Armando Montelongo Seminars
Complaint 98627 Details
- Date Occurred: 01/26/2012
- Reported Damages: $30,000.00
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WOW, it appears there are way too many people who have been taken advantage of by the Armando Montelongo seminars!! I have read the complaints on scambook and what is most prevalent is, different amounts of money are charged to different people depending on their financial background. This alone is wrong! How can you guarantee success when so many people don’t even get the full package.
I accompanied my step dad to a FREE seminar, in Scottsdale on December of 2011 (the initial teaser). This paved the way for the guest speakers and millionaires who teach the class to mention a 3 day seminar and paying $1,500 to change your life. For the $1,500 you get CD’s and a book for step by step guidance. At the 3 day seminar, they then hit you up for the $30,000 it will cost you to ‘really grasp the program’ and ‘work one on one with them’ to ensure your success. Our package included a 3 day seminar/bus tour of CA, a 3-day ‘Boots on the Ground’ class in AZ and a trip to Vegas to have attorneys set Corporations and LLC’s for you. Prior to the $30,000 bomb being dropped on your head, your homework on Friday night is to call your credit cards and raise your limit as much as they would allow. The next evening they hit you up for the $30,000 only you have to decide NOW, no time to think about it and IF you acted NOW you would be refunded the $1,500 already invested. Additionally, Armando only wants to invest in people who will invest in him, we were told. You also get a copy of some software lead program for trustee sales. However, in order to use the software you must pay a yearly fee of $195. When my step dad decided to go forward paying the $30,000, I thought I would be sick and felt the color drain from my face. We signed up for the 3 day seminar in Cerritos, CA with me feeling like I had just been royally scammed the entire time. I could barely look at these people who were taking our application and money because I was so angry at how this was presented. My blood was boiling yet, my step dad seemed excited to see what he purchased. What they did NOT disclose up front is, you are only getting a portion of the product and it will cost a total amount of $55,000 to complete training. Instead they choose this ‘hit you up for more money bit by bit’ crap.
We were also given a 1 year mentorship with a mentor assigned to us to help write offers and answer questions. Unfortunately it takes 2-3 days for him to return your call, so if you really needed advice in a timely manner, you can forget relying on your mentor. My husband wanted to go on the bus tour since he is a contractor and I am a Realtor but since the package was in my step dad’s and my name they said it would be $6,000 more for my husband to go on the bus! No substitutions.
We met many Armando affiliates that weekend who told us we were doing the right thing and our lives would be changed. I had to close down 2 businesses to make this trip to CA. My disappointment in this whole fiasco and the CA seminar that was supposed to change my life, can never be fully expressed.
We checked in late Thursday evening. Friday we had to get to the ‘holding room’ early to secure a seat. There was nothing short of a mob waiting to get in the room. The music was so loud, I still have ringing in my ears and perhaps even permanent hearing damage. Once inside people were spray painting themselves and screaming standing on chairs, beating buckets, absolutely acting like animals. We trashed the conference room too, by the way. When Armando did speak (in between all the guest speakers), he only repeated what was on the CD’s, no new information was gained for our $30,000.
You are then separated into groups depending on what color bus you are on, for the bus tour. The classes went until the wee hours of the morning to ‘break you down and retrain your thought process’ according to Armando. Who could think over the blaring music and people screaming at the top of their lungs. The bus tour was helpful, we learned not to be afraid of dilapidated properties. However, on the bus, donations were taken to raise money to get Armando’s attention by hiring a stripper. Many passengers expressed their confusion and disappointment as to what was going on. I was not about to pay for a stripper! Somehow enough money was raised by our bus to hire Polynesian dancers and a fire eater for 15 minutes that night. What in Sam Hill you ask does this have to do with an investment real estate seminar you ask? I don’t freaking know!!! Funny thing is…..that was the only thing I can remember actually enjoying in the seminar. Apparently, there wasn’t enough of our $30K left to hire these entertainers. I found out at the end of the seminar that it is a competition between bus colors to see who wins.....since no one said we were competing against each other, what in the heck are you supposed to win???? Well our bus WON and the winners were supposed to receive a price worth $2,500!!!! WOW you say, I had to hunt down my prize for weeks after returning home only to find out it was several Armando short videos showing us how to make money. Are you kidding me???? The last thing I wanted was to see HIS FACE!
