I-Team: Customers accuse 2 Sarasota men of running business scams

I-Team found 4 of their businesses have F ratings

Customers want to warn you about two local business owners they say scammed them.

The I-Team researched their backgrounds and found the two Sarasota men have several companies together and all have customers with similar complaints.

Christmas came and left months ago. Yet, Kaylani French and her family are still waiting on Santa products they ordered from Holiday Printables, a Sarasota based company.

"We got scammed," she said. "It was supposed to be something fun for the kids to look forward to Santa clause coming."         

She spent about $100 to get letters from Santa, a cup of reindeer food, and a bottle of fake snow from the north pole. Too bad she didn't know the ghost of Christmas future because after spending the money, not all of the products made it to her doorstep...and still haven't.

"It's horrible," she said.

She's not alone. Angela Bloom paid $150 and got nothing...that was 2 Christmas's ago.

"Nothing at all. No letters, no snow, no reindeer food. I feel totally duped and stupid," she says.
 

The I-Team found the so called north pole is a UPS store in Sarasota, the company's listed business address.

We also found Holiday Printables has an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau.

It turns out several others have similar complaints and even the BBB can't get a hold of the owners.

Bryan Oglesby with the BBB says, "And in this case the company was not responsive to any of the complaints, they did not work with us."

And that's not all, the two owners Bill Michelon and Patrick Ferlazzo own several other Florida companies and at least 4 of them have an "F" rating with the BBB.

Customers complain they pay for the products, and don't get the goods.

Premium Source Nutrition, Mami Nutraceuticals and Triple M Labs, also have "F" ratings.

"So we wanna make sure the customers know the history of the ownership," says Oglesby.

They lost a California lawsuit against another local company they own, Click Magnets after an attorney says they breached their contract by failing to deliver goods and services.

Records also show the IRS filed a federal tax lien for $195 thousand against Bill Michelon.

We tried tracking them down at various business addresses.

We missed Bill Michelon at a listed Sarasota house by a few weeks.

The owner says Michelon rented his furnished home for more than a year and a half but when they left..."After the end of the lease our furniture was gone," the homeowner said.

He also added, "he drives a Maserati and she drives a Mercedes."

When asked if he's still missing his furniture the homeowner replied "yes".

He says Michelon also stiffed the lawn and pool workers.

The I-Team couldn't confirm if Holiday Printables owners made the naughty list, but customers we spoke with have a lump of coal for their stockings.

"I can't believe people do this to other families. I don't want people to be a victim like we were," said Kaylani    .

"Just watch out for letters from Santa because it's bogus," warned Angela.

The I-Team did talk to Bill Michelon on the phone. When we told him about the complaints, he laughed, said he's not interested in talking and hung up.

Here are some links you can use to research businesses:

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Jarrod Holbrook is an Emmy and AP Award-winning Investigative Reporter for the ABC Action News I-Team. Do you have a story idea? Contact Jarrod on Facebook, Twitter, or via email at jarrod.holbrook@wfts.com.

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