Pison Streams Flashy Salesman's $32M Fraud

Using investor money for Mansions, Jets, and Rolls Royces

Good Morning! Yesterday, OpenAI released their new GPT-4o model that can understand voice prompts and talk back to us. It seems like everyday we inch closer to a world where robots will start making our cold calls, and prospects won’t be able to distinguish a real sales rep from AI. But that day is not today. So it’s back to the phones for the intern. 😁 

In today’s Follow Up:

  • A salesman’s $32M fraud 💰️ 

  • The only sales emails you need ✍️ 

  • Sales tip of the day 💡 

  • Sales news around the web 🗞️ 

  • Sales jobs, LinkedIn & a meme 😂 

A Flashy Salesman’s $32M Fraud Uncovered

We’re a sucker for a good sales fraud story. And if you’re anything like us, you’re gonna love today’s story.

You've heard of fake it till you make it…

But this salesman may’ve taken the phrase a bit too literally.

Joseph James Jr. (we’ll call him Joey) is known as the founder of Pison Stream Solutions, and a flashy salesman who sold investors on a vision.

According to the SEC complaint, Joey told investors he was an independently wealthy investor who didn't need their money. Yet he sold them $32.5M worth of his chemical company's shares, portraying an over-the-top lifestyle with luxury homes, private jets and Rolls Royces.

But according to allegations, it was all fugazi… the SEC says Joey sold investors a vision of how he would use their money to disrupt old school chemical processes, meanwhile, he siphoned off $10.8M of the $32.5M for himself.

Reminds us of that one movie…

The Pitch 🗣️ 

From 2017-2022, Joey raised $32.5M from over 85 investors across 15 states.

He pitched Pison as a promising chemical R&D firm, claiming funds would grow its business in aerospace, defense, and automotive markets.

The company claimed to make cutting-edge chemicals that were better coatings for planes, cars, and everyday surfaces (like office desks or kitchen cabinets).

But behind the promising sales pitch:

  • Joey relocated the HQ from Cleveland to a pricey Manhattan office, where he eventually got evicted.

  • Joey falsely claimed he didn't take a salary to prove he was already rich.

  • And the company took in just $6,800 in revenue during that 5-year span

The $10M Salesman 🛩️ 

According to the SEC, while investors thought their funds were growing Pison's legit chem business, they were actually paying for Joey’s lifestyle:

He used to the funds to buy:

  • A $2M mansion

  • $3.4M private jet

  • Luxury cars like a Rolls Royce, Maserati, Audi, and BMW.

  • ...and $60K for a fish tank aquarium.

What’s Next ➡️ 

The SEC has charged both Pison Stream and Joseph James Jr. with violating anti-fraud laws. They want James banned from executive roles, and the company + James to repay all $32.5M raised from investors, plus interest and penalties.

But this story has us thinking…

What if Joey used those sales skills to sell his chemical coatings to legitimate customers?

Maybe they would’ve been able to generate more than $6.8K in revenue.

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The Follow Up’s Guide to Cold Sales Emails

We put together the only 9 sales email templates you’ll ever need (for real).

  • Subject Lines

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  • Cold emails

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  • And much more!

Refer 2 friends to The Follow Up and get instant access!

Sales Tip of The Day 💡 

Don’t say ‘I never heard back’ in your follow up emails.

According to a Gong study, adding this phrase to your emails reduces your chances of getting a response by 14%.

They already know they didn’t respond to you. No need to remind them.

Sales Around The Web 🗞️ 

Cool Sales Jobs 💼 

Checking In On LinkedIn

“Having a little stalk” = the opener no one wants. 😅 

Sales Meme of the Day

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