Exposing a $100+ MILLION Fraudulent Corporate Takeover (PART 2)

– In part one, we left off with KhaazRa starting to connect the
dots that Darnell Ponder, Jon Lakatos, and Allan Lacoste were doing something outside
of Electronic Commerce. He wasn't entirely sure what it was, but had belief that the
company he helped co-found was shifting into another entity. In July 2021, KhaazRa
decided to visit the offices of Electronic Commerce. – Don't touch me. Don't touch me. Don't touch me. Get out of here, sir. – This is my office. – Please step out. Please step out. – We have court order. – May I see it?
– Sure. – This is Tyler Neuroth. He will become a player later in the story as there's reason to believe that he was involved with
shady business dealings with clients regarding
various unethical fees. We need to rewind back to 2020 where Darnell Ponder, Jon
Lakatos, and Allan Lacoste were working together to form a company called Tangram Payments. – Tangram is a competitor
to Electronic Commerce. It has no association outside of that. – Allan Lacoste was a
corporate executive at Nuvei which is a competitor
to Electronic Commerce, but was also included in the new corporate organizational chart that KhaazRa found in Darnell's office.

– Darnell called me one day and says, "Hey man, I
don't want Allan and Jon to be partners anymore." I'm like, "Just like that?" He says, "Yeah." I said, "Something happened?" He says, "No, no, it just
didn't work out right. Just didn't really tell
me what was going on. Something happened." – Allan doesn't include
mention of Electronic Commerce or Tangram Payments on his LinkedIn even though he was working
in the office as a volunteer for an extended period of time. – I had zero relationship
with Allan Lacoste. Zero relationship. Never spoken a one word to
Allan Lacoste whatsoever. I was actually told by
another staff member that he was there every Monday and that people had to report to him to give him certain data. – Employees were reporting to
Allan for a period of time, but it appears the Allan's
involvement in this operation came to an end sometime in 2020, before Tangram became
unofficially official.

He was for sure connected to Tangram, even if it isn't entirely public. This is Jon Lakatos' declaration. "Now, I work at Tangram Payments, which is a separate
entity formed by myself, Joseph Daly, an electronic
payments industry veteran with over 30 years
experience in the industry, and Darnell Ponder. No mention of Allan Lacoste, but there is mention of a
character named Joseph Daly who we are not familiar with yet. Do Alan and Joseph daily know each other? – I believe the bank says
that he approached them with another guy named Joseph Daly, who is the owner of Tangram Payments, in 2019 with the same website
called tangrampayments.com. – With Allan Lacoste out
of the picture for good, we need to introduce Joseph Daly, the man Jon Lakatos mentions as being co-owner of Tangram Payments. – Joseph Daly comes into the
picture as a volunteer as well. Remember, we got a lot of volunteers at Electronic Commerce, right? Joseph Daly is in the
office when I'm there. I don't even know who he is. I don't have no idea
who this guy is. Period.

– KhaazRa had no idea who Joseph Daly was because Joseph was working as
CEO of a competing company. Here's Joseph Daly's LinkedIn showing him listed as
CEO of Capri Payments, a competitor of Electronic Commerce. – Joseph Daly was also the CEO of a company called Capri Payments. How was he the COO or any
type of corporate officer at Electronic Commerce
while also being the CEO according to the bank's own
lawsuit, if I'm correct? How can you be the CEO
of a competing firm? – Darnell brought in two executives to volunteer for Electronic Commerce, Jon Lakatos and Allan Lacoste. After Allan was removed from the picture, Joseph Daly began volunteering
at Electronic Commerce. They were all paid
executive level salaries. It's easy to wonder why
KhaazRa never noticed any of this going on. – During COVID is when our travel was restricted in the states. And so by me not
physically being able to go to the office as much, I wasn't able to see who was in the office and to see what was going on.

