Belle and Mims, which claims to be an international consulting firm, is in fact owned and operated by three women – Nicole Belle, Brooke Mims, and Terah Mims who I mentioned above. This company is defrauding small business owners by convincing them that they can find foreign investors for their startups. | I was introduced to this company through a mutual acquaintance. In December of last year, after being invited to come to speak to them about investing in my start up, I drove to Nashville, Tennessee to have lunch with them, and to meet with them to go over my investor pitch deck. I was joined in the meeting by my niece and business partner, LaTonya Roby, and via Skype by my CFO, Nathan Gooden. During the meeting, Nicole Belle and Brooke Mims claimed to have relationships with investors who were willing to work with early-stage startups. We were advised that they had decided to work with us to raise 1.5 – 2 million dollars, but that these investors required a fully refundable payment into an escrow account in order to receive the investment dollars. This was an immediate red flag to both me and my team, but we were assured by Belle and Mims that this was a normal practice when working with international investors. Despite warnings from a number of my team members and my own misgivings, I decided to pursue the arrangement. | Because I was introduced to these ladies through a professional colleague, I initially had no reason to believe that they were anything but what they claimed to be. In fact, because we met at Terah Mims’ Liberty National insurance agency, I was even more convinced that the company was legitimate, as I was certain Ms. Mims would not put her business at risk in any way by participating in fraudulent activity. Unfortunately, I was wrong. | We first received an offer of investment through Belle and Mims from Ulven Investment AS, a company in Norway whose CEO is someone named Evan Fleece (see attached Letter of Intent). We refused this offer after a disagreement related to the form of investment. They had presented us with an offer that appeared to be more a very high-interest loan than anything else, and we turned it down for that reason. | Nicole next convinced me that she had located an investor in London who was willing to invest 1.5 million into the company in exchange for the more traditional equity arrangement we were seeking. We were then asked to provide proof that we had $20,000 which would need to be wired into an escrow account (see email screenshot dated 1/16). When we refused, they ‘lowered’ the amount to $3,000 to ‘help us out’. We were advised that the $3k would be returned no later than 30 days after the deal was finalized or terminated. We went through other issues related to the formal agreement, during which Belle and Mims finally agreed to allow my CFO to draft a terms sheet. The term sheet (attached) was signed by Nicole Mims on February 15th, 2017, and included language requiring that the funding close by no later than March 3rd, 2017. | March 3rd came and went, and we didn’t receive the funding as promised. Because we had effectively signed over 20% of our company for funding that was never received, I was unable to raise additional funds from angel investors. For that reason, on March 21st I contacted Ms. Belle and informed her that until they were able to figure out the funding issue, I would have to terminate my agreement with them to free up the equity. My letter to her with her signature is attached. | Over the next several weeks, Nicole Belle and her partners continued to make excuses about why the funding was not closing. In mid-April, I finally asked them to discontinue their efforts and return our $3,000 dollars. Note that my company also built a website for Belle and Mims as a favor. You’ll see in the attached cancellation letter I received from Ms. Belle on 4/18th that she acknowledges the cancellation, agrees to return our $3,000 on April 28th, 2017, and also offers to pay an additional $3k for the website I built for the company. We of course, have not received payment for either. | My team took the risk on the $3,000 because we believed these women when they said they were working with reputable investors, but when the time came to deliver the funds, all we got was an intense run-around, lies, stalling and rude responses. I am reporting this information to you, Ms. Mc Peak and a number of entities, including the FBI and a number of news agencies. We would appreciate any help you can give in bringing these women to justice. They prey on the dreams of financially disadvantaged people with promises of easy funding, then, when pressed to deliver, they become rude, argumentative, and threatening. At the strong risk of embarrassment to myself and my company, I am making this information public and reporting these women to the proper authorities, because I don’t want what happened to me to happen to anyone else.
Name: Belle and Mims
Country: United States
Address: 5100 Poplar Avenue, Suite 2700