(Topic ID: 287820)

Beware of Jonathan Demare / ASOA

By crwjumper

8 months ago


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    58
    #1 8 months ago

    Let me start by saying that this post contains nothing but facts. There is no intent to slander - just a warning and an abbreviated summary of my specific experiences. I have an extensive text history from which I got the following quotes, dates and texts. I also have emails from the others from whom he has stolen money that I refer to in this post. I have invoices that document each transaction that I have had with Jonathan aka ASOA.
    I will not share any of this information with anyone at this time because I am filing a lawsuit against Jonathan, ASOA and the other business that he owns. Others that I have communicated with are considering suing him and his companies as well.

    Jonathan Demare has stolen $15,100 from me, and from those with whom I’ve communicated he has stolen over $165,000 - probably more from others that I don’t know about - within the last year and a half.
    The reason I gave him so much money and trusted him was because he had sold me a couple of pinball machines at a good discount prior to his convincing me to pay him in full for an Alien Remake, for which I paid him on 4/17/2019, and a Big Lebowski for which I paid him on 10/10/2019. I told him that I was concerned about giving him money for a TBL because of Dutch Pinballs history of taking money for pins and then not delivering, but he told me that the money would go into escrow and if there were any problems I would get a refund. In March he told me that he had a couple of Alien remakes in his “warehouse” and that he was involved with the testing and development phase of the pin. In April he told me that Alien would be shipped within 30 to 60 days so I sent him the money.

    Soon I began to realize that Jonathan was a scammer and on February 25 2020 I asked for a refund of my TBL money, which he had told me was in escrow. When I asked for a refund he told me that he “there is no such thing as escrow. You bought a game now you want to cancel and get a refund. Not an escrow. I will accommodate.” and then said that he “would try to get it done in the next 30 days.”. Keep in mind - February 25 was before COVID had started affecting businesses. On that day there were only 60 known cases in the United States on that day and no lockdowns anywhere. If he intended to refund my money he could have at this time regardless of the developing COVID situation.

    He then stalled me by telling me that he was sick with “influenza and H1N1” (Feb 25) and then his next stall was that his “wife in hospital now having CT scan of heart . . “ (March 2) and then continued to give other various excuses whenever I would ask for my money back for the next 10 months. Most recently he said that he would satisfy me by January 31. Again I waited for a month with no communications. I texted him on February 1 to tell him that I was proceeding with the lawsuit. Of course he was having emergency oral surgery that day and couldn’t talk.
    Two days later (2/3/21) I texted him and he said that he would “contact you later this afternoon”. Of course he didn’t. I was able to contact him by phone two days later. He told me that he had a payment plan that he was drawing up documentation for and that I would get it in an email “today or tomorrow”.
    Now it’s over a week later and of course I’ve received nothing.

    There have been so many excuses and lies over time that I won’t bother to list them here. If you’ve dealt with Jonathan I’m sure that you know what I’m talking about.

    He has said all along that ASOA is a company with many employees. However, the address for ASOA is a P.O. Box, and there is no filing information for ASOA available and no listing of employees. I have asked Jonathan for contact information for other employees of ASOA such as “his financial person” that he refers to so I can attempt to get my money back from the company. He refuses to give me contact info for anyone else in ASOA.

    For years he has used a local delivery person for deliveries in Florida to deliver games that I or other Florida buyers have bought. The gentleman who does the deliveries is a well respected and honest person in the industry. Whenever he has picked up pins from Jonathan he has never picked them up at “ASOA’s warehouse” (doesn’t exist) or even at Jonathan’s house (he has never told anyone his address - but I recently was able to find it). Jonathan has always had the delivery person meet him in a shopping center parking lot to pick up the pins.

    As far as I know I am the only person other than the delivery gentleman who has actually met Jonathan - I ran into him at Freeplay Florida about 5 years ago. Everyone else who he has stolen money from has only dealt with him via texts or phone calls.

    About 6 months ago I asked Jonathan to start a payment plan of $1000 a month, which he agreed to do but never actually did.
    In September I told him that if he paid me $12,000 within 30 days , I would forgive the rest of the debt - forgiving him for $4100. To this day I have not gotten one penny of what he owes me. And to the best of my knowledge nobody else has seen any money returned either.

