Global BANK Academy

Global BANK Academy Review

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Published: 07 July 2017

Posted by: Anonymously

My purpose and intent in posting this report is to give those who are considering doing any business with James (Jim) Piccolo, Chairman, Cherianne (Cheri) Tree, Founder & Creator, of and dba: Global Bank Academy (GBA), Global XTS LLC, BEST Technologies LLC, and BANK Code Technologies LLC, a perspective and fair warning based on my first hand experience and knowledge of the company and it’s principals. Whether you are considering doing business either as a customer, vendor or Independent Business Owner (IBO) with this organization, I strongly suggest you do a deep dive into the background and character of the founders and ultimate decision makers of this company before you actually hand over your money. Jim Piccolo is a calculated manipulator and liar who has been convicted of fraud (1.usa.gov/186sUXh). Jim Piccolo hides behind the good reputations of others such as Phil Lechter, recently named CEO but Jim Piccolo actually controls EVERYTHING in this company with a 55% majority share (which is held in a “straw man” entity in Peoria, IL. He’s also suspiciously missing from their “team” on the website at bankcode.com). Working together with Cheri Tree, these two are willing to lie and stretch the truth in exchange for getting your money, so be forewarned! A few of the many complaint I have with Jim Piccolo, Cheri Tree and the GBA organization include: Manipulation of compensation plan to avoid payment of commissions. Owes commissions and refunds to representatives (know as IBO’s) knowingly but refuses to pay them. Cheats vendors out of money owed to them for services rendered. Told bold-face lies countless times. Uses manipulating and intimidating tactics to keep people from speaking out about the company. My name is Patricia. I am a career entrepreneur who has founded and built several successful companies, two in the commercial Real Estate sector and one in manufacturing that collectively employed thousands of people over a twenty six year span. I have enjoyed an impeccable reputation as a traditional business builder. I believe in doing what’s right and with integrity at all times for the health and wellbeing of the organization, its stakeholders, and most of all the employees. This is why I am so disappointed and disgusted to discover who Jim Piccolo and Cheri Tree really are after drinking the GBA “kool-aid” and getting heavily involved with my time and money. Jim Piccolo and Cheri Tree are both deceptively charming when recruiting for representatives and selling their products then turn nasty and forgetful after they have your money. When I was introduced to GBA, I immediately recognized the benefits the training methodology could bring any business with sales and service staff. The methodology is very compelling, although according to a prominent PHD professor and expert consultant in this area stated that it looks shockingly similar to other personality assessments. Jim Piccolo actually tried to hire this prominent consultant and went so far as to make public announcements that this consultant was going to be heading up a validation study of the GBA sales training methodology. The truth was the consultant ultimately would have nothing to do with it or them after Cheri Tree failed to answer even basic, simple questions as to the origins and invention of her methodology. Rather unusual for someone who “invented” something! Take a look at these similar methodologies for yourself at truecolorsintl.com and colorcode.com. The first time I meet Cheri Tree, founder, “author” and “creator” of GBA’s sales training methodology and Jim Piccolo, chairman of the board, both had a compelling presentation of this “new” sales training methodology that was “divinely inspired” (as they claimed) and they were looking to share it with the world through their new company, Global Bank Academy (GBA). I accepted an invitation to become one of the “founding members” (non equity based) prior to the official launch of the business. This required writing a $10,000 check in “good faith” the business would actually launch and they would deliver the GBA PHD training product being promised. The PHD training product was finally delivered 10 months later in December of 2014 but NOT with the curriculum promised. Instead what they delivered was a six day long sales and money grabbing pitch masquerading as business training. It was despicable to watch and sit through as they lined their pockets again off the backs of the IBO community. As time went on, my decision to become a member of the GBA organization proved to be a profoundly disappointing and eye opening experience. I would soon discover GBA was founded and headed up by individuals plagued by bankruptcies (bit.ly/1E26mzC) and lawsuits (1.usa.gov/186sUXh) with reputation management issues that included prior felony convictions for fraud (*copy and paste in your browser*) (azcc.gov/Divisions/Securities/news_releases/2011/feb17-11.pdf) and (gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-idd-1_10-cv-00642/pdf/USCOURTS-idd-1_10-cv-00642-0.pdf), misrepresentation, default on agreements with vendors, commissions not paid, and breach of multiple contracts and agreements with the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) as well as the National Sales Directors (NSD) (yes two different NSD’s), just for starters. Others have posted warnings in the past about the same people running GBA now. Take a look here: (unhappyfranchisee.com/category/franchisor/bizzibiz/) and(unhappyfranchisee.com/bizzibiz-franchise-founder-jim-piccolo-responds-to-criticism/). Later, I discovered that Jim Piccolo and Cheri Tree have done business together in the past and it ends when they sue each other (bit.ly/1E283gx ). Many were burned in Jim Piccolo’s previous company called Nuevo Riche (bit.ly/1aYPZwY ) in addition to Jim Piccolo’s long list of other failed businesses (PiccoloUniversity, Five Star Capital, Bizzibiz, Extreme Franchise Marketing, I Wizard, Tru Dynamics, Real Estate Worldwide). Today