Mike Grout & Associates / Pre-Payment Scam
Mike Grout & Associates is a fake Scrap Metals & Used Rails seller. His Scam is to demand buyers send him a Pre-Payment Deposit of either 2% of the total shipping costs or $25, 000 USD; whichever is Greater. He never ships anything and the buyers never get their Deposit back.
Complaints against this scammer date back to 2006. I found 10 complaints about this Scammer on the internet. Just go to Google and type in "Mike Grout" Scam to see for yourself.
Here is his contact information:
MIKE GROUT & ASSOCIATES
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (This website no longer exists)
Current Email: email@example.com
He sent me a Soft Corporate Offer (SCO) where it clearly states:
"Note: No Bill of Ladings, Warranties, SGS Reports, or past fulfilled Contracts will be presented as "Past Performance, " sanitized or not, for the following reasons: Against Trade Regulations, Against stated SGS Policy, Violates Formal Contract Confidentiality between Buyer & Seller, Most Importantly - if seller is a U.S. Company, it violates U.S. Law."
These excuses are all lies! Here is why they are all lies:
1. Bill of Lading is a Public Document and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has an office where you can send a Bill of Lading where they will verify if it real or not which is why Mike Grout won't send you one. This is different from the ICC federal government agency in the U.S.
2. SGS Reports can also be sent to the SGS Laboratory to verify that they are real, not a forgery, or was altered. Every Inspection Company will verify their reports in order to maintain their good reputations by discouraging forgeries or altered reports be passed around. So, there is no SGS policy against sending their reports to 3rd parties.
3. There are No Trade Regulations preventing Past Performance documents from being sent to anyone.
4. There are No U.S. Laws prohibiting any of these documents from being sent to anyone.
Another Pre-Payment Scam other than requiring Buyers to make a Large Deposit before making a purchase is the BG Scam. His SCO also requires a Bank Guarantee (BG) from the buyer's bank. It states: "A BG or SBLC for up to 2% of 1 month shipping is required depending on the buyers bank credit rating or an up front $25, 000.00 to ensure buyers LC will open."
His SCO even has a Q&A at the end where one question is:
Q: Will the seller provide proof of past performance?
A: Proof of past performance has nothing to do with proof of future performance and will not be provided.
Q: Are yard/site visits allowed prior to closing?
A: For liability reasons, yard and site visits are not allowed until the buyer’s fiduciary obligation has been met.
So, Mike Grout wants a Large Deposit, a Bank Guarantee of the Purchase Amount, will not provide any Past Performance documents, and will not allow Yard Visits until after the buyer has paid in full.
Mike Grout is a true Scammer