    Jonathan Demare is very charismatic and could sell ice to eskimos, but make no mistake - This man is not your friend. He is a thief.
    If Jonathan has stolen any money from you and we have not yet communicated, please feel free to PM me.

    Thank you.

    #2 8 months ago

    I’ve heard some stories. Sad that people continue to take advantage of others.
    Following to see how it unfolds. He has a Pinside account, not sure if it’s blocked or not so perhaps he will respond.

    22
    #3 8 months ago

    I’m one of the others that he scammed money from. As he did exactly what he did to you . Jonathan did to me. I’m too am going to file a lawsuit and I hope that others. Will as well.
    He owes me approx $17,400.I’ve tried many times to be civil and to resolve this as patiently as I can. Now it has reached a point. Now that the only way to get any monies back is to file a lawsuit on Jonathan and ASOA.

    #4 8 months ago

    Yikes. Hope you guys get your money back.
    For what it's worth, there is filing info for ASOA:
    https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_fl/L13000165253

    #5 8 months ago
    Quoted from RCA1:

    Yikes. Hope you guys get your money back.
    For what it's worth, there is filing info for ASOA:
    https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_fl/L13000165253

    Thanks.
    The listed address is his P.O. Box.

    12
    #6 8 months ago

    Along with the lawsuit I’m pursuing criminal charges.

    -24
    #7 8 months ago

    i don’t know how i was able to discover or retain any details out of that ridiculously long OP. but i did take away that he sold you on, and you paid for, an Alien remake in Feb 2019. Seeing how the remake wasn’t announced until Dec 2020, maybe start smaller and explain how that happened?

    edit: i apologize for my initial cynicism. generally when i see an 'alert' thread this long, i tend to be weary of what i'm reading. i should've given the OP the benefit of that doubt. my bad. hope you get your money ASAP.

    Added 8 months ago:

    ooops. wrong thread.

    #8 8 months ago
    Quoted from bigehrl:

    i don’t know how i was able to discover or retain any details out of that ridiculously long OP. but i did take away that he sold you on, and you paid for, an Alien remake in Feb 2019. Seeing how the remake wasn’t announced until Dec 2020, maybe start smaller and explain how that happened?

    He was involved in some way with the company that was creating the remake. There is another “speculation” thread on Pinside about that.
    Before he scammed us he sold me several pins at great prices, and I had no reason to doubt him when he told me that Alien rights had been taken over by Pinball Brothers and that it was being remade. Apparently he was right and had inside information that he was willing to exploit to steal our money.

    #9 8 months ago

    He was a real shitty poster.

    Not surprised.

    19
    #10 8 months ago
    Quoted from bigehrl:

    i don’t know how i was able to discover or retain any details out of that ridiculously long OP. but i did take away that he sold you on, and you paid for, an Alien remake in Feb 2019. Seeing how the remake wasn’t announced until Dec 2020, maybe start smaller and explain how that happened?

    Clearly he smooth-talked these people into believing he's an industry big shot and he knows all about this (so far) non-existent remake. He always posed as a know-it-all insider in his posts and had plenty of good feedback so I can see how easy it was for him to pull plenty of people into this scam. Oh that dude is a big-time industry vet he isn't lying, I'll go ahead and send him $20k. I'm sure he made a big deal about how "buyers" were getting in early and before the rush and how they have to keep absolutely quiet about the deal or they'll be refunded and lose their slot.

    Also, there were plenty of people here pushing the idea that these games would be rolling off the line in no time (for over a year) so I guess that gave some people the confidence to get conned.

    It's a shame and it sucks. It's just one more warning to never buy a game that doesn't exist. Even if its someone who hasn't drawn any bad feedback here yet. Even if it's a famous pinball designer. Even if it's a theme you REALLY, REALLY love. Even if it's a guy who has sold you pins before.

    It's a lesson 10-years in the making here and it's just never gonna stick completely.

    60
    #11 8 months ago

    You know what? Good on you for coming on here and telling your story. You're ultimately trying to protect people. Anyone coming in this thread to tell you "what you shoulda done" can suck it.

    I hope you get some sort of relief. This hobby is rife with scam.

