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Ascentium Capital LLC Reports $390M in Third Quarter Funding Volume

November 2, 2021
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ascentium logoKINGWOOD, Texas – Nov. 2, 2021Ascentium Capital LLC, a national commercial lender, announced continued growth during the third quarter of 2021. Financing volume increased $82 million, up 26% from the prior-year period. Strategic execution and ongoing economic recovery resulted in strong performance this quarter.

“Ascentium remains focused on delivering an exceptional customer experience supported by operational efficiencies, service excellence and competitive financing products. These core competencies are resonating with our clients and contributing to our positive momentum going into the fourth quarter,” said Tom Depping, executive vice president and Ascentium group manager.

Ascentium Capital offers specialized equipment financing and business loans to commercial entities nationwide. The company also provides customized finance programs for equipment manufacturers and distributers with simplified application procedures to help businesses in a broad array of industries including commercial vehicles, energy, franchise, healthcare, industrial, and technology.

“Quarter-over-quarter originations growth remains steady as we continue to satisfy our customers’ demands,” added David Lyder, senior vice president of Ascentium Sales and Marketing. “We are recruiting additional sales resources and refining existing products to keep pace with, and anticipate, our customers’ needs. Our top priority is helping our customers grow their businesses.”

About Ascentium Capital LLC

Ascentium Capital LLC, a subsidiary of Regions Bank, specializes in providing a broad range of business equipment financing, leasing, and loans across the United States. The Company’s offering is designed to benefit equipment manufacturers and distributors as well as direct to businesses nationwide. For additional information about Ascentium and its business financing products and services, please visit AscentiumCapital.com.

About Regions Financial Corporation

Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $156 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates more than 1,300 banking offices and approximately 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.

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Media Contact
Christine Kimball, Vice President, Marketing
Ascentium Capital LLC
ChristineKimball@AscentiumCapital.com
Ascentium on Twitter: @AscentiumTeam

Ireland is Funding Fintech Through Government Investment

November 2, 2021
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dublin irelandThe Irish government has taken a serious liking to fintech. With a broad history of being active in financial services, the nation believes they can attract companies from around the world to reap the benefits of employing Irish citizens, while also tapping a major source of export revenue through an up-and-coming industry. 

With access to capital for small businesses just as difficult here as it is in the US, a new fintech company looking for start-up cash may be able to turn to Dublin to get a major investment, rather than dealing with a retail investor or a venture capital firm here in the states. Enterprise Ireland, the organzation that runs these programs, is trying to tempt fintech companies looking for a fresh start or an international expansion to start that process in Ireland. 

“Enterprise Ireland is the trade development and venture capital arm of the Irish Government,” said Claire Verville, Senior Vice President of Fintech and Financial Services at Enterprise Ireland. “We are a semi state agency and our mandate is to help support indigenous Irish enterprise to grow and expand in global markets.”

Just like in the United States, it is extremely difficult for an Irish business to walk into a big bank and get a loan. It’s in these situations where the Irish government has decided to make a direct investment themselves. Through Enterprise Ireland, according to Verville, the Irish government can provide capital to startups across a range of areas, in exchange for things like loan repayment or government equity in the company. 

“In addition to the kind of more traditional trade development stuff that you would see from any government promoting their indigenous businesses abroad, we do invest directly in companies through equity and participate directly as a [limited partner] in funds to funds.”

Verville spoke about how the Irish government has been looking to extend funding to fintech startups for some time. “Our fintech portfolio is over 200 companies now, we have been one of the most active investors in Europe in a long time. We are one of the most active global investors across all sectors, and we’re really focused on early stage capital for fintech.”

galway irelandWhen asked about the decision making process that goes into Irish investments, Verville portrayed it the same as if it was a private firm making the same move. “We will vet like any other investment, make sure we’re comfortable with it, make sure that the business is verifiable, and that we understand the track record of the team,” she said.

