NY Bagel Scam – Accomplices, Enablers & Profiteers
We will feature information and warnings about the companies who directly and indirectly contribute to the NY Bagel Scam and about those who allow it to happen.
Howard Fichman is the worst of the worst.
Dennis Mason & Joe Smith promise they’ll provide financing, but once the check clears they pawn you off on Howard Fichman.
Howard Fichman is an irreputable loan broker who lives in Lakeland, FL.
Howard’s primary job is to extract more money from victims for an “unsecured line of credit” (Translation: he’ll sign you up for a stack of high-interest credit cards that will destroy you and your credit score).
His secondary job appears to be to provide loan “approvals” for high rate credit card, high fee credit card “financing” that give Joe Smith an excuse for denying a franchise fee refund.
Howard Fichman was fired from his last employer, Lender’s Loan Capital, when his boss learned Howard’s role in the NY Bagel Scam.
Davidovich Bakery of Woodside, NY is the supplier of par-baked bagels to NY Bagel Cafe victims.
Despite the fact that Davidovich must be aware of the number of failed stores and cancelled accounts it has witnessed in the past four years, Director of Business Development Marc Fintz recently told a prospective franchisee/victim:
“We have had strong relationships with over a dozen franchisees/licensees and they have never expressed any regret over being involved with the brand… I find Joe Smith to be an honest and honorable person and I think he tries to help his stores succeed… If I had a family member looking for a Franchise I would trust them with Joe.”
Marc’s endorsement is a bit hard to believe, since there less than a dozen stores open and operating.
Victims report that Ben Catarinicchia and Zacs International provide overpriced design services and inflated quotes to prospective victims for architectural and building services. Ben Catarinicchia also provides sales support by downplaying the failures and fraudulent activities of NY Bagel, Dennis Smith & Joe smith.
Ben tells prospective victims:
in general the owners of the franchises seem to do well... I can say that NY Bagel is a good brand, we have completed over 50 locations nationwide. NY Bagel is a proven concept and the company provides their franchisees with the tools needed to succeed. NY Bagel is a fair company…
Geof Kine and West Coast Business Equipment sell electronic point-of-sale cash register systems and digital menu boards to NY Bagel Cafe victim/franchisees. Geof Kine claims to have done 12 successful installations for NY Bagel Cafe locations in the past 3 years (There are fewer than 12 stores open as of this writing). Geof Kine also gives a glowing endorsement:
NY Bagel has been a great company to work with… All of the NY Bagel Franchisees we have worked with seem to like the business opportunity NY Bagel offers.
Like Howard Fichman, Jim Saia of Seed Capital purports to be a legitimate lending source for legitimate small business financing.
Like others pushing “Unsecured credit lines” to those desperate for financing, they sign up individuals for tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, often with a no-interest period.
When the period is up and the high-interest payments kick in, many businesses are crushed under the heavy debt and the commissioned sellers like Jim Saia are way down the road.
Joel Perrego, Vast Design
Joel Perrego of Vast Design created the logo, branding, website and a lot of the advertising elements for the NY Bagel scam.
We believe he continues to support the NY Bagel Scam with graphic design support and services, though its not clear to what extent he continues to be involved.
Joel is well aware of the controversial issues surrounding NY Bagel Cafe. We’re not sure he grasps the downside of being associated with an illicit company, even if you are doing nothing wrong yourself.
Current NY Bagel Franchise Owners
Keep in mind that current NY Bagel Cafe franchise owners are offered a bounty as high as $3,000 per franchise sale they help to land and an additional $2,000 for each franchisee trained in their store. While some NY Bagel Cafe franchise owners are not interested in helping Dennis Mason land new victims, $5,000 is a lot of money to an owner who may be struggling to make payroll and keep the lights on. NY Bagel franchisees have been known to give strong endorsements despite being on the verge of closing themselves.
Other accomplices include:
Benjamin & Benjamin – Curtis Brown