    #12 8 months ago

    Hey ASOA Alien buyers, did he make a big deal about how "buyers" were getting in early and before the rush and how they have to keep absolutely quiet about the deal or they'll be refunded and lose their slot? I imagine he put pressure on you not to share the info / deal with anybody.

    #13 8 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Hey Jumper, did he make a big deal about how "buyers" were getting in early and before the rush and how they have to keep absolutely quiet about the deal or they'll be refunded and lose their slot. I imagine he put pressure on you not to share the info / deal with anybody.

    No pressure or threats. Just asked me to not say anything.

    #14 8 months ago
    Quoted from alexmogil:

    I hope you get some sort of relief. This hobby is rife with scam.

    It's way worse than it used to be. I guess because it's way bigger than it used to be.

    I almost got scammed on a Firepower and I used to laugh at people who fell for this stuff. Way more sophisticated than it used to be with far more difficult to detect tells. A friend of mine flagged it and when I started to really look at the "deal" I realized I was absolutely about to get hoodwinked. My radar is definitely up now.

    #15 8 months ago

    Whats his address?

    #16 8 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    It's way worse than it used to be. I guess because it's way bigger than it used to be.
    I almost got scammed on a Firepower and I used to laugh at people who fell for this stuff. Way more sophisticated than it used to be with far more difficult to detect tells. A friend of mine flagged it and when I started to really look at the "deal" I realized I was absolutely about to get hoodwinked. My radar is definitely up now.

    Not to salt anyone's wounds but you are right. I an in a lot of Facebook pinball for sale groups which honestly are complete trash now, and it seems like maybe every three days there's someone getting reeled in. And it is almost always after the trap has sprung, rarely before.

    Shields up folks.

    #17 8 months ago

    Yeah Jonathan was really slick. I’m going to the D.O.J. Stay tuned . . .

    #18 8 months ago

    Ha this thread...

    Look maybe I was a bit of douche but my AssholeAlarm was definitely going off with this guy...

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/used-pinball-prices-what-is-going-on

    #19 8 months ago

    Jonathan told me the same thing about “Alien” as well.Not to say anything.I’m wondering how many “Aliens” he had sold

    #20 8 months ago

    This thread should get a sticky for a bit. May still be some people who don't realize they been had.

    #21 8 months ago

    Phil X also wants his money back.

    #22 8 months ago

    Man, I am incredibly sad to read this...crwjumper is a standup guy (bought my IMVE from him years ago), and I came very close to being conned into this remake hype, even though I owned an AlienLE at the time (weird but true). Spoke w Jonathan on the phone, and the remake was supposedly flipping 2 years ago. Intrigued me, but no way I was coughing up a dime on preorder anything (back then or now for that matter).

    Pisses me off that this incredible theme has been used to shit on so many Pinsiders...best of luck to the op on this one. Alot of good people lost real $$$ trying to get one of these.....now a vaporware story, dammit.

    #23 8 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    This thread should get a sticky for a bit. May still be some people who don't realize they been had.

    Big time

    #24 8 months ago

    I’m sorry to hear this OP. I hope there’s a special place in hell for thieving scumbags. Good to see you guys decided to get lawyers involved on this. I’m sure he still has his net cast for others.

    14
    #25 8 months ago

    OP is 100% telling the truth. The dude is a total a-hole. He will act like your best friend, and quickly turn hostile and lose his shit if you question him in any way. He has screwed two of my friends in town. This is not just for TBL or Alien. He's not delivering on stern premiums either. He's a real P.O.S.

    I bought one game from him at a significant discount. When he heard about me buying my next NIB game from another distro he got mad. I just refused to do any more business with him, regardless of the deal. Bad vibes all the way.

    #26 8 months ago

    Has he always been like this or did he develop a huge drug habit or go bankrupt or something? Is he one of those guys that will do anything to “keep up appearances?” The psychology of douchebaggery is fascinating to me.

    #27 8 months ago

    Obviously a scammer but I bet he did have covid early on, we just had no idea it was already wide spread here.

