robin de Groot and Evan Karras the residents were excited to have a cool, hip home store with nice product at reasonable prices. Robin de Groot, shameless self-promoter that he is, made sure the town knew he was a Toronto designer (with a tv show on HGTV and FoodTV no less).

What the town didn't know was that these guys were experienced con artists. They proceeded to purchase three historic properties in the town under the guise that they were going to open a boutique hotel with retail space. I am not sure who lent them the money to purchase these properties but all three are now under power of sale and are sitting vacant with broken pipes and frozen rads.

The Fresh Living boys took orders and payment for custom furnature that was never delivered. I should know. I was one of them. They owe me $7,000. I would be interested to hear from other people who were scammed by these guys.