Also, I was slowly but
surely being phased out of operational knows and procedures, just information in general. – KhaazRa's business
partner Darnell Ponder also had control of the
employees he was hiring. Because Darnell was doing the hiring, he could tell employees to
not talk to that KhaazRa guy. – Man, listen, I need to
be in the interview process because when you hire people,
you hire them to work for you, and then when I asked
them to do something, being that you negotiated their pay and they know that you're the one who handles the payroll in the office, they're more than likely
going to continue doing what you say. And instead of it being like
a team kind of environment, where they understand
there's two owners there and we're all on the same team, they're going to ignore me based upon what you're telling staff. – Darnell wanted to handle the hiring, because he was in the process
of creating Tangram Payments. And by doing the hiring himself, he could position himself as the boss and all orders that come directly from him are to be followed.

In Jon Lakatos' declaration, he says, "While working
with Electronic Commerce, I became acquainted with KhaazRa MaaRanu. Initially, my understanding
was that he had a minor to insignificant role in the company, performing outside sales for the company. Later, I learned that was the case, that Mr. MaaRanu's sole
role was outside sales, similar to an outside referral agent of which Electronic Commerce had about 100 similarly
situated counterparts." As you'll see at a later
point in this story, Jon's word cannot be trusted
as it has been proven that he greatly exaggerates his claims. But if we believe this
to be even remotely true, then it can be assumed that Jon's understanding of
KhaazRa's insignificant role in Electronic Commerce came from Darnell. Darnell was creating a competing company at the same time he was
operating in Electronic Commerce. Clearly, his intentions were
to diminish KhaazRa's role so that he could get everyone on board with his new company Tangram Payments.

– As more and more staff members came in, he would pay them high
salaries like Jon Lakatos'. He paid Allan Lacoste and basically instruct these people, "Don't communicate with KhaazRa." – This whole time KhaazRa
was left in the dark about what was happening in the offices of Electronic Commerce. Everything can be solved as long the clients are taken care of and the business continues
to roll without issue. But what happens when clients
start to have problems? – I wasn't able to come
to the office as much because travel was restricted, and this is when things begin to take off in a whole other direction
at an accelerated pace. Some clients begin emailing me, complaining about something
called an inactivity fee that they were being charged about. – Remember, KhaazRa handled
sales and marketing, so he has a personal relationship with many of Electronic
Commerce's merchants and certainly the larger
merchant accounts. If they were having issues and customer support wasn't able to help, they'd alert KhaazRa.

This allowed KhaazRa
to start becoming aware of how Darnell was treating their clients. – What are you talking about, inactivity? And some of these clients
I personally know. They really thought
that Electronic Commerce was a great, trusted partner. I remember one guy said,
"Dude, you guys are charging me like an extra 13 to $1,500 per month." And I couldn't believe it. – Now we're starting to
run into a little trouble. As you'll find out, many of their merchants
were not treated well which has led to numerous lawsuits and many merchants having their
business negatively affected due to the actions of Darnell
Ponder and associates. – And he says, "I'm not
able to get any support from your back office. No support from your customer service." And so I jumped in and I'm looking at him
like, "Wow, he's right." So I immediately email
our customer service and say, "Listen, fix this, right. 'Cause I'm thinking it's a mistake.

Make sure you fix this." Wherein the customer service support didn't want to respond to me. They didn't want to do
what I asked them to do or, you know… They literally just stopped
communicating with me as well for the most part. And then I think I personally had to go in and refund the client
myself, like directly, which is not something
I should have to do.

– This was a sign of what was to come. Clients began having issues
with Electronic Commerce as they were starting to find random fees. One of the problems was that
only merchants big enough to have an accounting firm were able to spot these random fees that were borderline unethical. As you'll find out in a minute, there were multiple
strategies Darnell implemented to suck as much money from
clients as he possibly could. – They have to listen to him or whoever their immediate supervisor is, which in most cases would
have been Tyler Neuroth. – KhaazRa mentions that clients were having difficulties
reaching customer support. The person overseeing customer
support was Tyler Neuroth. Tyler Neuroth was working
under Darnell Ponder. Before the attempted
corporate takeover by Darnell, Tyler was hired by KhaazRa
to be director of operations for Electronic Commerce. Even though he isn't a
major player in this story, it feels like he was
knowledgeable and complicit in the unethical business
practices of Darnell.

