Originally Posted by Jace of Ultramar
How were they scammers?
Maelstrom Games, Eye of the Storm, Maunsfeld and Mierce Miniatures are all owned by Robert Lane.
Last year Maelstrom got into financial trouble, Wayland Games offered to buy out Maelstrom and honour all outstanding orders Maelstrom had.
Robert Lane declined so Wayland Games bought the debt of £100,000 from the miniature supplier Maelstrom owed money to, they then demanded Maelstrom pay the debt within 30 days.
Robert Lane create 2 new companies and websites, Eye of the Storm and Maunsfeld. Their websites were initially copy pasted Maelstrom Websites, they had the exact same look.
He then moved all assets he could from Maelstrom to the other companies and had a huge sale to get rid of anything that Wayland could get money from during the liquidation. Having up to 80% off on the Bane Lords/Legions etc.
He did not however honour any outstanding orders that had been placed. He basically ended up in a situation where he had to take the money from new orders to pay for outstanding orders.
I ordered 2 Dark Vengeance boxes from Maelstrom and I never got them, I lost £105. From the number of people complaining on the different forums it seems ALLOT of people were affected. I have no idea of knowing but from the looks of things he took the money from hundreds of people and never sent them anything as once he moved all the money earned from those sales over to his other companies and liquidated Maelstrom he no longer had any obligation to honour those sales.
What he did could easiest be explained as this:
You went to Maelstrom, pre-ordered some miniatures and paid for them, the next week you go back to see if the minis have arrived. The exact same guy who took your money is behind the counter, he says the store is no longer Maelstrom, it is now Maunsfeld. You ask for the minis you paid for, he tells you you have no minis ordered with Maunsfeld. You tell him you paid him just the other week, he explains that your order was with Maelstrom and the store is now Maunsfeld so you have no miniatures ordered from them.
You demand the money back, he says since Maelstrom has been liquidated you will not get your money back as the company had none left. He then asks if you would like to buy some miniatures from Maunsfeld as it's a completely new store which offers the exact same services as Maelstrom did, even has the exact same looking website. You tell him to go fuck himself and leave the store.
This is what happened to hundreds of people, I have no way of knowing for sure but if the vocal minority is anything to go by there could have been tens of thousands of pounds scammed from people in this way.
Would Maelstrom have gone out of business if Wayland hadn't intervened? Who knows, Robert Lane was in a situation where he had to take new orders to pay for previous orders that had not yet been fulfilled. He owed over £100,000 to the miniature supplier, he claimed he was paying the debt off at £5,000 per week but this is untrue according to the supplier.
The supplier ended up in a bad way because it couldn't order in new miniatures because it had no money left to do so as it hadn't been paid from Maelstrom.
Wayland saw an opportunity to get rid of it's biggest competitor and first offered a way for Robert Lane to save face by taking over his business and honouring any outstanding order. Because Robert Lane is an asshole he instead decided to screw over as many people as he could, get as much money as he could out of Maelstrom and transfer the funds over to Eye of the Storm, Maunsfeld and Mierce Miniatures.
The funny thing about how Limited companies work is that everything he did is completely legal, questionable sure but still legal unless you can prove otherwise.
It does seem though that because of all the shit he did his credibility was justly ruined so the sales seems to have been low or something, enough to cause his 2 new companies to go out of business. He still owns Mierce Miniatures as well as some other companies. I will be happy the day Mierce Miniatures go out of business as well and bought up by someone else.
To sum it all up, Robert Lane is a fucking asshole...
Then again I'm fucking insane so what do I know