STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS Franchise is a Scam, Attorney Claims

The Stratus Building Solutions janitorial / commercial cleaning franchise is a scam that preys on the hopes and dreams of recent immigrants, undocumented workers and non-English speaking families according to franchise attorney Jon Fortman.

A press release (below), distributed both in English and Spanish by the Law Offices of Jonathan Fortman, alleges that Stratus specifically targets victims they deem unlikely to fight back.

Stratus then sells them janitorial franchises that they guarantee will generate an attractive monthly income.

According to Fortman, Stratus knows that the cleaning accounts will never generate the promised income.

Fortman is currently engaged in litigation on the behalf of Stratus franchisees.

Here is the press release:

[Haga un clic aquí para leer el comunicado de prensaen Español]

Contact: Jonathan Fortman FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tel.: (314)522-2312


Stratus Scamming Thousands Nationwide

Stratus Building Solutions is scamming thousands of people throughout the United States in a complex franchise scheme.

Stratus Building Solutions is the #1 fastest growing franchise in 2012 according to and ranked #12 in the Franchise 500® in 2012.

The cleaning franchise company was founded in 2004 by Dennis Jarrett and Peter Frese and has grown astronomically since. Stratus is said to have a support system, minimal costs, and even guarantees a monthly income.

Does it sound too good to be true?

That’s because IT IS. Stratus is in the business of scamming thousands of people in a complex franchise scheme. The company now has two class actions filed against them in the State of Missouri and a group action in California.

The lawsuits contain several claims alleging that Stratus specifically targets minorities, does not provide the “guaranteed” monthly income, has no support system, and wrongly terminates franchises without warning and for false reasoning.

Stratus specifically targets minorities that speak little to no English (some are not even legal citizens) in an attempt to dissuade them from taking any legal action. They guarantee a monthly income knowing that they do not have the cleaning accounts to provide that income. Then Stratus will terminate the franchise saying that the franchisee received complaints from the cleaning account and is thereby terminated when no such complaints exists and results in a complex scam known as franchise churning.

Thousands of people are losing everything when they get caught up in the scamming web of Stratus. It is time the public, future targets, and those already struck get the truth about Stratus.

# # #

If you would like more information about this topic, please call Jonathan Fortman at (314) 522-2312 or email Jon at

Para espanol, please call Teresa at (314) 522-2312 ext 104.




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42 thoughts on “STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS Franchise is a Scam, Attorney Claims

  • Pingback: LA FRANQUICIA DE STRATUS es una Estafa, Acuerdoa Abogado : Unhappy Franchisee

  • Pingback: Janitorial / Commercial Cleaning Franchise Issues : Unhappy Franchisee

  • Here’s a link to a story on Fox 4 in Kansas City. Dennis Jarrett, Stratus CEO, appears at the beginning of the video. Notice how he’s backing away from the reporter as he tries to avoid answering the reporter’s questions. I appear about halfway through the story. Linda Wagar did an excellent job and presents stories that we have heard all over the US.

  • Todd A. Peterson

    You know it is very sad about all the stories on here and on the internet about how people are getting screwed by their franchisor Stratus Building Solutions.

    But lets look at the REAL problem!

    Type in “Stratus Building Solution” and the “International Franchise Association” in your google search engine.

    Now look at some of the articles that are coming from the IFA putting Stratus Building Solutions on a pedestal and making it look like through the RANKINGS by Entrepreneur Magazine that this company is the best thing since the wheel and you would be stupid not to invest in it.

    The IFA is the problem! Controlled by franchisors, franchisor attorneys and the like. People who profit from the “Churn and Burn” operations allowed to continue operating and be protected by the legal world because franchisees don’t have the money to take them on and make them hold their members responsible.

    How many companies have been turned away by the IFA? ZERO, NONE, NOTTA

    Because the more franchisors that sign up the more money is made by these CRIMINALS!

    Criminals who are paying lobbyist and supporting, FINANCIALLY, the candidates who vote their way.

