Another GPal Update

On that Cast Boolits thread I linked yesterday, a commenter brought up licensing.  Someone checked in Texas and alleged that GPal is not licensed there.

Ben Cannon replied with a terse “GPal has all required licenses

But the plot thickens.  Politics Guns and Beer reports that GPal is also not licensed in accordance with Idaho law.

Amazon, Google, PayPal, Western Union and many other recognizable names are licensed by Idaho. I cannot find any record of GPal, GunPal, G>, Ben Cannon or any other Cannon businesses being licensed as Idaho money transmitters. I am not a lawyer, but GPal does not appear to meet the criteria for exemption from the licensing requirement. [emphasis in original -ed]

This line of thought piqued my curiosity about this issue.  I wonder if Virginia has similar licensing requirements?

Why yes, yes it does:

Chapter 12 of Title 6.1 of the Code of Virginia requires the licensing of persons wishing to engage in the business of selling money orders or providing money transmission services to any consumer residing in the Commonwealth of Virginia, whether or not the person has a location in the Commonwealth.

Among the requirements for licensing:

The Commission must make a finding that the applicant will be able to and will perform its obligations to purchasers of money transmission services and purchasers, payees, and holders of money orders sold by it and its agents, and that an applicant, and its members, senior officers, directors, and principal stockholders have the financial responsibility, character, reputation, experience and general fitness to warrant belief that the business will be operated efficiently and fairly, in the public interest and in accordance with law and regulations.

Along with the application form and fee, applicants must provide current financial statements audited by a licensed certified public accountant. Each licensee under this chapter shall at all times have a net worth of not less than $200,000, or a higher amount not to exceed one million dollars as determined by the Commission, calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

In addition, a surety bond in the principal amount as determined by the Commission but not less than $25,000 nor more than $500,000 is required. The amount of bond required of a new licensee shall be based upon the applicant’s financial condition, capitalization, projected Virginia monthly money order sales and/or money transmission volume, experience, and other factors deemed pertinent.

Applicants must be registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the United States Treasury Department pursuant to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).

Well…considering what’s been going on, they fail at the first requirement right out of the gate; as I pointed out yesterday, their own Member Agreement attempts to disclaim any responsibility to fulfill ANY obligations to their customers.

Be that as it may, that doesn’t preclude them from having had a license granted…so, let’s find out if GPal has been properly licensed in the State of Virginia as Ben Cannon so tersely claims?

Um….No. (link to pdf download)

Paypal is there.   Amazon is there.  Checkfree is there.  No “Gunpal” or “Gpal” to be found.  The list is dated 1 September 2010 so it’s not because it’s out of date.

But…due diligence and all that…there’s the possibility that the list is in error.  I called the Virginia State Corporation Commission and asked.  Nope…GPal is not licensed in the State of Virginia.  They gave me a fax number to which to send all the pertinent information so they may begin an investigation.  I’ll be sending that fax shortly.  UPDATE:  FAX sent. 

I wonder, does the fact that GPal seems to be operating an unlicensed, criminal enterprise have any bearing on the validity of their “member agreement”?  I’ll have to bring that up with my lawyer friends.  It seems to me that a company operating outside the law should have no authority to enter into such a contract and, therefore, the terms should be null and void. 

I’m not a lawyer, however, so I’ll have to try to find out for sure.

And, just in case I wasn’t clear enough about it before:

DO NOT USE GPAL…EVER

10 thoughts on “Another GPal Update

  1. Don't confuse a "User Agreement" with a violation of law. People who signed up with Gpal did so in Good Faith that Gpal would honor and uphold their end of the deal.

    Transactions were stated as taking between 2 and 7 days. We've all seen how THAT has worked out. Also seen how Gpal themselves have handled open criticism of their business by making threats and insinuations.

    Were there no breach on their part, there would be no need for anyone to entertain thoughts of a lawsuit.

