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yeah Im pretty much done with all my online innernet only dyansty league, brucezone, misfits and outlaws, now this, im out

Wait, I'm working on a new one called 'Your Cash is Mine, FFL' Our motto will be 'This time it will be different'.

indeed, ive never been burned money wise, and I didnt play in Phenoms, but im out regardless

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I debated for a day whether I should post since I am in the industry and am not a regular here but I have read every post, theory and idea how to possibly recoup what is rightfully the members money.

Mike is reading this thread and must be amused that his "divide and conquer plan" is working so splendidly. 25 percent of the "winners" from all the prize suckers who paid in are uniting against the

Young Chuck moved to Montana and bought a horse from a farmer for $100.00. The farmer agreed to deliver the horse the next day. The next Day he drove up and said, "Sorry, Son, but I have some bad news

So, what precautions can you take going forward if you still wanted to join these kind of leagues where someone is holding a lot of other peoples money?

In a few years, it'll seem as antiquated as USA Today/pencil scores. Just don't do it any more.

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Ok I researched this guy some more.

Guy comes from a solid well to do family in PA. Dad is an engineer, Mike gets engineering degree from Penn Stare. But Mike isn't very responsible and he moves out to Utah to be a ski bum and a bartender and dabbles in fantasy football and gambling.

Mike may be a good guy but I think he has made some lousy decisions in life and just make another awful decision. I don't think he stole the money I just think he is just naive and made yet another bad decision in life.

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I find it curious that some people are trying to defend him based on some previous internet reputation. By his own admission, he mishandled the escrow funds. Whether or not this was a straight up scam or a guy who got in over his head, he completely ####ed up and deserves everything he is getting right now. Deleting all social media, yet continuing to set your lineup in a Phenoms League is top-notch shtick though. You'd think after the Let's Poker fiasco, people would be more wary of their fellow FBGs.

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Hypothetically, let's say someone wants to run a business like Phenoms. Absolutely they would need to partner up with LeagueSafe or some other escrow service.

There is a business void Phenoms leaves as there are a lot of people who want the convenience of not having to be a commish or deal with nagging people to pay their dues, set their lineups, argue over trades being collusion, etc. Phenoms was a convenience platform, and we all agreed to chip in some extra rake for that convenience. With plenty of leagues available, different formats, running every day throughout the summer, and at different hours to accomodate different schedules. People gladly pay for convenience, and likely will continue to look for companies like Phenoms in the future. Never underestimate the profit potential of a convenience based business. We Americans are always looking for an easier way, and will pay good money for it. But the trust issue is going to be a big hurdle for this industry to overcome.

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I really do feel bad for you guys for not only having your money stolen - but having something you enjoyed ripped away from you as well.

Thanks for that. It's not the money that bothers me so much. Well...a little. I justify my fantasy football vice by investing a few hundred bucks a year but always seem to double it back around the holidays. But it's never money I am counting on for Christmas presents or anything. This hobby takes more time than I am comfortable with admitting. Yesterday, I was so bitter I did not watch any games. I tried for about 10 minutes but I started to get pissed off. A lot of hard work, time invested into some silly team that no longer exists. Shame on me for being such a fool caring about something so trivial. I'm numb to it all. I'll probably change my mind down the road, but running a fantasy football team at this point is the furthest though in my mind. And I would have been in 2 championships of my 4 semifinals this weekend. Doesn't matter anymore.

You're still miles ahead of the Raider's mgmt if that's any consolation.

I get what your saying. Guys like Mike are destroying this hobby.

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For those looking for leagues (albeit it no money), the FBG Survivor leagues will be kicking off in January in the Mock Draft forum. These leagues are 10+ years old. I get a signup thread rolling now.

Edited by BassNBrew
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The only way his story makes sense is if he was promised investments and they fell through. As many have pointed out, the idea that he spent this years prize pool on web development doesn't make sense as even if the dev work got done how would he pay the prizes?

Also, as a developer I can honestly say the part about a dev venture estimating 200k in budget running up to 630k is entirely believable. Yes, you can make a fully functional ff site in a framework like RoR for much less than that. However, I imagine if his ultimate goal was to take over MFL, I'm sure there was more to it than just developing a simple ff site. Also, there is the issue of migrating the data from MFL, fantrax, etc to this new site for every dynasty/keeper league.

