Chris Daskalakis and Pauline Daskalakis are recruiting for two franchise opportunities: the Nika franchise and the Mr. Fire Safety franchise. Chris Daskalakis claims that his former failed ventures were not franchises and he has had no complaints about his current ventures. UnhappyFranchisee.Com investigates.
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) Chris Daskalakis has demanded that UnhappyFranchisee.Com remove all discussions of his companies and use of his name or face “aggressive legal action.”
We are not concerned with the legal threats (which we receive on a regular basis), but we do want to make sure what we are publishing is as accurate as possible. And we do appreciate Mr. Daskalakis engaging in dialogue with us.
We’re investigating each of his concerns.
Chris Daskalakis, franchisor of the Nika franchise opportunity and the Mr. Fire Safety franchise program, claims that his earlier, failed or abandoned business opportunities (including GooglaLIST and Mr. Oil Saver) were not franchises, and are therefore not relevant to our discussions of his current ventures.
Furthermore, Mr. Daskalaskis claims that there have been no complaints or lawsuits against his current companies, and that he is providing all required disclosures to prospective franchisees:
However, my Nika Business company and my Mr. Fire Safety is a franchise with a legal FDD, but we have NEVER had a single complained from ANY of our franchisees from those 2 companies. Nor any law suits from those franchise companies.
Chris Daskalaskis has refused, thus far, to show us evidence that he has a “legal FDD.” He says that it’s confidential and contains information he fears competitors could use against him.
We independently investigated both his claims that his prior business opportunities were not franchises, and that there were no complaints against either of his current ventures.
We found a disturbing number of franchise regulatory actions by government agencies in Florida, California, Minnesota, Washington and Virginia that challenge Mr. Daskalakis’ contentions.
Florida Attorney General Investigation of Chris & Pauline Daskalaskis
The AG’s order states:
PURSUANT TO Chapter 501, Part II, the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (“FDUTPA”), Florida Statutes (2013), the State of Florida, Office of the Attorney General, Department of Legal Affairs (“Department”) has investigated certain acts and practices of Mr. Oil Saver, LLC and Christos Daskalakis and Pauline Daskalakis (collectively “Respondents”) related to their oil filtration business.
According to the Florida Attorney General’s office:
1.2. Mr. Oil Saver is or was engaged in the business of renting and selling cooking oil filtration machines. Respondents solicited individuals to become Mr. Oil Saver distributors in specified territories.
1.3 Based on consumer complaints, the Department initiated its investigation of Respondents in August 2013. The complaints allege violations of the FTC Franchise Rule and Florida’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Florida Statute § 501.204.
The Florida AG prohibited Daskalakis from selling any more Mr. Oil Saver “opportunities” and to register any further opportunities with them with proof they are not franchises:
Respondents shall not directly or indirectly offer for sale or sell any Mr. Oil Saver franchises or distributorship agreements for Mr. Oil Saver and any related products.
In the event that Respondents wish to offer or sell any future business
opportunities in any form (franchise, distributorship, license, etc.) in the State of Florida, they must first obtain a written legal opinion, at their own expense, from an attorney licensed to practice law by The Florida Bar. The written legal opinion must opine as to whether the business opportunity qualifies as a franchise subject to compliance with the FTC Franchise Rule, 16 C.F.R. Parts 436 and 437. Respondents must provide the Department with a copy of the written legal opinion within fifteen (15) days upon request from the Department.
3 .4 If the business opportunity qualifies as a franchise, then Respondents shall comply with all applicable requirements of the FTC Franchise Rule and any other applicable laws, rules and regulations as may regulate or govern franchises at that time.
Read Chris Daskalakis’ Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with the Florida Attorney General.
Daskalaskis Charged with “Unlawful Franchise Investment Activity” in California
The California Department of Business Oversight charged Chris Daskalakis with selling unregistered franchises in CA:
Beginning in or about April, 2012, Pauline, Chris, and Mr. Oil Saver sold at least one “distributorship”… in California for the operation of a “Mr. OIL-SAVER Cooking Oil Filtration Machine Rental Service” and offered at least one “Mr. Fire Safety franchise”…
…the California Commissioner of Business Oversight is of the opinion that the Mr. Oil Saver Distributor Agreement and Mr. Fire Safety franchise constitutes offers and/or sale(s) of franchises. Further, the California Commissioner of Business Oversight is of the opinion that Pauline, Chris and Mr. Oil Saver have offered and/or sold franchises in California that were subject to registration under the Franchise Investment Law without first being registered, in violation of Corporations Code section 31110.
