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Thursday, 6 August 2015

Spam: "The Funding Institute" / thefundinginstitute.org and fundinginstitute.org, Patchree Patchrint and Anthony Christopher Jones (yet again)

"The Funding Institute" (using the domains thefundinginstitute.org and fundinginstitute.org) is yet another highly questionable site set up by Patchree (Patty) Patchrint and Anthony Christopher Jones of California, who I have covered on this blog several times before (tip: the comments for many of those posts are very interesting if you are doing research).

A tip from "Jimmy" in this post reveals a new name for the scheme, simply called "The Funding Institute" and although apparently using the domain thefundinginstitute.org, it is actually hosted on a crappy free website at fundinginstitute.myfreesites.net.



I haven't personally received spam about this one, but it is not hard to find examples [1] [2] [3] [4] and the one from discard.email is the most interesting (I copy it here in its entirety):

The Funding Institute is offering the Grant Funding and  Proposal Writing Essentials Course
 to be held in New York, New York on the campus of The State University of New York from July 15-17, 2015. Interested development professionals, researchers, faculty, and graduate students should register as soon as possible, as demand means that seats will fill up quickly. Please forward, post, and distribute this e-mail to your colleagues and listservs.

All participants will receive certification in professional Grant writing. For more information call (213) 347-4899 or visit The Funding Institute website.

Please find the program description below:

The Funding Institute's
Grant Funding and  Proposal Writing Essentials Course will be held in New York, New Yorkon the campus of the The State University of New YorkJuly 15-17, 20158:00 AM - 5:00 PM
 The Grant Funding and  Proposal Writing Essentials Course
 is an intensive and detailed introduction to the process, structure, and skill of professional proposal writing. This course is characterized by its ability to act as a thorough overview, introduction, and refresher at the same time. In this course, participants will learn the entire proposal writing process and complete the course with a solid understanding of not only the ideal proposal structure, but a holistic understanding of the essential factors, which determine whether or not a
program gets funded. Through the completion of interactive exercises and activities, participants will complement expert lectures by putting proven techniques into practice. This course is designed for both the beginner looking for a thorough introduction and the intermediate looking for a refresher course that will strengthen their grant acquisition skills. This class, simply put, is designed to get results by creating professional grant proposal writers.

Participants will become competent program planning and proposal writing professionals after successful completion of the Grant Funding and  Proposal Writing Essentials Course.  In three active and informative days, students will be exposed to the art of successful grant writing practices, and led on a journey that ends with a masterful grant proposal.


The Grant Funding and  Proposal Writing Essentials Course consists of three (3) subject areas that will be completed during the three-day workshop.

(1) Fundamentals of Program Planning

This session is centered on the belief that "it's all about the program." This intensive session will teach professional program development essentials and program evaluation. While most grant writing "workshops" treat program development and evaluation as separate from the writing of a proposal, this class will teach students the relationship between overall program planning and grant writing.


(2) Proposal Writing Essentials


Designed for both the novice and experienced grant writer, this component will make each student an overall proposal writing specialist. In addition to teaching the basic components of a grant proposal, successful approaches, and the do's and don'ts of grant writing, this course is infused with expert principles that will lead to a mastery of the process. Strategy resides at the forefront of this course's intent to illustrate grant writing as an integrated, multidimensional, and dynamic
endeavor. Each student will learn to stop writing the grant and to start writing the story. Ultimately, this class will illustrate how each component of the grant proposal represents an opportunity to use proven techniques for generating support.

(3) Funding Research


At its foundation, this course will address the basics of foundation, corporation, and government grant research. However, this course will teach a strategic funding research approach that encourages students to see research not as something they do before they write a proposal, but as an integrated part of the grant seeking process. Students will be exposed to online and database research tools, as well as publications and directories that contain information about foundation, corporation, and
government grant opportunities. Focusing on funding sources and basic social science research, this course teaches students how to use research as part of a strategic grant acquisition effort.

Registration
$495.00 tuition includes all materials and certificates.

Each student will receive:
*The Funding Institute's Certificate in Professional Grant Writing
*The Guide to Successful Grant Writing
*The Grant Writer's Workbook with sample proposals, forms, and outlines

Registration Methods

1) On-Line - Complete the online registration form here and we'll send your confirmation by e-mail.

2) By Phone - Call (213) 347-4899 to register by phone. Our friendly Program Coordinators will be happy to assist you and answer your questions.

