He asked for $1,000 investment and promised a return of $1,000,000 in 17 months. BBB complaints allege that dozens of people bought into the investment opportunity at the $1,000 price; some paid $2,000, $5,000 or more. A few weeks later, he posted an apology on Facebook, deleted his Facebook page, and left his investors holding an empty bag. Now BBB of the Mid-South is warning others about the investment opportunity offered by Chris Eggleston of Global Innovation Now.
According to BBB research, Global Innovation Now offered mobile app development for businesses. BBB processed one complaint in November 2015 in which a Memphis woman said she had paid the company $1,000 to create a mobile app for her business. Eggleston acknowledged that the app didn’t work and offered her a refund if she’d wait one month. But three months later, she still had no refund. Eggleston did not respond to the BBB.
BBB recently received four new complaints on Global Innovation Now, three of which were within a one-week period. However, these complaints were not about mobile apps; these complaints alleged investment fraud. Complainants told BBB that Eggleston invited them to participate in an investment opportunity, with the funds going to medical research labs in California. The contracts they signed stated that Global Innovation Now would turn their $1,000 into $1,000,000 in just 17 months.
A LaVergne, TN, couple told BBB that they were approached by a co-worker about looking into an investment opportunity. The couple did some due diligence, looking up both Global Innovation Now and Chris Eggleston online. They told BBB they assumed the offer was “a legal endeavor as Mr. Eggleston has previously been on The Steve Harvey Show.”
The couple bought into the opportunity to invest $1,000 in 70 medical marijuana labs and dispensaries. For the first couple of months, Eggleston posted updates via social media saying how well the investments were doing.
But when it was time for Eggleston to produce quarterly statements for the investors, the couple told BBB that he suddenly shut down the investment group, saying in a Facebook post, “EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY!!!! Global Innovation Now very sorry to inform all of my investors that your investment and the 17-month med lab research is Terminated Effective Immediately. Global Innovation Now is very sorry for this loss and I will look to improving my skills as a CEO to never let this happen again.”
A few days later, BBB heard from a Bartlett, TN, woman who said, “I entered into a fraudulent contract with Global Innovation Now company headed by Chris Eggleston in January 2018 under the pretenses that this was an investment in medical labs. Also, in April of 2018 I invested in this company again and was told on June 18 that the ‘money was gone’ and that the medical lab investment had been shut down.”
“Eggleston removed the Facebook page and offered no explanation as to what happened with my money as an investor,” she continued. “Mr. Eggleston is still in hiding and will not come forward with answers. This man is a con and does not deliver on ANY of his investments, which are not real, but fake.”
And a Clarksville, TN, woman told BBB, “This guy is a fraud. Calls himself an Entrepreneur but he’s just a crook and a thief. He played a very large group of people that ‘believed in his dream’ with false hopes, contracts, and earning statements. And when the gig was up he shut down all communication and refused to provide statements or a viable answer as to why his ‘investment’ failed. Blowing everyone off claiming it was ‘just 1000 dollars’ while he partied at least 100k away. Don’t trust this man or his business.”
“Don’t let someone convince you that an investment opportunity is a good idea without checking it out yourself,” said Randy Hutchinson, president and CEO of BBB serving the Mid-South. “Steer clear of fraud by learning what to ask when offered an investment opportunity and how to check if both the seller and the product are registered.”
BBB has partnered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation to give you tools and information to help you better protect and manage your money. Remember when considering an investment opportunity:
- Learn how to recognize a phony pitch. Anyone can be a victim of investment fraud. Even if you’ve never been subjected to an investment fraudster’s sales pitch, you probably know someone who has. Ask questions and get the answers you need. Take notes during conversations with salespeople.
- Watch for these red flags: guarantees, unregistered products and overly consistent returns, complex strategies, missing documentation, account discrepancies or a pushy salesperson.
- Check out the seller. Reduce the risk of fraud by checking out the seller first. Ask if he or she is licensed to sell investments. If not, end the discussion. If yes, check out the seller at brokercheck.finra.org.
- Check out the investment. Pondering an investment? Before you go any further you should research the investment product. An important first step is to check if the investment is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at investor.gov.
- Check out the company with BBB at bbb.org or by calling 901-759-1300 or 800-222-8754.
- Take your time to make decisions and seek independent advice or see a lawyer if there’s something you don’t understand.
- Never accept a verbal agreement.
- Never sign a document before reading it carefully or if you don’t understand it.
- You can report suspected investment fraud on BBB’s Scam Tracker tool at bbb.org/scamtracker.