STRATUS Franchise: Are Stratus Master Franchisees Jumping Ship?
Rumors abound that several large Master Franchisees of Stratus Building Solutions are defecting to compete with their beleagured commercial cleaning franchisor… and they’re taking their unit-level franchisees with them.
(UnhappyFranchisee.com) Stratus Building Solutions is under fire, both externally and, it seems, internally.
Externally, Stratus Building Solutions is defending itself from a lawsuit brought by attorney Jonathan Fortman on behalf of nearly 100 unit-level franchisees who claim that they were defrauded by the janitorial franchisor.
The allegations in Fortman’s lawsuit were damningly portrayed in a recent FOX 4 “Problem Solver” news report (See STRATUS Franchise Called “Pyramid Scheme” on FOX News).
Fortman contends that many of his clients invested thousands of dollars in the Stratus franchise for cleaning accounts they never received. Others received cleaning accounts, only to have them taken away and given to other franchisees.
“They are stealing from people,” said Fortman in the news story, “people are paying thousands of dollars and never getting an account.”
Internally, it’s rumored that major Stratus Master Franchisees are jumping ship. Master Franchisees from Georgia and New York are rumored to have formed a new, independent cleaning brand and are forcing their unit franchisees to convert.
It’s rumored that a Midwest Stratus Master Franchisee is forming an independent co-op and inviting other Stratus Master Franchisees to join.
East Coast and SE Stratus Master Franchisees Are Going Independent… and Taking Unit Franchisees With Them.
Two of the top 4 Master Franchisees in the Stratus franchise system, Jeffrey Aibel (Atlanta, GA) and Ken Casseri (Buffalo, NY) have reportedly formed a new company (called Pro Squared Facility Services™ or Pro2) and taken aggressive steps to disassociate their operations from Stratus Building Solutions.
Other contacts and markets listed on the new Pro Squared website include Jitendra Kapur (Stamford, CT), Dave Boutwell (Jacksonville, FL), and Joel Craddock (Rochester, NY).
Stratus unit-level franchise owners under Aibel’s Master Franchisee entity (Paladin Building Services) received a sudden and harsh letter demanding that they cease any usage of the Stratus Building Solutions name or trademarks by May 30, 2012 (The letter was dated May 14, 2012).
The letter threatened unit-franchisees with non-payment for their work and termination of their franchise agreements if they do not immediately adopt the new name and discontinue all use of Stratus Building Solutions-branded apparel, business cards, and company names, and destroy, replace or de-brand Stratus Building Solutions-branded equipment, vehicles and/or chemicals.
More Stratus Building Solutions Franchise Rumors & Innuendo
Word from the UnhappyFranchisee.com grapevine has it that:
- Another Stratus Master Franchisee in the Midwest is setting up a co-op for other Masters who want out of the system.
- Stratus has been offering the Master Franchisees the ability to terminate their master franchise agreements by paying 6 months of royalties and agreeing to indemnification concerning the franchisee lawsuit.
- As many as 40% of Stratus Master Franchisees may have ceased paying royalties.
As stated, the latter contentions are rumor and innuendo… If you have better information (or better rumors and innuendos), please add them as a comment below.
We have reached out to the Master Franchisees discussed and Stratus Building Solutions for clarification and comment to this story as well.
ARE YOU A STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS FRANCHISE OWNER OR FRANCHISEE? ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY? PLEASE SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
131 thoughts on “STRATUS Franchise: Are Stratus Master Franchisees Jumping Ship?”
DJ met Fernando in New York in March 2012 to offer him a position as a master developer with $60,000 base salary and bonuses based on how many franchisees the masters sold. Fernando’s round trip flight was paid for by DJ. Carmen Garcia lunched/dined with Fernando regularly through April 2012 encouraging him to sign falsified documents.
Is Carmen Garcia willing to tell the truth and save herself or will she lie to protect Pete/DJ and then have Pete/DJ ‘let her swing’. DJ has already threatened to fire Garcia if she doesn’t fall in line and continue to support his fraudulent ways.
Reasoned Source, based on the two highly successful months of franchise cash from Goldeneye, the royalties from franchise cash alone sent to Stratus would have been in excess of $10,000 each month. Is this correct? No doubt Stratus would have wanted to continue such a profitable scheme by tempting Fernando with a better deal elsewhere –all that additional royalty cash coming in. Was this paid to Jarrett Realty?
I’m sure that anyone who owns at least five properties in Illinois (current web research – more to come) together with the many more that were bought and sold, not to mention the 8600 sq. ft. mansion that DJ lives in would need the money in order to maintain that lifestyle. Interesting to note that Pete lived in a home that was a little over a third the size of DJ’s mansion (guessing DJ will get a bigger jail cell than Frese).
Jarrett Realty would sure be a good location for DJ to hide money (offshore account maybe) It would also be a good place for Pete to hide money. Did the divorce attorneys look there?
Does this also mean that some of the funding for the lawsuits in different states comes from the Jarrett Realty account. More information is showing up about this side business as it becomes clear that franchise fees and loans were financed through Jarrett Realty and the payments were included in the same envelope as monthly royalties addressed to Stratus @ Innerbelt Circle.
