RESOLVED! ES member fell very ill & is working this out :)

Talk about anything and everything here within reason.
lifereinspired   100 mW

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RESOLVED! ES member fell very ill & is working this out :)

Post by lifereinspired » May 25 2013 11:06pm

Completely resolved - or soon will be! Devries is the man of integrity I always felt in my heart he was and as so many of us feared, he was incredible ill. We're starting work on my entire project again and all is being made right!!

Hi Folks,

I've been hesitant to post this for several reasons until now but I think it's only fair that other members know what happened to my husband and I. I'm frustrated and disappointed and lost as to what to do...

About 15 months ago, I started by posting questions about eBikes. We had recently purchased one but it turned out not to be very good quality and not was advertised so I was asking for help if we should try to keep them or do a self build or something else. I made it clear that I am disabled, that we have VERY little funds, and that this was something that I desperately needed to have a positive thing to focus on while I figured out good reasons to stay in the game of life, given my disabilities, genentic condition, and chronic pain. I had several answers that helped but a particular member started conversing with us, and, in short, we became very close. This member said that we could keep the ebikes we had purchased and that he'd help us with them or that he'd donate his time to help us build something that we're more comfortable in and we'd just pay for the items. He contacted a very well respected member of this board, Chalo, to see if he'd help in some of the build up (I wasn't sure what that arrangement was but I know that Chalo was ready to help) and we had copious emails and PM's back and forth about the best configs, bikes, what motor we were getting, battery configs, controller, adding PAS, battery testing etc. This went on for a few months and we finally had everything but the battery decided on. He was doing much research on the battery and finally found a couple of options he was happy with. All this time, he knew about brain surgeries I had, other surgery and procedures, and how important this project was to me mentally and emotionally for me to gain back some of my life...but then he dropped out of ES for a time.

I called hospitals in the area, I checked the obits online in the local papers.


I seemed to have read that there was a problem with the battery order and he told me that there were some issues with the battery person coming through with what they said they would do (right before he vanished)...so I realize other people were out money, but I doubt it was this much. I had an ES member in the Austin area ask for his info so he could try to see if he was still there but I heard nothing back from them. I also heard that devries logged on once in December but hasn't been seen since.

If anyone in the Austin area is still willing to go over and see if Dean still lives at the same address, I'd be grateful. If anyone has any ideas of what to do, I'm all ears. Please visit http://www.HelpRachelBreathe.com to read about my story. It needs updating as I've had 4 brain surgeries since then and been diagnosed with a potentially fatal high pressure in my brain that some of the surgeries are trying to address. I just didn't want you to think that I was exaggerating my health issues or making them up.

If any of you have any advice, any thoughts or ideas, please let me know.
Last edited by lifereinspired on Aug 22 2013 6:49pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by neptronix » May 25 2013 11:15pm

So sorry to hear that you got ripped off so big. My sympathies for you and all who were part of DeVries' scam :(

I have forwarded this on to some folks i know who i think live in the Austin area..
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lifereinspired   100 mW

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by lifereinspired » May 26 2013 1:45am

Thanks so much for forwarding it to people in Austin. I really appreciate it.

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by mwkeefer » May 26 2013 2:51am

I remember Devries I think... PM me the name / contact info including email addresses and physical addresses from paypal and provided by Dean if any... I've got a friend who looks like an enforcer (he actually is, hockey) and in addition is a beer master in Austin Tx who comes home here to PA every other weekend to his family... I may be able to track this down and figure out what happened in your situation.

-Mike
Regards,
Mike

{My Rides]
2010 Dahon Jack - GNG v1 - LYEN 6FET - 20/40A - 18S2P10AH - Nom:66.6v,1332w
2004 Hard Rock Pro Disc - Recumpence ms eDrive v4 - Astro 3220 4T - 12S2P16AH - HV110 - Left Side Drive - Gearing: 38mph
Nominal Peak Power @ 60 seconds: 5328 watts - Maximum Power: 49.8v, 120A, 5872w
2010 Downtube 8FH - Stock GNG v1 Stock Controller - EB809XC - 12-16S
2012 Downtube Nova 7spd - Stock GNG v2 - 12S2P10AH - EB809 - 12S-16S - 20A/30A,Nom VCC: 44.4, 888w

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by Chalo » May 26 2013 3:12am

I hesitate to assume that Dean/deVries did what he did on purpose. I have wondered about his well-being ever since he fell off the radar. Nothing about my interactions with the guy seemed suspicious at all, and I've wondered whether he might have had some kind of health emergency.