He also appears to
suffer from memory loss. – You guys are Tangram now? – I don't know what
you're talking about now. – Who are you working for? You're in this office. Can you tell me who you work for? Well, obviously, you're ignoring me. I don't care if we're in the
office or out the office. So who do you work for? – Tyler was Vice President of operations for Electronic Commerce until June 2021 when he magically got
hired by Tangram Payments in June 2021. The video you just saw
was recorded in July 2021, one month after being
hired by Tangram Payments.

When confronted, Tyler had this to say. – This is… I am. This is my office. I can be here. Is this Tangram or Electronic Commerce? – Just step outside. – Is this Tangram or Electronic Commerce. – I need you to step outside. – And do what? – Step out of my office. – This is not your office.
– This is. – No, you work for Electronic Commerce, or do yo work for somebody else now? – I need you to step out of my office. – This is my office too. – Will you step out of my office please? – You can sense the tension because Tyler knows that what
is happening at the offices is something completely unethical. Or his possible amnesia
has caused enough brain fog where he doesn't realize
that Tangram Payments existing within the offices
of Electronic Commerce, his former employer, is not shady at all.

Darnell Ponder being
the head honcho for both must not have set off any
red flags in his mind either. Or maybe he's involved with
everything that's taking place. Let's revisit the inactivity fee issue. – I had to go outside of the
norm to refund this client for two months of something
called inactivity fee, which basically was included
in our terms and conditions without my knowledge.

It's not on the merchant application, which is what people will see and sign. In our terms and conditions, which is on a website on a link, which is about 44 pages,
sized 8 to 10 font, very legal lease is what
actually governs the contract. – One of the most unethical
things a business can do is put a random fee in
their terms and conditions on their website, but not include the terms on the documents that the customer actually signs. – I communicated with customer service and was told that they
wouldn't be refunding, and I said, "Yes, you will be. Who was telling you you can't refund it?" And then I remember Tyler
Neuroth email where he said, "Oh, by the way, that was included in
our terms and conditions almost a year ago." – It's beginning to
sound like Tyler Neuroth was aware of this practice of implementing the inactivity fee.

When merchants sign up
with Electronic Commerce, they state how much
processing they do every month called proposed volume. As an example, Cornelia
Cheesecakes processes $1 million every month in credit card transactions. If Cornelia cheesecakes
process is $500,000 next month, then we did less than our proposed volume. Under Darnell's guidance, this
triggers the inactivity fee. – But now in the terms and conditions, it says you are gonna be
charged a 1% inactivity fee. So now you have to pay 1%
of your proposed volume. If you're doing $100,000
a month, 1% of $100,000. And so when you get these kinds of bills, like, it just like, "Whoa,
who wants to pay a thousand, $1,500 for not processing?" Not including the other fees.

– KhaazRa earlier in our chat that many of their clients
were small business owners who weren't able to catch every little fee in the fine print. This was one of three practices
implemented by Darnell that negatively impacted
Electronic Commerce's clients. – Every merchant account
that's online, in most cases, let me say that in most cases, should have a reserve funding. Those funds sit at our
sponsor bank's account, and wherever, let's say the
reserve could be 10% or 50% of your daily batch. If you do a hundred
dollars and $10 comes out every single day and it
goes there for a rainy day. Tyler, can you help us understand how – [Tyler] Could you step out my office. – [KhaazRa] merchants
are providing the reserve going from 100 to 0,
– Outside. – And how are you guys finding money? – Please step outside. – You can hear KhaazRa
asking Tyler Nueroth how clients were seeing their
reserve fund deplete to zero for no reason at all. With KhaazRa being restricted access to company documents and accounts, he hasn't been able to see
where clients reserve funds have been going.