    15
    #28 8 months ago

    I bought a game from him that was damaged in transit so sent back to him for repairs. After months of not giving me an answer as to it’s repair status, sold it ( still damaged) without my knowledge or consent , to someone else. I found out about all of this in a roundabout way, That person had no idea that I was the owner. When I confronted Jonathon via surprise phone call he played dumb and said he was very sick and in the hospital , that it “ was ridiculous” that he was being accused of wrongdoing and would have his general manager look into it. Never heard back from him even after repeated follow up texts from me. I don’t expect to see any money returned but expect to see him pay with serious jail time.

    12
    #29 8 months ago

    Looks like this guys MO is to take money for pinball games and make up ridiculous things to avoid delivering anything

    Here is BBB with similar stories. In one response he uses Marxist tactics and says he can’t comment because he’s suing the customer for fraud. Wow! This guys is a real POS. Anybody that was robbed by this guy should also flood this site and file complaints so others know

    https://www.bbb.org/us/fl/plantation/profile/wholesale-video-games/amusement-services-of-america-0633-90429527

    If you haven’t already, I would contact your state DOJ/AG and FBI

    Unreal

    #30 8 months ago

    What a scumbag. You never know if you f$ck with the wrong person. I live in an area where you can get gunned downed shoveling snow onto someone else’s property. The audacity of some people.

    #31 8 months ago

    Does anyone have the information on who to file the complaint to the local law enforcement agencies.As I mentioned earlier in the post I was also a victim of thief from ASOA and Jonathan.I believe this is a criminal case as there is others who have been scammed by ASOA

    #32 8 months ago

    If this guy has a pair he should chime in here.... Well dude what do you have to say... lets hear it man.

    #33 8 months ago
    Quoted from bmegar:

    Does anyone have the information on who to file the complaint to the local law enforcement agencies.As I mentioned earlier in the post I was also a victim of thief from ASOA and Jonathan.I believe this is a criminal case as there is others who have been scammed by ASOA

    File a complaint with BBB. Then contact the DOJ there in Florida

    https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl/contact-us

    Also file a local police report

    #34 8 months ago

    Yeah, I knew a scammer when he was about 10 years old as he would come to the museum I was working at and look at the art. His father was the director. Inigo Philbrick resided in Florida. Google him, an interesting story.

    #35 8 months ago

    I just filed a complaint with the BBB next will be the DOJ and local police

    #36 8 months ago

    You might file a complaint with Facebook as well, he’s got a site there

    https://m.facebook.com/daniel.demare.90

    #37 8 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Ha this thread...
    Look maybe I was a bit of douche but my AssholeAlarm was definitely going off with this guy...
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/used-pinball-prices-what-is-going-on

    Yup. I commented in that thread about how F'ing sick of that guy I was. You weren't the douche in that thread. ASOA was the douche in EVERY thread.

    #38 8 months ago
    Quoted from Frippertron:

    I live in an area where you can get gunned downed shoveling snow onto someone else’s property.

    I've heard winters in Scranton can be rough.

    Winter in Scranton.gif

    #39 8 months ago

    Anyone want to wager on when the inevitable "But he was nice to me" post pops up?

    #40 8 months ago

    Wow, for the amount of shit this guy talked, I never would have guessed

    10
    #41 8 months ago

    I always knew this guy was a scum bag. This is why you guys have to speak up sooner about getting scammed. Why you are trying to wait and get your money he is scamming 10 other people.

    #42 8 months ago
    Quoted from PismoArcade:

    Anyone want to wager on when the inevitable "But he was nice to me" post pops up?

    don't think you will see it with this guy

    #43 8 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Ha this thread...
    Look maybe I was a bit of douche but my AssholeAlarm was definitely going off with this guy...
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/used-pinball-prices-what-is-going-on

    A bit of a douche? Have you checked your alarm lately? Seems you respond to every poster in every thread exactly the same.

    For all the people scammed, this sucks. It is fair warning but these types of scams are almost perfect. He was legit, then just flipped the switch. Was he always a felon, or was it the thrashing of his modded TSPP on pinside that sent him on his way?

    13
    #44 8 months ago
    Quoted from Trogdor:

    He was legit, then just flipped the switch.