Jarrett Realty has been taking money out of the company for five plus years. At least three masters (known so far) and maybe more were making payments to Jarrett Realty. Yet another unaffiliated and non-disclosed company in their FDD. Another intentional omission making the FDD fraudulent again and guessing violates the Truth in Lending Act. Can you say Attorney General’s office.
One thing is for sure now they have the Stratus Advisory Council aka Puppets, Pete/DJ won’t need Marvin Ashton or Carmen Garcia to communicate with the masters. At least it will save them some money. And isn’t money and ego what this is all about.
@ Guest 3: Wow! Great information…..Only thing about Carmen is she has been in the “gutter” with DJ before. They have a long history together, I don’t think she has been this close to having criminal complaint filed against her though.
@ Raul: That is the problem, in the case of Stratus, because of the “newness” of the company when compared to Jan-Pro, Coverall and Jani-King many masters were unaware of the garbage that has been spewed by DJ/Pete really until the Fortman lawsuits made little pieces of information that just happened to fit other little pieces of information which resulted in a good piece of the puzzle being completed……Fortman is right in many respects, if handled any differently than the way it has so far, the only one’s totally left out in the dark would be the unit franchises themselves. If the “case” had really been handled poorly, the vast majority of the unit franchises would have lost their investment as the masters would have been forced to handle themselves much differently.
@ Fortman: All I can add to Guest 3 is the fact that I have a copy of a legal document that states Jarrett Realty is an Illinois Corporation. That document was prepared by the “Poodles”.
Hope this all Helps…..
As an American who served his country for 3 years in the United States Army I am outraged by those who tout their franchises as being successful when others are exploiting that franchise as a crooked and manipulative franchise. How franchisors can establish an organization which gets to DIRECTLY advertise to our veterans is beyond my comprehension.
@ Todd Peterson: You are correct, it is disgusting on many levels. Marissa Lather is directly responsible for posting such garbage all over the internet in a direct attempt to solicit potential buyers into a system of lies/fraud. Individuals must be held accountable. Simply stating “I was ordered by my boss” to do this, is no longer viable when you know the same internet that you use to “promote” this fraud, is telling you directly and with proof that it is fraud…….DJ/Pete are bad people without a doubt, but in Marissa’s case, she must be held to that same level of accountability and she must also be called out for promoting to our “HEROS” a known fraud.
@ Owner-Operators in the following cities, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Diego and Houston aka “Dirty Players”. YOUR Masters of these cities have been directly linked to the fraud happening at Stratus Franchising, LLC. They all have been “validators” along with Ken Cassiri and Jeff Aibel. Some have directly admitted in phone conferences to personally know about the majority of the fraud being done by Pete Frese/DJ. That admission came during a phone meeting that was described earlier in this post which was attended directly by the two “poodles”. Talk about lack of ethics from an attorney! If they quit paying you, if they start pulling accounts away from you without cause, if they start closing the office more days than prior, YOU need to protect yourselves. Seek legal counsel for sure, if they write you a bad check (one that bounces) you need to file a criminal complaint with law enforcement. Contact your local TV Station, do whatever legally it takes to make sure these people in these cities are held as accountable as they should be. THEY are as much of a problem as Pete/DJ.
In many ways, it is past time to not only take our country back, but in this case directly, it is time to call a “spade a spade” and be damned of the fallout.
To those Masters still sitting on the sidelines, wondering what to do, GET UP OFF YOUR ASSES and DO WHAT IS RIGHT! DJ/Pete are to be thrown to the curb, they don’t deserve your loyalty, they don’t care about you, your family, your owner-operators, that has been proven time and time again. Cancel the agreement, do not pay royalties and get yourself OUT of Stratus NOW! Today is the 4th of July, No Better Day than today to start another REVOLUTION!
For those who have not done so, please go to the link below and voice your concern to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) involving your experience with your franchisor. This is the suggested forum of my state Senator and the ONLY government agency who can do anything about franchising besides an attorney.
Guest 3 and Reasoned source can you tell me more about Carmen Garcia? What is going on with her ???
@ 1st amendment: Not sure what information you are wanting, if you are wondering if it is the same Carmen Garcia that worked for Dennis Jarrett at Coverall and ran a Regional Office in California for Coverall the answer is yes….If you review some of the previous posts here, you will get more information.
@ Viewers: The “Puppet Committee” was announced this week, as figured the slime balls in Los Angeles and Philadelphia were placed on the committee, along with several of the smaller, “haven’t got a clue as to what is going on” or “too new to know any better” and one of the “fence sitters”….. What is funny, the “fence sitter” is paying more in royalties than all of the other Members combined, HELL, he is paying nearly 50% of all royalties going into Stratus Franchising, LLC! Seems to me, he should be demanding a Hell of a lot more power than anyone else along with the fact that he should be paying less than 2% such as Philadelphia and Los Angeles are paying.
Also, I would like to finish some “housekeeping” duties to fill in some holes…..It appears that Lincoln Baker, former partner with the Bashforth’s has felt the heat and left the San Diego “Group”. Funny, he thought this would be a great residual income to combine with his “insurance brokerage business”! Little did he know, that there was a chance that he would jeopordize his primary income due to license issues. In regards to the branch in San Diego, I would be very careful this month, I have heard from two sources that Bashforth’s are looking at options of closing the office sooner vs. later and/or turning it over to Los Angeles Master.