– So the reserve is
really there as a backup in case a business owner
closes out their bank account. But that money also is not to be touched by the payment processor. – With many clients claiming
that their reserve funds were depleted to zero, this could become a case of massive fraud. Why do you think Tyler
Neuroth wants KhaazRa to vacate his office and
disobey the court order stating that KhaazRa to be given access to company documents and accounts to prove the unethical business practices taking place within the
offices of Tangram Payments. – When you read the bank's lawsuit, the bank feels like the
funds have been commingled.

– In addition to the banks being concerned about potential fraud taking place, KhaazRa spoke about numerous clients who saw the reserve fund deplete to zero and were owed money. How did Tangram respond? By suing them. Here's the third way Darnell was extracting
as much money as he could from his clients. – There's another fee in there. We used to have something called the ETF, which stands for early termination. Normally, it's 495 or
something like that, right? – When a client ended
their contract early, they were charged $495. Small fee, annoying, but fair. Darnell had an idea to make
that fee exponentially greater. – I think it's called a
deconversion or liquidated damages, and what that means is
that whatever you process or propose to process, now you can take that monthly fee and multiply it by however
many months are left, and you can come up with this crazy liquidated
damages charges.

– What's even crazier is
Darnell went on a lawsuit spree. This isn't a confirmed number, but KhaazRa believes the number could be as high as 23 lawsuits
filed in one month recently. – Some people were sued
for $2.8 million, right. And how do you get a
lawsuit for $ 2.8 million when your account was shut down? How do you get one for $1.6
million or $1.3 million? – One of Electronic Commerce's
big accounts DM'd me and said he's getting
sued for nearly $3 million and had his account shut down even though nothing about his account violated any of the terms and conditions. – Are you with EC now or Tangram? – I'm with whatever the company's here. So I'm working with the company. – All right, which company? – Why is this in… This making me uncomfortable. – It should. Once you find out what's going on, you will be very uncomfortable. – If you look at the LinkedIn profiles of the employees in this office, you will see that they
all changed their employer to Tangram Payments from
Electronic Commerce in June 2021. Reminder that this video
was recorded in July 2021. Kind of interesting that none of them know which company they work for.

– It's making me uncomfortable. – Oh, look, the police are here. Darnell called the police. This is great. – How you doing? – All right, good, good, good. – Darnell fled the building
and called the police. How he was able to move so
quickly remains a bigger mystery than what happened to the money and all of Electronic Commerce's
clients' reserve accounts. Now, it appears that Darnell
has his lawyer's number on speed dial. Last week, KhaazRa
received a cease and desist from James Huber, lawyer
for Tangram Payments. "Mr. MaaRanu physically threated," come on lawyers we got to work
on our grammar and spelling, "threatened several
employees and their families, and physically harmed
Tangram's employee Jon Lakatos when Mr.

MaaRanu attempted to gain access to Mr. Lakatos' office. Mr. Lakatos immediately
sought medical care and was diagnosed with a knee injury that will likely require surgery and extensive rehabilitation. The video has been obtained
by Tangram's council which confirms Mr. MaaRanu's
threats of physical violence and causing injury to Mr. Lakatos." We all need to send
our love to Jon Lakatos for the pain he must
have been experiencing while texting his Tinder matches during this violent encounter. Maybe I'm blind, but I've
never seen a grown man tear up his knee enough to require surgery and not fall over in complete agony. It looks to me like Jon Lakatos is the toughest man on the planet. One final note, Tangram's
lawyer sent the cease and desist directly to KhaazRa, which KhaazRa's lawyer
points out in response email is a direct violation of California Rules of
Professional Responsibility, specifically Rule 4.2.

I've been told that this
is a blatant disregard for common ethics in the law industry. At this point, are you surprised that the lawyers representing Tangram are performing actions in
violation of a code of ethics? I think this makes for
a great stopping point for episode two. Make sure to send your
wishes to Jon Lakatos for a speedy recovery
from his knee injury. Episode three is coming soon. Thanks for watching. And as a reminder, I'm
just acting as a reporter detailing an interesting story as told through one character's eyes and the related lawsuits filed.

Make sure to always do your own research..

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