    I was one of the lucky ones. I bought a very nice lightly used Stern game from him early on and we talked at length about it on the phone. All the cool mods available and how fun it was to play, and on and on... He was a really enthusiastic guy that was easy to talk to and always spoke of his family and daughter and their love of this game room full of highly modded new games. He talked a lot of talk about how big his company is (was) and how he was buying out Stern distributorships up and down the coast to get more volume. He painted a picture of a hard working family man building a great business. Even at the time I was suspicious of his business practices. I figured he was gaming the system by pulling games out of the box, playing a few games, putting a few cheap mods in and then selling them at a price below what Stern would allow an NIB to be sold for.

    When the game arrived, I asked the delivery guy (who I will leave un-named) about Jonathan because I hoped he would have a story about an awesome game room and really big business front. As the OP mentioned, I was informed that in all of the many deliveries that he had done for ASOA the game had been picked up in a parking lot somewhere. This was the first confirmation that something was strange. Apparently on each and every one of the many deliveries there was some sort of excuse given for why it was more convenient to meet in a Walmart or gas station parking lot. I can understand someone not wanting people coming to their house, but what about the storefront or at least a warehouse needed for such a large business?

    In the following months I got some Pinside mail and even a phone call once in a while offering new Stern titles at ridiculous low costs with no sales tax. I wasn't in the market or I probably would have bitten. He told me the next three Stern titles before they were announced and he was correct in hind sight. When Star Wars came out that was a title I had to have, but thankfully a friend of mine in the top IFPA 1000 used his once a year friends and family rate to get me a game and I skipped ASOA. Then I started hearing stories about ASOA, and not good ones. People started contacting me to see if I had ever been ripped off by him. Fortunately I had not, but I can understand how people could have been drawn in.

    So that leaves a lot of questions referring to the "He was legit, then just flipped the switch" quote above. Maybe he was legit at one point, but more than a little shady too. From what I understand there was a time not too long ago where Stern busted dealers for selling below a set price limit? Maybe Stern dumped his ass? Maybe as someone mentioned he fell into an expensive habit? Who knows what turned him from a shady to full on rip off? All that I know is that even if he was at one time legit, where is the storefront or warehouse? Where were the employees other than him? I feel bad for anyone who lost money to this guy.

    20
    #45 8 months ago

    Here is my ASOA story...

    Jonathan Demare (aka ASOA on Pinside) had 20 glowing reviews from 1/17/18-5/16/19 (https://pinside.com/pinball/community/pinsiders/asoa/feedback/1) before "signing off" Pinside.

    During this time period, I was an ASOA customer and purchased 4 Stern machines (IMDN Premium, Beatles Gold, Munsters Pro, & JP Premium). All fairly smooth transactions. He was loved and trusted on the local Florida Pinball site "The Village".

    On 12/16/19, I purchased a Rick & Morty from ASOA. I paid in full, since he claimed I would have my game in Jan/Feb (and noted that on the invoice). I was shocked he could get the game in that timeframe, but Jonathan claimed to have a long-standing relationship with Norbert @ KingPin Games, who was a Spooky Distributor (https://www.kingpingames.net/). Since Jonathan delivered on 4 previous Stern games and seemed to be "connected", I trusted him.

    In May, I asked Jonathan for my R&M game #, which he was unable to disclose. Considering I paid in full on 12/16/19, this was a big “red flag". I contacted both Norbert & Chris @ KingPin and they claimed to never have sold a machine to Jonathan (and didn’t even know who Jonathan was!). I also contact Kayte Emery @ Spooky. None of them were able to “find” the game I paid $7,250 for!

    In June, I gave Jonathan the opportunity to "save face" and “make things right” (after bugging him almost daily). Since he successfully obtained 4 Stern games for me, I asked him to simply get me the latest Stern Premium going into production (TMNT Premium). He agreed and wrote up a new invoice (which gave me some hope I would finally get a game for my money he was holding hostage). This gesture gave me hope.

    Almost 4 months later, still no TMNT Premium. Over the course of the 4 months, he had been telling me different stories about what Stern distributors he would be obtaining the game from.

    Jonathan held my $7,250 hostage for over 10 months! At this point, I proposed simply getting me an AIQ Pro. I decided to "sympathize" with his business woes and offered him a compromise, with the goal of actually getting a game (and eating the 2k difference between a Premium & Pro).