I decided on the 3rd day of the seminar I had enough absurdity for one weekend and told my step dad I was leaving. I could NOT believe we paid $30,000 for this buffoonery. Then I mentioned to him that the bonus class being held all day Monday was probably just to hit us up for MORE MONEY, as a joke. He left around noon on Monday and received a call from one of our acquaintances we met in class, saying they did ask for $25,000 more in the bonus class, so you could be taken under Armando’s wing and guaranteed success. More shocking was the amount of people who just shelled out the money. I can’t decide if Armando is making his money flipping houses or off of gullible people.
A strategist is assigned to you early on and he evaluates your financial position to see if you are someone they should ask for more money. When they ask for more money, they say they want to schedule a conference call to discuss your progress and then they ask you for $25K more to go to the next level (how many flipping levels are there?) However, you can never speak of this to anyone, especially if you pay and join the ‘inner circle’ or you will be severed from any and all contact and your money refunded (kind of hard to believe the last 2 words).
I have spoken to folks who have completed the extra class and there are no guarantees. Additionally, once you pay the extra money, Armando Seminars want you to come back and ride around on the bus tours talking up the seminar, speaking on stage about how great the seminars are and how they changed your life. My step dad is on social security and gave every bit of savings to Armando and got nothing we were lead to believe. Yep, it changed his life alright….We were told we would be taken under Armando’s wing with the $30,000 investment. This has to be one of the biggest scams of all times. There was value in the seminar, but nothing like we were told; this entire production is very well orchestrated. They repeatedly tell you to stop thinking like a poor person because you are, in fact, a millionaire. Well, not yet, we aren’t and now we are even poorer!
We were told we would meet several hard money lenders and private investors at this seminar to help us with our transactions. BUT GUESS WHAT? They prefer to only lend money to the people who pay the extra $25,000, so that is not honest, accurate information. You are guaranteed to get your money back on your first 1-2 sales, but nothing is in writing. What is apparent is that it is a huge circle of people making money from students. The students pay Armando, who then has guest speakers at the seminar who you pay to set up financial portfolios, who then tell you to do the bus tour where you meet hard money lenders and the hard money lenders tell you to pay the extra money and then they will lend to you and because they are Armando affiliates they get HALF your profit. No wonder the bus tour is pushed so hard.
Additionally, they recommend you use lenders, realtors, contacts all from Armando seminars because they will understand what you need, when you need it and of course, have been through the program. Our first experience with an Armando realtor was on the ‘Boots on the Ground’ seminar. We got to do a surprise bus tour, no one knew a bus tour was included in that package. The realtor used poor comps for the subject properties we were supposed to be bidding on, so our re-sale value was nowhere near what we projected. I mentioned the inaccuracy of the comps while still in one of the homes and when we returned to the bus was made to feel poorly for ‘over analyzing’ things that don’t matter in the long run. Guess what? It did matter and I don’t even practice real estate in that area. It ended up we bid on that very house and GOT IT. However, 2) things caused us to back out. Using google earth to view the comps I was told I was over analyzing and a price reduction of $20,000 on the home we were bidding on, done 5 days prior to us being the high bidder and NO ONE NOTIFIED US of the price drop. I found out myself! How in the world is this looking out for our best interest or helping your students succeed? My step dad and I were very upset as we were now overpaying a minimum of $23,000 for this property with bad comps. Where is our guidance and our mentor and all the guarantees?!!! Luckily, we have backgrounds in real estate and financing so while we were made to believe we can only be successful with Armando’s teachings, I believe we can be successful without giving him any more of our hard earned money and falling prey to some ponzi scheme. Someone needs to look into this incredibly well done scam, seriously!!!
Sherri, Realtor in AZ
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Business Profile Summary
- Complaint Against Armando Montelongo
- Complaints Filed: 26
- Reported Damages: $317,557.00
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