When he reached out for help with investments, I actually offered my help consulting on the development pro bono, but he didn't respond. So it's possible that it is a complete lie as well.

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I wasn't in any Phenoms leagues, just know a scam when I see one.

You weren't even in any of the leagues? Just a casual passer by that read something on a message board and you're ready to convict?

Never shocked to see people primed and ready to throw the first stone.

Why on earth would this matter? You could argue that people who weren't in any of his leagues would be more impartial about the situation than people who were.

No matter what happened here, the guy screwed a lot of people over. Sure, one way may be "less bad" than the other, but it's pretty much ridiculous to defend him at this point. If it turns out that his story is true and he "only" used money that he clearly wasn't supposed to use and most of it is gone, are you going to say "Ha- I told you so!"?

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The fantasy football season is four months long. The truth is back in September he knew there was a problem. The owner decided to accept entry fees anyway to either con or dig out of a hole.

He then timed the communication perfectly at a point where the vast majority of league members would not care as they just got knocked out of contention.

I do believe that this probably didn't start out as a long con. However, you have a person who is sitting on more money than he will most likely legitimately ever see in his life. He had dollar signs in his eyes and wanted the easy and now version of getting it. At some point this person made the unethical choice of stealing it.

The minute he dipped into league funds he stole your money. It doesn't matter what the intention was. Covering up a business deal gone bad is stealing money. It was a bad idea to begin with to develop your own site. But a worse idea to use league funds to cover it up.

Most likely Mike is in a world of trouble and now just wants to make as big of a money grab as he can right now.

He stole our money, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the worst part is most of us aren't going to care enough to go after him for it.

Edited by lynx4ben
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Uh Raiders Nation sorry to disappoint but I am not Mike Z. I am in 4 Phenoms leagues and I was owed $1400 in winnings from ANT sports before Steve disappeared. Not sure what about my post would make you think I was Mike.

You were in ANTS AND this league?

Need to make a note to never get in a league with you.

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Like I said earlier, he probably looked at the year over year decrease in funds coming in and decided to steal the cash now

This is my guess, as well.

Dailys are crushing it, and I know several people dropping the head-to-head leagues to concentrate on FanDuel. Great time to walk away with everyone's investment.

Serious question...what's to stop FanDuel or any of the other dailys from doing the same thing. Granted you wouldn't have the time invested but what if, after they collected a bunch of deposits at the beginning of the year they just closed up shop and bailed with people's cash? Hard to trust any website tied in any way to gambling.

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Like I said earlier, he probably looked at the year over year decrease in funds coming in and decided to steal the cash now

This is my guess, as well.

Dailys are crushing it, and I know several people dropping the head-to-head leagues to concentrate on FanDuel. Great time to walk away with everyone's investment.

Serious question...what's to stop FanDuel or any of the other dailys from doing the same thing. Granted you wouldn't have the time invested but what if, after they collected a bunch of deposits at the beginning of the year they just closed up shop and bailed with people's cash? Hard to trust any website tied in any way to gambling.

I like your point, expect that you change website to person

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Uh Raiders Nation sorry to disappoint but I am not Mike Z. I am in 4 Phenoms leagues and I was owed $1400 in winnings from ANT sports before Steve disappeared. Not sure what about my post would make you think I was Mike.

You were in ANTS AND this league?

Need to make a note to never get in a league with you.

Yep...though I think this Phenoms thing has ended fantasy football for me after playing for over 20 years. I wan to play for money but CBS and other sites pretty much suck with their lack of PPR or different formats so it looks like I am done- you are safe.

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Trust is a product that is good as gold. People over the years have helped build this site, and FBG's has a customer friendly policy and guarantee of product satisfaction. I'm sure Joe has refunded plenty of subscriptions over the years for whatever reason, but it's been a wise business decision because the trust it endears is worth so much. When trust is gained it ripples through any industry and generates more revenue. The converse is also true.

I realize it's a much smaller scale, but what if you just invested a 3 year subscription to FBG's and one day logged in to find a gateway timeout, later to find the site went down. You'd feel like a fool trusting that your 3 year dues were safe in the hands of someone you don't know personally. Is that scenario so much different than Phenoms? It all goes back to repuation and trust.

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I find it curious that some people are trying to defend him based on some previous internet reputation. By his own admission, he mishandled the escrow funds. Whether or not this was a straight up scam or a guy who got in over his head, he completely ####ed up and deserves everything he is getting right now. Deleting all social media, yet continuing to set your lineup in a Phenoms League is top-notch shtick though. You'd think after the Let's Poker fiasco, people would be more wary of their fellow FBGs.

