by Structured Settlement Watchdog®
The propriety and trustworthiness of the BBB of Greater Maryland is in serious question, its having taken a fee for several years in exchange for a high rating, while ignoring improprieties and poor business conduct of one of its paying customers that is a matter of public record.
BBB of Greater Maryland still gives an A+ to Sovereign Funding Group, a "Purported Company"
- Despite its knowledge of the improprieties of the company proprietor, Mount Airy MD resident David Springer, the conclusion of Springer's trial, the published transcript of the testimony in that trial and 2013 depositions of Springer (which included admissions made by Springer)and the decision issued by Judge Marvin Garbis finding David Springer liable; AND
- Despite being put on notice in 2013, The Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland that a company listed on its rolls had provided false information to the BBB, which the BBB published (and for which BBB pocketed a $400 annual fee) BBB continued to give the company an A+ rating; AND
- Despite David Springer's testimony as a Defendant under oath at trial in August 21, 2014 that he told the BBB that Sovereign Funding Group was no longer in business and several public court proceedings; AND
- On April 28, 2015 the Sovereign Funding Group phone number listed on the BBB of Greater Maryland listing is "not in service".
- On April 28, 2015, the website formerly located at sovereignfunding.com has not been active for more than 6 months! Yet the website address is still listed on the BBB
"Q -- you've told the -- you haven't told the Better Business Bureau that you're out of business, right?
A Well, yeah. Essentially, like, the BBB, really they want their $400 a year. And I just paid, kept paying the $400, until this year". [Springer testimony Woodbridge v Springer p58 lines 5-9]
Shortly after the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland was informed that David Springer testified as a Defendant in a June 28, 2013 deposition in the same lawsuit that he had created the fictitious names James Goldstein and Sandy Jackson (which were being used in the consumer facing interface on the BBB of Greater Maryland), on August 26, 2013, I received the following email from Melanie Rutkauskas an executive with the BBB:
"Dear Mr. Darer,
First, I would like to thank you for providing BBB with the information you had about Sovereign Funding. BBB’s concern is publishing factually accurate information customers and potential customers can trust and your assistance has helped us in this matter (emphasis added). The Sovereign Funding Business Review has been updated. (emphasis added)
BBB continues to monitor the outcome of the Woodbridge case due to the nature of the allegations and once concluded – if warranted -will report according.
My apologies on the delay in receiving this follow up. Should you wish to provide any additional information, please feel free to direct it to me and we will investigate.
Thank you again,
Melanie Rutkauskas | Sr. Vice President, Operations
www.bbb.org | Start With Trust
BBB | Greater Maryland
502 S. Sharp Street, Suite 1200
Baltimore MD 21201"
David Springer's trial testimony indicates that the BBB reached out to him and asked him about the fake names
"Yes, actually I spoke to the BBB and told them why" [ David Springer trial testimony p 59 line 2-3]
"So, it's your claim that,
if you create a whole social world of a bunch of fake employees
for your company --
A Uh-huh. " [ Springer trial testimony p 75 lines 13-16]
David Springer admitted in his trial testimony that he said to Michael Wrona of Halloran and Sage in commentary related to the drafting of a pretrial order "Therefore, I will not allow information to be included that is completely unrelated to search engine optimization and/or marketing techniques, such as the fact that I (David Springer) made up a few imaginary Facebook employees so that the company seemed like it was a bit bigger than it actually was"? [ David Springer trial testimony p 76 lines 7-14 and 19-24]
- On March 31, 2015, Judge Marvin Garbis found that David Springer was liable to Woodbridge Structured Funding. Judge Garbis referred to Sovereign Funding Group as a "purported company"
The Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland simply cannot be considered a reliable source of consumer information for Maryland consumers on this showing.
With such low standards as described above an A+ rating with the BBB of Greater Maryland is completely meaningless. The management's reckless disregard for information it supplied and continues to supply to consumers concerning Sovereign Funding Group, an entity that doesn't even exist, while padding their pockets with $400 per year until 2014, conflicts with its public message and that of senior management and is worthy of a report to the Attorney General's office.
Following this posting and notification of the BBB of Greater MD of same, the A+ rating has been removed and the following appears under the listing for Sovereign Funding Group.
"According to information in BBB files, this company is no longer in business. If you have an unresolved dispute with this company you may wish to seek legal advice".
Once again it's a shame that the BBB of Greater Maryland could not be more on top of a serious issue impacting consumers seeking its resources. Consider that BBB of Greater Maryland gave an A+ to a "purported company" that utilized two undisclosed paid testimonials promoting its services on YouTube in 2012 that are still posted today AND used the BBB rating in the descriptions to the deceptive videos advertising to potential customers; that used another video that falsely portrayed David Springer as a lawyer. Consider that the address of Sovereign Funding Group was changed to a Frederick MD virtual office at a time David Springer claimed in sworn testimony to not be in business. David Springer testified that he was in control of the BBB account.
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