After nearly 5 months away, I have decided to come back to Pinside and defend myself, following a friend of mine telling me that there were serious libellous and slanderous comments being posted here.
This is a very serious accusation, and one that you have presented as a ‘fact’. What proof do you have that I have stolen money from the company? You should investigate just how serious claims of libel and slander can be for the poster.
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:
Andrew’s embezzling of funds is not an established fact - rather it is speculation that is based on logic of the events that unfolded. The only ways you would know for certain that an employee takes funds are 1) a lawsuit is filed and litigated or 2) public acknowledgement by HP - neither of which is likely to occur. Instead we only need to examine what we already know.
Events - In Nov / Dec of 2016 Andrew made a big push to collect balance of funds owed on Alien, which easily amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars. This might have been an average of $7.5k owed for upwards of 200 games. Without knowledge of specific amount, assume it is a lot of money. In Dec of 2016, Heighway Pinball filed legal documentation showing they only had a few thousand dollars cash balance. Many of the largest suppliers and subcontractors have since admitted they have not been paid. In late 2016, Andrew purchased a license to operate a hydrofoil business. After taking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in Nov and Dec, HP still owed its vendors and subcontractors, did not build/ship any pinball machines and had no money. Andrew completely abandons the company and shortly thereafter the new investor group steps up. They have purchased all liabilities and assets and Andrew owns nothing more to do with HP. When CEO of a small company jumps ship, having recently collected hundreds of thousands of dollars, having no significant bank balance and still owing hundreds of thousands in liabilities, indicates to me he was fleeing quickly, and was not even bothering to lock the door behind him. Who does that and what other possible explanation is there?
Do I think Andrew mentions any of this info to his trusted private investors, that have suddenly became owners of HP - Hell No! Andrew likely changed them $1 for the company and the liabilities. The new owners knew about the lack of money to build the 200 games, but probably DID NOT know Andrew had recently siphoned off hundreds of thousands of dollars. Nor did they probably know the vendors and suppliers WERE STILL owed hundreds of thousands. If you were the new owners - would you admit to being screwed by the departing CEO, or would you suck it up and keep going? I think they chose the latter and the lack of cashflow, much of which was likely unknown and underestimated may do them in.
So my stealing money has gone from fact, to just your opinion now?
I’ve rarely read such a load of bs in all my life. Pure guesswork. $7.5k collected on 200 games? Rubbish. Our biggest suppliers not getting paid? Which ones? Most of our parts were pre-paid. A minority of suppliers only were owed money. I purchased a license to operate a hydrofoil business? Really? Where are these ‘top secret’ papers that you claim to have been handed? The truth is that I formed a UK company online more than a year ago called ‘Hydrofoils UK’ for one of my hobbies. The company has never been used, is dormant and likely to be struck off the register soon.
Now you’re back to your so-called ‘fact’ that I siphoned off hundreds of thousands of dollars?
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:
Fact - In Nov / Dec of 2016 Andrew made a big push to collect balance of funds owed on Alien (I personally sent $7k and many others mentioned having done the same.),
Opinion - which easily amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars. This might have been an average of $7.5k owed for upwards of 200 games. Without knowledge of specific amount, assume it is a lot of money.
Fact - In Dec of 2016, Heighway Pinball filed legal documentation showing they only had a few thousand dollars cash balance.
Fact - Many of the largest suppliers and subcontractors have since admitted they have not been paid.
Fact - In late 2016, Andrew purchased a license to operate a hydrofoil business.
Opinion - After taking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in Nov and Dec,
Fact - as of Dec, HP still owed its vendors and subcontractors, did not build/ship any pinball machines and had no money.
1. Hundreds of thousands of dollars? Rubbish. Also your assumptions don’t factor in the many cancellations we had. Why did we have many cancellations at the time? A well-known Podcaster here was incessantly posting podcasts aimed at destroying the company. Also, two ‘anonymous’ ex-employees were posting damaging comments, even though they were under NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement). Also, a UK poster here – again under NDA – went on a campaign to destroy the company. Not only this, but this person emailed HP customers directly and telling them to cancel their orders. You tell me a company that can effectively survive such hostility towards it? Combined, these led to nervousness amongst customers and many cancelled. If cancellations are greater than orders? You do the math jeffspinballpalace
2. December 16 filing – this was a filing on the end of year (March 2016) accounts and reflects the situation at the end of March 2016, and after financial consolidations by the company’s accountant. This does NOT reflect cash in the company in December 2016.
3. Please list these ‘largest’ suppliers who were not paid?
4. I purchased a license to run a hydrofoil business? Rubbish. I spent £40 on forming a company that was never used. Again you allege I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this so please provide the evidence
5. We were manufacturing games in December 2016 – this is a fact.
Ultimately, many people may not like me or how things turned out. Technical problems (delays) and vendettas against the company made life very difficult for the company. We also had huge problems with some of our suppliers that added months onto production schedules. Delays of any reason don’t stop a company’s overheads (staff, factory, etc…) and it’s refreshing to see that the business-minded among Pinside recognise this.
The company reached the point when more funds were needed and I had no choice but to step away from the company I originally founded from my garage in 2012. It was gutting and heart-wrenching, but I did so, ensuring that everyone associated with the company would be protected – including customers, employees, suppliers, distributers, partners and investors.
As a customer who paid money for a game, Jeff, you have every right to be angry about the situation – but I can’t just sit back and see you spout bullsh*t about me personally, and accuse me of being a thief. You should really be careful about making such damaging and unsubstantiated claims that could be used against you legally.
I understand that refunds have been issued and people are receiving their games. This is great to hear but I am truly sorry for any customers who have received neither yet. I understand, and still believe, that everyone owed money or games by HP will ultimately receive what they are due – but I’m sorry, I am no longer associated with the company and hence, cannot comment any further.
I made a lot of good friends here and realise that most people here are good folk who have a real passion for pinball. To the many people I know here - I wish you all well and nothing but the best.