What was the Let's Poker fiasco and what happened, SacramentoBob?

eta* You can PM me if you'd rather.

eta2* Or anybody with knowledge of it can. I'd like to know.

Edited by rockaction
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Trust is a product that is good as gold. People over the years have helped build this site, and FBG's has a customer friendly policy and guarantee of product satisfaction. I'm sure Joe has refunded plenty of subscriptions over the years for whatever reason, but it's been a wise business decision because the trust it endears is worth so much. When trust is gained it ripples through any industry and generates more revenue. The converse is also true.

I realize it's a much smaller scale, but what if you just invested a 3 year subscription to FBG's and one day logged in to find a gateway timeout, later to find the site went down. You'd feel like a fool trusting that your 3 year dues were safe in the hands of someone you don't know personally. Is that scenario so much different than Phenoms? It all goes back to repuation and trust.

Here's the difference between Joe and Mike. Joe owns/owned a large boat business with his name on it. Joe is a visible part of the community. Joe has family. I could go knock on Joe's front door or likely find his office. Joe frequently engages personally with members of this board. Joe has personally helped members of this forum financially and with advice outside of ff.

For those with questions about who to entrust your money to, look for factors like these and you will probably be OK.

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I keep going back to the fact that if Mike was simply stealing the money, why send out the letter two weeks before?

That would be like emailing a bank saying you are sorry, but you will be robbing them in a few days..

Maybe the purpose of the letter was because he is desperately looking for a way to get even.. He knows his business is over, and he clearly blew the money somewhere, but as some have said on here, they know personally he is in deep discussions with people to sell the information/platform..

IF that is true, and IF he uses that money to make everyone whole this year, he can save face (although again, phenoms is dead)..

Coming from a guy who has ran the gaumet on emotions and thoughts having thousands and thousands of dollars currently with Mike, I am still hoping somehow someway this ends up not as bad as we all think..

I know anything less than 100% payout is COMPLETELY unacceptable, but if you guys are being honest, at this point, if mike was able to pay 75%, is that good enough, all things considered?

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the bottom line is this, and this is straight from a lawyer whom I spoke with today.

he violated several business and banking laws, much like FullTilt did with spending money not earned and which they were simply supposed to be holding.

a class action suit is a possibility, but again, you would have to find the right firm to go after him and there probably arent many out there who want to go after a guy and company with zero money or assets.

the owner, Mike, will face the feds. but as far as anyone seeing any money, that is extremely unlikely.

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Trust is a product that is good as gold. People over the years have helped build this site, and FBG's has a customer friendly policy and guarantee of product satisfaction. I'm sure Joe has refunded plenty of subscriptions over the years for whatever reason, but it's been a wise business decision because the trust it endears is worth so much. When trust is gained it ripples through any industry and generates more revenue. The converse is also true.

I realize it's a much smaller scale, but what if you just invested a 3 year subscription to FBG's and one day logged in to find a gateway timeout, later to find the site went down. You'd feel like a fool trusting that your 3 year dues were safe in the hands of someone you don't know personally. Is that scenario so much different than Phenoms? It all goes back to repuation and trust.

Here's the difference between Joe and Mike. Joe owns/owned a large boat business with his name on it. Joe is a visible part of the community. Joe has family. I could go knock on Joe's front door or likely find his office. Joe frequently engages personally with members of this board. Joe has personally helped members of this forum financially and with advice outside of ff.

For those with questions about who to entrust your money to, look for factors like these and you will probably be OK.

Plus, we are paying for a product here. If the company goes under then you lose the product. There is no product that Phenom's was providing. They were a middle man and they stole the money. MFL going under and everybody losing their leagues/data is the same thing as FBG going under. The equivalent of what Phenom's did would be us paying for our FBG subscription through PayPal and PayPal taking our money and running. Their one and only job is to collect money, hold it and then give it out when it's time.

