Another Victim “Sarah”

I recently came into contact with someone who had a similarly negative experience with Yeves Perez and she agreed to share her story. She is a local green designer who entrusted him with multiple items from her product line, with the promise of being paid via Paypal. After several attempts to collect the money, she was also bombarded with a long list of excuses as to why he was unable to pay her the $150 he owed this struggling business owner and single mom.

Among his excuses for taking about two months to fulfill his obligation to pay for the products he purchased were the following (real exchanges from Yeves Perez – name has been changed for designer’s protection):

“hey sorry hun. I’ve been slammed between the baby and all my meetings. I just had my web domains renew (thru paypal) so it wiped out my balance and I get paid again on the 15th. i’m sure that’s too late since you indicated Sat so i’lll try to borrow some doe and email you when i deposit it. i’ll txt you again asain”

“Wow has it been three weeks!!!! Damn!!! You should shoot me!!! OMG… sorry “Sarah”, I’ve been living off CCs and they are maxed! I got you for Sat though. You can count on me;D”

And once weeks more went by and no intention to pay, “Sarah” then resorted to pleading with him to right this situation. Some of “Sarah’s” emails below:

“Yes, that is too late. Sorry, I really need the money before Saturday as I had been counting on it for a particular bill that I can’t put off any longer. If I’d known I would have made other arrangements, but you told me it would be soon and I’ve been waiting for three weeks now. I know you can use credit cards on Paypal. Maybe that will help?”

“Hey remember Paypal takes a couple a couple days to clear. Can you do this today?”

“It’s too late now to do Paypal. I need u to deposit money into my Chase acct today or it will get overdrawn. Can u do this today please?”

“I am getting really frustrated here… Please get back to me asap. I really need this money TODAY by 3:00. 4:00 at the very latest. Pleeeeease get back to me.”

This is when Yeves pulled out the Motherload of lies (one he used on me as well) and blamed the leading national payroll company, Paychex, as his reason for being unable to pay.

“ok, please take a breath. We payroll company PayChex had a problem with our direct deposit and our tried to fix it all day. I was in a marathon meeting with our attorney which we’ve planned for weeks. It was an accounting error which was out of my control. My cell battery is dead so I will need to check message when i get in the car to charge.”

After blaming the problem on Paychex, Sarah waited several more days, and several more email exchanges before reaching her patience capacity, pleading with him again…

“Is it fixed yet? I’ve used Paychex @ nearly every place I’ve worked and in the rare occasion something went wrong it was fixed within hours. Nobody ever went without getting paid.

I’m really disappointed that this is being dragged out like this. I know what it’s like to be busy and I know how long it takes to send someone a text. You’ve been avoiding the subject. You know that I’m a struggling designer and single mom. You also know that I have very little stock left, in fact that was my last of the [PRODUCTS] I gave you a REALLY good deal on them and could have sold them for a lot more – not to mention the fact that I gave you [PRODUCTS] at Christmas, which I couldn’t really afford to do. I was trying to be giving to someone who I thought was maybe unemployed or something, then come to find out it was a CEO? I wouldn’t dream of asking someone else for a handout unless I was suffering in some way. I’m just so sick of people taking advantage of each other. I feel like I can’t rely on anyone anymore. Now you, an advocate for entrepreneurs and an investor for green start ups have taken [PRODUCTS] from me, a value of over $600 and paid me $40.”

Sensing her frustration, Yeves continued to pass the buck to Paychex and claimed not to have more than $2.10 to his name:

“Ok, i just found out what’s up. there was an accounting error and something else to us to fix our side but it took awhile for them to tell us what it was and what we needed to do. Don’t be sorry for going off on me. I am a CEO and i have tough skin. I do want us to be professional and mindful of a world that we can’t always control, because if we could – nothing would ever go wrong. I have 2.10 cents in my wallet. I will get back with you in a sec.”

This exchange went on for several more days, until Sarah reached her breaking point after receiving this email where Yeves attempts to write this all off as a “lesson” Sarah should learn about business.

“Please don’t apologize and then press again. I have been straight frank and straightforward. I would never tell you I was too busy. I am maxed and I just spent hours fixing the files as instructed. I am a business man and I am doing what I can with what I have control of. This may be a very hard lesson for you to learn once you do bigger deals but if unexpected or unforseen things didn’t happen, then there wouldn’t be a recession nor would a lot of people be in such dire straights. I need you to be my home girl “miss kick ass designer”, let me hustle to get this right so I can get paid, and stop with pressure tactics. There is a difference between excuses and reality and I am not spending a dime that should be in your account. I have struggled and saved for over a 1 yr to make my dream happen and so you can touch and feel where my hard earned money is… where my mouth is. Respect my hustle and my drive to make things happen!”

Sarah did eventually get his money after several more days and more email exchanges.

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