Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Teri Hardy Scam


If you participated in the auction for Cyndee Wells (Rude Mom blogger) new information has come to light. The family DO NOT get the money from the auction. Please email me or contact me on Facebook for more info!

Fellow Bloggers,
You need to be alerted to an unscrupulous person, if not down right scam artist, among our midst.
It has come to my attention that Teri Hardy of Mom Powered Media and Motherhood Undefined (among many other blogs and names) has scammed fellow bloggers and companies. Below are details of the information that has been shared with me directly from the bloggers themselves.

MPM Conference

The Mom Powered Media Conference was scheduled to be held in Minneapolis from August 7, 2015 to August 9, 2015. A telephone call to the hotel (5/18/15 at 12:48PM – 952-542-8600) indicates that there are many rooms still available for the conference and that Teri has not informed the hotel the event was canceled and the hotel is still accepting reservations for this event through July 16, 2015. Professional courtesy would deem that you notify all sponsors, participants, speakers, event venues, etc. that an event was canceled in order to avail them the space for others wishing to book an event, etc.

The conference website was removed as of 5/18/15 at 12:58AM. Prior to being removed; however, the website indicated that (a) all ticket sales were final and no refunds would be given. You were allowed to transfer your ticket to another individual until a certain date but that was all. When those that purchased a ticket learned that the conference was canceled – Teri had this to say:

Dear Attendees,
I must regrettably notify you that the MPM Conference for 2015 that our company organized is being cancelled. As you may know that recent unexpected issues arose with my previous business partner is unable to meet the needs of an event of this size.
MPM has always played an imperative role for the betterment of the blogging community, we wanted to inform all invitees of our decision. We apologize for any inconvenience however, and hope that you will see our decision positively and support it.
Even though we have cancelled the Conference for 2015, we intend to host a 2016 event and would like to extend your current ticket to next year’s conference. We would also like to upgrade you to VIP and offer you a second blogger pass at no cost. Your invitation will be dispatched a week before the event is officially announced and we hope to see you there.
Thank you and have a nice year ahead.
Sincerely, Teri

Teri Hardy does not state at all that refunds have been given to any ticket holders. Why then would she post yesterday evening:

And yes, conference tickets are being refunded. The only ones left are those that the payment was too old to directly process. REDACTED requires the original payment to be refunded for the ticket to be canceled…

The bloggers we have spoken with who purchased tickets have not received a refund. If any bloggers have received a refund, we would gladly welcome your comments on this post so that others know that a refund is possible.

Offering those who purchased a ticket an extension for next year’s conference is not acceptable. In light of the cancellation this year – who is to say that next year’s even will be held and not canceled?


Teri claims that MPM, LLC is a registered, limited liability company in Iowa. According to the Secretary of State in Iowa, no such limited liability company exists or is registered.

This is the result for MPM, LLC. The name listed belongs to someone else, not involved with Mom Powered Media. The status is marked "Inactive".

Business Dealings with Other Bloggers

The following is an accounting (backed up with documentation, screenshots, emails, etc.) from one particular blogger whom we will refer to only as D.B.

December 2014
Teri spoke with me about becoming a partner for MPM. I would own 33% of the company for $50,000. She claimed that she had made over $300,000 in the past year. With all of her blogger opportunities and services that were being sold to companies by herself and other employees (some of which paid money to her to earn a higher commission, and a percentage of what MPM made as a whole) it sounded like a great opportunity. Not only that, the MPM conference that was coming up August 7th-9th 2015, Teri said I would personally make anywhere from $40,000 to upwards of $60,000, as my cut of profits. Which I told her, I’d just pay her in full at that time. We worked out an agreement that I’d pay her 10% down of $50,000 which is $5,000 split between Jan and Feb and that I’d then pay payments of $750 per month for 4 years, or pay her in full before then. Also any money that was made during this time would be subtracted from what I owed each month. She also stated at anytime if I had to leave for any reason, she would just buy back my share of what I put in, which at this time is $6011.45.

January 2015
Teri wrote up contracts (from an online source, even though she said her lawyer did them) emailed them to me. I signed them and had them notarized and then overnighted them to her on January 4th, which is what everything was dated for. As stated by her, as well as in the contracts (MPM Partnership Agreement, Loan Agreement, and an agreement for a business we were starting together called Greenlight) she was to provide copies of these signed and notarized (on her end) agreements within 7 days. I never received them, then I moved and things were chaotic, so it slipped my mind. She was also supposed to file the businesses, REDACTED & REDACTED, in the State of Iowa, with me listed as part-owner. This was never done. There are no businesses with these names or anything by her in the State of Iowa. Nothing is registered. Just with those two things alone Teri is in breach of contract.

