Updates about the GatherOnline Startup Scam – November 2017

1. How to buy truth for $12/hour
If you are in lack of truth but have money stolen from scammed investors and developers you might as well invest a part of it to buy some truth.
Here are the steps to follow (created and perfected by David Price and Michael Van Andel of GatherOnline):
– find some cheap freelance writes on Upwork, they don’t even have to be native english speakers because you will give them the content you want them to post about you. Example:
https://www.upwork.com/freelancers/~0186a8919d240ddd3c

– give them the ‘truth’ you want them to post as articles all over the internet
– ask them to post it on as many websites as they can

 

                                          

– profit from the new cheaply bought truth you gained. Enjoy how your reputation increases and people are trusting you more and more. In case you need some more truth invest more money.
This is how you justify the hard earned money your victims gave to you, you must be a fool not to invest more.

2. All blog bans on blogger lifted by google after investigation. 
All the Google Blogger websites that were previously banned were re-enabled. The ban was automatically given by the system but after the claims were investigated the bans were removed.
The fact that the Google blogger websites were banned was used as an argument to coerce others into banning and not believing the facts and statements we made on this blog, this is obviously not the case anymore because after each claim was reviewed all bans were removed.

3. WordPress denied the request for the blog to be taken down
Wordpress didn’t buy into David Price and Michael Van Andel ‘sincerity’ and denied their request to take down the wordpress blog.

 

4. Seedrs added disclaimer targeting the GatherOnline situation

Seedrs changed their Terms And Conditions adding a disclaimer directly targeting the GatherOnline case so their backs are covered in case similar situations occur. They changed the Terms and Conditions so they can’t be held accountable for fake valuations or fake user statistics. I have attached 2 screenshots of the old terms and new terms so you can see that what they added was as a reaction to the GatherOnline case.

Here is one of the added paragraphs: “You should note that in the case of factual statements, the evidence we review is provided by the business, and we do not audit it, which means that we may not be able to identify forged or altered evidence. You should further note that in the case of aspirational statements, the nature of the type of businesses presented on the Seedrs platform is such that they are likely to have high ambitions, and we may approve statements that convey those ambitions even where we do not believe, or we do not have a view on whether it is likely, that they will be fully realised. The pre-money valuation and investment sought in the campaign are those set by the business: they are not reviewed or established by us, and the valuation is not an independent view of what the business is worth. Given the nature and type of businesses presented on the Seedrs platform, it is possible that the business has very little cash remaining prior to receiving this investment, and the investment sought may be necessary for the business’s on-going existence.”
 

 

 


5. We were contacted by the Financial Conduct Authority with the request to escalade the case to Action Fraud Police department

 

The Gather Online Startup Scam by Michael Van Andel and David Price

Dear fellow GatherOnline investor,

We bring to your attention a very critical issue regarding the criminal activities of the GatherOnline company, owned by Michael Van Andel(41%) and David Price(38%). Although the principles behind it are as old as time the way it is conceived now makes it very efficient.

My brother and I are the developers that created the mobile apps and a lot of the new features for GatherOnline that were used in the two crowdfunding campaigns on Seedrs and Equitise where the company got more than $800,000 in investments. We are both programmers and live in Romania, I’m Computer Engineer, in my 4th year of PhD, my brother is a Computer Science graduate.

David Price is the CEO of the company so we mostly talked to him, I didn’t know much about them before I started working but I am a person of good faith so I trusted him on his word.

He said he will pay $10K per month for me to work together with my brother ($7000 me , $3000 my brother) and any extra hours we do will be paid in equity at 2.5x hourly rate. Based on these terms me and my brother spent all holidays and New Year’s working to have the apps finished as soon as possible and most of the weekends.

Immediately after the apps were launched and the two crowdfunding campaigns ended we started working on the new website features that were suppose to be the basis of a third crowdfunding campaign.

As soon as we finished implementing the new website features that were going to be used in the  new crowdfunding campaign we were fired without any prior notice and also denied the payment for the outstanding invoices from the 10 months we worked for them that amounts to around $110,000.

After we got fired we started investigating the GatherOnline company and so we discovered an ongoing pattern of crimes that allowed the owners Michael Van Andel and David Price to get money from investors  in crowdfunding campaigns which were later funneled out of the company using fake hires.

In fact they have been using the same routine since they launched the company and probably before that. We were the third cycle we know of.

The company forged documents regarding user statistics and valuation, blackmailed developers with bad reviews so they don’t have to pay them for their work and embezzled funds using fake hires.

When we checked the crowdfunding platforms they used, and saw what documents they submitted to the public, we realised they were using a fake valuation (over $8 million), made by some person that we traced back to a fake LinkedIn account, and based on that valuation they obtained entrance in the crowdfunding platforms.

To get money from investors they forged documents related to user statistics, there are documents showing how they lie about the number of users, from 20 users (as can be seen in the User Data Dump that we already submitted as evidence to Seedrs and Equitise) to 25,000 users per day.

They blackmailed people that used to work for them in order to extort any outstanding payments and also used fake hires, people hired on completely irrelevant roles in the company that were friends of theirs and some didn’t even exist (we found fake LinkedIn accounts) in order to funnel money out of the company.  For all of this we have evidence that we documented on this blog in previous articles.

So from what information we could gather during our research we noticed this pattern:

  1. they get some new developers on board with the promise they will get equity and a good salary
  2. once the developer finishes creating a new version of the product or adds new features to make it seem that work was done on the platform, they start a new crowdfunding campaign on platforms they already know won’t have a thorough screening process or they know someone from the inside
  3. they present a fake company valuation and fake user statistics and lie about how the new technology stack or new features highly increased user count. (how can a 20 user per day company be evaluated at 8 million dollars?)
  4. investors have no way of verifying if the information is fake so they invest in good faith
  5. after the crowdfunding campaign is over and  the money arrives in their bank account  they immediately fire the developer/s without notice and try to get from them as much free work they can get by not paying the last invoices, nor any overtime they did or equity. They often blackmail the developer or people they fire with bad reviews on freelancer websites or lawsuits.
  6. they funnel money out of the company using fake hires, roles that do nothing and aren’t at all relevant to the company at a startup stage, and some even have fake linkedin accounts as we discovered in our investigation
  7. when they are getting low on funds they start again at step 1

You can find on the blog the email threads between us and the company owners. Everyone we presented this case to (lawyers and friends) told us it’s a criminal case.