  • Todd:

    I agree that the biggest problem is that these franchisors are pumping significant amounts of money to IFA and the publications providing bogus rankings because they know that the franchisees will base their decisions on that propaganda. Stratus appeals to franchisees with little capital and they know these folks won’t seek the advice of an attorney. The section in the Franchise Agreement concerning the “guaranteed” revenue is confusing to attorneys. Just imagine being an immigrant from Mexico who can barely speak English, At some point, I’ll have the honor of asking Mr. Jarrett in his deposition why Stratus has all their ads in Spanish but the actual franchise disclosure documents and agreements are given to them in English. Dennis Jarrett knows that Stratus will never be athese franchisees because it’s the only way to keep the pyramid from will not seek legal advice

  • Sorry, the cat jumped up the keyboard and submitted the last comment. Anyway, my point is that the only way to protect franchisees from the fraud and abuse of franchisors like Stratus is to get as many of the franchisees together and get the word out. If we work very hard and are not afraid of the company making personal attacks against us, we can effect their bottom line. Jarrett and Frese are making so much money off this scam, that they have no incentive to negotiate in good faith. They need to understand that they either have to address the problems in the system or they need to develop an exit strategy. Either way, they can’t make money if they can’t sell franchises. The political system will not work because these franchisees have no money and no clout. There needs to be more attorneys willing to take these cases on a contingent fee. Otherwise, thieves like these guys will never have to answer for this conduct. We had a suit against Contours Express which resulted in their inability to ever sell another franchise. They were the number two franchise in their industry. We need to do that to Stratus, who is #1 in growth, and a few more and maybe the industry will invite franchisees to the party. The bottom of the screen says “Relentless.” That’s what we need to be in the battle. If the franchisees can get through the initial onslaught from the franchisor, they’ll win.

  • On another thread, Bill Falkner wrote “Todd Peterson is a loser, Jonathan Fortman is a loser.

    “Yes, it only took the astute Jonathan Fortman six or seven years from the time he filed the lawsuit to get a judgement. Now, the problem is a judgement is simply a piece of paper, he hasn’t actually gotten the “cash” yet…In fact, because the company that he originally filed the lawsuit against was purchased by another company, he will literally get pennies on the dollar for the judgement if anything.”

    According to LinkedIn, there’s a Bill Falkner who is Operations / Area Manager of Stratus Building Solutions in the Indianapolis, Indiana Area.

    LinkedIn says Bill Falkner is “Responsible for the daily area inspections of Franchisee owner’s / clients facilities…
    Completes daily sales follow-ups for new clients
    Responsible for the general operations concerning clients and franchisee owners
    Establishes and coordinates monthly reports, sales presentations and prepares appropriate files associated with clients
    Purchases materials, services and equipment at the request of the project personnel, additionally responsible for the request and purchase of orders by submitting necessary documents to accounting department.”

    Mr. Fortman: Wouldn’t this be the position and the kind of guy (of course HE wouldn’t) who trumps up fake complaints against franchisees in order to take away and resell their accounts?

    My question is: If these guys are doing the manipulation of accounts and guys like Bill Falkner are on the Internet spreading lies and insults against you, is it realistic to think they will do the right thing and stand up to the franchisor?

  • Guest: Thanks for the posts. I am amazed at how ignorant,these Stratus people are about the legal system. Mr.Falkner simply is spouting off and advancing the samw worn out misstatements. He has apparently taken over for that idiot from Indiana, Nerfy Wanger, aka Disinformed Source. If you get out this way, give me a call. I owe yoi a drink.

  • Todd A. Peterson

    Does anyone realize why it is hard to fight these franchisors?

    It is because everyone is bought off. From franchisors to attorneys to politicians to the media franchising is protected. The IFA was, originally, an organization to protect franchising which included FRANCHISEES. But it is now an organization which has BANDED together all the people who are PROFITING off of franchising into a force that can not be reckoned with.

    The ONLY way we as SCREWED franchisees can get change to happen in franchising is to BAND together!

    A good start at change would be the IFA Legal Symposium May 20-22 in Washington D,C.

    If all of us unhappy franchisees were to show up and voice our opinion at this convention people would take notice. But the facts are we are doing what our government trained us to do. Be a WORKING America. It is hard for any of us to represent ourselves at ANY of these meetings where people are grouping together to decide how to screw the next round of franchisees USING our legal system to do it. That, my friends, is exactly what will be taking place on May 20-22 in Washington D.C.

    Want to educate yourself further go to this 16 page brochure that is found on the IFA’s web site.

    Learn that on May 21, 2012 these attendees of the Legal Symposium will be learning all about how to deal with us pesky franchisees.

    It says franchisees are even invited. All you have to do is come up with $1475 to cover your non-membership of the IFA. A room rate of $306 a night (Standard) and a $50.00 registration fee. I see a lot of franchisees going to this convention DON’T YOU?

  • Pingback: STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS: Should Entrepreneur De-List Stratus From the Franchise 500? : Unhappy Franchisee

  • It’s odd that John Fortman has created so many cleaning companies that declared bankruptcy. In fact I think he even was part owner of several companies well known for getting customers and subbing out the work to minorities and then not paying them.

