Winter 2011 / Spring 2012 - Odds 'n Ends...
(Updated: Apr 15/12)
Dec 14/11: It's time to call in some professionals. I've been in touch with someone who has a lot of experience dealing with this sort of fraudulent activity. I'm just waiting for some additional paperwork to arrive before... (use your imagination)
Jan 13/12: I know it's been a while since my last update, don't worry I haven't given up. Actually it's just the opposite, I had an interesting chat with someone the other day and things are about to get interesting.
Mar 8/12: Look what fell into my lap today. It looks like Al has expanded the Canadian Classic Fish Fry product line to include something called a MiniPak. Instead of a case containing 24x560g bags of fishfry, his new "minipak" case is made up of 18x140g bags. Marketing 101: The more SKU's the better.
Al is like the Energizer Bunny, he just keeps going and going. I wonder who he's conned into supporting his habit for the 2012 sucker season?
Mar 10/12: Come to think of it, in a way it's good to see that Al hasn't given up on the Canadian Classic Fish Fry and Fish & Game Spices (aka "Rubs") venture. After all, our contractual agreement entitles me to 25% of the profits from this project forever and my participation was only supposed to be the initial startup loan (not actively promoting, delivering, etc.). Who knows, if he gets busy I might be able to retire after I haul his ass into court.
Mar 11/12: I just realized that I haven't mentioned anywhere in this document what the outstanding debt is. I've just added it to the overview section. The initial loan + interest + additional "on demand I need cash" comes in at almost $20,000. If I had increased my investment by another $11,000 as Al was pressuring me to do in the Fall of 2010, then I wouldn't have been able to take this claim through small claims court because their maximum is $25,000. Legal fees through the small claims court system are minimal and taking this case through the regular court process would probably have cost more than what I'm owed. It turns out that's exactly what happened to Al's previous "partner" who was owed a LOT of money, the lender could not afford to chase Al through the court system and was forced to absorb the loss. He said it took him 3 years to recover from his "adventures with Al".
Apr 11/12: Something appears to be happening in the FishFry world. This site has recently seen an unusual increase in visitor traffic from search engine results and bookmarked pages. Due to this sudden increase I've decided to upload the original loan agreement between myself and Al Sebastian, just in case he's telling potential victims (oops... clients) that I'm making all this up just to discredit him.
I hadn't paid attention to Item 2 in the contract until recently. It basically says I'm not entitled to 25% of the profits until after the loan has been repaid, in other words it appears he never intended to repay the loan and the promised profit sharing would never become active. What an asshole!
Someday Al is going to piss off someone who isn't as restrained by the legal system as his previous victims. I hope they rake him over the coals (slowly).
Apr 15/12: You're not alone if you're wondering where all the money has gone. As far as I could tell, Al didn't have any obvious expensive habits. He bought his clothes at places like Value Village (the "pauper" look, according to one of his contacts) and bragged about his $10 "inmate style" (?? things that make you go hmm...) running shoes. The only habit I noticed was smoking and it didn't seem excessive. Although he was always watching competitive Poker on TV, maybe he has a gambling problem.
Have I hit a nerve?
(Updated: June 3/12)
The past month has been very interesting. I've heard from a couple of people who found this site after having a "close encounter with Al" and were somewhat suspicious or curious about the guy that just left their place of business. With their assistance I was able to contact Al's distributor (Bell Distributors/Bell Lifestyle Products of Mississauga, Ont) and his new manufacturer/packager (John Paul Foods, also in Mississauga).
It turns out Al has been acting as a sales agent (sort of) for Bell Distributors, which means he contacts the customers, passes their orders on to Bell, Bell then orders the products from John Paul Foods and ships the products out to the customers. It looks like Al gets paid from John Paul Foods or some mysterious "third party financial corporation". I wonder if other people have been successful in tracking him down and an outside organization was put in place to keep him under control. On the other hand, maybe Al has finally pissed off the wrong people.
Notices of Garnishment were issued to Bell and John Paul Foods in May which resulted in the following e-mail showing up from Al on May 28th.
> Subject: proposal
> From: Sunset Country Resort Services (firstname.lastname@example.org)
> Date: 28/05/2012 11:43 AM
> To: (rob@.....)
> I have attached a proposal for your review and consideration. I want nothing more than to pay
> you what you are owed.
> In order to make this happen as quickly as possible I have contracted a third party financial
> corproation to manage and disburse funds from my Distributor sales. This includes paying you
> each time I get an order from a Distributor.
> I realize you have no reason to trust me but if you accept my proposal you will likely have all
> of your money before the end of the year.
> Al Sebastian
Here's an excerpt from his proposal:
As a result of your garnishee orders certain Distributors have decided to suspend doing business with me until this matter is resolved. This means it will take longer to repay you. In order to expedite matters I am asking you to cancel the garnishee orders so I can conduct business unhampered. It will allow me to pay you much quicker. You have my word that I will live up to this proposal. If I fail to do so you can always reinstate the garnishee orders.
I want nothing more than to pay you what you are owed so we can both move on with our lives. If you agree to this proposal and cancel the garnishee orders I will have the third party company contact you and / or your lawyer (if necessary) to make the arrangements.
Al must think I'm a complete idiot!
...asking you to cancel the garnishee orders so I can conduct business unhampered...
I wonder what he would really do if I "unhampered" him? Sounds sort of like "catch & release" to me.