We believe this people are going to continue doing the same thing to other programmers and investors. As I already said they were already setting up a new crowdfunding round based on fake statistics and the code me and my brother wrote.

After we showed the evidence to Seedrs and Equitise (the 2 platforms they used), in the form of a User Data Dump (where everyone can clearly see they were forging user statistics documents), invoices we sent them that they never paid and fake LinkedIn profiles used in the fake hires, they canceled their new round of crowdfunding.

Also please check this Reddit Thread we created which got a lot of exposure (8.5K views) and 94% upvotes regarding this case: https://www.reddit.com/r/legaladvice/comments/72swfb/startup_scam_is_trying_to_get_away_with_over/

“In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.” Albert Einstein

Best,

Sergiu Manolache
Manuel Adelin Manolache

The new Low, David Price exploiting the fact that I have Cystic Fibrosis

The Gods David Price and Michael Van Andel offer us one more final opportunity as a grace and also throw some more threats our way:
On Tuesday, September 26, 2017 5:53 AM, David Price <david@gatheronline.com> wrote:
 

Sergiu,

 
As you are well aware we have hired a large law firm to pursue criminal and civil claims against you and Manuel, and you both did not respond within the 48 hours given. The law firm has sent me final papers to sign off, which iI will do today at 8pm Sydney time, and return to them to formally submit for proceedings this afternoon Romanian time. We have already paid the law firm a retainer upfront- we will proceed with our claim unless there is a more favourable alternative provided by then.
 
Michael and I as religious people are offering your one final opportunity as a grace. Manuel is for to stubborn, and I believe, and think you will agree, has certain psychological issues that will prevent him from making any concessions. I believe perhaps you are more reasonable, but maybe not- I don’t really care, as I said we just felt obligated to give you one final opportunity for your own sake, whether you take it or not.
 
You know many of the claims you/ Manuel made were false, and others you may not know or may not believe to be false. However we have evidence and that’s why the crowdfunding platforms have found their investigations in our favour, and it will be the same with any court. This is actually irrelevant regarding many of the actions you have taken. You stole some of our data and gave evidence of this to a third party- you provided evidence of a crime. Is this intelligent? It’s the same with many of the unlawful acts you have committed- no matter what you claim we did there is simply no legal defence- ask your father.
 
Think about the legal costs and consequences you are about to go through- is the going to be the best way forward for you?
 
Anyway do what you want, you have until 8pm Sydney time today to make an offer that is preferable to us proceeding with our claim, or we will proceed as our law firm has laid out for you.
 

David

Sergiu rejects their graceful offer:

On 28 Sep. 2017 8:35 pm, “Sergiu Manolache” <xergiu90@yahoo.com> wrote:

David, lets both do our best and may the one telling the truth win. We will press criminal charges against you in Australia and release this case to the press, so you can come after us for whatever made up reason you can find. You will be the one having to justify to the judge why you wasted investors money in pursuing criminal charges against us when you knew everything that we stated was true. Also I have a feeling the press will find out way more things about you than we did , and if what we discovered disgusted us, I can only imagine how they will react when they find out the rest of the things you are hiding. 
At the end of the day you can’t erase from your mind the fact that you owe us more than $110,000 in work we did and you know we are entitled to. Unless you find a way to run away from yourself I’m pretty sure you will be facing everything you’re trying to hide soon enough, the moment of truth is upon us, not that you don’t feel it already but you like prolonging the inevitable.
 
In any case know that we have nothing personal against you or especially Michael ( in spite of what he thinks), but with the way you treat people that help you. In the end you have to live with yourself, all we want is to recover the money we are entitled to and I can’t stress enough the fact that I really want you to reconsider and find a moment of clarity and pay us what you owe us so we can get this thing behind us in somewhat amiable terms.


On Thursday, September 28, 2017, Sergiu Manolache <xergiu90@yahoo.com> wrote:

The fact of the matter is that we do care about the people and before this mail we were willing to receive only the sum from the invoices, leaving the equity to be split up to the freelancers you currently employ. It’s not about the money, it’s about people like you that take advantage of freelancers and treating them like scum after they no longer work for you.
 
We will see how beneficial the trial will be to your image and if investors will still support a criminal like you. You aren’t protected by Seedrs risk mitigation clause when it comes to fraud.

Again they talk about themselves as Gods and they give us one more final chance, also they are going to tell on us to Joel Osteen, and of course the regular threats:

On Friday, September 29, 2017 7:17 AM, David Price <david@gatheronline.com> wrote:
Michael, I just saw your email now.

 
Sergiu, stated in his last email that they still think everything they are saying is true. So either they are completely delusional, or completely mendacious, either way there is no point in actually asking them for reasons or explanations.
 
Sergiu for the record everything significant you and Manuel have been saying is false. If you were in touch with reality, even you would know 90% is completely false- I mean you claimed the two of you and Alex built the code, while you actually worked as part of a team of 9 + developers. Do you actually think we are funelling money out of the company when we have up to 15 monthly staff to pay- every transaction of our is monitored- there isnt enough money left over even for us to have the direct marketing budget we wanted, so that had to be reduced for some months. Do you actually think Alexis is not a real company valuation expert when he worked for a massive European private Equity fund doing evaluations as his primary job. Do you know he has received zero cash for us and did the work all on an equity basis? Do you actually think the role of CFO is not required in startup as a paid role.
 