    Additionally, once the feds and/or respective State Attorney Generals indict, try and obtain (felony) convictions against Cannon and others doing business as Gpal, his "User Agreement" becomes null and void in a civil court of law.

    Anyone who sets up and is intent upon running a decent, honest and above-board business would not need such reckless disclaimers of "you can't sue us because by signing this agreement, you agree not to sue us."

    I had never bothered to read the User Agreement. The second I heard Ben Cannon's name associated with Gunpal (now Gpal), I laughed and laughed until I got tears in my eyes. He's the biggest fraud in California since the Governator.

  2. Curt, THANKS for your work looking into this. I have canceled my account there and have been spreading the word linking back to your blog here. I also notice that Oleg has pulled his association from Gpal if you weren't aware of that.

  3. Curt, you might want to ping Tom Gresham from Guntalk…he interviewed Ben Cannon about Gunpal….he might be interested in the current story.
    tom@guntalk.com

    I also couldn't help but notice that Gunpal has taken down the list of their board of advisors from their website.

  4. I also couldn't help but notice that Gunpal has taken down the list of their board of advisors from their website.

    Maybe they did that to facilitate removing Oleg Volk's name from the list, seeing as how he resigned his position on the Board of Advisers yesterday (see yesterday's post for a link).

  5. I saw that. I sent email to Oleg asking him for clarification, 12 hours later he had resigned

    Outside looking in…I think the house of cards is coming down soon. I hope you get your money.

  6. Curt, I just got this warning coming to your page. Not sure if this is harmless or if some tool you are using has been hacked.

    *****************************************
    The website at sailorcurt.blogspot.com contains elements from the site rpc.blogrolling.com, which appears to host malware – software that can hurt your computer or otherwise operate without your consent. Just visiting a site that contains malware can infect your computer.
    For detailed information about the problems with these elements, visit the Google Safe Browsing diagnostic page for rpc.blogrolling.com.

  7. The only link I had to rpc.blogrolling.com was the "Unorganized Militia Propaganda Corps" blogroll.

    I deleted it so that shouldn't be a problem any more.

    If the message comes up again, please let me know.

  8. I decided back in May to use GPal as our primary Payment system, figured it was getting such good ratings and reviews on Auctionarms.net and Calguns that it was worth the try. I am small time company, that normally process a few hundred to around a couple thousand a week in sales but its normally just enough to pay my own bills (which come to under 1.5k a month food and all)
    That month I ran major sales for 3 weekends. I withdraw the sale money each day from GPal. by the 3rd weekend I had yet to receive a single deposit. So I was forced to shutdown my sale as at that point I had almost 40k in sales and not 1 deposit from GPal. I operate on a dropship style platform, I get paid, I order my product and once its received I ship directly to the customer. So if I don't get my money then then I have no means to order product or ship out the orders.

    So After dozens of phone calls, support tickets, and direct emails I finally am able to get my first round of deposits roughly 6 weeks after the start of the sales. Well it wasn't all of it but it was enough for me to order all the inventory. Then after about 3 more weeks I finally get another round of deposits, Its enough to ship out about 2/3rds of the orders. At this point they still owed me just over 8k Which 6k of which nearly all 8k was needed to pay the shipping fees to finish the remaining orders.

    As mentioned this was a sale. Not normal prices, we made little to no money on every transaction, is simply a gimmick to get our name out there and get people to start shopping with us. well I continued my emails for over another month (This was now the end of july) With no response for weeks, then I was promised the remaining funds ACH the next day. Nothing. Then a few days later they promised me a wire transfer the same day and that Ben Cannon personally was down at the bank processing it as they spoke to me on the phone.

    Well 4 days later still nothing. Now they promise me a written check. after a week nothing. So I ask them what is up, my customers have now been waiting over 2 months some close to 3 months for there order (very patiently I might add) GPal was not processing any refunds for me during this either. The site wouldnt allow me and GPal themselves kept giving excuses why they couldnt refund my customers.

    After getting literally hundreds of emails from my customers telling me they would be filing chargebacks if I could not process the refunds or process the orders within the week I emailed Ben Cannon and several others directly informing them of the situation.

