Complaint / review text:
I am the owner of a proprietary school in Atlanta, Ga, and this "man" Larry Beneke contacted us to present the alternative financing programs that were available for our students.
Let me first explain. When a school is new, they are not eligible to become accredited until in business for two years, and can show results from their students. Therefore, the school cannot receive governement financial aid for their students (title iv) until such time. This leaves the school with very very very few options to assist students with tuition finance. So when you get a call that there are programs available that will finance most any tier of credit, and advace 70% of the tuition up-front, and the rest will be paid monthly as the student pays, it most certainly peaks ones interest.
This is where Larry Beneke comes into the picture. He explained that he represents five lenders, and that his fee for his services is $3750.00 plus airfare ($500) and hotel ($150) Quite expensive, but when you consider being able to accept more students, and not having to turn away students because of inability to get financed, the investment seems worth it. And it would have been, if these companies actually existed and/or could assist you.
We flew him in (cowboy boots and all), and welcomed him into our school to explain the details of the programs available to us. I must admit that the presentation was quite vague and alot of the information was outdated. But hindsight is 20/20. He actually had a form with the three major credit bureaus and it had TRW as an agency. Anyway, He talked for about one hour and asked to go to lunch. While at the deli, he ordered his lunch and had the nerve to place it in my cart as if to say "you don't think that i'm paying for this do you"? Yes, on top of all this, I paid for the man's meal as well.
After lunch, we resumed the so called presentation. Then we got to the point where he presented the so called lenders and the procedures to send in their required documents. But before he opened the folder with the names, he presented his invoice for $3750. This kind of threw me for a loop, but I wrote him a check and we proceeded. He provided the information, I drove him back to the hotel (all on my dime), and went back to prepare the packet for the lenders.
Several days went by, and I started to contact the lenders to confirm receipt of my information. That was one of the worst days of my life.in case I didn't make it clear in the beginning. I am not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. I have mortgaged my home (two times), took out two personal loans, and maxed out my cards to accomplish my dream of owning my own business. So needless to say, I don't have money to throw away.
Anyway, as I spoke to the lenders, they advised me that they know of Larry Beneke and he does not work for, nor represent their companies. They all explained that they hear this all the time from unfortunate school owners that were duped by this "man". They explained that they are lenders for schools, but they either had the same two year in business requirement or they are only able to advance $2000.00 to a school (our tuition is $25,000) and students had to have good credit to qualify. This was all contrary to what Larry told us.
I immediately called his office and cell phone, but got no answer. I must have left 20 messages. But no call back. Finally, two days later, he called, stating he was traveling and just got the messages. He was probably off defrauding another institution. So I told him, what the lenders told me and asked him what the deal was. He acted shocked that they would have told me what they did, and said he would immediately have his secretary contact them and call me back. I never heard back from him. I have called and left countless messages; but nothing.
My second to last message to him was a request of all of my monies (including the meal), as the services he promised he could provide us with were not rendered. I also told him that I will pursue this matter in court. My last message to him was today, I just received my credit card bill from the card that I used to pay for his hotel room. This slime ball actually charged an additional $100 on my card without my permission. I basically reiterated to him that he is a coward and this additional charge on my card was unauthorized, and it will be added to the total sum of the lawsuit.
Please do not do business with this "man". He is a fraud in the worst way!!!