The other 10%, you just probably don’t understand why it’s false but I’m not going to help you with it, if you can’t even accept the 90%, that’s so obvious. You can hire investigators and lawyers, and spend all your money and launch your claim and we will respond, and then lawyers, who actually understand reality will see why 100% of your claims are false, just like Seedrs did. We have not done one unlawful thing, whether you can accept that or not its the reality. We had the right to go into a dispute about payments with you. you might not like it, but we followed a legitimate process of independent review, and the process should have continued in a legitimate way from there. You should have responded in the appropriate way, not with unlawful acts.
 
The other matter which you and Manuel seem to have no comprehension of is that even hypothetically if 100% of your claims were true, the only thing that is a defense for is defamation. You still would have broken, blackmail laws, data theft laws etc, and the correctness of any of your claims is completely irrelevant to these laws- you still face the full penalties. So on most counts you have 0 chance of defending yourself, and on the defamation, we can show 100% of your claims are false but even if we just showed 20% were false you will still lose the defamation case.
 
So basically if you understand anything about law, you know you are losing all proceedings against you- because there is no possible legitimate defenses and are just trying to intimidate us to back off. We aren’t backing off no matter what happens unless there is a reasonable settlement offer. We aren’t intimidated by any legal threats when we know we have rock solid evidence to support our position.
 
Again you are quite fortunate in that the legal firm did not finish the papers yesterday and has thus promised them today, as I have to sign before I leave on my overseas travels. They will be signed and submitted today. May God is giving you one final chance to dothe right thing.
 
There was an opportunity to discuss your payment before you broke all the laws. Legitimately you have caused over $200k in damages to the company now- and that includes all its shareholders. That excludes defamation to Michael and my personal reputations which would exceed $100k each. You cannot still beleive it is right you get paid any monies now, unless all right mean is what is selfishly best for you. You want more of investors money after what you have done to them?
 
Plus now Joel Osteen would have a defamation case against you too- we would be happy to inform his megachurch about the action you have taken so they can also commence proceedings against you also.
 
Today is going to change the next decade of your life significantly depending on what you decide to do. If you have the capacity to be reasonable and pragmatic, you should stop trying to win and get the outcome you want, and actually understand the level of risk you are taking for virtually nothing other than ego.
 
David
 
 
Sergiu tells them they are free to do whatever they want and also that we will be entitled to ask for damages based on how this affected my the evolution of my Cystic Fibrosis:
 

On Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 5:23 PM, Sergiu Manolache <xergiu90@yahoo.com> wrote:

David,
 
Let me start by saying that we will never pay anything to you, no matter how much you try to intimidate me with any made up reason. If our allegations are false then you have nothing to worry about and you shouldn’t consider the evidence (more than you imagine) we have amassed. Because you lack the imagination to see how we found the evidence, like you said in the previous email, I will not help you.
 
If you think 20 views on a blog caused investors to lose that much money you are delusional, but imagine if a news article ever came out – what ramifications would that have. 
 
And if we talk about damages, consider that because of this industrious process you and your company made us go through, my brother which has cystic fibrosis became ill. Tell me who is more entitled to damages now? He asked me not to share this but i just want you to know how low you’ve gotten.
 
Again we urge you to reconsider a peaceful resolve of this issue. Our previous offer still stands, you pay us the last 2 invoices and the equity we have gets divided among the programmers and Shiva. 
 
 
 
David Price immediately starts exploiting the fact that I have CF to intimidate us to renounce all claims to the money we worked for and also provide them with a dishonest declaration about what happened so they can go on with their ‘business’ and steal more investors money using the crowdfunding platforms they used the first times.
And with their unending grace they make us one more final offer:
 
From: David Price <david@gatheronline.com>
To: Sergiu Manolache <xergiu90@yahoo.com
Cc: Michael Van Andel <michael@gatheronline.com>; Manuel Manolache <manuel2001ro@yahoo.co.uk>
Sent: Friday, 29 September 2017, 10:55


Subject: Re: Final opportunity to make an offer

 

Sergiu there can’t be evidence without an unlawful act. So I know I have nothing to worry about.

 
I am sorry to hear about Manuel’s illness, but we were unaware of this issue, and he of his own free-will chose to work certain hours. Legally there is no possible claim here, where we could be found liable.
 
You exposed all crowdfunding investors to your claims, no the blog only. You breached our security and we have had to get security experts. We have had to hire legal teams in 2 countries. Some of our private investors have been exposed to your claims. There is $250k in damages.
 
The fact is you know you have done wrong and broken the law, and you know for sure 90% of what you have said is complete lies. There is only 10% that you could possibly believe has any chance of being true (and it isn’t) We are not going to make you further payment.
 
I will make a final offer without prejudice , given the new information about Manuel’s illness.
 
1) You will apologise in writing about making false claims about our company and Michael and me. This is standard to mitigate defamation. You know for a fact that many claims where/are false. I took less money out of the company this year than Manuel by far, and Michael took only mobile phone reimbursement. this is just one example and we can prove all of them.
2) You will agree in writing never to make any claims about the company management and staff again, to anyone, and of course, remove the blogs immediately.
3) you will in writing surrender the equity- we agree to distribute it amongst the coders and Shiva.
4) You will delete any intellectual property, code database that is property of the company etc, or return it the company.
5) You will agree in writing that we do not owe you anything further and no claims, or any other formal process will be pursued, and we agree likewise to not pursue any formal proceedings or claims against you.
 
If you want to go to war of $10,000 and risk your brothers health, and jeopardise our investor’s investments further, and the other coders jobs, and you have no remorse for your false claims (even if you believe I am a terrible person, there is no justification for telling complete lies about me) then you are no real Christian, just someone that calls yourself that.
 
This is a fair and reasonable offer, we both walk away highly damaged and will have to accept it and forgive, but at least we can all move on with our lives and businesses in peace. I hope you understand this is a compassionate offer, given your circumstance. Justice is also Christian virtue- so if the compassion is not accepted in Christian-like fashion justice will be pursued by full force.
 