    Fortunately, the Pinball Gods were smiling on me and on 10/13/20, Jonathan delivered me a NIB AIQ Pro. To document my "loss", I asked him to generate a new invoice that showed I received an AIQ Pro instead of the R&M I paid for almost 1 year ago. Despite bugging Jonathan on many occasions, he failed to produce this invoice/documentation.

    So, add me to the list of victims. My loss ended up being ~2k. Fortunately, it was the ONLY scam I've ever been suckered into (as a result of the 4 successful transactions). I typically don't deal with sweet talkers like Jonathan, however so many respected collectors vouched for him, I thought I was safe. Another reminder to always go with your "gut".

    #46 8 months ago
    Quoted from John_I:

    I was one of the lucky ones. I bought a very nice lightly used Stern game from him early on and we talked at length about it on the phone. All the cool mods available and how fun it was to play, and on and on... He was a really enthusiastic guy that was easy to talk to and always spoke of his family and daughter and their love of this game room full of highly modded new games. He talked a lot of talk about how big his company is (was) and how he was buying out Stern distributorships up and down the coast to get more volume. He painted a picture of a hard working family man building a great business. Even at the time I was suspicious of his business practices. I figured he was gaming the system by pulling games out of the box, playing a few games, putting a few cheap mods in and then selling them at a price below what Stern would allow an NIB to be sold for.
    When the game arrived, I asked the delivery guy (who I will leave un-named) about Jonathan because I hoped he would have a story about an awesome game room and really big business front. As the OP mentioned, I was informed that in all of the many deliveries that he had done for ASOA the game had been picked up in a parking lot somewhere. This was the first confirmation that something was strange. Apparently on each and every one of the many deliveries there was some sort of excuse given for why it was more convenient to meet in a Walmart or gas station parking lot. I can understand someone not wanting people coming to their house, but what about the storefront or at least a warehouse needed for such a large business?
    In the following months I got some Pinside mail and even a phone call once in a while offering new Stern titles at ridiculous low costs with no sales tax. I wasn't in the market or I probably would have bitten. He told me the next three Stern titles before they were announced and he was correct in hind sight. When Star Wars came out that was a title I had to have, but thankfully a friend of mine in the top IFPA 1000 used his once a year friends and family rate to get me a game and I skipped ASOA. Then I started hearing stories about ASOA, and not good ones. People started contacting me to see if I had ever been ripped off by him. Fortunately I had not, but I can understand how people could have been drawn in.
    So that leaves a lot of questions referring to the "He was legit, then just flipped the switch" quote above. Maybe he was legit at one point, but more than a little shady too. From what I understand there was a time not too long ago where Stern busted dealers for selling below a set price limit? Maybe Stern dumped his ass? Maybe as someone mentioned he fell into an expensive habit? Who knows what turned him from a shady to full on rip off? All that I know is that even if he was at one time legit, where is the storefront or warehouse? Where were the employees other than him? I feel bad for anyone who lost money to this guy.

    Sounds to me like he was selling games that “fell off the truck.” Some of those “lightly used” games were probably stolen.

    I wonder if it’s drugs, or gambling, or just garden variety larceny/ponzi? One thing is for sure the money is long gone. Guys like him aren’t stealing money just to build a nest egg.

    Thanks for coming forward folks. May seem embarrassing but could help people avoid the same fate with some other douchebag in the future.

    -30
    #47 8 months ago

    I personally have had a few transactions with Jonathan's company ASOA and all have turned out fine. I know the pandemic was hard on ASOA (as it was for many) but I am certain that Jonathan will make this right. I have met Jonathan in person and have broken bread with him. Bill - I think you are awesome as well and sorry that this is taking a long time on your end. I am confident this will have a happy ending.

    All the Best -
    Dex

    #48 8 months ago

    I believe it was some kind of Ponzi. But I may be wrong. He is also an operator who has numerous locations and was in need of cash! And by him selling pins at good prices just reeled a lot of people in. Me as well trusted him. In the beginning I was getting pins on a timely manner. Than all of the sudden it started to go from good to bad.
    He also mentioned that he had numerous employees and management working for his company.

    #49 8 months ago

    This was before the pandemic. That the pins were not being delivered after paying for them

    #50 8 months ago

    Does he have or is their a business name he uses ?

    There are 441 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 9.

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