Monday, September 10, 2007

Laray Carr (LCP) and Quincy Carr looking more like a scam...

I just ran across something that seems to indicate an even greater likelihood of Laray Carr (LCP) being a scam. Apparently, Quincy Carr is a proven scammer.

This also explains the company's connection to the address. In my last post about Laray Carr, I mentioned the confusing contact information writers had been given. A company address turned out to be a rental that was neither owner nor rented by anyone in association with the company. No one could figure out what the company's connection was with this address, and it was making everyone suspicious.

As it turns out, it's even worse than we suspected. Thelma Smith, the little old lady who rents the house, is apparently Quincy Carr's grandmother. Her name is listed in connection with another scam run by Quincy Carr.

I wonder what Hope Hunt's relationship is with Quincy Carr and Thelma Smith? Is she actually getting paid for her work with LCP, and is she knowingly helping with a scam? I guess we may never know the answers to those questions. However, it is looking more and more unlikely that any of those writers who worked with Laray Carr will ever get paid.


Anonymous said...

Not only did the writers get screwed (they only lost a day or two of work and from what I hear about $50) but the "editors" like myself, put in 6 weeks of full time work for what was supposed to be $5,000. I lost nearly two months of time and will see that money only if I track down this scammer. I called the police in his "home town" to try and push this along so I can sue him. Also, we need to all tell guru.com and Craig's list, for that is where he will hire more people.

Katharine Swan said...

Many of the writers I have talked to have lost $500 or more, and at least several very long days, as LCP's push was to get writers to complete 10 articles in a matter of days.

It's interesting to hear that the editors lost their pay, because just the other night, on a thread about Laray Carr, a contractor advising LCP claimed that the editors were still being paid — only the writers weren't, and that was because their contracts said they were to be paid on publication.

Here is what the contractor, Stephanie Todd, said:

"And also, I advised them to ditch the editorial visions, editorial calendars and design templates as well- knowing that the contract for the editors and designers would still have to be paid, because their contracts did not say 'if your work IS published'."


"and also, the company had absolutely no problem paying the editors or designers for work that was INCOMPLETE and work they will never use.

because they were full aware that the contracts for them said they get paid to do the work, not if it is used, published or not."

So was she lying to us?

In any case, Ms. Todd left her email address on this thread and asked anyone to email her if they were promised payment and didn't receive it. If you have a contract and/or emails that promise you payment, I advise contacting her. I don't know how much good it will do, but it is worth a shot.

Anonymous said...

The editors were supposed to get paid, because the publications were going forward, but with new content. I was supposed to be an editor, and I received close to 300 articles that needed editing. Some were in horrible shape and some were very good. Since the majority were not so good, and a few were plagiarized, the company decided to scrap them and move forward in a different direction. However, editors have not been paid either. A new contract was sent out to editors last week, but they (LCP) wanted exclusivity. How can they expect that when they haven't paid us and can't seem to find a pay date in the near future!

I can't say that it is a scam, but more like a company who wasn't prepared financially or in resources to handle what it wanted to do. The result - a lot of unpaid writers, unpaid contract persons and a lot of mistrust.

It's not a scam because they didn't take money from anybody. They also didn't take any rights from the writers as they were given back all rights to their work. The writers didn't ask for a kill fee in the contract, but whose fault is that? The same as the editors. This is a reminder to make sure your contracts are specific and save your butt!! I'm out a lot of money and wishing I would have been smarter in the beginning. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Anonymous said...

Also, Stephanie Todd is a contract worker, as is Hope Hunt, both of whom are trying to figure out this mess. Whatever this is, a bad business venture or not, they had nothing but good intentions when they started and are also out a lot of money. The witch hunt should not be focused on them, as they tried hard to work with the company for a resolution AND payment.

Katharine Swan said...

Thank you for your comment and the more detailed information. However, I disagree with you on your definition of a scam.

It sounds like LCP still has not paid their editors, and from what you said the contract does not have the "on publication" provision that was in the writers' contract. You put in work and they haven't paid you. In other words, while they haven't taken money from you, they very definitely have taken the equivalent of it.