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I seriously think he's so delusional that he thought we'd all be like "it's ok mike, we understand, you did your best, pay us whatever you can"

Read that email again. His story is so full of holes. It's like he's trying to convince himself that he's the victim here of an evil web developer that took him to the cleaners. He never explains the ethics behind how peoples fully secured, Wells Fargo safe money got caught up in his failed business decisions. He has a conscious and I think truly feels sorry, else why even bother writing us a going away email? Why ask for forgiveness? I don't think he's that naive to think we'll all just collectively say, "poor Mike, had a bad day. let's let bygones be bygones for old time sake". He knows what he did, and what he's doing now is dead wrong. He's got Judas Iscariot syndrome. I doubt he's got a pot to piss in right now. Whatever he squandered away is long gone now. Still troubles me that if his conscience is so dirty, then why does he still set up his finals lineups of his own leagues? Amazed so many people still defend him as a 'good guy' and this all a misunderstanding. He's twisted.

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I seriously think he's so delusional that he thought we'd all be like "it's ok mike, we understand, you did your best, pay us whatever you can"

Amazed so many people still defend him as a 'good guy' and this all a misunderstanding. He's twisted.

Taking a break from sending money to televangelists, I guess.

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The fantasy football season is four months long. The truth is back in September he knew there was a problem. The owner decided to accept entry fees anyway to either con or dig out of a hole.

He then timed the communication perfectly at a point where the vast majority of league members would not care as they just got knocked out of contention.

I do believe that this probably didn't start out as a long con. However, you have a person who is sitting on more money than he will most likely legitimately ever see in his life. He had dollar signs in his eyes and wanted the easy and now version of getting it. At some point this person made the unethical choice of stealing it.

The minute he dipped into league funds he stole your money. It doesn't matter what the intention was. Covering up a business deal gone bad is stealing money. It was a bad idea to begin with to develop your own site. But a worse idea to use league funds to cover it up.

Most likely Mike is in a world of trouble and now just wants to make as big of a money grab as he can right now.

He stole our money, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the worst part is most of us aren't going to care enough to go after him for it.

:goodposting: all around.

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the bottom line is this, and this is straight from a lawyer whom I spoke with today.

he violated several business and banking laws, much like FullTilt did with spending money not earned and which they were simply supposed to be holding.

a class action suit is a possibility, but again, you would have to find the right firm to go after him and there probably arent many out there who want to go after a guy and company with zero money or assets.

the owner, Mike, will face the feds. but as far as anyone seeing any money, that is extremely unlikely.

A class action suit is likely not very helpful in that, assuming his story is true, as soon as he was served his LLC would file for bankruptcy and you'd still only see the pennies on the dollar he is currently promising.

Assuming his story isn't true and he's a scammer, the class action suit would likely result in a default judgment against his LLC or maybe even him personally (since he wouldn't respond to the Complaint most likely) and then it would be a bunch of attorneys trying to collect on that judgment and paying out whatever they could scrounge up from his assets (after taking out their fees of course).

The bolded statement is close to the truth - assuming the feds get involved.

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I find it curious that some people are trying to defend him based on some previous internet reputation. By his own admission, he mishandled the escrow funds. Whether or not this was a straight up scam or a guy who got in over his head, he completely ####ed up and deserves everything he is getting right now. Deleting all social media, yet continuing to set your lineup in a Phenoms League is top-notch shtick though. You'd think after the Let's Poker fiasco, people would be more wary of their fellow FBGs.

What was the Let's Poker fiasco and what happened, SacramentoBob?

Oh nothing major. Just some FBG who started a poker website when that was the big thing and got indicted for Securities Fraud. Thread still exists in the FFA, you can find it via google probably.

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I just got this back from the Utah Attorney Generals Office. Please call the number and file a complaint:

Thank you for writing to the Utah Attorney General's Office.
We did find that Phenom Enterprises, LLC, is licensed with the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code. With Phenom Enterprises, LLC being licensed, the Utah Division of Consumer Protection will take your report and look into them further.
We recommend contacting the Division of Consumer Protection at (801) 530-6601, Monday - Friday 8 a.m to 5 p.m. If others have filed a complaint, an investigation could be possible.
We trust this information will be helpful to you.
Sincerely,
Utah State Attorney General's Office
Constituent Services
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
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Trust is a product that is good as gold. People over the years have helped build this site, and FBG's has a customer friendly policy and guarantee of product satisfaction. I'm sure Joe has refunded plenty of subscriptions over the years for whatever reason, but it's been a wise business decision because the trust it endears is worth so much. When trust is gained it ripples through any industry and generates more revenue. The converse is also true.