David
Because this has been going on long enough and obviously we are dealing with experience criminals I make it clear to them that there will be no more negotiations and I asked Sergiu to stop replying to their emails:

On Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 6:18 PM, Manuel Manolache <manuel2001ro@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
Michael and David,
 
This has gone on long enough. I will happily risk my life so that justice will be served. You are a mockery for all that the human race stands for. There is not one righteous bone in your body. 
You will be paid in full for what you did, and this is not a threat, it’s prophecy. 

I leave you with a statement you made and this verse from the Bible, you can do the math yourself:
On Thursday, August 31, 2017 2:14 PM, David Price <david@gatheronline.com> wrote:
You know why everyone in the team hates you– it must be because you are the good guys right, and no one can stand being around the good guys, because you are so much purer than everyone.
 
Psalm 34:21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
            And those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
 
Expect us.
Warm regards,
Manuel Adelin Manolache
 
 
David goes back on what he previously said, that we are the good guys and purer than everyone else, and makes it clear to us that we are the wicked ones and they are the righteous:
 
From: David Price <david@gatheronline.com>
To: Manuel Manolache <manuel2001ro@yahoo.co.uk>
Cc: Michael Van Andel <michael@gatheronline.com>; David Price <davidprice.ethics@gmail.com>; Sergiu Manolache <xergiu90@yahoo.com>
Sent: Friday, 29 September 2017, 12:14:41 EEST
Subject: Re: Final opportunity to make an offer
 

To be clear Manuel, that quote from me was sarcasm. I was saying you think you are more righteous than us, but are negative and damaging towards everyone- that’s the real reason they don’t like you.

 
You only think about yourself and your false virtue.
 
You are no real Christian. Or Maybe you will see the light, or Sergiu will help you to, while you still have time. Go look up the definition of daily active user on Wikipedia because I know that is the thing you think you can hang your hat on- but you are just wrong by definition.
 
The only wrong you can really believe we did is to you, and its should have been settled by negotiation and civilly. And now you have wronged us back even worse many fold. So there is no righteousness in that.
 
And so Sergiu is going to go down with you, and you won’t give him any say- we will see when the real legal consequences arrive how supportive of you he is in this false crusade.
 
The problem with your quotes is you think you are the virtuous one on that side of the quote but actually you will see you are on the other side.
 
Here is just some proof about google’s legal finding, same as Seedr’s same as the courts
 
The papers are being signed today. As I said I am completely fine with going the legal route, I know who is right and the outcome. And even you both know for sure now the laws you have broken.
 
David
 
 
The next day, without us replying to their email, we were yet again graced with one more final offer, this time more generous ($2000 out of the $110,000 we have invoices for) and of course he exploits the fact that I have Cystic Fibrosis to manipulate Sergiu into taking their offer. He says that people with Cystic Fibrosis have such a reduced lifespan, we might as well allow them to get away with all the crimes they did and so my life will be fuller.
I also noticed he learned a new word ‘prejudice’, this definitely proves to everyone how sophisticated he is compared to us sick, poor, stupid, wicked but hard working Romanians:

From:
 David Price <david@gatheronline.com>
To: Manuel Manolache <manuel2001ro@yahoo.co.uk>; Michael Van Andel <michael@gatheronline.com>; sergiu manolache <xergiu90@yahoo.com
Sent: Saturday, 30 September 2017, 17:12
Subject: CF
 

I googled Cystic Fibrosis today as I was busy with other things these last days I didn’t realise it had such a reduced lifespan. I feel bad about how this legal battle is going to affect likely the rest of Manuel’s life. Thus I will make one last effort to make a reconciliation. If you don’t accept my conscience is clear as I tried and you are your own men.

 
Also the lawyers advise they need to receive an original copy of the signed documents by courier so we have a few days left to solve this before they arrive there. 
 
The truth is I did get an independent review as well as the opinions of internal staff virtually all who said your hours claimed were overstated.
 
Without prejudice I acknowledge that something is owing on the final invoices but not the full amount as I am not a coder and it is perfectly reasonable for a) me to get a review and b) Manuel’s raise was conditional on meeting a deadline which was not met. This was recorded in a Skype chat which the lawyers have.
 
Being sick and going to Church every Saturday does not excuse making up any lie you want about us. It does not excuse breaking data breach and theft laws and other laws.  Getting back at someone who you feel wronged you in this way is not justice it is vengeance and it is not moral nor Christian.
 
Although Seedrs investigation found in our favour they are not willing to run a public campaign with us again until the issue with you is resolved. As they don’t choose to run campaigns with companies with ongoing legal disputes. This is one of the reasons damages to us will exceed $200k from your actions.
 
Maybe you feel the reviews we got were wrong and you feel you worked hard and deserve the full payment. As I acknowledged above without prejudice something is owing on the final invoices but at the same time you have damaged our company significantly and caused us huge expenses. The damages exceed anything owing to you by a substantial amount.
 
If this progresses legally I have no doubt you will end up owing us more than you could afford to pay once legal expenses are included. And other legal consequences as well. Without prejudice what remains on the final invoices would be insignificant.
 
In a settlement we need you to reverse the unlawful damage you have done as much as possible. That is you have defamed us and our company. This needs to be acknowledged in a letter and apologised for.
 
You need to return stolen data and code. It is our property.
 
You need to cease and desist from and future statements and any legal claims and procedures permanently.
 
You need to understand that much of the damage cannot be reversed. Even if Seedrs allows a public campaign because this is resolved it won’t be as successful as it would have been, as investors have been exposed to what they would consider as additional risk. We have also as I said had significant expenses on lawyers and security experts etc.
 
On this basis in a settlement you must forgo and surrender all your shares ( which as I already explained are subject to our repurchase clause anyway) and forgo much of your final invoices- as an acknowledgement that you have done significant damage to the company unlawfully and are remorseful that you have broken numerous laws and done damage.
 
The final without prejudice offer from us is USD $2000 to settle this subject to you complying with all the points above.
 
As I said at the outset of this email this is on compassionate grounds. I’m not negotiating. It’s take it or leave it.  Our legal proceedings are almost on train. If you want to settle do, if you want a legal battle fine, you know the consequences for you are dire or maybe you don’t know and will find out the hard way. I don’t know why you would risk health and valuable time on a pointless and losing battle but if bitterness is all you have then I can’t stop you destroying yourself and wasting precious time that could be spent on worthwhile things.
 