these two are back together, this time as the founders/owners and executive team of the companies I listed in the opening paragraph. Cheri Tree often refers to Jim Piccolo as her “best friend and partner in crime”. This is an interesting choice of words to say the least. Before the official launch of the company, I attended an IBO membership gathering where we were reassured by both Jim Piccolo, and Cheri Tree, as they explained away their “past history” that was in question with compelling stories as to why their reputations were fraught with so many concerning events. At this point, no one knew of Jim Piccolo’s fraud convictions and multiple business failures fraught with angry, upset vendors and customers. Jim Piccolo and Cheri Tree, both charismatic individuals with skills of persuasion and “storytelling” second to none, had the majority of the room in tears by the conclusion of their “explanations” and personal stories. This would become a predictable pattern of manipulation. Over the next year, I witnessed how they would paint themselves as heroes and simultaneously pick pocket those they brought to tears. Convinced by their “stories” and explanations as to what they have learned and how they were changed by their past, I moved forward and identified an opportunity to exhibit as a GBA representative at a prestigious national event for entrepreneurs. This event cost me upward of $20K. As a result of this event, Jim Piccolo was introduced to a prominent top national leader in the direct sales and marketing space which resulted in a contract negotiation to bring her on board with GBA as the National Sales Director (NSD). This was a person who had an impeccable reputation and track record as a 1 earner in the top tier direct sales industry second to none. The executive team, lead by Jim Piccolo, was ecstatic to have landed such a prestigious representative as the NSD for their organization. I watched this leader set every sales record for the company including $140K in her first 10 Days, in addition to tirelessly train, support and coach the field of IBO’s. What I witnessed going forward was unfathomable as I watched Cheri Tree bring her fiancé and GBA’s International Sales Director (ISD), Ester Wildenburg, back from Europe and announce she would be developing the North American market currently lead by the NSD, yet she had zero experience or creditability in this field and only 40K in sales BUT a ring on her finger. I personally warned Jim Piccolo and Cheri Tree that nepotism would diminish the credibility of their leadership with IBO’s in addition to creating resentments. Cheri said she “did not care what others thought, they would either respect her and her finance or they could get out, this was her company”. In addition, the nepotism caused a political problem, for Cheri was committed to keeping her fiancé happy and needed to oust the NSD regardless of the consequences. Jim Piccolo on the other hand, had an iron clad contract with the current NSD for several more years. Cheri Tree pushed forward by engaging in calculated, backstabbing behavior to systematically undermine and destroy the efforts and reputation of the NSD. I watched Cheri Tree fly to Miami to meet with a prominent prospect of the NSD’s and unceremoniously steal that prospect for herself to avoid paying commissions on multiple sales to the NSD. Cheri Tree convinced this prospect into believing that the NSD was defaulting on a contract with GBA, thereby discrediting her, when in fact it was GBA that defaulted on the contract. Another interesting fact to note, GBA is operating illegally in Canada, actively recruiting and selling, knowing they are NOT registered to do business there as a Direct Sales Company. The NSD voiced her concern when she discovered this significant legal issue but they chose to ignore it. This relationship, between Cheri Tree and the NSD, became increasingly stressed as the on going childish antics on Cheri Tree’s part continued to undermine the credibility and efforts of the NSD over the next several months. It got worse as a series of “stretched” statements and lies made publicly by Cheri Tree and Jim Piccolo were being questioned by the NSD when she refused to participate in claims where she publicly misrepresents a product in any way. One point of contention was the claim that GBA was being studied “by” UC Berkeley for the purpose of validation of the GBA training methodology. The truth is that a student named Daniel Silver, a PHD candidate (we were told?) at UC Berkeley and employee of Jim Piccolo’s, was doing his doctoral research on the GBA training methodology in his program. In addition, the NSD confirmed with a major internationally renown consultant that Cheri Tree, Jim Piccolo and GBA associates could NOT make the claim “increase your sales by up to 300%” without any data to back up that claim. When the NSD requested information from Jim Piccolo to provide to Facebook for an ad campaign, she was rebuffed by Jim Picollo with “we can’t release the Berkeley study yet”, when in fact no study EVER existed. This is a prime example of how Jim Piccolo and Cheri Tree are more than willing to stretch the truth and lie to create illusions of credibility to promote their sales while jeopardizing their IBO’s reputations by having them repeat these wrongful claims to prospects. In a fact based world, Jim Piccolo and Cheri Tree have no data, facts or studies to back up their claim “increase you sales by 300%”. For the last year, GBA leadership has knowingly made these false claims in all its product brochures, websites, and training materials and at events. Another example of false claims, I heard Cheri Tree tell her audience on the GBA radio program that GBA has a prominent former NFL player involved as an IBO with them. The truth is, months before she made this claim, he had resigned and wanted nothing to do with GBA and Cheri Tree was well aware of that fact. I know because he was in my organization but Cheri Tree chose to tell a blatant lie to impress prospects listening to her on the radio. Really Cheri? REALLY?? .

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