Thursday, March 1, 2018

WHO REALLY OWNS SAN FRANCISCO-BASED BLUE MARBLE PRODUCTS, LLC? Defense Documents Filed In California's Northern District Assert Defendants Casey Donahue, Ian Donahue Are “Principal Or Owner” Of Suspended California LLC, Not Its CEO Peter Franklin


A court document filed by the defense on February 28, 2018, against plaintiff International Fruit Genetics erroneously contends San Francisco-based Blue Marble Products, LLC (which formerly operated the now-defunct site, orcharddepot.com) is headquartered in a mail drop at 1600 Shattuck Avenue, the heart of Berkeley's “Gourmet Ghetto”, and is headed by Casey and Ian Donahue.

Nope, not according to official California business formation records. As you can see below, Blue Marble was formed as a name change (from Infuse Solutions, LLC) on February 21, 2017.

According to official records, Peter Franklin is the CEO/Manager of Blue Marble. And Franklin was named as a defendant in another suit against Blue Marble Products: a suit filed in Texas alleging patiobloom.com conspired to import and sell counterfeit Chinese metal detectors in the United States.

So are the Donahue brothers taking the fall...or taking the credit?

As you can see below on a recent document, issued by the State of California's Franchise Tax Board, reveals Blue Marble Products, LLC is registered at 1 Hallidie Plaza, Suite 808—right near San Francisco's Powell Street BART station.
And Blue Marble shares that address with another Franklin business: software development company Infuse. 

My ongoing investigation of Blue Marble Products, LLC has revealed BMP has roughly 90 e-commerce sites, including several that are now shuttered. 

Although orcharddepot.com purported to be a “third party reseller”, all sites run by BMP scrape proprietary data (listing information, pictures, etc.) from Amazon, Amazon Handmade, Etsy and AliExpress. 

The items are then listed on BMP sites, frequently with grossly inflated prices. 

According to buyers who've purchased from BMP sites (like HobbyChimp and BedBathDeluxe), the items are either never delivered, or sent as a “gift” from the original Amazon seller via BMP, without an invoice revealing the true cost. 

Customer service via phone is nonexistent, and executed via Zendesk emails, using offshore reps. 

Although an earlier iteration of Blue Marble (Blue Marble Products) was formed on September 14, 2015 by Casey Donahue as an Alameda County d/b/a, Casey Donahue works for Peter Franklin at Infuse (he's fifth from the right in this staff picture), and every one of the 90+ e-commerce sites I've located (here's the link to the list!) states the following under Terms of Service: "We", "us", "our", the "Company" or "Blue Marble Products, LLC": Blue Marble Products, LLC.

Here's another rub: in early February 2018, the California Secretary of State suspended Blue Marble Products, LLC's corporation status. 

I can't tell you how that impacts the current legal actions, including this “orcharddepot.com” case, but I can tell you Blue Marble Products, LLC has no legal authority to operate those 90+ shady e-commerce sites!

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