Through investing in fintech, Enterprise Ireland appears to believe they will give their small business owners better access to capital. If the industry can create a Euro-American hub in Ireland, the latest tech and funding innovations will develop there, giving access to that technology to Irish businesses first. If Irish small business lenders can use Irish technology to help an Irish merchant, everyone wins.

With financial innovation in Europe being leaps ahead of the US, Verville believes the Irish employees working in finance would be better suited to deal with some of these new innovations over Americans because of their familiarity with these systems that are already in place. She hinted at things like EMV cards being around in Ireland for years at the consumer level before they ever made it to the United States. 

As far as incentive for profit, Enterprise Ireland isn’t concerned with the success of their investment from a financial perspective as other investment groups are. They instead focus on things like employment numbers and longterm sustainability for those jobs acquired through their efforts in investing in industries like fintech.

“Because we are attached to the government, we aren’t a money-making mission as far as venture capitalists go. We are focused on employment in Ireland, which is partly why it’s so important that the companies are founded in Ireland and that they are building their employee base in Ireland, and on export revenue.”

Verville spoke about how only when businesses in Ireland do well, Enterprise Ireland only does well, too. “We do make money off some of our investments, and that’s government money. We get our budget set by the government department every year, just like any other government agency.”

To be eligible for funding from Enterprise Ireland, a business needs to be based in Ireland, have an Irish LLC, and must have a significant amount of Irish employees. According to Verville, the Irish market is ripe for American small businesses, especially alternative finance.

MJ Capital Funding Had More Than 5,000 Investors

October 8, 2021
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Investigations carried out by the Receiver for Pompano-based MJ Capital Funding, have revealed that the number of investors in the alleged ponzi is more than double than originally believed.

In August, the SEC successfully persuaded a judge to place MJ Capital in Receivership after providing a convincing argument that the company was engaged in an active securities fraud and that the assets should be preserved. At the time, the SEC estimated that there were as many as 2,150 investors and that the amount raised ranged somewhere between $70M and $129M.

Now with better access to the internal workings of the business, the Receiver says that there are actually more than 5,000 investors and that they expect this number to increase, according to recent court filings.

Also revealed is that more than 400 individuals were tasked with recruiting investors.

“While MJ Capital claimed to use investor funds to provide small business loans called Merchant Cash Advances, the Receiver’s investigation to date has revealed virtually no evidence of legitimate business activity involving the funding and collection of Merchant Cash Advances which proceeds could have funded the payments to investors,” the Receiver said in official papers.

The case is ongoing.

More than 3,200 people have come out in support of MJ Capital Funding’s CEO, believing that she is also a victim in what has befallen the company.

Fundomate Announces $50 Million Line of Credit to Bring Embedded Automated Funding and Real-Time Banking to Payments and SMB Marketplaces

September 30, 2021
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fundomate team

Los Angeles, September 30, 2021 — Fundomate, a leading embedded finance provider of automated business funding solutions and real-time banking tools for merchant-facing platforms, announced the closing of a $50 million line of credit with Revere Capital today. The new line of credit is Fundomate’s largest to date.

Fundomate will leverage the credit facility to scale up its partnerships with merchant-facing businesses and grow the company’s new white-label banking platform. The platform enables merchant-facing platforms and marketplaces to rapidly expand their product suite and enhance engagement by offering automated financing and embedded banking tools under their own brand.

Fundomate Phone“With the closing of the $50 million credit line, Fundomate can scale its proven automated funding platform via its one-touch funding tool already embedded within 100+ payment processing partners and marketplaces”, says Sam Schapiro, CEO and Founder of Fundomate. “We’re excited to also focus on our new embedded real-time banking platform, which uses AI and advanced forecasting to provide our partners the ability to offer their customers free short-term working capital that’s available for immediate use.”

Revere Capital Managing Director Christopher Gilker said, “We’re incredibly excited to grow with Fundomate. As I tell all my colleagues, Fundomate is a company at the right place at the right time. The team is ambitious, and I have no doubt the company will disrupt the fintech, payments, and banking space in a big way.”

