Alan Feifer, using company names Robert Ames Business Development Co. and Innovative Franchise Systems, sold phony franchise dreams to dozens of trusting restaurant owners.
According to the restaurant owners, he offered to franchise their restaurants and even, in some cases, provide their first franchise buyer… all for only $2500. If they didn’t have $2500, he’d take $1250 upfront and collect the other $1250 "after the first franchise was sold."
Once the checks cleared, Alan Feifer got harder and harder to reach. In the end, the restaurant owners ended up with no franchise program and no franchise buyers. According to the Journal Star:
U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg’s office says Alan Feifer, 61, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of mail fraud as part of a deal with prosecutors.
Feifer, who is from Airmont, N.Y., ran Robert Ames Business Development Co. and Innovative Franchise Systems.
Prosecutors say Feifer created documents with false statements in them and mailed them to business owners between 2003 and 2006. As part of the misrepresentation, Feifer would tell business owners he could find buyers of the franchises.
He remains free on bond and is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 10.
Sean Kelly warned about franchise con-sultant Alan Feifer in the post He Put the Con in Franchise CONsultant on the Franchise Pick blog back in October, 2007. A number of commenters recounted their experiences with Alan Feifer and Robert Ames Business Development Co.
After receiving the letter from Alan Feifer saying my candy store had been visited and would make a good franchise, I spoke with Mr. Feifer, and he said one of his representatives had been in the store. I spoke with him several times and asked if he couldn’t take the $2500.00 when the first franchise was sold. He said they would have to have $1250.00 now and the rest would be added to their fee after the first franchise was sold.
I received all the papers (very professional looking), and talked with him several times. The time between my calls and his returning them seemed to take longer and longer. He then told me he had had a serious medical problem and would be back to his office two days later. I tried and tried to contact him and then found that both the New York and Ramsey, N.J. phones had been disconnected. That was in 2007. I’ve even checked the Social Security Death Index to see if he had died. After reading these forums, I guess I was lucky to only have lost $1,250.00!
I am so disappointed, as he seemed to be a very nice, professional person, and a caring human being, as I was going through a very difficult time due to the loss of a son, half way through our negotiations.
Lynne H. wrote:
I have been biten by the Alan Feifer con man bug. I have my own business, and I was one of the suckers that paid the $1250 and the rest would be out of the first franchise. I to found where the phone calls that I was receiving were few and far between. I would call his Florida number and it would be weeks before he would call me back. I just recently received a call from Mr. F and like today, he told me that business is bad and with the economy and all. It is either one story or another, he is either in the hospital with some kind of problems, or on vacation or some lame excuse. I have asked for my money back, but he avoids answering the question. I don’t know what to do. Am I going to see my $1250 back??
Yeah he got me for $2500 also! He told me he had a heart attack and his employees had left him thinking he was closing the business?
Who knows maybe he will have a heart attack, Karmas a bitch!
Kudos to CBS Channel 6 WOWT for breaking the story and the United States Attorney, District of Nebraska for pursuing fraud charges against Alan Feifer and Robert Ames Business Development Co..
Author and site admin contact: unhappyfranchisee[at]gmail.com.
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