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Protogroup/RegenRefusing to return investments

History of my dealings with Mr CHRISTOS FOTIADIS

I first met CHRISTOS FOTIADIS in on the 13th Dec ’06 and was introduced to him by Mr Bob Bernal, who was a trusted friend. At the time of meeting CHRISTOS FOTIADIS he was having an office deal dispute with Mr. John Holton and because of this was considering sub renting an office from Mr Bob Bernal, to solve his Office dilemma. I had heard from a friend of bob bernal, Mr Richard Cane, that Mr Bob Bernal was delinquent in his rent and that it may be wise for Christos Fotiadis to consider checking before going into another sub letting situation. Because of the opinion of Richard Cane I believed Mr Bob vernal to not be so honest. Due to my adive, Mr CHRISTOS FOTIADIS found that it would have been very dangerous to enter into such an arrangement with Mr Bob Bernel, so he backed down. This left him without an office to move to, so I tried my best to help him through this situation and offered use of my office to him. No financial remuneration was requested or expected. I did this because I felt sorry for him and wanted to help him. I know know I made a misjudgement and am having to live with this fact.

Due to both his enthusiasm in his product and also his bad luck I offered my office to Christos Fotiadis to use until he was able to recover from his situation and get some sales. As I mentioned previously, I did not ask any financial renumeration and he never paid me a single Yen for any facilities he used in my office neither did he contribute any money towards the rent. I was however promised a favorable share buying price, if and when I invested in his company, Protogroup.

During the time Mr Fotiadis was using my office, he was having financial problems and at one time did not have money to pay one of his employees, Mr Fumito Takahashi. Since I could sense that Mr Takahashi needed this money, I kindly loaned that money to him (Y50, 000). At another time he invoiced Y5M to Microsoft and I pointed out that he did not include consumption tax. Due to my intervention I saved him Y250, 000, since without me mentioning it, the invoice would have gone out without the tax being added. He also needed a timely translation done, for which I arranged, paid for (Y75, 600 on the 6th Feb ’06) and had delivered to him within his deadline. Mr CHRISTOS FOTIADIS also did not have enough money to pay for an apartment, which he was arranging via a real estate company, so I lent Y436, 000 on the 9th Feb ’06. Mr Fotiadis was also was having very serious problems paying his developers in the US so we came to an arrangement, where I would pay him a total of Y4, 162, 600 yen and he would extend an additional amount as goodwill for services rendered (Y141, 000), bringing the total to Y4, 303, 600 for which he would give me 72, 427 shares in his company. The make-up difference of Y3, 498, 000 was paid to his Mr Fotiadis’ Chase Manhattan account, by bank transfer on the 22nd Feb ’07. Since I had to pay a processing feel for getting this money from my bank, to pay to him in a timely manner, Mr CHRISTOS FOTIADIS agreed to pay the bank fees of Y157, 500. Mr Fotiadis told me his shares were being valued at $1 per share but he would sell to me at $0.75 per share. Mr Fotiadis also promised me an additional bonus of 25, 000 shares, I felt I was possibly getting a good deal, since he seemed hopeful that his company would return revenue before the end of the year. The total amount I paid him in actual money was Y4, 303, 600, for which he promised me 72, 427 share units.

During the time Mr CHRISTOS FOTIADIS was using my office I was privy to many of his outbursts, rambling and non professional childlike behavior that he often exhibited. At one time he said, “I will have tremendous power with my product (Regen), since clients will give me confidential data and this could be very valuable, imagine what I could do with such information”. At the time, I considered him a friend and I just discarded it as a frivolous childlike remark but due to his future actions and behavior towards me, I have to consider that he is capable of doing possible harm, towards potential and/or existing clients if he has a dispute with them, since he is treating me with the same type of contempt and lack of gratefulness despite that amount of kindness and help extended to him. Also, despite me being an investor, his behavior towards me has been, crude, rude, unprofessional and without any feeling of respect for the fact that I extended money to him and his company. I am confident and have proof that he treats other investors with the same distain.

On 9th Sept 2007 I sent a mail to Mr Fotiadis saying that I really do not want to be an investor anymore (he knew I was having second thoughts about the investment and was not happy) and I politely asked if I could get my money back since I was having my own set of financial problems with other people I extended money to. I only asked for the money I put in and did not ask for any additional money for services or help rendered. This is what he wrote back to me on the 10th Sept 2007:

“In any case, your email couldn’t come at a worse time. Shiomi has yet to put more money in and his money that he put in has nearly run out. We have a couple weeks worth left, then it’s gone

He’s sort of being a dick and trying to get a super-duper sweet deal, beyond what I think is reasonable…but I am negotiating with him as we speak. I think we can come to an agreement, but I will probably have to sweeten him a little somehow. I hate the way people get with money and greed when they see a lot of it on the horizon.