01/04/2015 – MPM Agreement signed and notarized, mailed overnight to Teri
01/05/2015 – $2,500 paid via PayPal
02/04/2015 – $2,333.50 paid via PayPal
03/05/2015 – $677.36 paid via PayPal
04/06/2015 – $500.59 paid via PayPal
Total paid by me to MPM equals $6,011.45

January 5, 2015 to April 30, 2015
During the time period of January 5th through April 30th, there was a total of $1100 made by MPM, as well as ONE ticket sold to the MPM Conference for $204.97, all of this of course is questionable, but this is what is in the accounting logs that I had access to. This is a far cry from the approximate $300,000 she stated was made in the previous year. $1304.97 total for the first quarter. This is when I started questioning her because my husband and I were wondering why was no one working, where is all the money that I’m supposed be making?

April 30, 2015
I messaged her about my concerns. After I brought it up to her she was totally cool with everything. She stated that it was her fault that no money was being made because she hadn’t trained anyone on what they were supposed to do and she should have communicated better. She had been putting all of her energy into the conference as well as the REDACTED and REDACTED she was planning. She understood and she said she’d speak with lawyer about the best way to send me my money back to “protect” her company. I said fine. She also said (taken from FB chat) “For you to get a full refund, you will lose both MPM and Greenlight since it is a spin-off. You will also be required to sign a form stating you will not start a company similar to either for a period of 5 years.” That is crazy, I would not sign a non-compete for 5 years, no way. Then she stated, “I will have to speak with an attorney if this is the way we are going. I have to make sure it is done right and MPM is not at risk. I will make a call and setup an appointment. Then find out what needs to happen from here.”

Just so it’s clear as well, I never had anything to do with the conference. I never knew how much she was spending on the conference, how much she was paid via businesses that were planning on attending the conferences or anything. I was left in the dark about all of that. She did tell me the money from those businesses were set aside until after the conference because she had to have enough to pay HOTEL for the venue/food.

Teri also stated we needed to keep me leaving a hush hush thing, so it was not announced, “It is a bad time to formally announce this to the group because it looks bad for MPM. But if that is what you want, we can do it.” I told her it was fine if she didn’t want to announce it. She also said “I would appreciate if we kept this low key because bloggers are already in a tiff with this other issue and I don’t need it rolling into MPM anymore than it already has.” 

May 5, 2015
Teri sent me a late payment notice via email, even though we had discussed on April 30th that this needed to be decided before the next payment was due, so I would not be out another $750. On top of which, she didn’t even send an invoice for payment. Once I messaged her about it on May 5th, her whole attitude was completely different than it was on April 30th. She was hateful and said that her husband didn’t feel it was necessary to send me a copy of the contract, and that she hadn’t heard back from her lawyer.

On April 30, 2015, May 5, 2015, and May 8, 2015 I asked her for signed and notarized copies of the contracts. She did not provide them and still has not provided them. May 8th I sent her a certified letter in the mail that she had to sign for. I also sent her a copy via email with the tracking number. It stated why she was in breach of contract as well as the fact that none of it even exists so I want my $6011.45 within 14 days. Which she has until May 22nd, before I file with my credit card company. She has not responded to me at all as of today (Sunday, May 17, 2015). On May 13th I messaged her regarding some business stuff I was finishing up via the Mom’s the Word giveaway event so I could email the winner, which she did not respond to either.

At this point I do not expect her to respond. I gave her the chance to refund my money easily, without all of this, without lawyers, without going to court, but she has refused to give me my money. Since this has happened I have spoken to many people who have previously worked for Teri and they all said they have known and heard stories of her doing this to others, including this happening to them. Why is everyone so hush-hush about this? She is taking money from people, and she is not returning it. Since it is something that is being repeated with people, it seems to be taking a criminal turn, which would be fraud. My next course of action is to file an internet fraud complaint with the FBI, which I suggest all of you who have been taken advantage of do as well. You can find that here.
D.B. also indicated that a campaign for REDACTED in November 2014 had 100 bloggers participating in social media blasts. Teri was paid by the company for this campaign; however, not all bloggers were paid and are still waiting on payment.

Additional Bloggers Who Have Come Forward

Below you will find direct quotes from other bloggers, contest winners, and former partners of MPM with regards to their personal experiences and dealings with Teri and MPM. You will see references to “the auction” and to the Cyndee Wells Fund below as well.

