Bill WotochekFranchise FastlaneHounds Town USAHUMAN HEALTHY VENDINGJackie BondanzaMichael DrummMike GouldPET FRANCHISESRaintree Franchise BrokersREVIVE ENERGY MINTSSPOTLIGHT 1VENDING SCAMS

Bill Wotochek, Hounds Town USA Franchise Seller, Has a Troubling History

Hounds Town USA has registered William “Bill” Wotochek as their franchise sales representative and broker.  Bill Wotochek is a franchise broker for Raintree, a division of the controversial Franchise Fastlane.  From infomercial scams to defunct vending schemes, Bill Wotochek’s bio should come with waving red flags and “Buyer Beware” in flashing neon lights.  by Sean Kelly, founder of Franchise Truth (no relation to the HUMAN Healthy Vending Sean Kelly!).

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com)  Bill Wotochek, no doubt, comes off as a great guy.

Based in Denver, CO, Bill Wotochek has spent most of his career selling business opportunities and franchise investments to those who dream of owning their own businesses.

I don’t know how many of the “opportunities” Wotochek sold survived long after the initial check cashed…

otochek Hounds Town USAI don’t know what percentage of those who trusted their life savings to Wotochek and his cohorts ever received the promised support or developed anything resembling a viable business…

My guess is that few, if any, survived for very long.

Mr. Wotochek seems to have left a trail of broken dreams and lost investments in his wake as he sold increasingly higher-dollar investments.

While he appears to have started his career hawking infomercial get-rich-quick schemes and energy mint gumball machines, he’s now selling franchise investments of $1M+.

As Development Director (aka franchise sales broker) for Raintree Franchise Growth Experts, he’s currently pitching such franchise investments as:

  • the Hounds Town USA franchise (investment:  $542,126 and $1,058,825)
  • the Voodoo Brewing franchise (investment:  $481,500 to $1,505,000), and
  • the United Water Restoration Group (UWRG) franchise (investment:  $170,575 to $627,400)

He’s been known to promote or support the franchise sales of other Raintree franchise clients in recent years, including Bar-B-Clean and is associated with Powerhaus USA residential solar (the residential division of Zero Point Energy), Spartan Restoration, and Chem-Dry (as a franchisee).

Bill Wotochek, Director of Development, Dalbey Education Institute (Infomercial Scam)

Bill Wotochek’s bio in the Revive Energy Mints FDD states “From 2007 to 2008, Mr. Wotochek worked at the Dalbey Education Institute… as Senior Director of Business Development…”

Dalbey Education Institute ran an infomercial  scam called “Winning in the Cash Flow Business,” that misled consumers to believe they could get rich quick by dealing seller-financed promissory notes or cash flow notes.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, only 0.8 percent of consumer who purchased less than $500 of the Dalbey Education Institute’s products ever sold a promissory note, and only 2.8 percent of consumers who paid $500 or more for Dalbey Education Institute products ever sold a promissory note.

After lawsuits and injunctions from the Colorado Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission, Dalbey Education Institute ceased operation in 2011 and declared bankruptcy.

Dalbey Education Institute Final Order

Bill Wotochek, President, Revive Energy Mints (Vending Scam)

From 2008 through 2011, Bill Wotochek was in business development and became VP of Sales for Sito Marketing, promoter of the blatant Revive Energy Mints scam that claimed an estimated 400+ victims.

William “Bill” Wotochek was promoted to President of Revive Franchising LLC December, 2010.

The Revive FDD listed the estimated initial investment as being between $19,000 and $175,982.  I personally interviewed a number of victims who invested their life savings based on sales pitches by Bill Wotochek and his colleague Paul Haverstick.

Using a finely tuned, hard-sell sales script, the Revive Energy Mints sales reps promised ongoing support, coaching and access to proprietary mints to restock the vending machines they sold for $600 each.

Revive victims I spoke to included a retired school teacher, a stay-at-home-mom, and a son caring for his severely ill mother.

Wotochek was named in a lawsuit against Revive that resulted in a restraining order, financial penalties and a permanent injunction by the Federal Trade Commission (he was later removed as a named defendant).

In August, 2011, right around the time Wotochek moved on to a new HUMAN Healthy Vending scheme, the Revive franchisor disappeared without a trace, leaving franchisees without the services they paid for and no inventory for their now-worthless vending machines.

Read: REVIVE ENERGY MINTS Vending Fraud Victim Liz Speaks Out

REVIVE ENERGY MINTS Vending Franchise Hit With Permanent Injunction Sept. 7, 2012

William Wotochek, Vice President, HUMAN Healthy Vending (Defunct Vending Scheme)

HEALTHY VENDING Franchise Companies Hide Unhealthy Pasts

Bill Wotochek left all the Revive Energy Mints franchisees he had sold without the means to operate the businesses with “lifetime support” they had been promised.

He joined forces with VC funded hype-masters Sean Kelly (no relation to this author – just an unfortunate coincidence) and Andy Mackeson who had dressed up the age-old vending distribution franchise scheme with a trendy but unsustainable “healthy vending” slant.

According to his LinkedIn bio, Bill Wotochek was Director of Franchise Development for H.U.M.A.N. (Helping Unite Mankind And Nutrition) from August 2011 – April 2015.

Like his previous companies, HUMAN Healthy Vending (franchisor entity: Nutrition without Borders, LLC) flouted franchise laws and disregarded ethics in favor of signing up franchisees.

HUMAN Healthy Vending was hit with a Washington state enforcement order for selling unregistered franchises and, among other things, failing to disclose Wotochek’s role with the Revive franchise.  The 2013 HUMAN FDD states:
On February 22, 2013, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, Securities Division, issued a Statement of Charges and Notice of Intent to Enter Order to Cease and Desist against [the franchisor & CEO Kelly] for violated the Business Opportunity Fraud Act of Washington between 2008 and 2012.

