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

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