This is the story of my exit from GOPD, LLC in 2010. Why am I telling this story now? Because of the following December 28, 2017 Tweet to my Twitter account from Chip Jones, an integral player in my 2010 ousting from GOPD.
Jones, of Minton Jones Company in Norcross, GA, is once again tossing thinly-veiled threats at me, just as he did back in 2010.
This time, Jones will not go unchallenged
In 2010, while these original events were occurring, I was confused by the sudden onslaught from Jones and his cohort. I did not fully understand everything that was happening. It was not until 2016, when I laboriously constructed a 20-year timeline of emails and events, that the complete “big picture” emerged.
Return of the Threats
This December, 2017 response from Jones is in reply to my Tweet announcing the launch of my GOPD Cart site. It is a site where I offer to assist, absolutely for free, any current GOPD dealer wishing to transition to a new system. More on why that site was launched later.
The Threats of 2010
The threats and claims of malicious activities against me in 2010 came from Donna Snyder of GOPD, LLC and Chip Jones of Minton Jones Company. The reason for Snyder’s and Jones’ claims of malicious actions being perpetrated by me are twofold. One, as a way to coerce me into going along with their scheme to oust me from the GOPD relationship, and two, to make sure that none of the GOPD customers would listen to me or cooperate with me.
Jones’ and Snyder’s claims of malicious actions being perpetrated by me occurred suddenly and out of nowhere.
The First Lawyer Letter
On January 22, 2010 attorney Edward Brown sent me a letter claiming to represent POE Systems, Inc. and Solutions 4 Business, 2/3 owners of GOPD, LLC. (Exhibit05) At the time, I did not know Mr. Brown and knew nothing about his firm, Burr-Forman.
In this letter, Mr. Brown states that “Ms. Snyder is of the opinion” that I am “harming the business of GOPD” and the relationship “must terminate.” There were no facts or any evidence provided for this alleged harm, just Ms. Snyder’s opinion.
Brown continued by claiming he has many examples of emails containing abusive, unprofessional and slanderous statements by me. Nothing in this statement has ever been demonstrated to be factual.
In this same letter, I am threatened with “immediate legal action” if I in any way harm the business of GOPD. Brown goes as far as including “intentional sabotage” to the long list of implied accusations being set up in this letter. But, it’s “not intended as a threat,” claimed Brown.
No facts, no evidence, no credible substantiations of any kind have ever been produced that I have caused any harm, or have any intentions on causing any harm, to the business or customers of GOPD.
The fear and uncertainty, combined with the full knowledge of the underhandedness of what they are about to do, is now painfully obvious when I read this letter.
On January 31, 2010, 9 days after the Brown lawyer letter went unanswered by me, GOPD customer Chip Jones of Minton Jones Company sends me, Snyder and Duncan an email. (Exhibit06) This will begin a series of communications between myself and Jones regarding GOPD.
In this email, Jones is immediately jumping to “buyout” and “sellout.” Jones appears worried about some secretive plan becoming exposed and states, “This entire situation must remain unknown to the industry. To leak it out could spell disaster.”
“Do the right thing and sell” says Jones in this email. “One of you may actually want to be bought out.” These statements from Jones, and the many more to come, will expose the true motives of Jones and his partner.
As will also become the pattern, Jones begins his insertion of ill-concealed threatening statements in his emails to me: “Consider whatever you do from this point could affect your reputation.”
Also noteworthy in this email, Jones starts off all innocent claiming he is confused and in the dark, just wanting to help a friend out. Then he turns around showing he is involved up to his eyeballs and knows everything that is going on: “I also know now that there may be attorneys involved.”
Looking back, it’s easy to see that Jones has inadvertently admitted collusion has occurred behind the scenes from the very beginning.
The Second Lawyer Letter
The day following Jones’ email, February 1, 2010, I receive a second letter from attorney Edward Brown. (Exhibit07) Again, threats are being made.
This letter claims I entered the company’s systems and manipulated information. That’s my job description. That’s what I am supposed to do. The letter goes on to say, “You need to immediately act to perform your duties,” which by definition is “entering the company’s systems and manipulating information.”
The letter threatens, “You need to immediately act to perform your duties” while at the same time threatening, “It is important that no actions are taken that would in any way change or alter any information contained in the systems”
The letter also in essence states, unless you cooperate and do exactly as we say, we are no longer going to pay you for the sales of your software.
This is intentionally setting up a no-win situation for me. Damned if I do, and damned if I don’t. Jones and Snyder will later make good use of their manufactured catch-22.
The Man Behind the Curtain
I will eventually learn that attorney Edward Brown is the registered agent of Jones’ office supply company, Minton Jones (Exhibit11).
Both of the threatening and demanding lawyer letters, instigating the breakup of GOPD, LLC, came from Jones’ own personal business attorney, Edward Brown.
Part 2, The Big Picture