    Its a shame he is now taking advantage of people through the legal process yet again. I would bet that he pays very little to the actual people involved with Stratus. I don’t know what scam is worse, Fortman pretending to be a do gooder or Stratus.

    Check out the website, he has created several cleaning companies well known for going out of business and not paying what they owe.

    Have a conversation with him, it’s surprising he has a degree in anything.

  • Pingback: STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS Dropped From Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 - Unhappy Franchisee : Unhappy Franchisee

  • los desesperados de stratus en tampa

    scammers! stratus franchise alone tampa dedicated to defraud Latino and honest with lies after criminals say prisons are no fences in this direction is dangerous!
    stratus building solution
    13115 W Linebaugh ave suite 102 tampa fl 33626

    estafadores! la franquicia de stratus en tampa solos se dedica a estafar a los latinos y las personas honestas a base de mentiras despues dicen que los delicuentes estan en las carceles no vallas a esta direccion es peligroso!
    stratus building solution
    13115 w Linebaugh ave suite 102 tampa fl 33626

  • stratus en tampa

    regale su dinero a la franquisia de jeff y Jorge en tampa y encontrara la desgracia de su vida
    stratus tampa es la solucion a su tranquilidad

  • stratus tampa

    nothing is worse than jeff rextroat and Jorgue gonzales stealing money from Latinos and walking with their new cars for front of them when they have sufiecientes accounts to give anyone and lie mercilessly freese peter knows that and cover your eyes to keep taking commissions tampa, at least Jonathan is fighting for us because in tampa are just stealing, and no not even pay the bills to their employees are working for free each month, and also say “or do not work for free or accounts,” Stratus is theft Latinas who do not have as defend Jonathan is right, I will give pleasure to see Jeff and Jorgue out crying in his new office when not intended to pay it, and obviously will occur soon, thanks to God and the great attorney Jonathan, when Stratus has many insults because they walk on is nerve
    Jonathan help us, Please! You’re the best!

  • desesperados en tampa

    es verdad lo mi me acurre cada vez que busco que dicen de tampa mi cheque, jeff no deja poner excusas para no ofrecerme mas cuentas ni devolverme mi dinero, estoy feliz de saber que todos se estan dando cuenta de la mierda que estan haciendo en tampa con los latinos, en cambio jeff toma cuentas bajo el nombre de stratus y tiene sus propios trabajadores por hora, los cheques ni siguiera los firma bajo su nombre sino que lo hace bajo el nombre se su hermano brian, asi de embarrados estan con eso de la limpieza dentro y fuera de tampa

    is really my occasionally happen to me every time I search I say tampa my check, jeff leaves make excuses not to offer more accounts or my money back, I’m happy to know that all are becoming aware of the shit they are doing in tampa with Latinos, however jeff takes account under the name of stratus and has its own hourly workers, checks or follow the firm under his name but does so under his brother’s name is brian, busbars are well with that of cleaning inside and outside of tampa

  • Reasoned Source

    @Viewers, What is really amazing to me is how/why the following “Masters” continue to pay their dues/fees and promote the Stratus Name when they know what is going on in Tampa, St. Louis, Houston, Los Angeles, Denver, Omaha, Kansas City, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Delaware.

    What is wrong with the following “Masters”, why do you continue to be associated with Thieves, Scoundrels, Liars, Cheats such as Dennis Jarrett, Pete Frese, Mark Bashforth, Jayson Bashforth, Afshin C., Tom Weiss, John Coleman, Channen Smith, Marvin Ashton, Bob Stapleton, Carmen Garcia, Bill Blair and others?

    What is wrong with you;

    Mark Stocker- Cincy
    David Smith- Nashville
    Ralph Sizemore- South Carolina
    Don Gartner- New Jersey
    Rick Barren- New York
    Leonard Fazio- Iowa
    Tom Grassi- Cleveland

    You are known as Honorable Men, why are you still paying your Royalty/Dues, why are some of you still paying notes to Jarrett Realty, why are some of you still paying money for attorney’s fees for Dennis Jarrett, Pete Frese, Marvin Ashton?

    Why is it so hard for you to put two and two together and see the HARM that each of you are causing by paying for an association full of SCUM BAGS such as Pete, DJ, Marvin, Channen, Mark, Afshin, Tom, John?

    Do you all think that ALL of the Lawsuits, All of the Harm, All of the Lies, All of the Complaints, All of the Allegations, All of the Statements, All of the Documents Produced are False?

    WAKE UP!!!!!!