I realize it's a much smaller scale, but what if you just invested a 3 year subscription to FBG's and one day logged in to find a gateway timeout, later to find the site went down. You'd feel like a fool trusting that your 3 year dues were safe in the hands of someone you don't know personally. Is that scenario so much different than Phenoms? It all goes back to repuation and trust.

Here's the difference between Joe and Mike. Joe owns/owned a large boat business with his name on it. Joe is a visible part of the community. Joe has family. I could go knock on Joe's front door or likely find his office. Joe frequently engages personally with members of this board. Joe has personally helped members of this forum financially and with advice outside of ff.

For those with questions about who to entrust your money to, look for factors like these and you will probably be OK.

Plus, we are paying for a product here. If the company goes under then you lose the product. There is no product that Phenom's was providing. They were a middle man and they stole the money. MFL going under and everybody losing their leagues/data is the same thing as FBG going under. The equivalent of what Phenom's did would be us paying for our FBG subscription through PayPal and PayPal taking our money and running. Their one and only job is to collect money, hold it and then give it out when it's time.

What is the product you speak of? On-line advice and pay for view rankings and articles. Some limited software downloads. Is it anything I can touch with my hands like Joe's boats? It's a contract of trust that the work FBG's puts in will continue to meet expectations every time I log in. Phenoms may have been a middle man, but they met my expectations of setting up leagues, with a wide variety of formats, dollar values, and schedules. Paying a broker for setting up and commishing leagues is a convenience and may seem like a silly idea, but some people are willing to take less rake in exchange. As long as the trust is there. I'm not sure that business model of paying for convenience will survive though. Not after this.

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All,

I was in a Phenoms high stakes league and made the playoffs; my money is now gone. I am taking action and need your help. I've listed contacts below where we can report Mike. I've already done it but the authorities made clear to me that for people to go after him WE NEED EVERYONE SCAMMED TO FILE A COMPLAINT. The more the better.
If you want evidence of how much a crook Mike is, check out a Google cache of his website. He had previously said that many would be kept securely in a Wells Fargo account and we were assured of payouts:
The reason you need a Google cache to read it is that he changed his website today to remove the statement about safekeeping funds.
Here are links if you want to file complaints:
https://complaint.ic3.gov/ (Internet Crime Complaint Center)
I also called the local police where Mike lives in Murray, Utah (801-264-2673).
I know it's annoying to fill these out and call, but it doesn't take that long and really will help.
Also, here are the details on Mike's business and his home address (for the complaint forms):

PHENOM ENTERPRISES, LLC

Entity Number: 7970115-0160

Company Type: LLC - Domestic

Address: 457 E 5600 S UNIT B Murray, UT 84107

State of Origin:

Registered Agent: MICHAEL D ZANGRILLI

Registered Agent Address:

457 E 5600 S UNIT B

Murray, UT 84107

I won't stop until Mike is in jail. He's a thief and ponzi schemer--join in if you want justice. Like I said, the only way to get this guy is for everyone to complain so the authorities know how many victims there are.
Also, I'm a lawyer and he has no right to decide to pay certain people and refund certain deposits at this point. The business is insolvent (bankrupt). A trustee/court needs to figure out who is owed what.

Just got this response from Utah Attorney General. Maybe we should call the listed # also:

Thank you for writing to the Utah Attorney General's Office.

We did find that Phenom Enterprises, LLC, is licensed with the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code. With Phenom Enterprises, LLC being licensed, the Utah Division of Consumer Protection will take your report and look into them further.

We recommend contacting the Division of Consumer Protection at (801) 530-6601, Monday - Friday 8 a.m to 5 p.m. If others have filed a complaint, an investigation could be possible.

We trust this information will be helpful to you.

Sincerely,

Utah State Attorney General's Office

Constituent Services

Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

(801) 366-0260

--

Constituent Services

Utah Attorney General's Office

(801) 366-0260

uag@utah.gov

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE

This email transmission from the Office of the Utah State Attorney General, contains information which may be confidential and/or legally privileged. The information is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named on this transmission. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or the taking of any action in reliance on the contents of this email is strictly prohibited and that the email should be deleted immediately. If you have received this email in error, please notify us at uag@utah.gov The unauthorized disclosure, use or publication of confidential or privileged information inadvertently transmitted to you may result in criminal and/or civil liability.*

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So, what precautions can you take going forward if you still wanted to join these kind of leagues where someone is holding a lot of other peoples money?

Is it irrational to ask someone like FBG/Leaguesafe to show proof of funds in an escrow account?