Daskalaskis Charged with “Unlawful Franchise Investment Activity” in Minnesota
Chris & Pauline Daskalaskis were fined and slapped with a consent order by the state of Minnesota for selling an unregistered franchise:
The Commissioner has advised Mr. Oil Saver and Mr. Fire Safety (hereinafter “Respondents”) that he is prepared to commence formal action pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 80C.12 (2012) and Minn. Stat. § 45.027 (2012) against Respondents based on allegations that Respondent offered and/or sold an unregistered franchise in this state, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 80C.02 (2012).
Chris Daskalaskis Charged with Violations of Washington Franchise Law
The State of Washington charged Chris & Pauline Daskalaskis with multiple violations for selling a Washington resident a Mr. Oil Saver distributorship and unlawfully offering him a Mr. Fire Safety franchise.
The offer or sale of the Mr. Oil Saver distributorship is in violation of RCW 19.100.020 because no registration for such offer and/or sale was on file with the Securities Administrator, State of Washington.
The offer and/or sale of the Mr. Oil Saver distributorship was in violation of RCW 19.100.080, the disclosure document requirement provision of the Franchise Investment Protection Act, because Mr. Oil Saver and Daskalakis failed to provide prospective purchasers with a franchise disclosure document or offering circular as described in RCW 19.100.040 prior to the sale of the franchise.
The offer and sale of the Mr. Oil Saver distributorship was in violation of RCW 19.100.170 because Mr. Oil Saver and Daskalakis failed to disclose that Daskalakis filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Read the Washington Enforcement order Against Mr. Fire Safety, Etc.
Chris Daskalaskis Charged with Violations of Virginia Franchise Law
In Virginia State Corporation Commission v. MR. OIL SAVER, LLC and CHRISTOS M. DASKALAKIS, the state of Virginia determined that Daskalakis sold 3 unlawful, unregistered franchises to Virginia residents and failed to provide required disclosure documents. The Commission fined Daskalakis, ordered him and Mr. Oil Saver to pay restitution to the victims, and to commit no further franchise violations.
In 2012, the Defendants sold three unregistered franchises to be located in the Commonwealth of Virginia (“Virginia”) . The Defendants entered into Distributorship Agreements (“Agreements”) for Virginia territories with three Virginia residents . The Agreements allow for the use of the Mr. Oil trademark, imposed a fee greater than $500 and provided marketing materials. All of these are elements of a franchise as defined under § 13 .1-559 of the Act. The Agreements also contained provisions that granted the Defendants a level of control over the businesses, including price controls, machine repair procedures and insurance coverage requirements. The Defendants have never registered their franchise to be offered or sold in Virginia. In addition, the Defendants failed to provide franchisees a Franchise Disclosure Document.
Based on the investigation, the Division alleges the Defendants violated: (i) § 13 .1-560 of the Act by selling or offering to sell franchises in Virginia prior to registering under the provisions of the Act; and (ii) § 13 .1 563 (4) of the Act by failing to, directly or indirectly, provide franchisees with the franchise agreement and such disclosure documents as may be required by rule or order of the Commission.
Read the Virginia State Corporation Commission v. MR. OIL SAVER, LLC and CHRISTOS M. DASKALAKIS settlement order
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Contrary to what Mr. Daskalakis has stated, several states have determined that Mr. Oil Saver met the legal definition of a franchise, and Daskalakis violated state franchise laws and the FTC Franchise Rule by not complying with franchise disclosure laws.
We have contacted Mr. Daskalakis and his attorney and requested an explanation for this seeming contradiction.
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TAGS: Chris Daskalakis, Pauline Daskalakis, franchise violations, franchise enforcement actions, Nika franchise, Nika Restaurant Services, NikaBusiness, Nika Business, Mr. Oil Saver, Mr. Oil Saver franchise, Mr. Fire Safety, Mr. Fire Safety franchise, unhappy franchisee