WIRELESS TOYZ: Joe Barbat Fraud Trials

Known for his mini-mansion, fast cars, and millionaire lifestyle, Joe Barbat, founder of the 200 unit Wireless Toyz franchise chain, was named to the Crain’s 40 under 40 list in 2005.  In 2007, Barbat was named as Entrepreneur of the Year by Detroit-based firm Ernst & Young.

More recently, however, he’s named as a defendant in multiple lawsuits by Wireless Toyz franchise owners.  Joe Barbat, and his associates, are being accused of violating Michigan franchise laws and falsifying information about profitability to franchisees.

From Millionaire’s Fraud Trial Begins:

…a number of investors said they were defrauded out of massive amounts of money and a number have sued Barbat for violating Michigan’s franchise investment laws.

“Outright lies, deceit and illegal methods to dupe my clients into investing hundreds of thousands of dollars,” [attorney Norman]Yatooma said.

Rod Kello is one of the investors claiming to be a victim. He talked with Local 4 Defenders about his plight.

“I’ve lost just about my life savings that I had, pretty much put all my money into this company. I’m pretty close to foreclosure on my home, kids’ tuitions, I mean you name it,” Kello said…

“They feed you all these numbers and all these lies and you find out a year later that they are all lies,” Kello said.

Sumil Rupani of Texas was another investor. He testified in court on Friday and later said his experience has cost him personally.

“Financially it’s been the worst thing I’ve ever gone through. I’ve lost friends, made enemies along the way. Family members don’t speak to me like they used to,” Rupani said.

Wireless Toyz and Joe Barbat claim there was no fraud.

Attorneys for Wireless Toyz and Joe Barbat deny the allegations.  Steven Cohen, Joe Barbat’s attorney in the Kello lawsuit, stated  “My clients are neither cheats nor liars nor did they defraud anyone.”

According to a Crain’s Detroit story, Wireless Toyz attorney Bradley Schram also believes the fraud charges are unfounded:

“There was no fraud involved in any of the franchises,” Schram said. “The market has just changed, just like many industries are dealing with a market that changes.”

Also read: WIRELESS TOYZ: Joe Barbat Claims Lazy Franchisees Have Selves to Blame

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4 thoughts on “WIRELESS TOYZ: Joe Barbat Fraud Trials

  • Pingback:WIRELESS TOYZ: Joe Barbat Claims Lazy Franchisees Have Selves to Blame : Unhappy Franchisee

  • March 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm
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    The Court finds that under Michigan law, the merger/integration clauses and signed acknowledgements are valid, binding and enforceable, and bar Plaintiffs’ claim, which is based upon alleged extra-contractual and oral misrepresentations and omissions, as a matter of law…. [T]he testimonial evidence demonstrates that Plaintiffs acknowledged and understood the significance and legal effect of the merger/integration and signed acknowledgements.

  • January 21, 2012 at 4:49 pm
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    “My clients are neither cheats or liars…”

    Hmmm… well how about this?

    I came across this article today on Barbat’s website:

    http://www.joebarbat.com/wp-content/…ne-market4.pdf

    It is presented as a press release written by Joe Barbat, President and CEO of Wireless Toyz and released on February 2, 2011.

    However, this was a story written by a journalist for the Folsom (CA) Telegraph back in 2007. I know because I was interviewed for and quoted in the story. Wireless Toyz was a competitor of mine–I wasn’t giving him sound bites.

    Isn’t plagiarism illegal in this country? I’m seeing a pattern.

  • May 29, 2013 at 9:59 am
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    THERE IS ONE JUDGE YOU CANNOT SEE WITH YOUR EYES. THE MASTER IN HEAVEN… HE WILL BE SENDING JOE BARBAT STRAIGHT TO HELL.

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