I also found it interesting, that Lincoln’s brother Tom is a recent partner in the Ft. Worth office. Wonder how that venture is going? By the way, I wonder why Fortman didn’t list them? Could it be that they aren’t registered properly in Texas?
In closing, I think the noose is getting tighter and tighter with Stratus Franchising, LLC. We seem to be getting a little movement recently in regards to seperation agreements throughout the country.
@ Viewers: Wonder what everyone thought about being named in the “Fortman” case. I mean no offense, is this really what Stratus Franchising, LLC and the “Poodles” really wanted? The last thing I would think they’d want was a bunch of lied too, fraud committed against, disgruntled, plain “pissed off” co-defendents………
Also, did anyone else get that warm/fuzzy feeling from the joint email release from Pete/DJ? I mean come on, they stated that they GUARANTEE that they are going to be successful on Tuesday against Fortman…..REALLY? Well lets see, I think they have said that at least twice before…The first time was when they moved the case to Federal Court (Poodles thought they were the “superior” SOB’s in Federal Court vs. Fortman) and guess what? They Lost! The second time is when they asked for a full dismissal in the State Court and guess what happened? ALL of the Masters (couple of exceptions) were then brought into the case as a result of the amended complaint! NICE JOB….
So, let me play devils advocate for just a second…..If I were a judge and I wanted to HEAR a compelling case, one that has potentially the following:
a) Harmed Unit Franchisees…..People from all across the country, from all backgrounds, all ethnic backgrounds, all with various “stories” in their hearts.
b) Harmed Master Franchisors as co-defendents…..People from Las Vegas, New Mexico, Virginia, North Texas to just name a few.
c) Masters that have already left the system as co-defendents……People from Buffalo, Rochester, Atlanta, Jacksonville, CT. to just name a few.
d) Masters that were sued by Stratus Franchising, LLC as co-defendents….People from Miami and Oregon to just name a few.
e) Masters that had to sue Stratus Franchising, LLC as co-defendents….People from Orange County
A company that has multiple FTC complaints filed against it as Stratus Franchising, LLC. currently does.
A company that has been accused of fraud, deceit, lies, personal/company injury in lawsuits as Stratus Franchising, LLC currently has filed against it.
A company that has numerous FDD violations that have been brought to life, such as Stratus Franchising, LLC currently has filed against it.
I could go on and on……But at the end of the day, I would be asked as a Judge to look at a dismissal based upon what? Some basic technical issue or listening to a case with all of the above and more listed? HMMM……I don’t know, I think as I was voted onto the bench, selected onto the bench, to serve the greater good of the State of Missouri, I’m thinking, I want to hear this case……Just my two cents, could be wrong, but really, how many times have I been wrong before?
So, something tells me that IF Pete/DJ have any common sense at all, (we know the Poodles don’t) that they will be scurrying about this weekend and certainly on Monday to get as many of the pending settlements completed, they will be “reaching out” to some of the “fence sitters” and see if they can at least lead them by the nose for a few more month’s as they attempt to re-package the company’s assets to a potential buyer…..
Just my random thoughts….
@ Viewers…..Sorry, got busy and forgot to post this final tidbit. As of yesterday, there were at least two attorneys (one from the south, one from the northeast) contacting masters (those on the list of the amended complaint) wanting to know if they would like to join other masters in a group effort to defend/respond to the amended complaint. Obviously, cost savings is the primary reason to say yes….So, to show you how stupid Stratus Franchising, LLC is, they literally brought this upon the Masters shoulders as stated prior both in the Federal Case (short lived) and now twice in the State of Missouri Case.
Now, if I were a group of Masters, paired with a group of Masters that had left the system, are leaving the system, what would an enterprising attorney suggest ALSO be done basically at the same time?
Let me give you a hint from the Atlanta based attorney ” Well, if you are interested in this cause of action, I have developed the program/templete for getting you out of your contract with Stratus Franchising, LLC”. “How could you possibly want to be tied to such people as these and have your hard earned dollars continue to fund their nonsense”. “Here’s my deal, give me six (6) month’s of your current royalty payments, (she will even do a payment plan) and I will GUARANTEE you seperation from Stratus Franchising, LLC.” “Whether or not, we have to go to court to do it”.
NICE MOVE POODLES!!!!! So I wonder, how many more “fence sitters” are now going to consider the following:
One Hand: It cost me no more than six (6) month’s of royalty payments to get seperated from a bunch of liars, thieves, con-men, won’t have to be associated with a bi-polar, womanizing, out of control gambler (DJ), nor a elitest acting, superior feeling, coward, liar, scapegoat, thief (Pete) and continue to have the name of the company trashed, more crap come out, bashed to hell for not making a decision (me) or be gone?
Other Hand: I can continue to support a brand that has been damaged beyond repair, I can continue to know that I never want to hear from DJ/Pete ever again, I can continue to have this “sinking feeling” in my stomach, I can continue to lose sleep on a nightly basis, I can continue to wonder what is next and stay with Pete/DJ the two people that caused this mess and continue to write them a 50% royalty check which is still overpayment for goods/services/brand rendered…..HMM, even a blind man can see that isn’t a wise decision.
Funny, anytime you put an attorney in charge of your business, making branding decisions, making operational decisions, making marketing decisions and wait for it….COMMON SENSE decisions, you end up just like Pete/DJ, fighting battles from the right, the left, underneath you, on top of you…Day/Night/7days a week. From people inside your organization, outside your organization, on blogs, on traditional news, in print and tv and even now, YOUR EMPLOYEE’S!