I'm not up on all the details, but the best bet I know of would be going with someone who uses an escrow account that is attorney secured. I believe the attorney controls the escrow account, so the company can't access the funds before the payout, and clients can verify the escrow account with the attorney. I believe this is what FBG does with the Players Championship contest.

Though ultimately there will still be some amount of blind trust. You're pretty much trusting it isn't worth it to the lawyer to get disbarred and/or go to jail over the amount of money involved. And if, say, in this case Phenoms did incur those debts to the software company and had to go bankrupt, I'm not sure if the escrow account would be left untouched or whether the software company would be able to get a piece of it as part of the LLC's holdings. We're pretty much talking about bankruptcy where there is more debt than holdings... where I believe the courts are going to oversee/approve how those holdings get distributed back to the creditors.

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All the people sitting around saying they aren't going to bother talking to a lawyer or filing a complaint are just helping him. Send this dude to prison and the next guy will be less likely to dip into your league funds and run off the with the money. Saying the class action means you won't see any money is moot; you already aren't seeing your money.

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All the people sitting around saying they aren't going to bother talking to a lawyer or filing a complaint are just helping him. Send this dude to prison and the next guy will be less likely to dip into your league funds and run off the with the money. Saying the class action means you won't see any money is moot; you already aren't seeing your money.

Right, at this point the money is gone.

Anything anyone does is to try to nail Mike in any way shape or form and hopefully deter future dooshes.

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thetman, you are crazy. I am basing everything on Mike's own words. By his own admission he used player funds that should have been segregated for business purposes (and that's if you believe his account). If I did that as a lawyer I would be automatically disbarred. You never ever touch client funds for business/unrelated purposes. That is the cardinal sin.

Politicians do this all the time... at least in MD.

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The frustrating part is that even if this was just bad business decisions, the customers should have been involved in the process. Even before this news came out, I was wondering why he was going to the trouble of creating his own league management website, when the standardized format of MFL works perfeclty fine and also allows me to manage all my leagues, even the non-MFL leagues, in one place.He could have consulted his customer base about whether or not the upgrade was worth it, especially after making us aware of the risks. Especially since it's our money...

That irks me also. He took in customer money to pay MFL and the prize pool. Customers should have been asked if they supported using some or all of that money to upgrade the website, and each new update of the cost of doing so, before he went ahead and did it. That didn't happen, people are out some or all of their money, and some of what's left of the prize pool is likely going to his legal fees instead. It was all avoidable.

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All the people sitting around saying they aren't going to bother talking to a lawyer or filing a complaint are just helping him. Send this dude to prison and the next guy will be less likely to dip into your league funds and run off the with the money. Saying the class action means you won't see any money is moot; you already aren't seeing your money.

Right, at this point the money is gone.

Anything anyone does is to try to nail Mike in any way shape or form and hopefully deter future dooshes.

He definitely needs to do some serious time. Of course in today's world, he will get maybe 6 months and a 'hey, don't do that again' from the judge.

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https://www.trustpilot.com/review/phenomsff.com

Guess not everyone is aware yet....

Thomas Snaza
1 Reviews
17 hours ago
Review by confirmed purchaser
Phenoms Fantasy Basketball
I have been doing fantasy sports for about 15 years and my first at Phenoms. Great site and great service,
Edited by Craig_MiamiFL
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Hey guys,

This sucks and I was as pissed as everybody else when I got the email. But Mike was not (and is not) trying to take off with our money. Yes, he co-mingled player deposits and operating accounts, and he made some poor business decisions , but he wasn't trying to screw everybody. He is diligently trying to find a work out and I know some folks are in discussions with him in regards to this. Let's hope somebody will take this challenge and make an opportunity out of it.

Candidate for Pitiful Post of the Year

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So, what precautions can you take going forward if you still wanted to join these kind of leagues where someone is holding a lot of other peoples money?

Is it irrational to ask someone like FBG/Leaguesafe to show proof of funds in an escrow account?

I'm not up on all the details, but the best bet I know of would be going with someone who uses an escrow account that is attorney secured. I believe the attorney controls the escrow account, so the company can't access the funds before the payout, and clients can verify the escrow account with the attorney. I believe this is what FBG does with the Players Championship contest.