Dean contacted me by email for advice and feedback on his own projects in June 2010, a long while before Rachel showed up here for advice. I offered Dean what help I could, but he never showed up to see me. I assumed this was because of circumstances related to taking care of a 90-something years old family member.

Late, Dean contacted me about other things concerning e-bikes, wheelbuilding, and trailers.

Then he contacted me again to solicit my participation in helping get Rachel set up with bikes I recommended for e-conversion. I agreed to do what I could, at no charge. The bikes were not ordered from my shop; Dean told me they had been bought elsewhere and shipped to him. I never did meet him to assemble wheels or bikes, and for a while the project was delayed while he was waiting for parts. Shortly before I last heard from him, I canceled a planned meeting with him at the shop, because I needed to help my parents move some stuff after their house fire.

I last heard from Dean by email in May 2012. I got my last PM from him in the last week of July 2012. He posted items here on E-S for another month after that.

I never met him face to face, not even once. I never knew his surname, but a little poking around on the web has turned up someone who seems to be him. Digging through my email record just now, I found a phone number he gave me in 2010 if anyone is interested. I've not tried calling it, because I didn't know I had it.

That's all I've got. I hope this gets sorted out in due course. I'm still game to help if I can.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by mwkeefer » May 26 2013 3:23am

Chalo,

Any info you may have, please PM forward to me?

I am not presuming that this was done in malice, with intent or even that there may be a health issue of his own (or worse) but I'd like to look into it either way, some of our members move on, get tired of repeating themselves technically, fall on bad times, depression and in some cases have passed on.

In either case, it's something I can look into (I have access to the required databases to do real searches, just don't ask for more detail) and perhaps at least figure out an explanation of the cause of the situation.

Regards,
Mike
Regards,
Mike

{My Rides]
2010 Dahon Jack - GNG v1 - LYEN 6FET - 20/40A - 18S2P10AH - Nom:66.6v,1332w
2004 Hard Rock Pro Disc - Recumpence ms eDrive v4 - Astro 3220 4T - 12S2P16AH - HV110 - Left Side Drive - Gearing: 38mph
Nominal Peak Power @ 60 seconds: 5328 watts - Maximum Power: 49.8v, 120A, 5872w
2010 Downtube 8FH - Stock GNG v1 Stock Controller - EB809XC - 12-16S
2012 Downtube Nova 7spd - Stock GNG v2 - 12S2P10AH - EB809 - 12S-16S - 20A/30A,Nom VCC: 44.4, 888w

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by MikeFairbanks » May 26 2013 10:08am

What a strange story.

To the OP: do you have anything to ride as of now? Ever consider a tricycle with electric motor?

Where are you located in the country? I can help (but not financially...we have no extra money either due to...you guessed it.....health issues ...with our daughter). If you're close enough I can help. I'm in atlanta but have a lot of time off in the summer (the benefits of teaching).

When I say help, I mean with building stuff at no expense on your part. I'm not into search and recovery. The police should be involved for that kind of thing.

I will say this, however: Anyone involved in a financial scam of any type who takes it across state lines is now game for a federal probe via the FBI. If the guy who did this is just a screw-up he can make good by coming forth. If he stole with intent that's pretty significant. Certainly a felony.

But we should always maintain innocence until PROVEN guilty.
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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by dnmun » May 26 2013 10:57am

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Last edited by dnmun on Aug 22 2013 7:58pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by bowlofsalad » May 26 2013 12:01pm

dnmun wrote:chalk it up to lessons learned. never send money to someone you do not know. assume anyone u interact with on the net is using a fictitious persona like they do when they go to the porn sites. that is why everyone here uses fake identities. nobody wants you to know who they are.
This is like saying every online transaction should never be. I don't know the guys at ebike.ca or em3ev.com, should I have not purchased from them? Even if others say they didn't have a bad experience, it doesn't mean nobody ever has or will. It's all trust and hope and such.