    Ben Cannons Response…

    "you will want to refer to Section 2.4 (Reserve) of your GPal User Agreement.

    Under Section 7.4 of our User Agreement, we may hold funds to cover imminent chargebacks, and per your email today threatening charge backs we are now retaining all funds in your account as of this date, in addition to your existing Reserve, until such time we are confident that no chargebacks are going to be initiated.

    Remember that you are liable for the entire cost of the chargeback, plus a $35 chargeback fee per occurrence per section 9.5 of our User Agreement.

    -Ben."

  9. I decided back in May to use GPal as our primary Payment system, figured it was getting such good ratings and reviews on Auctionarms.net and Calguns that it was worth the try. I am small time company, that normally process a few hundred to around a couple thousand a week in sales but its normally just enough to pay my own bills (which come to under 1.5k a month food and all)
    That month I ran major sales for 3 weekends. I withdraw the sale money each day from GPal. by the 3rd weekend I had yet to receive a single deposit. So I was forced to shutdown my sale as at that point I had almost 40k in sales and not 1 deposit from GPal. I operate on a dropship style platform, I get paid, I order my product and once its received I ship directly to the customer. So if I don't get my money then then I have no means to order product or ship out the orders.

    So After dozens of phone calls, support tickets, and direct emails I finally am able to get my first round of deposits roughly 6 weeks after the start of the sales. Well it wasn't all of it but it was enough for me to order all the inventory. Then after about 3 more weeks I finally get another round of deposits, Its enough to ship out about 2/3rds of the orders. At this point they still owed me just over 8k Which 6k of which nearly all 8k was needed to pay the shipping fees to finish the remaining orders.

    As mentioned this was a sale. Not normal prices, we made little to no money on every transaction, is simply a gimmick to get our name out there and get people to start shopping with us. well I continued my emails for over another month (This was now the end of july) With no response for weeks, then I was promised the remaining funds ACH the next day. Nothing. Then a few days later they promised me a wire transfer the same day and that Ben Cannon personally was down at the bank processing it as they spoke to me on the phone.

    Well 4 days later still nothing. Now they promise me a written check. after a week nothing. So I ask them what is up, my customers have now been waiting over 2 months some close to 3 months for there order (very patiently I might add) GPal was not processing any refunds for me during this either. The site wouldnt allow me and GPal themselves kept giving excuses why they couldnt refund my customers.

    After getting literally hundreds of emails from my customers telling me they would be filing chargebacks if I could not process the refunds or process the orders within the week I emailed Ben Cannon and several others directly informing them of the situation.

    Ben Cannons Response…

  10. AS PROMISED…
    THE BEN CANNON INFORMATION HOT LINE – (704) 360-0821

    To anyone having information regarding Ben Cannon:
    If you have information regarding Benjamin Phillip Cannon AKA Ben Cannon or any officers or legal representation of GunPal or GPal Inc, please call (704) 360-0821 and leave a message. You may also call this number to tell about your experiences with any of the above mentioned people or entities. If you choose to leave your personal information you will be contacted by a licensed private investigator who will take your statement.

    To the public:
    I am an NRA Life Member, NRA Training Counselor, Concealed Handgun Permit Instructor, and I am a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. My business relies on the prompt payment of my customers, and credit card transaction vendors such at GPal/GunPal. . I do not wish any ill intent to Mr. Cannon or any other representatives of GPal/GunPal. I work hard for my money and I expect to be treated fairly, especially by others who claim to have such a love for this country’s constitution.

    To Ben Cannon:
    If you or one of your representatives are reading this blog, you are welcome to call the number and leave a message as to how I may contact you directly to resolve my issues and others that this posting will likely generate.

    This post can be copied in its entirety and re-posted at will. The original post created on October 17th, 2010 will be located at: http://www.everydaynodaysoff.com/201…#comment-17033
    I am not responsible for any re-scripting of this post.

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