Though ultimately there will still be some amount of blind trust. You're pretty much trusting it isn't worth it to the lawyer to get disbarred and/or go to jail over the amount of money involved. And if, say, in this case Phenoms did incur those debts to the software company and had to go bankrupt, I'm not sure if the escrow account would be left untouched or whether the software company would be able to get a piece of it as part of the LLC's holdings. We're pretty much talking about bankruptcy where there is more debt than holdings... where I believe the courts are going to oversee/approve how those holdings get distributed back to the creditors.

Call me crazy, but if I'm a business owner who is facing a $430k likely-unsecured debt that I can't pay out of company funds, but I have escrow deposits that can pay the bills.....there's no ####### way I'm touching the escrow. I'm calling an attorney ASAP and crafting a legalese response to the unsecured debt-holder something to the effect of "contact my attorney, see you in court", with the option of bankruptcy on the back-burner. There is no excuse - NONE - for touching the escrow funds. I find it extremely hard to believe that an honest business owner - especially one who deals in trust, seeing as how no one would pay him if they didn't trust him - would pay a software developer those funds in good faith. A reputable business owner just doesn't do that.

That's what leads me to doubt the story.

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https://www.trustpilot.com/review/phenomsff.com

Guess not everyone is aware yet....

Thomas Snaza
1 Reviews
17 hours ago
Review by confirmed purchaser
Phenoms Fantasy Basketball
I have been doing fantasy sports for about 15 years and my first at Phenoms. Great site and great service,

:lmao:

From 'Mike" on Nov. 18th.

Phenomsff is legit. The number one most important thing: you'll get your money quick when you win it. You don't have to worry about getting paid cause I'm stealing your money. And Phenoms has the best payout structure anywhere, because I get most of it. Another great thing is the site's manager is diligent about not allowing collusion trades. I've read some reviews complaining about the interface... it's just fine as long as you're not an idiot. There's nothing wrong with it. Another complaint I've read is people wanting 6 playoff teams for 12 team leagues; screw 6 playoff teams for 12 team leagues. You want to make the playoffs? Draft a team that's can make the top third. If you expect the top half to make the playoffs, you might as well get your friends together and start flipping coins. I'll never play my fantasy football anywhere else.

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The frustrating part is that even if this was just bad business decisions, the customers should have been involved in the process. Even before this news came out, I was wondering why he was going to the trouble of creating his own league management website, when the standardized format of MFL works perfeclty fine and also allows me to manage all my leagues, even the non-MFL leagues, in one place.He could have consulted his customer base about whether or not the upgrade was worth it, especially after making us aware of the risks. Especially since it's our money...

That irks me also. He took in customer money to pay MFL and the prize pool. Customers should have been asked if they supported using some or all of that money to upgrade the website, and each new update of the cost of doing so, before he went ahead and did it. That didn't happen, people are out some or all of their money, and some of what's left of the prize pool is likely going to his legal fees instead. It was all avoidable.

I wasn't a part of the Phenoms leagues, but it's pretty clear why he wanted his own league management website. He was sending big money to MFL, and he wanted to keep it for himself. It's a reasonable next step, but he certainly didn't need to consult the customers beforehand. He NEVER should have dipped into the entry fees to fund his new website, but if he was an upstanding businessman, creating your own league management website was a logical step. Clearly, though, he got in too deep and took the easy way out.

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All the people sitting around saying they aren't going to bother talking to a lawyer or filing a complaint are just helping him. Send this dude to prison and the next guy will be less likely to dip into your league funds and run off the with the money. Saying the class action means you won't see any money is moot; you already aren't seeing your money.

Bingo

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Like I said earlier, he probably looked at the year over year decrease in funds coming in and decided to steal the cash now

This is my guess, as well.

Dailys are crushing it, and I know several people dropping the head-to-head leagues to concentrate on FanDuel. Great time to walk away with everyone's investment.

Serious question...what's to stop FanDuel or any of the other dailys from doing the same thing. Granted you wouldn't have the time invested but what if, after they collected a bunch of deposits at the beginning of the year they just closed up shop and bailed with people's cash? Hard to trust any website tied in any way to gambling.

DFS sites are required by law to keep player funds separate from operating costs. As opposed to required by industry convention, or required by a promise they made on their own website.

Also, FD and DK raised over $100m in venture capital between them this past offseason. They're not small operations. The sheer size alone offers some protections- just like you are probably safe leaving your money with a Vegas casino while you go gamble with their chips.