Revere Capital Managing Director Suman Mallick commented further, saying, “I’m very excited about Fundomate’s potential to change how businesses manage their banking and credit needs. I believe the company will benefit from strong secular tailwinds and has vast opportunities for growth with merchant-facing businesses throughout the US.”

Waterford Capital structured and arranged the line of credit on behalf of Fundomate. Dave Piotrowski, Managing Director at Waterford Capital, said, “Fundomate has an advantage over others in the merchant finance space through the products offered through their payment processor partners. This financing relationship with Revere Capital will help take the company to the next level and further broaden their competitive advantage.”

About Fundomate

Fundomate is an innovative fintech company that operates in the alternative lending space and provides both direct-to-business and white-labeled turnkey solutions, enabling merchant-facing platforms to offer alternative funding products to their customers as a value-added proposition.
The company has deployed over $100M to more than 2000 merchants across various industries in
the United States.

About Revere Capital

Revere Capital is a private credit manager with expertise in lower middle-market real estate bridge lending & specialty finance. The firm’s disciplined underwriting utilizes fundamental real estate analysis and research, emphasizing intrinsic value to create a diversified portfolio for investors. Revere also specializes in financing other commercial interests, consumer interests and insurance-backed interests. With a national footprint, Revere Capital offers speed, certainty of execution, and creativity to structure loans to fit borrowers’ needs and provide contractual income for investors.

About Waterford Capital

Waterford Capital is a leading arranger of structured finance and asset securitization transactions. The firm advises specialty finance companies and asset managers in connection with warehouse credit facilities, private placements of asset-backed securities, whole loan sale programs, and mezzanine and equity capital raises.

MJ Capital Funding’s Website Has Been Shut Down, Company’s Assets Being Auctioned Off

September 24, 2021
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for saleMJ Capital Funding investors holding out hope that a return to business as usual could be in the cards for the company accused of being a ponzi scheme, might find that outcome a little less likely.

The Receiver has agreed to auction off all of the assets at the company’s Pompano Beach offices on September 28, and everything must go, from the 60″ TV to the garbage cans to the houseplant.

Such powers afforded to the Receiver, a law firm partner named Corali Lopez-Castro, also gives her the ability to enter into binding legal agreements on behalf of the company, the latest ones being Consent Agreements with the SEC. In doing this, the two MJ companies (MJ Capital Funding, LLC and MJ Taxes and More Inc.), have agreed to disgorge of “ill-gotten gains,” accept a civil penalty, and be permanently restrained from continuing its former business. Such an arrangement is standard fare when companies are thrust into forced Receiverships like this one. The Receiver’s job will be to collect as much money as possible so that it can be distributed to afflicted investors.

The MJ Capital Funding Website has also been shut down. It now forwards to law firm Kozyak, Tropin, Throckmorton. Regular updates on the case are available for free at: https://kttlaw.com/mjcapital/.

The consent orders do not apply to former CEO Johanna M. Garcia individually, who lost control of the company and ability to act on the company’s behalf when it was placed into Receivership.

An astounding 3,160 people have signaled their support for Garcia in this case. That’s the number of signatures on the online petition for her located on change.org.

“Our goal with this petition is to get those funds unfrozen as soon as possible,” it says. “This is Johanna’s desire as well proving once again Johanna’s unwavering support for us and in building a strong team and community. Johanna has helped countless amounts of people and charities with the work she does local and worldwide.”

MJ Capital Funding CEO Consents to Asset Freeze

September 9, 2021
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The primary defendant in the MJ Capital Funding case agreed to an extended asset freeze, court records show. Her consent is not an admission of guilt to the civil charges. The SEC has already sufficiently demonstrated its strength of prevailing in the case, which is why the judge ordered the companies be placed into receivership from the outset.