Poor Bastards, (Pete/DJ) I almost feel sorry for them, (Not really) because not only are they going to lose Stratus in the USA, they are going to be forced to find something else that no one knows who they are, where they are and where they can be found…….
More Information following soon…..
Pingback: LATHROP AND GAGE: Lighten Up & Enjoy Your Lucre (Part 1) : Unhappy Franchisee
Well, the poodles have their fluffy coats in a bunch. They obviously are big fans of UnhappyFranchisee.com, as they have quoted from this comment thread quite a bit in the motions they have filed against Jonathan Fortman.
You can read about their futile efforts to silence discussion and information sharing here:
LATHROP AND GAGE: Lighten Up & Enjoy Your Lucre (Part 1)
Part 2 shall list more reasons why they should back off their effort to silence criticism of their client and should back off Fortman. They are making themselves look worse than they already do – more yappy chihuahua than poodle.
Their firm has 281 attorneys and revenue of $138,000,000. Fortman has 1 attorney (Fortman) plus some outside assistance from allied colleagues.
Is Lathrop and Gage seriously crying foul?
Do they really expect a judge to believe that Fortman is unfairly tipping the scales of justice in his favor? Or are they really just providing some comic relief to an otherwise mundane proceeding? (If so, kudos Lathrop and Gage)
LATHROP AND GAGE: Lighten Up & Enjoy Your Lucre (Part 2)
While this is a tongue-in-cheek response to Lathrop and Gage’s protestations against Fortman’s comments on this thread (sort of like Goliath whining that David is not fighting fair), the Lathrop and Gage posts do call into question the competence of DJ/Pete’s legal team. A few points:
Lathrop & Gage (aka poodles) incorrectly stated in their motion that UnhappyFranchisee.com is Jonathan Fortman’s blog. Wrong. Fortman has no ownership nor editorial control over UnhappyFranchisee.com.
Lathrop & Gage appears to have incorrect math in their motion, referring to six subpoenas then listing five recipients of those subpoenas. At best, sloppy legal work.
Lathrop and Gage contend that Fortman made a “shocking” statement regarding the trial judge. The statement turned out to actually be complimentary to the judge, as Fortman characterized her as no-nonsense judge unlikely to tolerate their delay tactics and general poodlery.
I would love to know what the poodles will bill Stratus for this nonsensical and lame attempt to attack Fortman for expressing his opinion here. $10K? $15K? $20K?
They should be conserving their funds for franchisee settlements, not indulging the hurt feelings of their overpriced law firm, IMHO.
PS Kudos to Reasoned Source for his/her nicknaming prowess. The poodles vs. junkyard dog conversation has made it into the legal motions. :)
@ Viewers: Now no offense, even you fence sitters must be a little more motivated to move on now! I mean come on, the stupidity of the motions, the timing of the motions, the need of the motions clearly shows a path of stupidity at best and total incompetence at worst! THESE ARE YOUR PARTNERS……
@ Admin: Wow, You, Me, Fortman all literally mentioned in the same breath have outwitted, outplayed and will outlast the “Poodles”, DJ/Pete and the supporting cast of the con-artists Marissa Lather, David Farrell, Marvin Ashton, Carmen Garcia, Bill Blair and Bob Statpleton. I guarantee you, to date, the bill for the “Poodles” and their crackpot (sorry, meant crack shot) Team, is well north of 100K. I’ve been paid zero, I bet Fortman has been paid technically less than zero and I doubt other than some extra advertising and viewership you’ve been paid only slightly more than zero!
@ Fortman: Nice Job! You can turn this into an advertising bonanza and make the “Junk Yard Dog” into a trademark and branding genious….Just remember my cut! Understand, we are all Capitalists at Heart!
There is a little sadness, with all joking aside….The north of 100k has been spent on non-sense and it could have been/should have been spent making things better for the harmed Masters and harmed Owner-Operators.
The stupidity of it all is that all of this could have been avoided if they had simply accepted a reasonable offer to “step aside” and the brand along with the group integrity could have remained.
There is as much sadness in this tragedy as there is Joy and Laughter that the “Poodles” provide…..
Just my thoughts…..Cost, Nothing!
It is definitely sad. One of the documents Lathrop & Gage objected to Fortman sharing was his email that showed he had reached out to them to talk about a settlement.
Instead of even entertaining the possibility of settling with those whose money they took, Lathrop and Gage attorneys opted for the traditional war of attrition whereby you delay, distract and complicate in order to waste the resources and break the will of your lesser-financed adversary. Of course, Lathrop & Gage will be getting paid handsomely throughout the delay process and the tens of thousands of dollars that could have gone to deserving franchisees will go to them.
The traditional legal battle they subscribe to is like the two sides lining up like redcoats on a football field just out of gunshot range of each other. They charge their clients $1000 per bullet and keep trading volleys until one side’s client can’t afford any more ammo. That way, the one with more money to give to their law firm almost always wins.
These guys get very indignant when someone messes with the rules of the game. Someone like Fortman and his associates come along and don’t charge $1000 per bullet, they threaten the whole game. If they dress in deerskin and coonskin caps and start firing from the bleachers or behind the concession stand, then the Lathrop & Gage types cry foul and accuse them of professional misconduct.