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I wasn't in any Phenoms leagues, just know a scam when I see one.

You weren't even in any of the leagues? Just a casual passer by that read something on a message board and you're ready to convict?

Never shocked to see people primed and ready to throw the first stone.

Not in this league either but if you can't see this for what it is, I don't know what to tell you partner. Scam.

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The frustrating part is that even if this was just bad business decisions, the customers should have been involved in the process. Even before this news came out, I was wondering why he was going to the trouble of creating his own league management website, when the standardized format of MFL works perfeclty fine and also allows me to manage all my leagues, even the non-MFL leagues, in one place.He could have consulted his customer base about whether or not the upgrade was worth it, especially after making us aware of the risks. Especially since it's our money...

That irks me also. He took in customer money to pay MFL and the prize pool. Customers should have been asked if they supported using some or all of that money to upgrade the website, and each new update of the cost of doing so, before he went ahead and did it. That didn't happen, people are out some or all of their money, and some of what's left of the prize pool is likely going to his legal fees instead. It was all avoidable.

I wasn't a part of the Phenoms leagues, but it's pretty clear why he wanted his own league management website. He was sending big money to MFL, and he wanted to keep it for himself. It's a reasonable next step, but he certainly didn't need to consult the customers beforehand. He NEVER should have dipped into the entry fees to fund his new website, but if he was an upstanding businessman, creating your own league management website was a logical step. Clearly, though, he got in too deep and took the easy way out.

I'm not sure if we're agreeing or disagreeing. Before he dipped into the prize pool he should have consulted the customers, period.

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The frustrating part is that even if this was just bad business decisions, the customers should have been involved in the process. Even before this news came out, I was wondering why he was going to the trouble of creating his own league management website, when the standardized format of MFL works perfeclty fine and also allows me to manage all my leagues, even the non-MFL leagues, in one place.He could have consulted his customer base about whether or not the upgrade was worth it, especially after making us aware of the risks. Especially since it's our money...

That irks me also. He took in customer money to pay MFL and the prize pool. Customers should have been asked if they supported using some or all of that money to upgrade the website, and each new update of the cost of doing so, before he went ahead and did it. That didn't happen, people are out some or all of their money, and some of what's left of the prize pool is likely going to his legal fees instead. It was all avoidable.

I wasn't a part of the Phenoms leagues, but it's pretty clear why he wanted his own league management website. He was sending big money to MFL, and he wanted to keep it for himself. It's a reasonable next step, but he certainly didn't need to consult the customers beforehand. He NEVER should have dipped into the entry fees to fund his new website, but if he was an upstanding businessman, creating your own league management website was a logical step. Clearly, though, he got in too deep and took the easy way out.

I'm not sure if we're agreeing or disagreeing. Before he dipped into the prize pool he should have consulted the customers, period.

The prize pool shouldn't have been touched, period. My point is that, if he's a legitimate businessman, expanding your business by owning and controlling more of your product is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, and would not require consulting the customer base. If he had just used his own funds to create his own league management website, he could have (potentially) raked in much, much more money over the long haul.

Edited by TheCommish
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Surprised I couldn't find more on twitter today on this. I posted a copy of the email https://www.dropbox.com/s/ruwrfgkqwindbfm/Phenoms%20Fantasy%20Sports%20-%20Closing%20Down%20Announcement%20Dec%2013%2C%202014.pdf?dl=0

https://twitter.com/AltaClip/status/544551737806168064

I hate fueling the ambulance chasers as much as the next guy but people need to share info.

Edited by Alberta Clipper
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Like I said earlier, he probably looked at the year over year decrease in funds coming in and decided to steal the cash now

This is my guess, as well.

Dailys are crushing it, and I know several people dropping the head-to-head leagues to concentrate on FanDuel. Great time to walk away with everyone's investment.

Serious question...what's to stop FanDuel or any of the other dailys from doing the same thing. Granted you wouldn't have the time invested but what if, after they collected a bunch of deposits at the beginning of the year they just closed up shop and bailed with people's cash? Hard to trust any website tied in any way to gambling.

DFS sites are required by law to keep player funds separate from operating costs. As opposed to required by industry convention, or required by a promise they made on their own website.

Also, FD and DK raised over $100m in venture capital between them this past offseason. They're not small operations. The sheer size alone offers some protections- just like you are probably safe leaving your money with a Vegas casino while you go gamble with their chips.

Too big to fail.

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