Why doesn't someone just go to this Devries/deans home or something?

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by Dauntless » May 26 2013 1:27pm

bowlofsalad wrote:
dnmun wrote: Why doesn't someone just go to this Devries/deans home or something?
Assuming anyone ever had the address, his name really is Dean DeVries or something close enough, that he really could be found, there's still the possibility of bad things happening when you go to his place.

Dang, if you had real info you contact the Austin Police, I assume the statute of limitations isn't up yet. Oh look, they have an EMail page. http://austintexas.gov/email/police3 Of course that will go slowly, but if someone just shows up and the guy acts like "Yeah? So?" it's not like you're accomplishing anything going there.

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by veloman » May 26 2013 2:03pm

I'm sorry guys, but I decided to not get involved. If this guy is indeed a criminal I'm not about to walk up to his doorstep and ask him why he ripped everyone off.
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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by swbluto » May 26 2013 2:17pm

It's a conman's job to not look like one.

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by mwkeefer » May 26 2013 3:09pm

All,

Nobody should walk up to his door? Are you guys crazy... there is either a rational and understandable explaination (Ie: he died, fell into depression and was institutionalized, etc) or he is a crook.. Wouldn't want to go walking up on him (other than to confirm his existance in an anonymous manor) but don't approach him. The answers will be self evident and as far as Austin P.D. - no offense to them but this would be federal, ie: theft and fraud by wire amongst other things (feds are great at layering, trust me).

I'll look into Devries and see what can be found out, just for resolution if possible not expecting anyone to do anything to him other than perhaps report him with a documented case and proper evidence to get Cyber crimes on it.

There are tons of scams out there, they grow exponentially at a geometric rate with the expansion of the internet to more and more people because there are just con artists out there... lots.

I hadn't realized this guy ripped anyone else off until this morning (now) when I read the nights posts.

In either case... I'll get into this but won't have full access to needed resources until Tuesday.

-Mike
Regards,
Mike

{My Rides]
2010 Dahon Jack - GNG v1 - LYEN 6FET - 20/40A - 18S2P10AH - Nom:66.6v,1332w
2004 Hard Rock Pro Disc - Recumpence ms eDrive v4 - Astro 3220 4T - 12S2P16AH - HV110 - Left Side Drive - Gearing: 38mph
Nominal Peak Power @ 60 seconds: 5328 watts - Maximum Power: 49.8v, 120A, 5872w
2010 Downtube 8FH - Stock GNG v1 Stock Controller - EB809XC - 12-16S
2012 Downtube Nova 7spd - Stock GNG v2 - 12S2P10AH - EB809 - 12S-16S - 20A/30A,Nom VCC: 44.4, 888w

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by mwkeefer » May 26 2013 4:19pm

All,

The 4603 Address - I did some poking about (curiosity always gets the better of me) and discovered the main address everyone seemed to have at one time or another for Dean in association with an elderly family member was part of estate (she passed) as of 05/06... There was not likely to be any elderly relative living in the home in 2010 given the sales listings history I uncovered.

Property Description:
This family home sits on one of the most desirable streets in Highland Park West! Views of DT & UT can be achieved w/a 2nd story addition. Good bones, good square footage, fabulous private, treed lot w/pool ready for redo! Solar panels & windows replaced in 2005/2006 as per estate. Property is an estate - to be sold STRICTLY as is. Great opportunity!

Sales History:
04/26/2012 Sold -- -- $0 Public Record
03/20/2012 Listed for sale $599,900 -- $231 RE/MAX Austin Skyline
03/19/2012 Listed for sale $599,900 -11.1% $231 RE/MAX Austin Skyline, Realtors
12/09/2011 Listing removed $675,000 -- $260 RE/MAX Austin Skyline
10/09/2011 Listed for sale $675,000 92.9% $260 RE/MAX Austin Skyline
10/05/2004 Sold $350,000 -- $135 Public Record

I'm not sure about the 4/26 sale but in my experience when a 0.00 figure is listed it's because the executor of the estate doesn't properly do their job and the property and estate are taken over by the state... granted my experience with these matters is limited to PA I am sure that there are similar laws surrounding estate in Tx.