Also in February, 2013, Bill Wotochek was named in a lawsuit by a franchisee:

Fidlin Holdings, LLC v. HUMAN Healthy Vending, LLC; HUMAN Technologies, LLC; HUMAN Enterprises, LLC; Sean Kelly; and William Wotochek. Case No. 37-2013-00036975-CU-BC-CTL,  Superior Court of California, County of San Diego Central Division filed February 28, 2013.

Fidlin Holdings, LLC was a HUMAN Healthy Vending franchisee who sued Wotochek for breach of contract, a breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraudulent concealment and unfair business practices.

At some point thereafter, HUMAN Healthy Vending appears to have been folded into another scheme (Snack Nation) which was hyped and then rebranded (Caroo) in a kind of franchise shell game that obscures the fate of franchisees.

Hounds Town USA Claims it Will Open 59 Franchises & Double in Size by December 31, 2024

Dalbey Education Institute, Revive Energy Mints and H.U.M.A.N. Healthy Vending have a few things in common.

All had a great story, a compelling sales pitch, a focus on short term growth, a blatant disregard for the Truth and… aggressive salesman Bill Wotochek.

Bill Wotochek appears to have jumped ship right before each hit the rocks and sunk.

Hounds Town USA certainly seems to have been built on a more solid foundation than those Wotochek sold in the past, but franchisors sometimes compromise their early values when they get a taste for growth… Or they allow themselves to be pressured by commission-driven brokers like Wotochek, Raintree & Franchise Fastlane.

In 2022, Hounds Town USA disclosed that it had 44 franchise agreements sold that would be open by 2023.

They only opened 17.

In 2023, Hounds Town USA disclosed that it has 59 Franchise Agreements sold that (it claims) will open by December 31, 2024… despite never having opened more than 18 franchises in any given year.

When a franchisor’s ability to sell franchises outpaces its ability to get them open, the results can be disastrous for franchisees… as it was for Hounds Town USA franchisees Sarah & Allan Bigelow who lost $600K before opening… and quickly closing.

Franchise sellers like Bill Wotochek are usually way down the road… with their hefty commissions… when the house of cards collapse.

Those who can sell franchises for cash-starved franchisors are always in demand… no matter how their victims franchisees and franchisee’s families fared.

Hounds Town USA / Franchise Truth Series for Review & Comment:

Is It Legal for Franchisors to LIE to Franchisee Investors? (Mike Gould – Hounds Town USA Franchise) Part 1

We also discussed Hounds Town USA’s questionable relationship with the truth in two videos:

Hounds Town USA Fact Check 1

Hounds Town USA Franchise Warning

Franchise Truth & Franchise Truth for Veterans Initiative

Contributions to the Franchise Truth & Franchise Truth for Veterans initiatives will save countless Veterans and military families from under-informed investment decisions.

Contribute to:  Franchise Truth & Franchise Truth for Veterans Initiative



OPEN INVITATION:  The opinions expressed here are that of the author and are just that:  opinions.  I’m not an attorney and welcome corrections to my legal interpretations (or anything else).  Unhappy Franchisee extends an open invitation to all those discussed to provide corrections, explanations, clarifications and/or rebuttals.  We will correct factual errors & alternative views fairly.  Anonymous or signed comments are welcome below or can be emailed in confidence to UnhappyFranchisee[at]Gmail[dot]com. 

  Images, trademarks & video clips are the property of their respective owners and used herein under the Doctrine of Fair Use for educational purposes.  We are independent and not affiliated with any of the entities discussed nor their competitors.

   Sean KellySean Kelly is an independent investigative journalist with 35 years of franchise industry experience.  Since founding UnhappyFranchisee.Com in 2006, his reporting has exposed & shut down several predatory franchise & investment schemes.  Sean Kelly is a franchise watchdog who prompted and aided the FBI investigation that shut down the 165-victim multi-million-dollar NY Bagel franchise scam and landed perpetrators Dennis Mason & Joseph Smith in federal prison.  Sean was featured in the ABC Four Corners expose of 7-Eleven wage theft in Australia and has served as an advisor to Dateline NBC.  He has withstood bullying, intimidation & frivolous lawsuits as high as $35M and never lost.  His crack editorial staff and fact checkers include Chick, Gem, Red, Pru & Joanie the Rescue Chicken.

Contact the author at UnhappyFranchisee[at]Gmail[dot]com

TAGS:  Bill Wotochek, Franchise Fastlane, Doggy Daycare franchise, pet franchise, Hounds Town USA, Hounds Town USA Franchise, Mike Gould, Jackie Bondanza, Bill Wotochek, Raintree, franchise regulation, Franchise Truth, Human Healthy Vending,

* We are Requesting for Input, Corrections, Rebuttals & Other Responses From:
  • Mike Gould, Hounds Town USA
  • Jackie Bondanza, Hounds Town USA
  • Rob Flanagan, Hounds Town USA
  • Ed Bharath
  • Shaheid Hasan
  • Hounds Town USA franchisees, past & present
  • Hounds Town USA attorneys (H. Michael Drumm, Jason James, Adam deNobriga)
  • Raintree Growth (franchise sellers)
  • Raintree Franchise Broker Bill Wotochek
  • Franchise Fastlane
  • Other related parties

One thought on “Bill Wotochek, Hounds Town USA Franchise Seller, Has a Troubling History

  • Anonymous

    Outstanding job researching and uncovering the troubled history of Bill Wotocheck and Raintree and their affiliation with Hounds Town.

    Additionally, great work Sean exposing who the real Mike Gould and Jackie Bondanza of HTU really are–corrupt and unethical!

    Birds of a feather flock together.

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