They don’t want anybody doing anything other than firing $1000 bullets on the designated playing field, because their country club dues, BMW payments and $450K profit-per-partner ratio is contingent on the game staying predictable and rigged.
@ admin: Don’t get me wrong, I am a capitalist at heart and I never want to complain about someone elses success and what they charge and can obviously collect from their clients in regards to the fees they charge their clients. However, I couldn’t agree with you more, but I think the blame for this whole mess lies solely on the shoulders of Pete/DJ only. They had a great opportunity to become HEROS to a bunch of disgruntled and harmed Masters and Owner-Operators. They chose to rely on attorneys to become the defacto managers/owners/sales/marketing/operations manager of the company as a whole.
@ Guest 3- Did you find out what they had for dinner? (DJ and Fernando) seems like you know everything else…NICE JOB! It is a terrible shame what happened to Fernando’s family, the role that Stratus had in supporting his obvious drug habit, his “above the law” attitude as he demonstrated by ripping off countless of hard working men/women/families of their life savings and making promises that NO ONE in the entire company including the Corporate Office themselves could not make in regards to Sales matrix.
@ Viewers- I heard from a Master today, that he once visited DJ’s office at Stratus and directly behind his desk is a wall size map of the world. His comment was, “that still might not be big enough to fit his enormous ego!”.
It is truly a shame what has happened to a group of good, faithful, trustworthy Masters that have left or are in the process of leaving a company that THEY truly built from scratch….All will work itself out in the near future…
@Viewers, Only because I am a Reflective Mood and because I like to REMIND the remaining Masters as to the place this whole thing started from and is currently: Here is a list of FORMER Stratus Master Offices in no particular order: Remember, this all started a little over TWO YEARS AGO!!!!!!!
Delaware (technically Jeff Blake went belly up and 1/2 of the Embezzlers picked up)
Omaha, Kansas City (technically as Paul Knutzen went belly up and Channen/Rene Smith came in)
San Diego, Mark Bashforth abandoned.
Panama City, Mark Bashforth abandoned
When was the last time anyone heard from the Baltic States? OOOPS Forgot, Stratus Franchising International is legally dissolved.
When was the last time anyone heard from/about Affiliated Services? OOOPS Forgot, it has been legally dissolved.
When was the last time anyone heard about/from Jarrett Realty? OOOPS Forgot, Dennis Jarrett had that legally dissolved and reformed.
Lets see how many of our former, can’t live without them, they are the TOPS in Industry Support TEAM from Stratus Franchising!!!!!!!!
Carmen (where in the world in I now and not currently in DJ’s bed) Garcia
David (I’m not near as bad as Marvin and thanks for the job finally Marissa) Farrell
Bill (Ok, I know I sexually harassed multiple women and woke up drunk naked in a man’s bed/room in Cincy (not that there’s anything wrong with that) )Blair
Marissa (I’m the National Marketing Director of Lies) Lather
Marvin (Ok, Ok, I admit that I’m lower than a Slum Dog as I just want some crumbs from Afshin, Rekebi, Mark, Mike, Mansour’s table) Ashton.
Two Years really isn’t all that long of a time……
Now I’m sure I’ve missed a couple, but the bottom line is this, there are far fewer
@Viewers, A former Master recently contacted a member of REASONED SOURCE and correctly pointed out the St. Louis Business Journal Article in which Dennis Jarrett and Pete Frese spoke about how the Economy had slowed the GROWTH of Stratus Franchising, but that it was still over 100 million dollar in Revenue? Now, we all know that was a FALSE Statement and used for nothing other than FRAUDULENT INDUCEMENT, but the real question is as follows…..
With all the supposed success of the Stratus Franchising, LLC. system, Why doesn’t anyone want to invest? Why doesn’t anyone want to buy it? Why can’t Pete and DJ simply continuing to own it and GROW out of the MESS that THEY have created?
Here’s another question, WHY if Pete/DJ have NO FAITH and are unwilling to INVEST their reported MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in Stratus Franchising, LLC. WHY Should ANY of the legitimate Masters remaining, STAY?
Just food for thought…..Afshin is still hearing footsteps, after a recent call to task by Mansour, he turned around, wanting to know “Who was there”? Answer. REASONED SOURCE!
Mr. Reasoned Source or should I call you Mr. Wenger or you prefer for us to be casual and just call you Jerry? But whichever you prefer, it is obvious that you’ve never built anything in your life. You’re just a sorry old loser with 25 years of bad janitorial experience who is trying to terrorize a lot of decent people who have worked very hard over the course of past several years and built up a nice small business helping themselves and a LOT of others as Unit franchisees who are successfully making an honest living. You may not remember me but we met in your hometown in Indiana at one of your accounts that you were so proud of but in just few months lost it to a competitor as a result of your weak management skills. As evident from your hundreds of postings on this site, you are obviously very bitter and have decided to partner up with some crooks to try and destroy people’s lives in hopes of either extortion and blackmail, or somehow finding an explanation for your failures in life. Unfortunately for you everyone will continue to successfully operate their businesses around you for many years to come in spite of your best efforts to the contrary. You do have a lot of extra time these days as you and your sorry partners are without work. It’s so easy to hide behind your little computer and write away but has that gotten you anywhere in the past three or four years? You are a just a bitter blogger, that’s all ….. Stay tuned my friends, more to come regarding Mr. “old ass, loser, bitter blogger” Wenger.