I'll delve further into this and locating Dean on Tuesday when I have full access to data sources.

-Mike
Regards,
Mike

{My Rides]
2010 Dahon Jack - GNG v1 - LYEN 6FET - 20/40A - 18S2P10AH - Nom:66.6v,1332w
2004 Hard Rock Pro Disc - Recumpence ms eDrive v4 - Astro 3220 4T - 12S2P16AH - HV110 - Left Side Drive - Gearing: 38mph
Nominal Peak Power @ 60 seconds: 5328 watts - Maximum Power: 49.8v, 120A, 5872w
2010 Downtube 8FH - Stock GNG v1 Stock Controller - EB809XC - 12-16S
2012 Downtube Nova 7spd - Stock GNG v2 - 12S2P10AH - EB809 - 12S-16S - 20A/30A,Nom VCC: 44.4, 888w

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by Dauntless » May 26 2013 5:21pm

Doesn't have to mean anything, but Cedar Park borders on Austin.

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by MikeFairbanks » May 26 2013 8:35pm

I want to remind everyone that there are two (or more) sides to every story.

Why hasn't the OP called the cops?
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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by swbluto » May 26 2013 9:45pm

I'm suspecting the guy had a big financial emergency problem (Couldn't pay off the mortgage as someone lost a job, had a big medical cost, etc.) and saw an opportunity to take the money and run. Maybe he didn't originally intend to steal the money, but he maybe was suddenly motivated to take it because of some big financial emergency.

It wouldn't surprise me considering the things happening in America's economy in recent years.

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by lifereinspired » May 26 2013 10:11pm

dnmun wrote:this is almost two years old since devries ripped everybody off. i had asked you back then to contact the police to get help. you were right down the road from him in texas so you coulda done something then. by now, in fact even back then, he was long gone. you were not the only person ripped off either. a buncha other people lost money too.

chalk it up to lessons learned. never send money to someone you do not know. assume anyone u interact with on the net is using a fictitious persona like they do when they go to the porn sites. that is why everyone here uses fake identities. nobody wants you to know who they are.
Actually, it's less than a year since I first sent Dean money for the ebike project. I checked my first posts on here and they were mid-May of 2012. We didn't get involved in the building up of ebikes until a bit later.

I quoted this message because I don't know who thought I lived anywhere NEAR Austin but I live across the country on the East coast almost to the Canadian border. It's about a 4 day drive to Austin from here and I can't fly because of my rare respiratory illness.

We didn't know whether to get the police involved or not. We had planned to call them but a police officer we knew from Texas told us they would refuse to help so we didn't pursue it.

I also want to make it clear that I'm not saying that this was planned, pre-meditated, etc...it never seemed like a con to me until he just wasn't there any more and didn't answer any phone calls, emails, PM's etc...which was unusual because we would often respond to each other within minutes of each other via email. So hearing nothing was very strange. I always kind of thought that he probably got in over his head on the battery purchase and I did hear from him that one of the battery things he was working on didn't go through correctly...didn't really understand the details but wouldn't be surprised if the China connection took all the money and ran. However, I would have thought that he would have contacted me about the item he already had that I had purchased so that I could have at least had that. Being out the $800 for the two batteries would have been much better than being out all of it! I also wondered if he had emergency medical problems (hence me calling the hospitals), had had a car accident and passed away but nothing in the obits or anything to suggest that. I feel really happy that Chalo had good interactions with him as well because that makes me feel like I didn't completely misread the situation on my own. mwkeefer, I'll PM you all the info that I have. As I said, I know the physical addy I had for him was correct because I had to have the bikes sent there and he posted pics for me of the bikes once they had arrived. That can only confirm the address. mwkeefer, if you feel the info should me posted publicly on the forum, I'll let that be up to you to do once you have it. I honestly don't know what's the right thing to do on that at this point.