David

Because I don’t want to waste my words with liars any more and also because David Price and Michael Van Andel pretend to be Christians I just sent them some Bible verses:

On 1 Oct. 2017 3:08 am, “Manuel Manolache” <manuel2001ro@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

Galatians 6:7
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return. 8 The one who sows to please his flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; but the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Psalm 28:8
The Lord protects his chosen one.
He saves him and gives him strength.
Psalm 20:6
Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.
Revelation 3:17
You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
Acts 8:20
May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!
James 5:1
Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.
Romans 13:8
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
Matthew 5:25
Reconcile quickly with your adversary, while you are still on the way to court. Otherwise he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.
26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
Proverbs 13:1111
Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.
Psalm 37:16
Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked; 17 for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.
Proverbs 17:16
Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom, when they are not able to understand it?
Luke 3:14
Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
Matthew 6:24
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Proverbs 29:6
By transgression an evil man is ensnared,
But the righteous sings and rejoices.
7 The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor,
The wicked does not understand such concern.
Proverb 29:16
When the wicked increase, transgression increases;
But the righteous will see their fall.

They didn’t like the Bible verses too much so they started threatening and cursing me some more while at the same time pretending to have a conscience, without prejudice of course:

—– Forwarded message —–
From: David Price <david@gatheronline.com>
To: Manuel Manolache <manuel2001ro@yahoo.co.uk>
Cc: Michael Van Andel <michael@gatheronline.com>; sergiu manolache <xergiu90@yahoo.com>
Sent: Sunday, 1 October 2017, 01:16:29 EEST
Subject: Re: CF

Why do you think you are the righteous one on the side of those proverbs?

 
Lying, stealing and blackmailing. How could we ever be worse than you.
 
My conscience is completely clear now. It’s a pity you have nothing in your life worth living for other than this. You could have a short full length Fe. You are choosing a short empty one. In fact you will also tarnish your religions name by claiming to be on their side when what you have done is exposed publicly by the court proceedings. I doubt there will be grace for you in the next life either if you continue to not know light from darkness.. You are spirituslly deceived.

More personal threats and lies from David Price

Because we didn’t answer back in a while, trying to put a case together, David Price is sending personal emails to my brother threatening him.
I wonder why he bothers to send us emails when he believes we are “
too stupid to understand”, as he puts it. Maybe he thinks calling us stupid a few more times will help us, we don’t know yet but we will definitely find out. 

Let’s see if his complete disregard for the law will help him save himself from going to prison. He has enough money stolen from investors to hire the best lawyers, we will see if all that money will be enough to transform their lies into truth. If anyone told me such liars existed I would have never believed them.

The only other person that comes to mind with such a nonchalant way of lying is Joel Osteen, but at least he invested his talent in something that can also help others, like building a church. 
There is also some uncanny physical resemblance between David Price and Joel Osteen, but maybe that’s just a coincidence, unless lying genes do exist and they can be traced back to physiological traits, in which case the words of Jesus from Luke 8:17 are coming true (like pastor Osteen would put it): Luke 8:18 17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be known and illuminated.
 

 


I call their look the: “I’m going to tell you everything it takes to take your money” look. 
 
On Tuesday, September 26, 2017 9:56 AM, David Price <david@gatheronline.com> wrote:

 

You’ve broken at least 5 laws, many of them criminal and done hundreds of thousands of dollars damage to us.

Your only alternative option is to make an offer something like the settlement in our lawyers letter to you, and make an offer as such in the next 3 hours or we simply will simply proceed with our claims.
Even Google has found your actions defamatory under the law.
We have evidence against every claim of yours
What do you think happens to people that break multiple criminal laws, leave evidence for this, make prejudicial damage to a private company and leave a paper trail of this.
Maybe you are too stupid to understand what is about to happen, or maybe you are too unreasonable to care- it’s very unfortunate for you. As I said we offered you the grace of a final opportunity. We are happy to proceed legally given the grievous actions you have taken.
David

Short Summary

We are two fucking idiots, hard working, solid programmers, that are hated by everyone because we are the good guys and purer than everyone else, but we will go to hell because we completely lack morals, where Michael Van Andel will be waiting for us to repay him for the damages we caused his totally legitimate scam business.

That sounds like something a reasonable(not scammer), honest and rational person would say so it must be true.

References:

On Thursday, August 31, 2017 2:14 PM, David Price <david@gatheronline.com> wrote:
You know why everyone in the team hates you– it must be because you are the good guys right, and no one can stand being around the good guys, because you are so much purer than everyone.

On Monday, 4 September 2017, 17:57, David Price <david@gatheronline.com> wrote:
And you are fucking idiots because the 90k in shares is over the $80k in value.
If you are a religious person, as you claim, you are buying a ticket to hell. There is no morality in what you are doing whatsoever.

On Monday, Tuesday, 18 July 2017, 8:13, David Price <david@gatheronline.com> wrote:

Manuel, your services for the company have been valuable and you have worked hard.
 
On Thursday, August 31, 2017 11:35 PM, Michael Van Andel <michael@gatheronline.com> wrote:
for example, I know that David thought, and had told me, that Adelin was a very solid programmer.
On Sunday, 3 September 2017, 16:55, Michael Van Andel <michael@gatheronline.com> wrote:
I sincerely hope that you don’t have any property, financial or moveable assets in your name.
Whatever value you destroy will be recovered from you, whether in this life or in the next.

Email threats from Michael Van Andel and David price after exposing them


They threaten we will go to hell and jail for exposing them:


From: David Price <david@gatheronline.com>
To: Manuel Manolache <manuel2001ro@yahoo.co.uk>; sergiu manolache <xergiu90@yahoo.com>
Sent: Monday, 4 September 2017, 17:57

Manuel, you do realise that most of what you are posting is knowingly false. There is no moral basis to what you are doing, and it is undoutedly unlawful and criminal- perhaps you don;t care. Perhpas you hate your life so much that you don;t care about going to jail.