3) By E-mail - Reply to this e-mail with your name, organization, and basic contact information  and we will reserve your slot and send your Confirmation Packet.

We respect your privacy and want to ensure that interested parties are made aware of  The Funding  Institute's  programs and schedules. This is intended to be a one-time announcement. In any event, you should not receive any more announcements unless there
is a program next year in your area. To be excluded  from next year's announcement, reply to this e-mail  and write "Exclude" in the subject line.

That site also lists some partly redacted email headers, I highlight the most interesting ones:

Return-Path: newyXXX@Xpma11.org
X-Original-To: ronaldwhXXXXX@Xpambog.com
Received: from raptor.ipma11.org (unknown [107.179.95.116])
by mx.discard.email (Postfix) with ESMTPS id 3lMjVB6cp4z1yVV
for ronaldwhXXXXX@Xpambog.com; Thu, 9 Apr 2015 02:08:02 +0200 (CEST)
Received: (qmail 32427 invoked by uid 0); 9 Apr 2015 00:05:27 -0000
Comment: DomainKeys? See http://antispam.yahoo.com/domainkeys
DomainKey-Signature: a=rsa-sha1; q=dns; c=nofws;
s=private; d=ipma11.org;
b=UvQsXfni3YL14EmWF9UY0bAUcpMT4H6jxUsnnNCEF2C9ZYEGuzlmhre4JQ7Klssu;
Received: from pool-173-55-54-221.lsanca.fios.verizon.net (HELO ipma11.org) (newyXXX@Xpma11.org@173.55.54.221)
by 107.179.95.116 with ESMTPA; 9 Apr 2015 00:05:27 -0000
From: The Funding Institute newyXXX@Xpma11.org
To: ronaldwhXXXXX@Xpambog.com
Subject: Grant Funding Essentials Course (July 15-17, 2015: The State University of New York)
Date: 08 Apr 2015 16:47:50 -0700
Message-ID: 20150408164749.086B4XXXXXXXXXXX@Xpma11.org
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/html;
charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable 
 In those headers, the server identifies itself as "ipma11.org" which is related to this scam site operating last year. You can read a RipOffReport complaint about that scheme here, which explains what I understand of the business operation quite thoroughly. The server IP address of 107.179.95.116 (RaptorNode, Los Angeles) is also the same IP as used for the following nameservers:

ns1.ipma11.org
ns2.ipma11.org

This indicates that the email really did originate from the owners of ipma11.org (Jones and Patchrint) rather than it being a forgery. If we go further back in the email headers, we can see another IP address of 173.55.54.221 which (according to DomainTools) is in La Puente, California. According to WhitePages.com that location is consistent with the Hacienda Heights address of Patchree Patchrint.


It link her with a cellphone number of (626) 330-1793 and a potential home address of 16008 Shadybend Dr Hacienda Hts, CA 91745-2229, an address which was previously mentioned in the comments of this post.

Although their website lists a contact address of "info@thefundinginstitute.org" the underlying HTML tells a different story..
<u><a href="mailto:grantfundingusa@gmail.com" data-attached-link="{"type":"Email","url":"grantfundingusa@gmail.com","title":"grantfundingusa@gmail.com"}" class="wz-link"> info@thefundinginstitute.org</a></u>
"grantfundingusa" again connects to this post for the scammy "Institute of Project Management America" scheme. The other contact details listed on the site are a telephone number of 213-347-4899  and a fax number of 877-538-3831.

As a side note, that fax number also appears on a very similar looking but defunct site using the domain projectmanagementinternational.org  (just a forwarder to another crappy free web host at projectmanagementinternational.zohosites.com) which also lists a couple of other contact numbers of 323-813-8387 and 800-288-8387 the latter of which can be seen in this spam which is almost identical to "The Funding Institute" spam.

Another point of comparison is the similarity in design elements and wording between "The Funding Institute" and "Grant Funding USA", which uses a similar compass logo and almost exactly the same wording.

Overall, there are so many similarities between "The Funding Institute" and other schemes run by Jones and Patchrint. The complaints against these two (apart from a string of failed LA restaurants) are of courses that abruptly change locations from prestigious venues to much shabbier ones, of tutors who are recruited at the last minute and are often under-prepared (some of whom claim not to have been paid) leading to low-quality courses, and of course endless spam to promote the ever-changing names of these schemes which have an awful reputation.