Also, I think other writers have made a point that deserves consideration: The larger scam here may not be conning writers and editors, but scamming investors and advertisers. Stealing work from their contractors may just be a byproduct of the company's real agenda.

I understand what you are saying about Hope Hunt and Stephanie Todd not being the bad guys here. However, they are defending "the bad guys." If they had treated the writers' concerns with sympathy and honesty, rather than with threats and backstabbing, I think public opinion of them would have been very different.

If Stephanie and Hope really haven't been paid... Well, something just seems off about that scenario. Why would anyone publicly defend a company that is screwing them over, too?

Anonymous said...

The contract stated 15 days after publication for editor's payment.

They were defending the company in hope that it wasn't a scam, and still trying to work out payment for everyone since "we" were still in contact with LCP even up to last week. However, everyone is discouraged and confident that payment will never be seen since there has been no response from LCP since Friday. Hoping for the best, expecting the worst at this point.

There was a scathing note sent out on Thursday, blasting employees, contract workers, etc. for the wrong information being put online. We were also blamed that funding was cut, hence why we haven't been paid, because of said information. They are now scrambling for financing. BS for sure.

Then a revised plan was sent out later in the afternoon, complete with grammar, spelling, punctuation and syntax errors. Not the stuff to instill confidence, thus why the defenders have backed off from defending. It seems everyone was lied to at this point and we all feel incredibly naieve, ignorant, used and abused.

BTW, the revised plan is for completely new magazines, within a two week timeframe, with payment coming afterwards. Ha ha ha.

The police have been contacted, but the details are still in the works if anything can be done.

Unfortunate for everyone involved - the writers, editors, contract workers - and even LCP if their intentions were good but ignorant of the process. With their name, they won't ever get anyone to work for them now.

Katharine Swan said...

Anonymous, thank you for all of the information you have given. Your comments are very helpful, not only in providing more information, but also in helping me understand what is happening with Stephanie and Hope. Your last comment made me feel sad for them more than anything else. I can imagine there came a point for every one of you where you were beginning to seriously doubt LCP, but hung in there and kept defending them simply because you felt obligated to do so, having put so much effort into the company's success already.

I still feel this is a scam. I still warn writers to keep an eye out for their work. However, I really hope for your sake that you guys get paid, and I will happily eat my words if you do.

Katharine Swan said...

By the way, anonymous... If the company starts operating under a new name and you find out about it, could you share it with us? I'd hate to have other writers get screwed by the same people under a different name.

Anonymous said...

I just did a quick search...if you belong to elance, you can look for yourself. They (LCP) has posted jobs (8) under the name CMCGROUP. They are looking for managing editors, web designers, and just for giggles, legal counsel. I almost fell off my chair. Good grief! I hope somebody applies to that one!!!!!

Katharine Swan said...

I don't belong to elance, unfortunately. How are you sure CMCGROUP is Laray Carr? If you are positive, I'll publish a warning in a separate post.

Anonymous said...

The details of the job posting are exactly the same as the details within the "new" contract sent to managing editors as of last week.

Katharine Swan said...

Well, that sounds pretty clear-cut. I'll post a brief warning on my blog. Thank you!

caribbeanmuse said...

I ran across this blog in trying to hunt down Quinn Rhodes, aka Quincy Carr aka Laray Carr. It appears his newest venture is in Texas where he has hired 8 or 9 unwitting editors and multiple writers like myself. Articles were rushed, deadlines continued to get pushed back and now everyone is left with no magazine, no publisher, no money, same deal as you apparently experienced. Let's get this guy!

Katharine Swan said...

Caribbean Muse,

Sorry to hear this guy is still at it. I didn't work for Laray Carr, just was in touch with people who did. It was a hot topic on one of the blogs/forums that I frequented at the time.

Don't take it lying down! Make a fuss, report it to the local police, etc. You might also want to head over the freelancewritinggigs.com and let Deb know that the guy is at it again. That was the forum where it was so widely discussed before.


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