There is no circumstance under which we will pay you anything now. you can continue to do whatever you wish, nothing will result in further payment to you.

We have contacted both criminal and civil lawyers in Romania. All our efforts now will be based on taking legal action against you. Perhaps you think we were bluffing. You are simply lengthining the financial damage you will have to pay us, and your jail term.

If you think you will legally defend yourself and get out of this, you don;t know the law- we ahve already verified that your brahvious is criminal under Romanian law.

I don’t know why you think you are safe in Romania. The law will get you.

Also if you are a religious person, as you claim, you are buying a ticket to hell. There is no morality in what you are doing whatsoever.

Anyway continue what youa re doing, get the enjoyment out of trying to hurt us, and then we will be vindicated by the law. Everyone will be pleased to ahve you in jail.

David Price thinks we are ‘fucking idiots’ for asking to be paid according to the work we did:

And you are fucking idiots because the 90k in shares is over the $80k in value. But now you have a criminal claim against you to deal with because first thing Monday morning I’m going to the police. So let’s see if you have nothing to lose with a criminal extortion and theft proceedings against you. And there will be articles everywhere about this. Do you think our investors and users will care what you say when there are criminal proceedings against you.

On 3 Sep. 2017 9:05 pm, “David Price” <david@gatheronline.com> wrote:

You have also stolen our intellectual property. This is theft. Another criminal offence.

On 3 Sep. 2017 8:49 pm, “David Price” <david@gatheronline.com> wrote:

Sergiu this email constitutes extortion under the law of Australia and Romania. We will go to the police and you will go to jail.

You think you can play hardball. Let’s see how you cope with jail.

They threaten us with jail:

On Monday, September 4, 2017, David Price <david@gatheronline.com> wrote:

Sergiu why should we buy shares from you. Under the terms of our employee share scheme under serious misconduct you would forfeit them. Your misconduct is already serious. Under the best case scenario for you if you back down we might let you keep them.

We are not negotiating with you. We are pursuing a criminal charge against you and the legal system will make a determination. Go ahead and give the police more evidence. Do all the things you threatened. We would love for you to make the criminal claim easier to prosecute.

By the way you and Manuel trying to extort $90k from us makes you the most immoral people I’ve ever met. You can’t call yourselves Christians. Also you just made the extortion claim much worse. A $90k extortion claim is dealt with much more seriously than $10k. I don’t see how you will stay out of jail.

Michael Van Andel “kindly” threatens we will lose everything we own in this or the next life. Michael Van Andel can go ahead into the next life and wait for us there to pay him back.

From: Michael Van Andel <michael@gatheronline.com>

Dear Sergiu

Thank you for your email and for clarifying what type of person you really are. When this whole dispute broke out (and I knew nothing about the final invoice you were querying), I thought that perhaps there was a misunderstanding between parties, and I was trying to avoid your having to go the route of taking civil action against us (or us against you). Now that you have threatened to take criminal conduct against the business, and against me personally through a smear campaign, and since you seem to desire to put yourself in the same category as Danielle and Alex, when you know full well that the latter almost destroyed Gather Online, it is far easier for me to know the right, and Christian course of action to take.

Firstly, with regard to your pursuit of criminal action over a civil matter of an executory contract (i.e. a contract where each party has terms, and there is dispute over whether those terms have been satisfied by the other party):

Your action(s) and threatened actions are sinful in the extreme, and given that your brother is an elder in the SDA congregation, and you claim to be a Christian, I believe that church discipline would be appropriate, and that your congregation has a right to know what type of people you are. Please see 1 Tim 5:19-21.

I am perfectly willing to let God be the judge and avenger between you and me, since my conscious is 100% clear in this matter. I am an investor in Gather and a director by virtue of the magnitude of my shareholding, but I am not the CEO. So I did my best to try to mediate on a matter where David and you were telling different stories, and where an independent reviewer said that you were over-invoicing based on work that was done (which means you are thief as well as a liar, and you have already indicated that you are vindictive). Should you wish to attack me personally when I did my best to be reasonable, then go ahead and act in that way. I will place my fate in the Lord’s hands.

If you go ahead and try to tarnish my reputation, and that of Gather Online, kindly note that whilst you say you have nothing to lose, you will in fact be liable for the following:

Any damages and/ or loss of value to Gather Shareholders will be personally recoverable from you and Adelin, so I sincerely hope that you don’t have any property, financial or moveable assets in your name. Whatever value you destroy will be recovered from you, whether in this life or in the next.

Please note that whilst you have threatened to unjustly tarnish my reputation, you have now gone on record showing that when there is a civil/ contractual dispute with you or your brother over work done, you are more than willing to sabotage client businesses. This would be similar to if I felt that my past employer didn’t pay my salary, I would be justified in burning down the building, and destroying the lives of others. I sincerely hope that neither you nor your brother intend to get programming work again, because I’m sure any future clients would like to know what type of people you are (and you have given evidence of this, so your own words can speak).

With regard to not having anything to lose, kindly note that since you are breaching the terms of ownership of Gather Online shares, and wish to destroy the company, you will probably not be entitled to keep any shares in the business if you go ahead with your planned course of action. David, kindly seek legal counsel on this aspect.

Kindly note that my old firm (Absa) was not involved in raising capital for Gather Online, neither did I even work in a capital-raising division. So go ahead and waste your time by contacting them, since in any event I had disclosed to them that I was investing in Gather Online in my private capacity, and the business had nothing to do with them. In any event I know longer work for the company, and Financial Services Firms are subject to keeping client and staff information confidential, so I hope you enjoy wasting time.

Whether you are men of your word, God alone knows. But let him judge between me and you as to who has taken the Christian route in this debate, and may each of us be rewarded according to our deeds. Clearly you are not a person of character, so if you take ungodly action against me, it won’t be the first time that someone has done this. I will not endorse your unchristian and criminal threats by giving in to your demands, irrespective of what threats you make.