I would not recommend doing business with this pair, and if you think you have been treated unfairly then I suggest you take legal advice or approach law enforcement, the BBB or regulatory authorities.


6 comments:

Jimmy said...

Thank you Dynamoo.

Interestingly my spams have the following headers.

Delivered-To: (redacted)
Received: from zeta.fundinginst6.info (159.8.226.141-static.reverse.softlayer.com [159.8.226.141])
by (redacted).org (Postfix) with ESMTP id CE58360220
for (redacted); Wed, 5 Aug 2015 08:56:25 +0000 (GMT)
Received: (qmail 19267 invoked from network); 5 Aug 2015 08:16:49 -0000
Received: from unknown (HELO fundinginst3.info) (baltimore@fundinginst6.info@173.55.54.221)
by zeta.fundinginst6.info with ESMTPA; 5 Aug 2015 08:16:49 -0000
Reply-To: info@thefundinginstitute.org
From: The Funding Institute
To: (redacted)
Subject: Grant Funding Essentials Course (September 23-25, 2015: University of Baltimore)
Date: 05 Aug 2015 00:45:36 -0700
Message-ID: <20150805004534.CFC03747CBEE65B6@fundinginst3.info>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/html;
charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Digging about yields spam cannons:
FUNDINGINST1.INFO Reg date 2015-02-19T07:22:10Z @ Wild West Domains, LLC
FUNDINGINST2.INFO Reg date 2015-02-19T07:22:10Z @ Wild West Domains, LLC
FUNDINGINST3.INFO Reg date 2015-04-20T20:31:00Z @ Wild West Domains, LLC
FUNDINGINST4.INFO Reg date 2015-02-19T07:22:11Z @ Wild West Domains, LLC
FUNDINGINST5.INFO Reg date 2015-02-19T07:22:11Z @ Wild West Domains, LLC

FUNDINGINST6.INFO Reg date 2015-04-09T16:18:40Z @ Name.com LLC
FUNDINGINST7.INFO Reg date 2015-04-13T17:59:22Z @ Name.com LLC
FUNDINGINST8.INFO Reg date 2015-04-17T02:59:52Z @ Name.com LLC
FUNDINGINST9.INFO Reg date 2015-04-22T15:47:06Z @ Name.com LLC
FUNDINGINST10.INFO Reg date 2015-04-22T15:47:06Z @ Name.com LLC

All abusing privacy protection at two registrars.

But it seems this is going to be an interesting ride. They crossed the wrong paths for sure:
http://forum.aa419.org/viewtopic.php?t=73702

The "Keep off" by these folks are reserved for special occasions.

In Google cache we find some interesting headers as well - SNAP!
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:uM0n6MrP8tsJ:blacklist.woody.ch/rblevidence.php%3Fid%3D22789899+&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk

Conrad Longmore said...

Thanks Jimmy,

I note the "173.55.54.221" originating IP again which is the same. I added "fundinginstitute.org" to the post as well as I hadn't spotted that.

These so-called grant workshops have been going on for years, but there are also accusations about a string of failed LA restaurants (such as this one. I don't understand how they have gotten away with it for so long.

Samaritan Counseling Center of ABQ said...

I taught a workshop for The Funding Institute in Albuquerque in late June 2015 (I am an experienced grant writer and instructor and the materials were AWFUL, so I used many of my own materials) and I have not yet been paid. Patty Jones, as she calls herself, will not answer my voicemails or emails. I will be getting an attorney involved.

Jack B. Downs said...

I also taught a class for them, on 12 hours notice, thinking I was doing a colleague company a favor in my capacity as a workforce development trainer. They contacted me at 8:30 pm on a Wednesday, desperate for someone to cover a class for them in Orlando, over an hour away, on Thursday and Friday. All of this in late May, 2015.

Needless to say, I have not been paid.

apac6 said...

I think I remember this piece of shit from high school. I believe she was a musician in the band or something. I'm glad to see she amounted to nothing but failed attempts at trying to rob people. Well, that's how garbage goes....

Carlos Varela said...

Same story over and over. Scam artists. Breaks my heart. I was hired in DC one or two days before I was set to teach in Univ of Phoenix.

Students were extremely upset. They had paid their money, and gotten nothing in return.

Obviously I have never been paid.

Breaks my heart that scammers like these target nonprofits. There was a student who was trying to get information on how to set up a nonprofit to create better water access in his hometown in Ethiopia.

Grant Institute and Patchree Patchrint, POS.