“I know who you are talking about. It pisses me off. That person stole close to $2,000 from me alone and I don’t know how much from others. And then she is ruining it with companies. Honestly I have companies that won’t work with me because of said blogger. Plus I think they went away from working with bloggers as well. They work with a PR Firm and they don’t want bloggers period for any company the represent. I think it needs to come out. Part of the problem is she has done this to so many smaller bloggers and has others scared to come out. She makes threats. Being bigger she has those smaller ones scared of what she might do. She still owes me other things that I won in the Wells auction as well. I was told “she was busy” and I had to wait, and of course never received anything. She also owes me product for other things I was promised as well. Again, haven’t seen anything.”  
“I am one of those smaller bloggers who was planning on going to Minneapolis in August, but now I am screwed out of over $250. Small in the scope of things, but that’s why I immediately messaged some of the bigger bloggers to see if my fears were true and turns out they are.” 

“I stood up to this person as well and no one seemed to care, but I didn’t make a big deal either because I didn’t have much vested. This has been going on for years and I can only guess in the tens of twenty thousands. If everyone would stop looking at BIG bloggers as BIG then they wouldn’t be so intimidating. Us bigger bloggers should be resources not bosses trying to make a buck.” 

“Teri owes me thousands, she promised yearly salary of $10,000! I haven’t made anything. I ran the 2014 REDACTED Campaign and she was horrid to work with. She basically left me high and dry to run the campaign the way I saw fit. No guidance or coaching. She got paid by REDACTED but I had no control of who got paid for the campaign. I felt horrid since I organized it and recruited bloggers thinking in good faith they would be paid. (I knew Teri had received payment). I did notify REDACTED of the problems that were going on and that they should reconsider working in the future with MPM. I never heard from them again. All links were verified by myself ( it took hours ) and sent to Teri as well as REDACTED! The company had no complaints. Teri served me with a Cease and Desist Letter and told me I was legally not allowed to speak to any of the bloggers who belonged to MPM,I was shocked. I did sign a non-disclosure agreement in the contract for working with MPM, but it was never notarized or returned to me from MPM. So I have cautiously spoken to others. I also bid and paid for many things for the auction for Cyndee Hill Wells and never received any of the items I purchased.” 

“Just freaking great. I just yesterday bought a co-host spot on a contest from her. She KNOWS I just had to go across the country to bury my 14-year-old nephew and lost a lot of work and have pneumonia now. I am thousands in the red and even commented that I hope the contest helps drive traffic so maybe I can make Linqia’s quota.” 

“Oh #$@!, wow. She owes me money – not much, but for some sponsored posts I did a LONG time ago. I just realized that I never got prizes for the Scentsy party I bought from that she ran as well as a Facebook Flash Giveaway that I won LAST SUMMER.” 

“We were all duped. I am sick over all of this. We all trusted her and thought she was a friend. I tagged you because I had a feeling you were hurt by her as well.” 

“I’ve told people this over and over, but no one really listened. In fact, people treated me like crap on several occasions when I tried to warn them, so I finally just stopped. I’m glad to see others coming forward as well. In fact, she made herself from stealing from me. She took everything I ever did and went behind my back and built her name. She has lied, and stolen from bloggers – not just by taking their money for prizes but when you get a campaign from her she isn’t paying you what she tells the brands she is paying you. I have said this over and over and over. I’ve been called names, I’ve been treated like crap all because everyone wanted to believe in this person. It’s been really sad watching so many people be taken advantage of. I’m seriously glad to see that this is all coming to a head and people will stop dealing with her. In fact, when i found out, it took everything I had not to get up and run through the Chicago airport screaming that it was finally happening. I’ve dealt with her crap for years. I think I deserve some glory in my own right to see she going down where she belongs.” 

“She kicked me from the group after she said she was going to pay me a small fraction of what I was owed – which still has not been paid. I worked for Teri since last year. Started out great and I was quite excited. Yes, I made a few mistakes along the road; however, I paid into it (not as much as D.B. but $1,500 and I am still owed for a bunch of work that I finished). All together I’m owed around $3,000 USD. I’m usually a pretty quiet person but I agree this is just not right for her to do this to so many people.” 

“I won one of her giveaways at Christmas time. It was small, just toys I was going to give my nephews. I never received it but just assumed it was an oversight. I never made a big deal because it was small. This is so sad to learn all of this.” 

