Alert ---Harold Bishop, Inc, Summerville, Georgia”
Unfortunately we took this posting down at the request ( and threats ) of Kevin Freguson. He said he lost a lease to CIT as they found the Leasing News alert at the top of a “Google” search.
We complied. One of the difficulties was the second complaint was from a major leasing company, recently in the news for their purchase of another leasing company, and the credit officer was always going to get back to us regarding the use of his company's name used in the complaint. We did have one complaint.
The decisions goes back to our policy of wanting a signed complaint, and/or two verifications, and preferably, three, when unsigned, to post an alert. At the time, we could not reach any of the companies. named.
It appears the companies are all controlled by Mr. Ferguson, who appears to be in an internet service business ( or provider.) He confirmed he was no longer a veterinarian, nor in that profession and showed us his previous license by e-mail (expired.),He did admit he had spent time in jail and the circumstances surrounding it, but asked us for a “second chance,” as he said he was “rehabilitated.”
Regarding the lease, he said he had sold the computer system six months ago, and the customers was having a rough time and needed cash. He said it was his common practice to “re-finance” purchases he said, even if it was not his original sale. His statement was this was “not illegal” as the equipment existed. He further the Texas broker was qualified as a dealer with the leasing company. They would increase the price of the equipment and make their commission in that manner.
He met others doing the same, so he decided to become a broker to expand his sales. They did sale/leasebacks all the time, he said, and therefore his transaction with RCR Leasing was “normal” to him, including putting a 10% commission in the transaction for himself.
We now have a third complaint against Mr. Ferguson, and its circumstances bring us to re-instate the first “complaints.” The third party does not want to be named at this time, but he has a bounced check from Mr. Freguson, who has promised to make it good, plus has notified HP Financial Services he was the “real” vendor and has not been paid.
He states Mr. Ferguson is a broker, but as Ferbish has the ability to send leases into HP Financial Services, who is “easy” on the credit and “seems to take everything.” This is not the first time he has received a bounced check from Ferguson, as he had one for $20,000 that was eventually made good, but this one for less than $5,000 has been going on for six weeks, with many broker promises, and he is now concerned enough to tell HP Financial Services if he is not paid, he is going to repossess the equipment.
He does not want Leasing News to print his name as he still has hopes to get the money ( “...what bothers me is Ferguson telephone number is disconnected, but I can reach him by e-mail and he promises to pay me as soon as a deal he has in for funding is completed.” He gave us permission to quote the circumstances, and if he doesn't get a bona fide check, he will let us publish his name and address to further substantiate the complaint.
Leasing News was unable to obtain a comment from HP Financial Services or from Mr. Ferguson.
The original complaint:
“ RCR Capital Leasing is a leasing company located in New York. We were working with a vendor called Harold Bishop, Inc. They are located in Summerville, Georgia. They sell computer systems to companies across the USA. We have funded two deals for them totaling $64,000.00. We verified with the client if they received ALL their equipment and do they authorize RCR Capital Leasing to release full funds to Harold Bishop, Inc. They stated clearly yes and they were happy with their equipment.
!We sent out our monthly invoice for first payment, then second payment, which resulted 60-day default. Our collection department started calling the clients asking what was going on. Well, the clients stated they never received funds from Harold Bishop, Inc. We stated to the client, “ What do you mean? You signed lease agreements, completed a verbal and verify that you received this computer equipment which was listed on the Schedule “A”?” They stated they know they lied to RCR Capital Leasing but they needed working capital and Kevin Ferguson, owner of Harold Bishop, Inc., stated that he could achieve this. He convinced the client, what we could see, that this is all legal and he promise to release funds to them deducting 10% for his commission.
“We have requested our funds back and have been unsuccessful. The clients are asking for our assistance, which we are providing to the best we could. We have decided to complete background and criminal background checks on the owners of Harold Bishop, Inc. Well, this was a scary sight. Harold Bishop is in prison for murdering his wife. Kevin Ferguson, whom is running the operations, has a long track record. The one that was scary was that he was in prison for 12 years for burglary, which was released in 1999.
“Kevin Ferguson of Harold Bishop, Inc. are acting as vendors and really does illegal sale-leasebacks, which the equipment is a year, 2 years old or do not even have equipment…but keep the funds from the leasing company. They operate under several different names. Now, the clients are calling because Kevin Ferguson is processing applications without the clients' permission to other leasing companies. He is committing Identity Theft with the clients and trying to pay off one debt and taking another one on.
“We have advised the clients to seek legal counsel and let D&B, as well as, all credit bureaus to put a “FRAUD ALERT” on their credit reports.
“There was no broker involved. RCR Capital Leasing requires all new vendors to fill out a complete vendor profile. We have completed our due diligence, which entitled doing credit reports, D&B reports, and bank and trade references. Everything came back with T's and I's dotted correctly. That is why we approved them as a vendor. We require site inspections of $50,000 and above with how this vendor approved. If the vendor is not as strong, then we require site inspections $25,000 and up.”
“Please update the alert to include the following a/k/as:”
”All of the above companies are related to Harold Bishop, Inc. They may present themselves as a vendor or as a lessee.
”We uncovered concerns with Harold Bishop in 11/03. I know many people rely on getting information from the Leasing News and alerts such as this are important for everyone. Could you please consider maintaining a file where lessors could suggest that others exercise more caution or, in some cases, do not do business with certain vendors, brokers, lessees, etc? As many of us know, when we shut off a vendor they go to another lessor and start over. Since many of them are good at what they do many lessors end up losing. Although we found Harold Bishop and did not fund any of his deals, I am concerned that 8 months later more lessors are at risk. Unfortunately, we know that many of the relationships that we terminated are currently doing business with other lessors. If for example, RCR Capital Leasing checked your website for a section that lists (maybe alphabetically) alerts and found an alert on Harold Bishop, they would not have moved forward with a relationship.
”I know from the past that you honor requests to withhold information such as my name and the name of my company. If you need additional information, or if a lessor asks you for additional information regarding anything that I submit, I may be willing to provide you additional information. However, I do have to be conscious of my company's concern with being named in a defamation of character lawsuit regardless of how much proof we have. For this reason, please withhold my name and company name.
(Those wishing more information may send me an e-mail, which I will forward to the sender of this alert. firstname.lastname@example.org
Leasing News does maintain an Alert section:
We accept bona fide “alerts” from lessors and funders, and when requested, will “with hold name” when requested. )