As for what I have to ride - nothing - at all. I've lost all this time and a lot of strength in the meantime. I so wish I had had the bikes. They would have been awesome. At this point, I don't even know what to do. Maybe sometime, I'll post what it was going to be with the components etc from emails I have. It was going to be a couple of sweet electric machines.

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by dnmun » May 26 2013 10:34pm

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Last edited by dnmun on Aug 22 2013 7:58pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by mwkeefer » May 26 2013 11:39pm

Much as I hate to admit it, dnmun is right about nothing happening being the likely outcome.

While I may be able to chase him down, given the RE listing I posted it appears whomever was handling the estate sale and estate in general didn't do their job, I've seen 1.00 transactions where executor is actually passing property or deed but when there is a 0.00 it's normally a sign the state stepped into the mix and took control of the estate assets.

There are some other inconsistencies with his story to everyone I've spotted and some things I can't quite make sense of.

To reclaim your money (if he is located) dnmun again is correct you would have to file a civil action against him in Texas however I would suggest looking into the local law schools or schools with law programs in the austin area, find someone who can help you but will do it pro bono... They don't have to do much once we ID the guy for sure - as long as you can produce evidence of transfers (paypal, canceled checks, etc) and he will fail to respond to the case which would give you the judgement you need to file any possible liens.. we are a litigious society and something tells me this guy is already broken in one way or another.

Given that the house doesn't even belong to him anymore (will know more Tuesday) I wouldn't post the address publicly - lest some misguided member decide to go and ring the bell so to speak :)

I just want to figure out what happened and be sure it's not some guy who is still doing this to others in other places.

If he is still up to this, it's still not a local PD thing... it's FBI and once they have teeth, they don't let go :)

Regards
Mike
Regards,
Mike

{My Rides]
2010 Dahon Jack - GNG v1 - LYEN 6FET - 20/40A - 18S2P10AH - Nom:66.6v,1332w
2004 Hard Rock Pro Disc - Recumpence ms eDrive v4 - Astro 3220 4T - 12S2P16AH - HV110 - Left Side Drive - Gearing: 38mph
Nominal Peak Power @ 60 seconds: 5328 watts - Maximum Power: 49.8v, 120A, 5872w
2010 Downtube 8FH - Stock GNG v1 Stock Controller - EB809XC - 12-16S
2012 Downtube Nova 7spd - Stock GNG v2 - 12S2P10AH - EB809 - 12S-16S - 20A/30A,Nom VCC: 44.4, 888w

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by emiyata » May 27 2013 11:26am

I don't know how you will recover the money. I have seen good intentions go sour on projects like this. I hate to say it I never seen the money get recovered. I have been burned on deals but fortunately very little money was involved. Wish you the best of luck.

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by dnmun » May 27 2013 12:06pm

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Last edited by dnmun on Aug 22 2013 7:59pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by MikeFairbanks » May 27 2013 1:07pm

It's odd to me that ES is the only report of this. Without a report through law enforcement, this case doesn't even exist. Even if the police do absolutely nothing, filing a report with them is fundamental. If you aren't building a paper trail, then there's no evidence.

And how did you pay for all these parts and shipping, etc.?

If you paid by credit card then get the credit card company to help you out. I've had to make claims through American Express and they backed me up each time. The other companies have protection too.


Finally (and this is going to sound harsh), but why are you asking other members of Endless Sphere to get involved in this case? None of us should be party to a dispute between two other parties. If you haven't even called the police in his town (or yours) then you should be doing that today. And I'm still wondering what the other guy's side of the story is. If you're asking others to get involved, it's only fair they know both sides of the story (but really, they shouldn't get involved...this is a job for law enforcement).
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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by bigmoose » May 27 2013 2:54pm

I'm sure not a legal expert... but in small claims can't you file in your (the plaintiff's) district? Does it have to be in the defendant's district?
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Re: I had over $2k stolen - from a guy here. Need your thou

Post by Dauntless » May 27 2013 3:45pm

In California it has to be 'Where it happened.' I have the check bounce when I make a video for someone, I have to go near his address because that's where he wrote it.

As for the guy asking ES to help but not reporting it, that's how people are. I see nothing surprising about it. That's why the bad guys find so much success.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM MAGIC!
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