I was actually going to ask you if you knew anyone else we might approach for funding? “

I then sent another mail on the 14th Sept ’07, as follows:

“Is there any possibility of me getting any of my money back or have I lost it like I have with FURRer?”

To which he responded on the 14th Sept ’07:

“Listen marc, until the company gets money and on its how the hell do you expect me to buy the units back???!!! When I am in a position to take the units back, I will.”

I then sent a response on the 16th Sept ’07 saying:

“Do you think that is a nice response to someone who has does as much as I have done? Howl the ###ing hell do you think I earn the money to help you, shake a ###ing banana tree. You are now on the same ###ing page as FURRer. Thanks a lot.”

To which he responded on the 16th Sept ’07 saying:

The reason you got a short reply like that is because your previous email was not nice, and you really pissed me off.

You wrote: “To date I have been nothing but supportive and without my initial advance you would not even be were you are today” – don’t be disillusioned Marc. Your investment didn’t create the idea or the IP and that is the most important part of the company; but it did help keep things going in Japan…which has been nothing short of a money vacuum. If you didn’t invest then I would have packed up and left Japan in the wind, and instead focused on America. You have lots of contacts at customers who have Lotus and we could possibly help them, but you have refused to make any introductions. Don’t say you’ve been nothing but supportive.. you have been supportive, but not on an absolute level.

Then you wrote: “perhaps not a good idea to take holidays during such times and put 100% effort into making this company work for the sake of people who have helped you.”. Let me set something straight right now – I put in 1000% effort into this company every day, 24/7, and I am entitled and needing of a holiday (which the company did NOT pay for). How dare you suggest that I not take a break? Everyone in Japan, US and EU are on holiday in August so that is a good time to break. You took a break, and so did everyone else so what makes you think that I am some damn machine that can work thousands of hours without a mental rest?!

Then you wrote: “Since I have lost confidence in what you are selling it is not possible for me to recommend anyone…” - This is “nothing but supportive”?! yeah, right. You haven’t recommended anyone before you “lost confidence” anyway. So just what the hell and I supposed to think about that statement you made? The product hasn’t changed so what has? I am beginning to doubt that you never had any confidence from the beginning. You obviously have never created anything new in the market and aren’t aware of how hard it really is to break into a market. The company is making steps and continue to do so in an area dominated by large corporations. And if you’re going to continue on about how much you’ve helped, why don’t you consider what you’re writing first? I appreciate everything you’ve done but your help is definitely tempered – for example, I haven’t been able to connect the phone system (or have a number) because you didn’t want me to power up that hub. Well preventing me from having a phone number tempers the help.

I still believe in the product, even if you don’t. When we are successful, I will make certain that you get your money back, whether you have confidence in the product or not. You know I feel like this, so why do you send provoking emails like “Is there any possibility of me getting any of my money back or have I lost it like I have with FURRer?“ . Do you really think that helps?

Oh, and by the way… thanks for equating me to FURRer. You’re a real gem for that one…and I can’t believe you actually think that. Is very telling…

So let’s stop bickering so I can focus on getting things moving. I’ll just consider this exchange as one of the emotional outbursts which you seem to have every couple months. I am doing the best I can, and more than any single man could do otherwise. Be patient, companies don’t have explosive growth overnight, and I have never heard of an investment that in a start-up that returns in 6 months. So please stop distracting me and focus on helping instead”

From the mail received above things started going from bad to worse:

To give you an idea of how spiteful and immature he conducts himself; he mentioned to me that because I would not allow his noisy tel hub in my office (I would have allowed a quite one without problem) it has hurt his ability to generate business because he could not use the phone system. This despite him never offering a single yen to me in rent payment. Also I introduced him to the miyako hotel and he became flea infected, for which he blamed me. Although I did help him get a full refund due to that incident, the gesture to help him was turned against me. I also helped him find modest accommodation by sub letting from a Russian lady and even let him futons and delivered them to him. He told me that I am hampering his operation by not introducing him to clients despite me sending his information to every single client of mine and I proved this by showing a mail to Mr Fumito Takahashi showing him proof that I sent mails to every single clients of mine introducing his products to them, He also dismissed the fact that I introduced him to Mr Shiomi, Tsutomi who made an investment in his company of Y10, 000, 000.

In fact almost everything I have done for Mr CHRISTOS FOTIADIS as been either discounted or been unappreciated. As an investor, as someone who extended money to him when he was in a desperate way and someone who helped him as much as I did, his behavior shows me clearly that I am dealing with a contemptuous man who is both spoilt and has no idea of showing appreciation towards anyone that helps and assists him. The very fact that he treats me with contempt, as an investor, shows that his moral compass on life is completely damaged. He seems to have no reality on life and does not realize how hard I worked for the money I entrusted him with and he has demonstrated no appreciation for anything I have done for him. The last correspondence he sent me told me to stop all communication with him and his staff and never contact them again and that we would refund what I had paid, when he feels like it.