@Confirmed Source, I am sorry for your looming loss as a Master. It is indeed a shame what has happened to THOUSANDS of Innocent people at the hands of the following Masters and most importantly Stratus Franchising, LLC. The MILLIONS OF DOLLARS LOST, The HOMES DESTROYED, The DREAMS CRUSHED, The College Educations, The Retirement Plans, The Day to Day LIVES HARMED by:
Jeff (I wish I had another name than ANAL) Abel
Channen/Rene (why am I the only wife continually mentioned) Smith
Have done to the Tune of Millions of Dollars of harm to the following former Masters:
North Texas (twice)
Let me remind you of the Brave Masters that left the system because the recognized the harm done by the above:
To name just a few……….
Poor Confirmed Source, cannot be too fun to be stuck in place as your ninety (90) day window is gone. Maybe you could call the LEAD POODLE and see if he and Denny can convince Pete/DJ NOT TO FILE till the end of the year vs. October as planned! Well probably not going to happen as I don’t think they are going to wait till October anyway!
@Reasoned Source aka Jerry Wenger aka Hefty Trash Bag … You sure have a poor miserable life. Sitting in your pajamas without work with chronic BO. Kimberly and Gladys are getting really tired of you with no income and no future whatsoever. You better get off your fat bottom and start contributing to your new loser partners perhaps you can come up with a way of taking someone’s money as you had done before in Indiana.
I am sure you have not forgotten December 14, 2012 when the Judge ripped you in pieces. It’s funny how you mention every person at Stratus but conveniently exclude yourself from this list. Let’s not forget who the main instigator that started this whole lawsuit was. With your incompetence and dishonesty you have given this industry a bad name and now you hide behind your computer and keep throwing names to wash over the past.
Your diversion technique is not working anymore. More details about your background including your days at JanPro and Xcel is about to come out.
You want everyone here to think you are the Robin Hood of Franchise Janitorial. You are no Robin Hood. You’re just a Hefty wind bag aka Jerry “loser” Wenger.
@Viewers: As poor “confirmed source” and the appropriately named “guest” continue their attempt to change the subject, let us remember exactly what this particular thread deals with, “Masters Jumping Ship”.
When this was originally posted, the only Masters that had left at this time was the original members of Pro2FS aka Buffalo, Rochester, Atlanta and Jacksonville. Since then the following Masters have either left or closed:
Original: Buffalo, Rochester, Atlanta, Jacksonville
Since this original post:
New Jersey (Central)
Delaware (Jeff Blake)
Omaha (Paul Knutzen)
Kansas City (Paul Knutzen)
YES, “confirmed source” you are correct, REASONED SOURCE is attempting to “divert” everyone from the real message……
This site has a lot of good info but they aren’t very good about posting the outcomes to lawsuits. Can you share what happened in this particular lawsuit against a Stratus Master in Indiana?
Among other things, the lawsuit alleged:
“Stratus, Kevin Spellacy, Jerry Wenger and Pamella Martins violated the Indiana Franchise Act by offering and selling franchises without having a franchise registration with the Indiana Secretary of State.
“Defendants Stratus, Stratus Franchising, Kevin Spellacy, Jerry Wenger and Pamella Martins violated the Indiana Franchise Act by offering and selling franchises without providing a disclosure statement to prospective franchisees, including the Plaintiffs, in a manner provided by the law and, in many cases, without providing any type of disclosure statement at all.
39. A person who knowingly violates the Indiana Franchise Act commits a Class C felony.
“Namely, Stratus’s FDDs did not comply with disclosure requirements of I.C. § 23-2-2.5-13 and 16 C.F.R. 436 in at least the following manners:
a. Item 2 fails to disclose the required information regarding the employment history of the principles. Notably, Defendant Wenger’s prior employment at Jan-Pro is not disclosed. This is a material omission since Jan-Pro has been sued in several states for illegal acts similar to those described in this Complaint…”
Follow-up question: Do you think Stratus HQ is responsible for Master franchisees who don’t provide proper disclosure documents and don’t follow their states franchise laws, and who take away accounts from franchisees for bogus reasons and laugh at them when they request their kids’ college fund back?
Do you think this is widespread, or were these Indianapolis guys just bad apples that made the others look bad too (assuming these allegations are even partly true).
Thanks for your insights! Again, reposting the location list is not necessary.
@Guest, Might want to read someone else’s words for a change versus listening to your self or reading your self. But again attorney’s are really focused on trying to prove their points and when they get on a tangent and want you to agree they are simply wanting to wear you down vs. what the truth actually is.
As posted previously, this case per our understanding hasn’t been heard yet. Therefore, there is nothing here worth repeating again. Allegations are exactly that Allegations. You and your attorney friends want it to be “If it is listed in a court document, it must be true”. I think the viewers of these various threads are smarter than those on Blue Mau Mau therefore they know/understand that all you are doing is repeating Allegations and hoping that if you say the same thing, post the same thing enough times, for YOU and a handful of others, it will be taken as fact.