...You have my word that I will live up to this proposal...
He's giving me his word... really... where have I heard that before? Oh I know, does this sound familiar?
Has Al has forgotten about item #2 in the contract which states "In return for granting this loan Mr. Chandler will receive equity shares of Canadian Classic Food Products entitling him to 25% of the net profit of the business."?
Here's your answer Al, assuming you're keeping an eye on this page. My legal advisors have said to leave the garnishee's in place and that this matter has gone too far through the court system for me to start cancelling any existing Notices of Garnishment. They also said that it's up to you to make your "payment offer" directly to the court and if you were really serious you would have supplied the contact information of your so called "third party financial company" with your offer.
Did regular readers catch the name change? His e-mail header has gone from "Canadian Classic Food Products" to "Sunset Country Resort Services". Both Business Names are registered as sole proprietorships with Al Sebastian as the registered owner.
Entering the big leagues.
Maybe "Big 'n Small Al tries them all" would be more suitable... (Updated: Nov 15/12)
...certain Distributors have decided to suspend doing business...
I wonder if he means Cabela's in Winnipeg? Getting the products into Cabela's must be a recent development, they weren't listed last time I checked. I wonder if Canadian Tire will be next?
June 26/12: If you happen to be in Marathon (Northern Ontario) and are looking for some FishFry. I've heard the local Home Hardware store has some in stock.
July 18/12: Al's FishFry has even been spotted in some of the smaller "Mom & Pop" corner stores around Thunder Bay.
September 1/12: Al's been out and about again, this time Canadian Classic was spotted in the Vermillion Bay Co-Op.
November 15/12: A local food chain has recently shut their doors. Quality Market was a long time Canadian Classic Fish Fry customer.
The bullshit continues... (Updated: Jan 22/13)
Cabela's are back in the news. I was tipped off that Cabela's in Winnipeg appear to be carrying the full line of Canadian Classic FishFry products. Here's a link to their latest fishfry product page.
Cabela's Canada have been aware of this situation since July 2012 and have refused to co-operate. Their head office in Sydney (Nebraska) are also aware of this situation and have seen this webpage, yet they refuse to co-operate and continue to deal with this asshole.
As mentioned in an early posting, Al claimed that
...certain Distributors have decided to suspend doing business.... It appears that Cabela's isn't one of those suppliers that recognize legal matters and are in fact are encouraging Al in his endeavours.
Canadian Classic Fishfry Production Plant
I'm not making this up, really... (Updated: Feb 28/13)
...sounds like such a good deal... what could possibly go wrong...
Here's a link to the Private Equity Opportunities webpage. I've also included a link to the PDF version in case the original webpage vanishes for some reason.
At least Al is being somewhat honest when he states ...I cannot obtain financing from traditional lending institutions. But then he claims to have a Personal investment to date: $85,000.00. What he really means is a personal investment from previous suckers (oops, I mean partners).
This time he's looking for an alternative producer with adequate production capabilities. I wonder what happened to his last producer/supplier (John Paul Foods)? He probably owes them a bunch of money as well and has gone into hiding.
In typical Al Sebastian style he is looking for a single investor for the full amount. Minimum required - $185,000.00 and he's still making the same old promises about big sales and doubling your money. This guy needs to be taken care of, permanently.
Another reality check, what kind of production facility can be started these days with only $185,000?? Al is claiming a Government Grant application is currently being processed now where have I heard that story before? Which government is he referring to?
March 9/13: I just thought of another 21st century funding option that would be better suited to Al's business style. One that requires minimal accountability to his investors. I won't mention the funding source here as it'll be more entertaining watching Al and his friends trying to track it down.
... (Updated: Apr 18/13)
March 9/13: I made some new friends the other day. These folks were kind enough to make me an interesting offer that I couldn't refuse. They'll take up my cause for free and all they ask for in return is a share of the treasure. Sounds like win/win/lose situation to me (win-me / win-new friends / lose big time-guess who).
It turns out they have all sorts of resources at their disposal and they're very motivated. This is much better than what I had originally planned to do in the Spring of 2013.
April 18/13: Preliminary report from my new friends indicates that Al is a professional con artist and apparently has extensive experience in hiding financial information. What else is new? Who knows, maybe his name appears on the list of suspected Canadian tax evaders that was discovered in a recent offshore tax haven data leak.
It's a small world
It really is ... (Updated: May 17/13)
During a recent commercial flight the passenger in the next seat and I started chatting. After a while things turned from general chit-chat to business matters with stories of bad debts, dealing with dead beats and what a complete waste of time the Ontario Small Claims Court system is. After exchanging stories he asked a little bit about Al Sebastian, the Fish Fry biz and then proceeded to describe Al. Talk about spooky, this guy had almost been snared by Al but somehow managed to escape. While he was at it he passed along some interesting collection ideas that I've added my arsenal.
There's a been a surge in web traffic recently. Al must be out and about trying to scare up some business. Anyone searching for 'Canadian Classic Fishfry', 'Northern Ontario fish batter', 'Fish Fry made in Thunder Bay' or 'Al Fish Batter Thunder Bay' usually finds my site listed on the first page of their search results. SEO skills are such a handy thing to have.
(Updated: Jun 5/13)
I wonder if Al is the market for a new vehicle? Someone from Bemidji Chrysler (Bemidji, MN) was Googling for Al the other day, found this site and spent some time checking it out. I hope they didn't offer him financing.