I have received rude and distasteful mails that would shock anyone who is entrusting them with protecting their investment.

Mr Christos Fotiadis has bad mouthed many people to me, people who have helped him with his company, this included a doctor friend that he has in Chicago. I believe this Doctor invested more than $500, 000 and all Christos ever did was criticize him and say what a ### and greedy person he is. He also did the same to the investor I introduced to Mr Fotiadis, Mr. Tsutomu Shiomi. What he said about these people and others should have made me realize that I am dealing with someone who has no appreciation for anyone who has helped him.

I did what I did for Mr CHRISTOS FOTIADIS to help him and although financial gain was not my sole intention, I did hope to make some money from my investment and effort made towards Mr Fotiadis. However he has put me thru 1 year of abuse and hell and is still holding my money and is offering only to return it when he feels like it without any gain for me. Is that the actions of an honest man?

The last mail he sent me on the 8th Jan ’08 is as follows:

Mr. Simmons,

It continues to be a mystery as to why you continue to persist in such dialog, knowing full well that everything below is frivolous and incorrect.

As you know full well, it is printed on each bit of documentation that you were given, that you purchased units into the company. This is not a loan, nor will it ever convert into a loan.

Your request for a 'repayment schedule' is denied and the company is under no such obligation. The company is also under no obligation to purchase back from you the units you originally purchased.

You are careless with your words, just as you are with your documentation. In the documentation, you can easily see in all documents you signed state what the terms and marketability of your units are.

Since you've already lost these documents at least once in the past, and we had to provide again for you the only evidence you have of actually owning these units, we expect you to conduct yourself with professionalism and confidence required as a member of the company. You can review all of this in the PPM, the NDA, the Operating Agreement and your Unit Purchase agreement, assuming you continue to have them in your possession and haven't lost all of those as well.

However in the interest of extricating ourselves from your relationship, at the time I deem the company can afford to repurchase your units for what you paid, we'll be more than happy to revisit this discussion and attempt to make arrangements to repurchase your units back from you. I am just as anxious to fully distance from you, as you are of me. But sending these emails and phone calls will accomplish absolutely nothing for you to that end.

Until such time that you hear from me directly, you are not to contact or call Fumito. He can do nothing for you and is instructed to avoid your phone calls. When you finally do hear from me, we will conclude this.

Until such time, I suggest you spend your energy trying to find ways of getting money into the company, since then we'll be able to get you out faster that way.




  • Fo
    FormerPG Dec 06, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    As a follow-on to comment to the above post, we would like to note that It appears that Mr. Fotiadis' personal bankruptcy filing was thrown out by the courts in Illinois. So both Mr. Fotiadis AND ProtoGroup will have to continue to face the litigation mentioned above and are now subject to new claims as well.

    Mr. Simmons, we are providing all of documents related to these developments to all of the authorities we have reported Mr. Fotiadis. If you have anything you would like to contribute, please contact us at your earliest convenience and we can provide you with contact information for people in those agencies.

    thank you in advance for your assistance
    [email protected]

    0 Votes
  • Fo
    FormerPG Nov 30, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Dear Mr. Simmons,

    I am writing to you for four reasons:

    1) To obtain information from you that may assist me and others in our legal actions against Mr. Christos Fotiadis and ProtoGroup, LLC.
    Several of the members (owners) of the company are planning on filing additional complaints with the courts before the first of next year. We/they are therefore seeking all of the historical information we can gather to support our claims. In spite of our status as owners, Mr. Fotiadis has refused to provide us with any of the financial and historical information we are entitled to.

    2) To inform you and all of the other members of ProtoGroup, LLC of judgments and court actions that have and will continue to affect your investments in ProtoGroup, LLC.
    There are already several judgments against Mr. Fotiadis and the company and it is my understanding that more will be filed shortly. This is devastating news to members because the company cannot operate under such conditions and could easily collapse or dissolve.

    3) To provide you with contact information for the legal authorities here in the United States that are now pursuing Mr. Fotiadis personally and ProtoGroup, LLC.
    Those authorities are conducting investigations and it could be beneficial for you to provide them with any information or evidence you may have involving acts of fraud, misconduct and malfeasance on committed by Mr. Fotiadis in his role as CEO of ProtoGroup.
    The list of authorities investigating Mr. Fotiadis and ProtoGroup, LLC includes the SEC, the IRS, the US Patent Office and the State Attorney General of Illinois.

    4) To obtain some portion of our investments back.