  • tampa scam

    es un pedazo de mierda, jeff rextroat y jorgue gonzlezle estafa dinero hasta a su madre, toma cuentas de stratus y pone trabajadores por horas le paga a $ 7 y se queda con el dinero, dicen que pasa sobornos a peter por esa razon el sigue estafando y peter freeze no le interesa sus acciones, jeff planea llevar a strutus a bancarrota pues si ven la empresa de su papa y de el de limpieza estan llenas de demandas eso pretenden hacer con stratus chupar su sangre hasta dejarla seca, apuesto cuando jeff termine en tampa no habra mas stratus por esta zona, la mala reputacion de jeff se escucha hasta en la luna

    is a piece of shit, jeff rextroat and Jorgue gonzlezle scam money to his mother, he takes account of stratus and runs hourly workers paid $ 7 and keeps the money, say passing bribes to peter for that reason the following peter cheating and freeze their actions is not interested, jeff strutus plans to take it to bankruptcy if they see the company from his father and the maid are full of demands that intend to do with stratus sucking their blood until it is dry, I bet when you finish jeff there will be more in tampa stratus through this area, the bad reputation of listening to jeff on the moon

  • stratus tampa

    es un racista juega con las cuentas de la gente hasta donde quiere pues no tiene suficientes cuentas y quiere dinero y dinero , nunca vengas comprar a tampa porque jeff es un loco estafador

  • stratus tampa

    is a racist playing with scores of people to where you want it does not have enough money and accounts and want money, you never come to tampa buy because jeff is a crazy scammer

  • jorge gonzalez

    I Jorge gonzalez never took any money from no one I left the company because I saw what was going on and left when I got a honest job.i didn’t like what was going on and now still people are calling me to try to help them and I am trying to do what I can but I would never scam anybody out of anything and I was still owned money when I left and never got paid that.
    sorry for everyone that got screwed but it was not me

    thank you
    Jorge gonzalez

  • Another Franchisee in Tampa

    I am so glad to have found this thread. I agree. Jeff Rexroat is a thief, a liar and the biggest scumbag I have ever met.

    We are in the same boat as all of you. They took money from us, and they never delivered. Now they take accounts from us making up excuses. We need to get organized to file a Class Action against them and put them out of business.

  • United against Stratus

    Por favor, contactese conmigo al siguiente email para empezar accion legal contra Stratus

  • United against Stratus

    Contactese conmigo al siguiente email para empezar alguna accion legal contra Stratus

    Please reach me at the email below to get organized against Stratus

  • osmal

    I will like toceate a group of franchisee to get a lawsuit against this company

  • Javier Cortez

    As a franchise owner for the past 1 year I am very sorry to see that a few people can try and give a bad name to the Tampa location. I deal with Jeff Rexroat every couple of days and feel that someone must have it out for him. He is a honest man who has done what he said he would. If you contact the Tampa office and ask them to get in touch with me I will also share the good service I have had with them. I have grow to 3 employees and making very good money with him. Thanks. Javier. Tampa franchise owner.

    Como propietario de una franquicia para el pasado 1 año Estoy muy triste de ver que algunas personas pueden tratar de dar un mal nombre a la ubicación de Tampa. Yo trato con Jeff Rexroat cada par de días y sentir que alguien debe tenerla para él. Es un hombre honesto que ha hecho lo que dijo que haría. Si se comunica con la oficina de Tampa y pide que se pongan en contacto conmigo también a compartir el buen servicio que he tenido con ellos. He crecer hasta 3 empleados y haciendo muy buen dinero con él. Gracias. Javier. Propietario de la franquicia de Tampa.

  • Antonio Carmona

    Stratus Building Solutions siempre tienes algunos franquiciados contentos y con cuentas que si les dejan ganancias razonables, eso es porque cuando otra persona va a comprar franquicia con ellos te dan una lista de 5 franquiciados que si están contentos con Stratus, entonces tu les llamas y les preguntas que si es verdad que ganan bien en sus cuentas, que Si te recomienda que compres franquicia, etc. Entonces tu te convences de comprar franquicia porque crees que si va dar resultado. Eso es una estrategia de Stratus Building Solutions para que más personas caigan en la trampa de estafa que les tienen preparada. En realidad sólo tienen algunos 5 o 6 franquiciados así. ESO ES UNA ESTRTEGIA DE PERSONAS INTELIGENTES PARA ROBAR LOS AHORROS DE LAS PERSONAS QUE DESEAN SER SUS PROPIOS JEFES Y MULTIPLICAR SUS INGRESOS.
    Por favor no compre franquicia con ellos, SON VERDADEROS ESTAFADORES.