“I am so sorry she has done this to you D.B. but so happy you called her out about it! I won a few things from the auction for Cyndee Wells. My biggest item was $250 worth of links on any upcoming giveaways I wanted (25 host pages) I was the only bidder at $200. When I went to select my first giveaway I was told I had to pay the fee to enter the giveaway to get my link on there. I assumed that my links were automatically paid but apparently it was going to be for my additional links after my first one for joining. The next giveaway I tried to join she told me it was full and she couldn’t add my links. I then tried to join a 3rd one and she told me she had to leave it open for paying links but if she had any left over then she would allow me to join. I was pissed because each time I tried to join the requirements changed. I told her if that was the case then all of that should have been written. At this time it’s almost 45 days past me paying and I hadn’t received the other $100 of items I won either. I started to demand my money back. She blocked me and removed me from the MPM group and the regular group. I opened up a PayPal claim and she told PayPal that I refused to work with her and she still wanted to honor what I paid for but I needed to follow the terms. I replied that since I hadn’t received the other items and that she is constantly changing the terms and had since been blocked from contact with her or the groups she has clearly shown she has no interest in working with me and I wanted my money back. 2 days later my money was refunded but claimed everything was my fault and that she couldn’t believe I worked this way and would make sure that everyone would know. Beyond that I know she attempted to trash me to a few bloggers and a handful of PR reps. Horrible that she continues to do this to people!"

With my host pages I wasn’t granted access to any links on the giveaways yet still had to post the announcements or pay the waived fee to have a host page but still have no links unless I paid more. Even though, when you paid for a host page you were given links with it…she didn’t want to honor any links because I hadn’t technically paid according to her. When I called her out on the fact that I got a huge value for what she can get for it individually and that she was probably pissed because she thought more people would bid she then told me to sell it to another blogger that she knew would take it and without any reply from me (because I left my computer for a while) she told me she spoke with her team and they all agreed that because I don’t know how to use what I won that I shouldn’t be allowed to have it.” 

“I paid an undisclosed sum to be a “partner” with MPM and for mentoring that I never received. She also never paid me for sponsored posts. I filed a complaint with PayPal and received a partial settlement, but she threatened to sue me if I ever revealed anything or shared any screenshots or told anything that happened between us and our “business relationship,” as breach of contract, yet she did just that to me. She went and made up lies about me and trash talked me to various PR people, bloggers, media companies, brands, etc. and I had many people turn away from me and refuse to work with me because of things she said. She ruined me for a time.”

“She asked me to join MPM as a partner on commission but I didn’t have the money at the time – I consider myself lucky now. I also never received an item I paid for in the auction she arranged last year – I just remembered that! Towards the end of last year I wrote for MPM and never received the promised payments for my work nor did I receive payments for a campaign. I was too worried to ‘go public’ because she always has some smooth answer why it’s not her fault & how it’s the other person just causing drama etc. Thank you D.B. for having the courage to ‘come out’ !!”

“She did it to me too. She’s a fraud and I finally had the courage to post myself on my status tonight. She trashed my name to PR people, bloggers, brands, etc. after I demanded my money back and I had people refuse to work with me because of the lies she told about me because I called her out for not fulfilling her end of her promises and obligations and what I paid for.”

“I was doing a REDACTED phone campaign a few months ago and Teri wanted to be on my team. She got the phone and service from REDACTED as promised, and absolutely refused to do any of the things we needed to do, blog posts, social media, etc, so I and the rest of my team had to do ours and just hope for the best, but it was very embarrassing. It’s the first and ONLY time I’ve ever tried working with Teri, and at that time, I said, never again. I am still pissed over that.”

“That speaker was me. I’m reading all this dumbfounded. She just asked me last week to be on an Advisory board. I had NO idea about all of this. I’m sick to my stomach. I am not a drama person at all, and I can’t handle people who lie and steal.”

“I have several companies that won’t every reply back to me at all either and I know it’s because she screwed them when they agreed to work with MPM.”

In Their Own Words

Several bloggers have taken to their blogs to post their own story. You will find a listing of those below. If you wish, you can also leave a link to your own post in the comment section.
Mama E. over at Mama’s Mission posted her own story – Bloggers Beware: I Didn’t Think It Could Happen, But It Did!