    You should note that I/we have turned to this public complaint board as a last resort. It is not our intention to slander Mr. Fotiadis or damage ProtoGroup – on the contrary, we would like nothing more than for the company to be successful and then pay us back what were defrauded of or... for Mr. Fotiadis to simply settle on his debts and pay money back that he wrongfully obtained. That said, success for ProtoGroup is not something Mr. Fotiadis will ever achieve given his crimes and the burdens that now weigh down ProtoGroup.

    We, like you, only seek to obtain our investments back because we were defrauded. Mr. Fotiadis’ failure to acknowledge our claims, his disregard for the law and the courts and his failure to even acknowledge existing judgments has left us with no other alternative but to seek contact with the other members via this and other public forums.

    It is a FACT that, Mr. Fotiadis has at least four certified court judgments against him personally and against ProtoGroup, LLC. Two of those were for FRAUD and were handed down by a judge in the State of Virginia with Mr. Fotiadis present in the courtroom.

    These judgments appear to be the beginning of a long, painful path of litigation that Mr. Fotiadis and ProtoGroup will face because of his personal negligence and his failure to deal with valid claims against him and the company in a timely manner.

    These current judgments, like the ones that are sure to follow, are not simply “his word against ours”. There is a mountain of evidence against Mr. Fotiadis and so he has chosen to run rather than face his problems.

    For example, Mr. Fotiadis has received multiple requests by Members of ProtoGroup and even by his own Board of Directors for a member list with contact information and for historical financial information and failed to produce anything even though he is compelled to do so under State and Federal securities laws.

    In addition to the above, there is at least one other case pending against Mr. Fotiadis and ProtoGroup for hundreds of thousands of dollars that involves claims of investor fraud, malfeasance, misconduct, self-dealing, misuse of corporate funds and more.

    On multiple occasions, Mr. Fotiadis has perjured himself in court and in court documents in his attempts to make his lies accommodate his needs.

    It should be noted that to delay the above mentioned litigation, Mr. Fotiadis has filed personal bankruptcy. Interestingly, Mr. Fotiadis did not file bankruptcy for ProtoGroup and is continuing to raise more money for the company as if none of the above has happened.

    All of the above information is in the public domain or has been released to the public through court transcripts and is available to you and any Member of ProtoGroup who seeks it – much of it is on-line. Because I am a member of ProtoGroup, LLC., I can only share the additional information I/we have with other members. The most damaging information would be inappropriate and out of contract for me to publish here.

    To contact me, please use the following email address: [email protected]

    I ask that you please be prepared to provide information that confirms your membership in ProtoGroup and/or a phone number where we can reach you. Once we confirm your membership, we can then share information that may help us both find a resolve to this situation and perhaps help us to all get some portion of our investments back.

    Thank you in advance for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Marc Simmons Jun 01, 2009

    Dear ?,
    If you supplied a name and address I would contact you and would be hgappy to file you with the FBI and SEC as well. If you know of Christos activities, these organizations would like to hear from you.

    If you supply your contact details then i will be happy to contact you. I have no nephew in the US (I am briish), i have no sister, my mother passed away, have never lived in NY and frankly
    do not know what you are talking about so can only assume that you are indeed Christos or that you have a mental problem.

    Christos has embezzled more than $1M from investors and we are trying to find additional investors so that we can unite and get it back. So far i have been in contact with Scott perry and i have one more Japanese investor.

    If you are defending him, then we need to get in touch with you and have you lodge your details with the police, FBI (i have the case code) and the SEC. If anyone has anyone has any idea who the person is who posted the above comment, please contact me soonest.


    0 Votes
  • Yo
    Your Uncle Will May 27, 2009

    Marc... when are you going to stop this stuff man? I never thought I would find myself writing to you on some internet site but you leave me no choice. If you won't return my calls then I have no option but to take this to the same public forum you chose to abuse others.

    After all these years you're still pulling the same scams trying to extort money out of people who tried to help you. I can't believe you did this again. Every time, you develop a personal relationship, you strike out and do damage that you later regret. Isn't this the same guy who covered you plane ticket home last year when you ran out of cash? What happened this time?

    Didn't you learn anything from the suits in San Francisco and Ontario? Making stuff up about people you invest with or lend money to always leads to the same thing - legal bills or breaking the agreements you sign as a shareholder or worse. Someday one of these people will catch up with you before you move and it's going to destroy you financially and ruin the few personal relationships you have left for good.

    So what was it this time? Did he spur your romantic advances? Like Michael? Or did he catch you being abusive to women and report you like your roomate in NY? Or did he just ignore your email/phone threats?

    You need to get help son - I'm not in a position to be there this time - Japan is too far for me, you know that. Your mom and your sister are tired of crying over all this - you should really think about them for a change. I'm about to give up myself - just because you're my nephew doesn't mean I'm going to condone this kind of behavior. At your age, you need to come to terms with your issues Marc - when will you learn that you're only hurting yourself and your family. Please come to your senses before it's too late. Please.

    0 Votes

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