  • Javier,Jeff rextroat and Leslie rextraa son tampa scam

    a mi Jeff me estafo, leslie me amenaza cuando llamo , en tono rudo y me oblige a entregar las llaves en 1 hora o no me pagan lo que me Deben, realmente pagan a 7 pesos la hora pues se cogen el 7-% de la commission y alos 3 meses te sacan de la cuenta para poder darlo a otros no se preocupen por los 5 que tienen contentos pues tienen a todossssss los otros infelices sino no estuvieran bajo demanande en Tampa, Miami y port Myer no te parece que obviamente estan estafando, o tu estas de acuerdo con ellos porque estas estafando tambien?????????? JAVIER

  • Jeff rextroat and Leslie rextraa son tampa scam

    erik pagaba Buenos precios por las oficinas pero jeff y Leslie se cogen el 60% del precio mas el 21% cuando sacas cuentas te pagan a 7 dolares la hora, y te amenzan todo el tiempo con ponertes multas de todo tipo para que tengas miedo y te calles, porque es tanto lo que estan robando que cuando la gente hable ellos van directo a prision, y ya somos muchos los que nos estamos dando cuenta de lo que estan haciendo

  • Jeff rextroat and Leslie rextraa son tampa scam

    los ladrones de Tampa que discriminan a los Latinos

  • Leslie tampa

    please help me!!!!!, Lelie is really rude and racist, she was very happy with me when I sign with Jeff $$$$$$20,000 but when Jeff don’t have enough account, he only apply 7.000 in stupid feessss
    in the Stratus office never want took to me

    Where is my Money Jeff??
    Where are your Account Jeff???
    Where are the prison of Tampa for thieve ????

  • the scam

    it is true I was call several time asking for my check and jeff say my can’t pay me this month because don’t have enough money,
    This is a Franchise Stratus or it is a Gang?????
    help me please Jeff retrat is scam me what a need to do????

    es verdad yo acaba de llamar a stratus y me dicen k no tienen suficiente dinero para pagarme este mes,
    son ellos una franquicia o una ganga k estan hacienda con el dinero k trabaje todo este mes.

  • tampa Jeff Rat

    OMG in this check Jeff retoat Rat charge me 21% two time, he say that it is Legal ,In Stratus Building Solution

    All the people know everyone knows that the money Jeff rat offers good money for the presidency of stratus for that reason they can steal the smile care of the above

  • Christopher

    Jeff is a scumbag, a thief, a liar, a dictator and racist. Don’t ever buy into his franchise. He owes me money but I know that I will get it eventually. Start you own company, you don’t need Stratus and dictator Jeff Rexroat. Leslie, Raymond and the other employees at the office knows exactly how he operates. His former secretary knows all about his racist, dictatorship behavior. He does not follow the rules. He backdates new franchisee signatures. He doesn’t follow the rules in the contract and behaves like he is untouchable. Jeff, you have it coming to you, trust me.

    Christopher in Tampa

  • stratus solutions es un estafa no vallan son unos descarados estafadores te dan unas cuentas para limpiar y despues te las quitan pierdes tu dinero estafadores los nombres de ellos jeft i rey ferruchi son unos stafadores

  • Jeff Rexroat Scumbag - Liar - Cheater

    Jeff Rexroat is a scumbag liar and a professional con artist! He is a predator making his living on screwing innocent people out of their life savings. Anyone in the janitorial industry be warned of the this guy and stay far away or you will be broke and screwed for life. This con artist has his whole family in on the scam, Brian Rexroat, Leslie Rexroat and probably others we just don’t know about.

  • Richard Martinez

    Jeff is a liar, a cheat and a thief!!! He took my money all of it I have nothing left. I gave him all I had and Mr. Rexroat took everything. I ask him where all my account he tell me it coming but it never happen. I wait 1 year nothing. Don’t trust Jeff Rexroat he had his family working with him and they take advantage of this Hispanic community. He prey on innocent people, he hurts people trying to make a better life. I am broke I have nothing he took everything from me my family has nothing now. Please for Gods sake listen to me Jeff Rexroat, Brian Rexroat Leslie Rexroat be careful you will be hurting badly.

  • Reasoned Source

    AMAZING, the Iranian born/bred owners of Stratus have recently announced MAJOR expansion plans all over the internet….PROBLEM, seems as though they haven’t SOLD a single Master in YEARS! :)

    Good Luck, Foad, Afshin, Mosheydi’s in your expansion plans!

  • Bob Williams

    You have 5 or 6 failures and they squeal like a pig—myself and about 75 other successful Stratus franchisees are making great money with our business? Only the failed guys complained? Why…because they are lazy and wanted not to manage their Franchise right I guess–Bravo Jeffe Jeff–you have made many families so happy and successful with the American Dream!

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