We enjoy playing with certain attorney’s we even like a few of them……
I think Stratus Corp. is to blame for the following:
a) Flawed Business Model
b) False Pro-Forma
c) Giving Validators favor in return for their verbal and written support
d) Creating an atmosphere of harm towards Masters and Unit Franchisees alike
e) Making False Statements that were published in various articles for the benefit of selling more Masters.
f) Falsifying documents and facts in order to give their figures the most favorable light possible vs. averages.
g) Lining their primary people’s pockets by allowing them to knowingly “sell” on false premise and financials and Pro-Forma
h) By setting Masters up to fail by the false ROI’s they showed them
I) By setting Masters up to fail by overcharging them for geographic territories
j) By setting Masters up to fail by stating there was more than enough money in the “splits” for them to be profitable only from those “splits”.
k) By setting Masters up to fail by not giving them the proper training and on-going support.
l) By setting Masters up to fail by approving licenses for those Masters that were clearly undercapitalized.
Now, unlike you, I have given true responses, facts, outlined the harm, fraud and general misconduct. To date, all you have done is re-hash the same old story line:
“Unit Franchises, Good” and “Masters, Bad”.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but not that simple or true…….
So, in a nutshell, Reasoned Source is saying:
“Yes, the Masters robbed, cheated and stole but it’s not our fault.
“You see, the guys who sold us the rubber guns, the ski masks and the bank vault diagrams ripped us off…
“We had no other way to recoup our investment but to follow through with the crimes, but it’s not our faults…
“What would you expect us to do… just lose money and go away, like our unit franchisees…”?
Reasoned Source, are you finally understanding how transparent you are to all of us?
PS don’t miss the good new comments here:
@Guest, obviously you haven’t gotten out of your PJ’s yet or you are still puffing on the CO marijuana (Medical Purposes of course) too much.
Nothing in your post is correct, nor was it said in my previous posts. If you are going to make “stupid statements” then at least be somewhat aware of what the previous poster stated.
But as you continue your own self-destruction and lack of credibility as everyone sees you for exactly who you are and your goals of simply trying to vilify the Masters, Mr. Wenger and those of us that are REASONED SOURCE to the point of what end? Simple, YOU are attempting to Quell the uprising that is happening with the remaining Masters as they have confirmed the following:
1) Simpatico is no longer part of Stratus Franchising, LLC.
2) The One Year Anniversary of the “Great Document Purge” has passed
3) Stratus Franchising, LLC. hasn’t updated its Registration State Mandatory Filings for over a year.
4) Stratus Franchising, LLC. hasn’t updated its own FDD for over 1 year.
5) Stratus Franchising, LLC. has closed/moved its offices from InnerBelt
6) Stratus Franchising, LLC. has removed/let go the following staff: Marissa Lather, David Farrell, Bill Blair, Bob Stapleton, Carmen Garcia and others.
7) Dennis Jarrett has not been seen by anyone other than Afshin Cangarlu, Marvin Ashton, Foad Rekebi in over One Year.
8) Stratus Franchising, LLC. paid for a BK specialist in the form of Dennis Doyle with Lathrop and Gage
9) BK case in Indiana is being finished/verdict coming down in matter of days
10) Fortman case in St. Louis is being finished/ruling coming down in matter of days as to whether or not Arbitration is correct ruling.
11) All Advertising has been pulled for Month’s
12) Website hasn’t been updated since Marissa Lather left
13) Affiliated Services has been liquidated
14) Stratus Franchising, Int’l has been dissolved
15) BK for Stratus Franchising is looming
Bottom line is this, YOU need as many of the remaining Masters to continue paying for as long as possible in order to offer them as “Assets” to the BK court in MO. Only question is, “Are all of the remaining Masters still part of the system”?
More coming soon!
No, the bottom line is this: Anyone thinking of buying a janitorial franchise – any janitorial franchise – should read this lawsuit complaint:
It lays out the disreputable practices alleged across the entire master and unit level franchise industry:
Deceptive and sleazy sales tactics
Franchise law violations
Endless fees for “guaranteed” jobs
Jobs that are underbid or too far away to be viable
Having accounts taken away for bogus and fraudulent reasons
Reselling the same account over and over for new fees
As you can see, these guys move around from companies like Jan-Pro, Jani-King, bringing complaints of sales tactics along with them.
In my opinion, all this noise from Reasoned Source sounds like a bunch of pirates complaining about their share of the booty.
My advice: stay away from all of them. If you’re still tempted, read Reasoned Source’s comments. Would you want your professional future in the hands of a guy like this?
@Reasoned Source aka Jerry Wenger continues to lie and misinform the readers on this site. It is obvious Jerry Wenger is incredibly bitter, without work and a lot of free time that has been dedicated here to post lies. To make the matter worse Reasoned Source aka Jerry Wenger has decided to partner up with similar crooks like himself to try and destroy people’s lives in hopes of either extortion or blackmail. Jerry Wenger should have listened to his own family members Kimberly Wenger and Gladys Wenger when they publicly asked him to stop taking people’s money and find an honorable job. What they didn’t realize is that Jerry Wenger is not capable of having an honorable job. His work history speaks for itself.
