John Spayde/Landfare – details of the case

I started this blog as Landfare had made a mess of my project. A project that was quoted to me as taking 8-10 weeks took 1 year and 8 months and then still was never done correctly. I was endlessly frustrated with John as he was generally unresponsive and only would only get involved if I was absolutely irate – and even then he seemed to disappear as soon as it got slightly uncomfortable and then let Zach deal. (To be fair, he also showed up when he wanted to collect a check or to try to sell me something.) My contention is John has little to no business acumen and simply wants to be involved in his pet projects that he personally has designed. Even then, who knows what level of involvement or service was provided.

Fast forward, it seems John was running his business dishonestly. This is not entirely surprising to me. Getting receipts, bills of material, or any sort of accountability out of John was nearly impossible. For instance, I asked for their licensing information and never got it. I asked for receipts tying materials to my project (as in time I didn’t trust the materials they were using were indeed the materials I paid for) and instead, I got pictures of boxes of nails from Zach as they didn’t have the receipts. (Talk about a red flag!) A picture of a box of nails doesn’t tell me what is in my fence. If I asked for a guarantee or some recourse on their work, they simply would say “we’ll make it right”. That tells me nothing. Tell me HOW you’re going to make it right. Tell me HOW I can hold you accountable. Refunds? Reimbursements as I find my own subs? John and Zach had seemingly no interest in anything of the sort.

Now we find out John couldn’t keep himself accountable. The fact he had multiple Mercedes fraudulently counted as business expenses is hardly the scandal here.

In reading the Sentencing Memorandum, we find John was stealing from the business by asking for cash payments from customers. John would also have checks made out to himself to avoid reporting the income under Landfare. This is also stealing from the business.  How many raises were not given due to John and Landfare crying poor when in fact, he was skimming money that could have gone to employee pay? How much money could have gone to pay for employee retirement and healthcare benefits that instead went illegally into John’s pocket? How many corners were cut in materials and construction techniques due to John trying to save a buck? Did anyone ever actually get what they paid for from Landfare?

If you are an employee of Landfare, you do understand that John effectively stole from you? You have options.

What’s somewhat amazing to me is that Zach sent a letter to the court to support John’s supposed character. Zach, John has been stealing from YOU, your family, and all of the other Landfare employees for years. You’re either complicit with John and his behavior or rolling over and taking it. Perhaps you want to wrap this in “Embrace Selflessness”, but typically Value Statements require an adherence to ALL of the values. I would encourage you to think really hard about “Nurture Relationships” and “Be Honest”. It seems John took advantage of relationships to have the customer not question why they were paying cash or making checks out to John personally. That reeks of manipulation and I can’t understand why anyone would be loyal to that. There is no lack of irony that Zach celebrates the fact that John gave him the “opportunity” to be a partner in Highland-Palermo, which as I have presented, there is a strong case is barely a company in practice.

So in the end, my case is bolstered. Landfare began to smell funny to me within a few months of the project. It is no surprise to me to find out that John was not operating above board as I felt I could never get good or straight answers out of him. It seems he has a history of obfuscation. Indeed, as a customer, you can do better. Avoid Landfare.

Soon we’ll talk about John’s sentence.

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