The consent order, entered on the 8th, covers 9 bank accounts held at both Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, in addition to ten credit cards. MJ Capital’s CEO agreed to live off of income derived from two unrelated businesses known as MJ Remodeling and MJ Realty to the tune of $72,800 a year combined. That could change, however, if the SEC determines those businesses are also connected with the alleged scheme. $100,000 that was paid to her lawyer in advance will stand and can be used for her legal defense.

The only unusual bank record disclosed in the papers is a purported account at a small cryptocurrency hedge fund.

Nearly 2,900 people have signed an online petition voicing support for MJ Capital accused’s CEO.

The Receiver is providing regular court filing updates at: https://kttlaw.com/mjcapital/

Wannabe Business Lender Sentenced to Six Years in Prison

August 11, 2021
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Mercedes-MaybachJustin Cheng’s website said his company, Celeri Network, could help business owners get a loan between $5,000 and $5 million. Rife with all the familiar lingo commonly found on loan broker websites, Celeri Network gave the appearance of an everyday small business finance company.

Unfortunately for unsuspecting customers, Cheng took his own approach with applicants, telling them that they had to pay upfront refundable “due diligence fees” to help them secure funding. Of course, when the funding never came through, he failed to deliver refunds to the tune of $380,000.

That was only the tip of the iceberg for Cheng who was sentenced to 72 months in prison this week for a litany of schemes including this one.

According to the Department of Justice, “Cheng used the identity of other individuals to submit online applications to the SBA and at least five financial institutions for a total of over $7 million in government-guaranteed loans through the SBA’s PPP and EIDL Program for several companies controlled by CHENG, namely Alchemy Finance, Inc., Alchemy Guarantor LLC d/b/a “Celer Offer,” Celeri Network, Inc., Celeri Treasury LLC, Wynston York LLC, and Neo Bellum Industries Inc.”

Representing also that he had more than 200 employees when he never had more than 14, he successfully secured $2.8M in PPP funding altogether.

“Cheng transferred over $1 million abroad, withdrew approximately $360,000 in cash and/or cashier’s checks, and spent at least approximately $279,000 in PPP loan proceeds on personal expenses,” the DOJ found. “These personal expenses included the purchase of an 18-carat gold Rolex watch for approximately $40,000, rent and move-in fees for a $17,000 per month luxury condominium used by CHENG, approximately $50,000 of furnishings for the condominium, a portion of the purchase of a 2020 S560X4 Mercedes, and purchases totaling approximately $37,000 at Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Burberry, Gucci, Christian Louboutin, and Yves Saint Laurent.”

Far from finished, Cheng also announced the launch of a blockchain-based peer-to-peer lending platform and sold more than $400,000 in digital tokens through “materially false and misleading statements and omissions.”

“Cheng, 25 of New York, New York, pled guilty on April 20, 2021, to one count of major fraud against the United States, one count of bank fraud, one count of securities fraud, and one count of wire fraud,” the DOJ said.

Greenbox Capital® Advocates For Fair Lending to Women- and Minority-owned Businesses in CFPB Panel

October 19, 2020
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Greenbox Capital participates in small business lending data collection rulemaking for section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act protecting women-owned and minority-owned businesses

Miami, FL: Greenbox Capital® announced it is serving as a Small Entity Representative (SER) to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that is responsible for amending the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) protecting women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses looking for financial assistance. Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act amends the ECOA by requiring certain data be collected and submitted to the Bureau to protect these types of businesses.

“It’s an honor to be selected to the industry panel providing feedback on section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act ensuring fair lending laws to women- and minority-owned businesses”, said Greenbox Capital CEO Jordan Fein. “Over 2 million businesses across the U.S. are either women or minority owned and it’s vital they can secure funding as easily as non-minority owned businesses.”

Greenbox Capital, an alternative lender, serves small businesses in all industries across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada with the working capital needed to grow. Greenbox Capital is committed to supporting clear, secure, and fair financing solutions and is an active member of the Small Business Financial Association (SBFA).

For more information visit, www.greenboxcapital.com.