A Little Bit of Everything has posted her story – It Can Happen to Anyone…

Swanky Point of View: My Story

Bloggin’ Mamas Steps Up with Free Ticket to Conference

We are so surprised to hear all of this, and it has taken quite a while to read through everything.Bloggin’ Mamas is planning a conference for Tampa, Florida in November 2015. If you purchased a ticket to #MPM, we will provide you with a FREE TICKET to our conference to help make up for your loss. Just send your receipt to info@blogginmamas.com and we will send you a code when we open registration.
We also offer FREE membership, we do not charge bloggers to be part of our giveaways, we do a ton of social good work, and we offer free events and training, and we do not charge bloggers to join our sales team. We would love to have you all!

I urge you to tweet this out to your friends and followers and fellow bloggers and companies you work with. Unless we, as bloggers, stand together and bring such travesties to light, others will continue to be scammed and taken advantage of. Feel free to leave your comments below. Again, we welcome Teri’s response to this and will be happy to post her side of the story as well.

Original Article Written By Kim of  Life In A House Of Testosterone

Winners Out Their Prizes

Websites Known To Belong To Teri Hardy:

Mom Powered Media

Motherhood Defined (formerly Mom to Bed by 8)

Iowa Mom

Secret Southern Couture

Midwest Traveling Foodie

@bookgeeks1 on Twitter - Teri Hardy Hatland

Anyone needing screenshots of the original Facebook posts please click here and message me. Contact me on the FB link or click on the mail button at the top of this page if you have a story you would like to share.

Please do not leave comments to your site that are victim shaming. Mr. Tiddles and I are not concerned about someone that stole from children and their families. 

"What about the people she scammed? What about the victim of her crimes? Are they suppose to sit quietly by and allow this injustice to keep happening over and over again. This did not just happen to larger blogs, but smaller ones as well. She took money from their families, food out of their children's mouth, and left them high and dry. She is the one that put her personal life and family at risk. Please stop victim shaming and blaming the people that came forward. This how so many good people keep getting taken advantage of. No one wants to come forward because they are vilified."

Legal Information From The Lawyer Cat

The views and opinions expressed on this web site are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Blogger, the Blogger staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

All Pictures and Statements Were Given With Permission.

The Surf and Sand Blog disclaims all responsibility and all liability (including, without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs you might incur as a result of the information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way, and for any reason. 

Unless otherwise noted, the information provided by this and other servers within the blogspot.com or otherwise operated by the Blogger does not represent the official statements or views of Blogger.

Any threats of lawsuits, slander, libel will be ignored.  However feel free to contact me at 904 600- 2445.  My lawyer will call yours. Please do not threaten me. I am not a "profit" blogger and you can't bully me. I blog in my free time and make no money with this blog.  If Teri Hardy wants to sue, she has my number to pass on to her lawyer. 

The law of defamation varies from state to state, but there are some generally accepted rules. If you believe you are have been "defamed," to prove it you usually have to show there's been a statement that is all of the following:


Let's look at each of these elements in detail.

1. First, the "statement" can be spoken, written, pictured, or even gestured. Because written statements last longer than spoken statements, most courts, juries, and insurance companies consider libel more harmful than slander.

2. "Published" means that a third party heard or saw the statement -- that is, someone other than the person who made the statement or the person the statement was about. "Published" doesn't necessarily mean that the statement was printed in a book -- it just needs to have been made public through television, radio, speeches, gossip, or even loud conversation. Of course, it could also have been written in magazines, books, newspapers, leaflets, or on picket signs.

3. A defamatory statement must be false -- otherwise it's not considered damaging. Even terribly mean or disparaging things are not defamatory if the shoe fits. Most opinions don't count as defamation because they can't be proved to be objectively false. 

4. The statement must be "injurious." Since the whole point of defamation law is to take care of injuries to reputation, those suing for defamation must show how their reputations were hurt by the false statement -- for example, the person lost work; was shunned by neighbors, friends, or family members; or was harassed by the press. Someone who already had a terrible reputation most likely won't collect much in a defamation suit.

5. Finally, to qualify as a defamatory statement, the offending statement must be "unprivileged." Under some circumstances, you cannot sue someone for defamation even if they make a statement that can be proved false. For example, witnesses who testify falsely in court or at a deposition can't be sued. (Although witnesses who testify to something they know is false could theoretically be prosecuted for perjury.) Lawmakers have decided that in these and other situations, which are considered "privileged," free speech is so important that the speakers should not be constrained by worries that they will be sued for defamation. Lawmakers themsleves also enjoy this privilege: They aren't liable for statements made in the legislative chamber or in official materials, even if they say or write things that would otherwise be defamatory.

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