Please note that all rights by Gather Online are now reserved, and our negotiation is officially over.

From a Christian perspective I have nothing else to say, except that you need to repent and be reconciled to God, instead of taking your own vengeance and living life in your own way (Romans 12:9-21; 1 Pet 2:1-8;11-25; 3:13-22).

Michael

Michael Van Andel and David Price – GatherOnline startup Scam – How to spot a startup Scam

The GatherOnline Startup Scam
by David Price and Michael Van Andel – part 2


Everything is premeditated

When something feels too good to be true it probably is. This is the thing I decided to ignore when dealing with David Price and Michael Van Andel and started working for them at GatherOnline, everything seemed to flow so seamlessly I never stopped to think about what was actually going on until it was too late.  They promised anything we asked for when we started working for them because they never intended to keep their word.
Even before firing us they withheld our salary saying that there was an error with the transfer. This happened 3 weeks before they fired us. They did this in order to get the most work they could out of us and make sure we finish their product. After we put the finishing touches the next morning we got the termination letter, our accounts were removed and started making excuses for not paying us.
All developers that worked for GatherOnline can confirm they regularly promised bonuses if we do certain tasks, which we did, but they never actually gave out any bonus.
Fake Valuation
They used one of their fake LinkedIn accounts when asked about how they justify the valuation of over $8 million:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexis-de-vries-6649945a
You can see the real person behind the name and compare it to the fake LinkedIn account they created: http://www.mantrainvest.com/teams
Real vs Fake account

 

Real Account

 

Lying to people about the valuation
The company was evaluated at over $8 million even though no one invested any money and the product they were pitching was made by a Romanian college student, Alex Blaga, which they also scammed by not paying him.
Fake user accounts and traffic
David Price and Michael Van Andel hired freelancers to create fake accounts and generated traffic by posting content:

 

 

 

Forged user statistics
David Price posts forged charts showing increase in traffic or user count but none of them are in conformity with the reality of the situation as you can see from the screenshots below. I also posted a screenshot with the actual number of users and user activity (10-15 users per day, most of which are the freelancers posting content).

David Price posting fake stats to attract investors
David Price lying about the number of users
Forged user statistics
As you can see from the database there are only 21,000 registered users
(most of them fake accounts) and only 3,300 users that were active during August 2017


Fake employees used to funnel money out of the company
They created fake LinkedIn accounts so the business seems legit and also created fake roles in the company to funnel investors money using them. They are getting more than $40k in salaries that end up in Michael Van Andel and David Prices pockets.
Here is an example of fake employee, you can see the LinkedIn account together with the fake hiring email:
Email with hire notice of fake employee
https://www.linkedin.com/in/faheema-badat-849132141

Gatheronline Startup Scam – Michael Van Andel and David Price scam artists

GatherOnline Startup Scam

by Michael Van Andel and David price – part 1

Because of his background in fund management and investing, at ABSA Group, Michael Van Andel together with David Price decided to start their own Tech Startup and quit their everyday jobs.
They never intended to invest their own money, so they started looking around to outsource the production of their first website to gullible young programmers they found on freelancing websites, this way they found Alexandru Blaga, an IT student from Iasi, Romania.

They managed to get him on board by promising the world to him, a lot of money, shares in the company, relocation to Australia, and so on, if he could deliver a basic implementation of an initial trivial initial idea, there was no concrete idea to begin with so that lead to a very incoherent code base because of the frequent changes that had to be implemented, which required very high maintenance resulting in a lot of extra work that Alex Blaga had to do.
The product created by Alex Blaga would later be pitched to gullible investors that believed GatherOnline actually had a development team behind them.

After Alex finished the first prototype, they went through their first crowdfunding, in which, with the help of Michael Van Andel investor connections, together with investors usually found on crowdfunding websites, managed to get around $500.000 (Article ). People tend to invest because they see others invest, so that lead to quite a large amount being raised.

Until this point they didn’t pay Alex Blaga almost any money, but instead they managed to convince him to continue working for extra shares (shares he never got, but we will get to that).
While this happened Michael Van Andel managed to convince other investors, connections he had from his work place, to invest in GatherOnline with the promise they will launch mobile apps and they will be a huge hit, and used the previously successful crowdfunding campaign as argument to the validity and value of the GatherOnline product he was developing, none of the investors being aware of what was really going on.
Because the only person that knew the application well, both backend and frontend was Alex Blaga they had to convince him, by promising to pay him all the outstanding money they promised until then and a huge extra, to deliver an Android and IOS application, which were needed to be pitched to investors for a next round of funding.
Of course Alex Blaga eventually caught on with what was happening and the fact that he was being exploited, so he stopped responding to their messages. After he stopped responding David Price started sending people after him to persuade him to come back and also gave him a small sum of money to convince him that they changed their ways. He came back thinking they will keep their word and pay him the monthly salary that was promised to him but of course this never happened so after a few more months he quit for good and didn’t give them the code for the applications.
They were already a lot behind schedule with the launch of the mobile applications and at the same time the website was very buggy so they had to hire a Croatian outsourcing company to take care of the website. I will not go into details about their work on the product because it was mostly maintenance and they charged GatherOnline quite a lot of money for their work without delivering the needed mobile applications nor improving the website’s functionality.
At that point they were hemorrhaging money to pay for website maintenance (to Croatian team) and were at risk to lose the investors waiting on the mobile apps so they became desperate trying to get Alex back to finish the mobile applications, so in the process of finding people to go after Alex (which changed his phone number to get away from them) they found me and my brother. They told me a short story that would partially explain their situation and the reason they want to find Alex but instead of agreeing to go after Alex I told them I can finish the prototypes for their mobile applications in 3 weeks, which I did.
After some QA testing and implementing the new requirements into the mobile apps we launched them by January 2017, me and my brother spent our New Year’s working on the apps. Without knowing too many things about what was going on, and in general being of good faith, I trusted we will get shares in the company and payment increase after 6 months of working for them as we agreed in the beginning.

