First Funds Messes With the Wrong PeopleSeptember 1, 2011 | By: Sean Murray
First Funds, the now defunct Merchant Cash Advance provider apparently left some unhappy vendors in their wake. A visit to their old website address(www.firstfundsnyc.com) reveals the story:
This is the site as it appears today on 8/31/2011. Apparently their web host/site designed has commandeered their site with a pop-up ad. It states:
“Dear First Funds LLC,
As you know, we designed your logo, stationery system, web site (www.firstfundsonline.com) and various promotional and marketing pieces for nearly two years. Since September 2008, we’ve been trying to collect payment for this design/development (approximately $10,000.00) however all attempts to contact you, Jay Cohen (the CEO of First Funds) and other contacts have gone unanswered.
We received one response from Jane Prokop, copied below:
As far as I understand from your email, you provided services to First Funds LLC in 2008. That company is still in existence under the name First Funds Holdings LLC, but I do not know if it has any assets to speak of. The company I work for is a separate one that bought certain assets and liabilities of First Funds and is operating under the First Funds name in the cash advance business. Jim Jenkins and Steve Patton are not employees of this company, and unfortunately I will not be able to help you in pursuing claims against First Funds Holdings.
132 West 31st Street, 13th floor
New York, NY 10001
I do not believe this to be an official communication from you company, however, as it seems the above corporate re-structuring serves only one purpose: defrauding your creditors.
This is the only way we know to appeal to you, Jay Cohen of First Funds Holdings LLC and First Funds LLC, to collect the outstanding $10,000.00 that is beyond a year overdue for the design and development of your corporate identity and marketing materials. Our hope is to appeal to your sense of decency as a respectable and considerate businessman.
Please contact us at your earliest convenience to arrange for payment and resolve this matter. Thank you.
ps. If anyone reading this is a colleague, employee, or client of First Funds LLC, please assist us by pointing this site to Jay Cohen‘s attention.”
While we’re not sure if this is the best way to get their attention or if this tactic is legal, we’re certain now that the one vendor you don’t want to upset is your web designer.
Embarrassing? You bet!
Sean Murray is the founder of deBanked, an 11-year veteran of the merchant cash advance industry, a casual Lending Club and Prosper note investor, the co-founder of Daily Funder, an alternative lending speaker, consultant, writer, and enthusiast. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on twitter.