Let’s take a look at Jerry Wenger’s 20 years of miserable Janitorial track record. His job at Jan-Pro ended with a lawsuit. Too many complaints from customers and unit franchisees, fraudulent contracts, side deals with franchisees, taking cash in return for customer accounts, and the list goes on. At Stratus Indiana, as a result of his wrong doings as the Regional Director, they ended up with several lawsuits with Jerry Wenger’s name as the main responsible party. Jerry Wenger is one of the key players that has given this industry a bad name but conveniently he removes his name from his own list. If anything, Jerry Wenger should be the only name on the list. It is a joke that Jerry Wenger calls himself an “Honorable Man”!!!!
Jerry Wagner is the fraud himself. His drumbeat of naming other masters, repeatedly listing Stratus cities and individuals involved is just a way for him to hide covering up the reality. Every posting that Jerry Wenger aka Reasoned Source aka Hefty Trash Bag puts up starts with some kind of disinformation such as “BK is around the corner”, “Major news to come out in two weeks”, etc., then lists every name and city repeatedly and then states “More to come ….”. You can go back two years and nothing has changed. Jerry Wenger continues with his strategy that hasn’t worked at all for him. Over 1000’s of Stratus unit franchisees continue to earn an honest living while Jerry Wenger persists with his terrorizing ways.
More background information regarding Jerry Wenger and his character to come. Please stay tuned.
@Confirmed Source, There is a reason why Every City is listed as you attempted to “change the subject” from the viewers: It is a HUGE discrepancy on what you are saying as you claim that there are still a viability to Stratus Franchising. Even the most foolish can’t deny that there is a reason why so many cities, smart businessmen have left the system over the last two years:
Just a quick recap as to who used to be part of the system and who is now gone:
Utah – Shea Sealy’s
There are still others that were in the system, harmed by the system and are no longer part of the system which include:
Central New Jersey
Delaware- Jeff Blake
Kansas City and Omaha- Paul Knutzen
The International part of Stratus Franchising, LLC. has dissolved which removes the Baltic States and the previously mentioned Panama
It is amazing to us that the following are still part of the system:
North/Central New Jersey
Cincy, Dayton, Columbus
Utah- Shauna Sharpsteen
Sacramento- Rick Boucher
Interesting as you are the sacrificial lambs being led to the BK Slaughter……..
@Reasoned Source aka Jerry Wenger continues with his strategy to just list names and cities with the sole intention of terrorizing working people. But who is the real Jerry “trash bag” Wenger and his new partners in crime? Well I have firsthand experience with this so called “honorable man”. There are more lawsuits following Jerry Wenger than any person he has mentioned in his postings combined together. You may ask why? He is far from being an honorable man. He has a lawsuit for every position or company that he has been involved. You can check one of the lawsuits filed against him with over 100 unit franchisees. He is personally responsible for these blue color working class people losing their life savings. Jerry Wenger promised these individuals customer accounts and either never delivered them, or when he did he took more side money from these poor people. I sat in the court room where the judge was furious with Jerry Wagner’s work ethics and what was presented as evidence for his wrongdoings. In short time at Xcel Clean in Indiana he lost more accounts than the history of that company.
More to come regarding…
Jerry Wenger Fraudster
Jerry Wenger Fraud Master
Jerry Wenger Commercial Cleaning Scammer
Jerry Wenger Janitorial Services Rip-off
Jerry Wenger Area Developer Con Artist
Jerry Wenger Fraudulent Regional Director
Jerry Wenger Business Development Manager Failure
Jerry Wenger Commercial Services Disaster
Jerry Wenger Vice-President of Numerous Scam Operations
@Viewers: Since it is obvious that someone wants to BLAME Jerry Wenger for all if the ills currently facing Stratus Franchising, LLC. and a couple of its larger masters: Let us ponder the line of thinking about the Why Now? as described in the earlier thread:
1) Rumblings within the remaining Masters
2) Pete Frese business deal/plan blows up in his face
What if it is a combination of both?
Since the Business Deal was reported by REASONED SOURCE and because the Mosheydi’s removed their financing from the Afshin (Slumdog Millionaire wannabe) Cangarlu and Foad (Ok. My family has questionable ties in Iran) Rekebi, they have been having Unhappy Franchisee problems, Police visits to their office, Attorney General looking at their operational paperwork and probably will launch a full investigation into Stratus as a whole…..That is plenty of motivation and want/desire to BLAME ANYONE but themselves for the bad business morals and dealings that they have been party too.
Since the Business Deal has obviously been “Blown Up” because of REASONED SOURCE, it is 100% guarantee that BK is coming and then that makes a lot of people/Masters unhappy for a variety of reasons.
a) They have checked with their Attorney’s and found out that because THEY (remaining Masters) via their Royalty Fees and other Fees/Contract will be considered an ASSET they can imagine How Much Fun its going to be operating under the direct scrutiny of a Federal Court and Trustee.
b) They have checked with their Attorney’s and found out because of (a), their current either non-payment of fees and/or their current level of fee payment will be changing…..Remember, there is a difference as to what the actual contract says you should be paying and what you are currently paying!
c) They realize that every competitor will arm their sales team with the knowledge of the Stratus History and BK will make things that much more difficult to grow, sell franchises, keep existing business.
Bottom line is: BK is BAD FOR BUSINESS!
[Duplicate comment deleted]
Confirmed Source, Guest, Reasoned Source:
Please just post each comment once to the most relevant post.
Please stop putting duplicate comments on multiple pages.
Thanks – ADMIN