Immediately after they launched the apps they managed to get the money from the investors that were waiting on the mobile applications through a crowdfunding campaign hosted at Equitise.com ( link )  I must say I’m deeply disappointed on the screening and company assessment methods used by crowdfunding websites. Basically all user statistics were faked and I have the database to prove it (You can see screenshots below).

During this crowdfunding campaign they also managed to get a lot of extra funds from naive investors that, like me and my brother, believed the numbers they saw on the presentation decks and thought we are dealing with trustworthy people.
When I got access to the production database I noticed 95% of the accounts were fake and all content was manually added by freelancers hired on Upwork ( link ).
But as long as the public doesn’t know and investors can’t check for themselves the show goes on.
After this second crowdfunding round (that got them nearly $700.000) Michael Van Andel was starting to get in trouble at his daily workplace, forced to resign. Also the investment company he worked at found out about him pitching his startup scam to the investor pool of the company.
Even before the second crowdfunding was over a third one was started on Seeders.com ( link ), again a lot of fake information was provided but no one knew at that time. Even the developers were coerced into investing during that round. The company managed to raise another $250.000 and at this point I was expecting to get the salary raise that was promised to me when I joined, 8 months passed since I started working for them and the raise was suppose to happen after 6 months.
For the third round a lot of people were convinced to invest because they were promised the technology stack will be completely updated.
I basically build 60% of the new technology stack by myself (80% of the mobile applications, 70% of the new angular frontend, and also worked on the symfony 3 backend) so a raise would have been in order but instead me and my brother got fired without any notice. The $114.000 equity, for which I worked a lot of extra hours, even 17 hours per day in some weeks, had been withheld and they tried to buy it back for $2600 (50 times less than what they said it’s worth).
Before his resignation, Michael Van Andel was already funneling money from GatherOnline using fake hires, but because he lost his investment job at ABSA Group he had to compensate the decrease in capital by taking even more money from the company, using his own name this time.
Because of his greedy nature he of course decided to cut the budget of the only department that actually did something to deserve the invested money, the tech department, namely me and my brother.
He was able to do that because between January and June I managed to find some good programmers with affordable salaries, some of which were my friends,  that could handle software development for both web and mobile.
I didn’t mention that before that, he hired a few freelancers, without consulting with me, that turned out to be frauds, some worked using multiple accounts, others did very bad work, which were eventually fired because I managed to expose them.

One month before my brother and I were fired the budget cut was announced, the budget cut was being redirected to pay for Michael Van Andel salary on top of the money he was already getting for the fake hirings. Most of the tech team members were new so they didn’t understand what was happening.

In response to that I sent an email to Michael, David and the tech team in which I pleaded for the budget cut to not affect the tech team but instead allow us to vote for the positions that were least useful to the company (like the fake hires). Of course the tech team agreed with that but Michael started making up stories that all of the made up roles are relevant to the company. If I didn’t know better how the traffic and users are generated I would have also been tricked.

Of course he didn’t want to have anyone opposing him in the company or exposing for the fraud he is, so he used the email I sent him as a justification for firing us without notice.
He kept saying that the Board of Directors decided so, but the board of directors is only made up of him, Michael Van Andel, David Price, and another few fake hired people that he uses to steal money out of the company.
The main shareholders of GatherOnline are Michael Van Andel (41%), David Price (38%) and Vincent Dravert (4.5%).

Based on the amount I was offered for my shares, $2,600 for $114,000 worth of shares, the company valued at about $6,500,000  is worth about $147,000, which is the amount of money that was actually invested in development in the last 10 months (since I started working for them), money paid out of the $1,000,000 received from investments, most of which David and Michael already embezzled.

Another thing I’m really sad about is the alleged Christian moral conduct Michael Van Andel displays and uses to make others believe he is trustworthy as you can see in this video: https://www.oneforisrael.org/video/jewish-testimonies-i-met-messiah/michael-vanandel-met-messiah/
The blatant hypocrisy and lack of ethics these kind of people manifest give Christianity, or any other group they represent themselves with to cover up their corruption, a bad name.

The methods used in this scam are very subtle and almost makes it seem like a legit business:
They promise you whatever it takes for you to start working for them, promising they will pay you after everything is finished and also giving you a lot of equity.
They created and maintained conflict inside the development team by complaining privately about how bad the other developers are, and encouraging you to start fights with them, while in team meetings they act like they are against it. They use whatever is said about the developers to justify a salary decrease or firing them and canceling their equity.
They get people to invest by using fake statistics, hire people to generate content and create fake accounts.
They make promises to investors they can’t keep and coerce them to invest using manipulation techniques.
They hire cheap SEO freelancers that can provide them with traffic and users, most of the traffic coming from india and users created by the SEO freelancer using scripts.
They convince you to work for shares but then they make up reasons not to give you any equity.

Relevant emails:
Michael Van Andel sublty implying he will be taking money out of the company:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B89-ZdUoAjTXQ2QyRVpQMEh0azA

Trying to take away our shares and decreased payment for last invoice:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B89-ZdUoAjTXYm56WVBBeDFBclE

The made up reasons for firing us, David and Michael refers to themselves as the Board of Directors:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B89-ZdUoAjTXOVZRY0VDS3psbjg

Full email threads(part 1, 2 and 3) – updated 30 September 2017:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B89-ZdUoAjTXNmpJWDVhbmlhVE0/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B89-ZdUoAjTXbWxMa0NDUHlHYTQ/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B89-ZdUoAjTXdGVFNlNzZ01jVkU/view?usp=sharing

Similar articles:

References and screenshots:

Hiring people for fake jobs to embezzle funds:
Fake accounts and fake information provided to the public
Linkedin Account
Hiring people for simulating traffic and uploading fake content, various jobs on upwork:
Fake information provided to Crowdfunding campaigns:
Company share distribution
Michael Van Andel previous job at Absa Group (ABSA Group team)
They had to cut 10k so Michael Van Andel can get salary
Until May 2017 –  $80.000 in shares
December 2016 – 73000 shares