Readers familiar with this website might recall a story I wrote this past February regarding a suspicious story the local Detroit media covered about an alleged million-dollar payoff via a smart phone app.
Both Channel 7 and the Detroit News ran apparently unvetted stories about a local business called “Four Play Football,” which was started by metro area businessmen Jeff Johnson and C.J. Carchon.
The app the pair created included the come-on of a seven-figure payoff if a player could navigate through the football season winning the equivalent of structured four-team teasers throughout the regular season and playoffs, culminating with a winning Super Bowl pick.
I am not going to rehash all of the particulars of this implausible saga but you really should go back and read my February 7th article regarding the miraculous million-dollar victory by fellow Oakland County resident Dominic Mirabella.
Our bullshit meters at the DSR were going haywire when Mirabella supposedly pulled off his run of 81 straight correct selections. These were the odds of it occurring:
Factor in that the app creators were from Birmingham and the winner lived in Royal Oak and we were even more dubious that this was on the up-and-up. Especially since we were advised by anonymous sources that Johnson/Carchon knew Mirabella before this prize was won and the three were golf pals.
It was our speculation from day one that IF there was some funny business going on regarding Mirabella taking down the “Four Play App” prize, it involved the trio potentially collaborating to scam the investor(s) of the app.
It is important to note that we never made that accusation back in February nor are we doing that now. We are just trying to get to the bottom of this.
What led to that conjecture though was Johnson’s refusal to disclose the names of his investors to the Detroit News and this comment he made to the Detroit Free Press to promote the app back in September of 2016 …
The last quote regarding how easy it was to raise money for the app always seemed extremely suspicious to us at the DSR.
Anyway, when I wrote my original piece questioning all of this on February 7th, I was not aware of the following ….
A lawsuit had already been filed against Jeffrey Johnson in Oakland County Circuit Court by a woman named Regina Hoensheid alleging that Johnson had duped her in a “classic case of investment fraud involving over $6,000,000.”
I am including Hoensheid’s complaint and the motion for a restraining order/preliminary injunction against Johnson so you can read it for yourself:
I will quote some of the highlights from Hoensheid’s complaint in case you are too lazy to read the entire document:
“It has all the hallmarks of a scam.”
“Unbeknownst to Plaintiff, Johnson was an unregistered investment professional.”
“He (Johnson) had just been fired from Morgan Stanley weeks prior to getting his hands on the first $1,000,000 of Plaintiff’s money.”
“Even more disturbing is that no one else seems to be involved as she (Hoensheid) appears to be his primary mark shortly after she came into money last year.”
“Hoensheid started becoming suspicious of Johnson over the last few months when he failed to provide her with any paperwork and failed to provide her with any details on her money or her alleged investments.”
“…. Johnson went on childish rants about how Hoenshid was ruining his holiday season by demanding the return of her money and how this was going to hurt his own income stream.”
Basically, the lawsuit alleges that Johnson attempted to take advantage of his friendship with Hoensheid when she suddenly came into this large sum of money and he would not take no for an answer.
The question is this …. Were there really other investors in the Four Play App or was Hoensheid’s six million dollars what Johnson was discussing when he told the Freep, “I think it’s too easy to raise money for this”?
Is that why Johnson refused to tell the News about his investors?
Johnson’s professional status mentioned above is confirmed via the “Broker Check by FINRA” website.
At a later date, Hoensheid’s attorney, Linda Watson— of the prestigious law firm Clark Hill in Birmingham — added Four Play Sports, LLC to the complaint.
The lawsuit is ongoing. I am told that Johnson’s partner (Carchon) was to give a deposition in the case this week.
Furthermore, from what the DSR has learned, Watson has already deposed Mirabella. In fact, my original article from February was mentioned and used as an exhibit in Mirabella’s dep.
Which brings us to the following question …..
Why would the winner of this million dollar prize be deposed in a lawsuit regarding potential investment fraud unless the plaintiff’s attorney thought there were some shenanigans going on regarding the alleged victory?
Was the Four Play app an elaborate way for Johnson to siphon off some of Hoensheid’s six million dollars? Once again, I want to make it abundantly clear that we aren’t making that accusation. We are asking questions which, hopefully, this lawsuit will resolve.
Further complicating matters, we’ve been told by a source that Johnson and Carchon went to Mirabella and told him that if he didn’t accept a much lesser dollar prize, Four Play Sports, LLC would file bankruptcy and he would get nothing.
This source also believes that Mirabella did take pennies on the dollar and will never see the full million-dollar payout which was originally going to be made in installments over a ten-year period.
To make things even more bizarre, it doesn’t appear that Four Play is offering the million-dollar prize this year even though the app is still being advertised. It also doesn’t appear that Johnson and Carchon are mentioning Mirabella’s “miraculous” win while promoting the app on social media.
We are still working on this story and doing something neither the News, Channel 7 nor the “Drew and Mike Podcast” ever did ….
I attempted to contact Mirabella for comment regarding this story. At the time of publishing this article, Mirabella had not returned my phone call.
I also attempted to contact both Johnson and Carchon and posed many of the above questions. I have not received a response from either of them as of this writing.
We will continue to try to get to the bottom of this sordid affair and will provide an update when we learn further information.
(You can follow Moss on Twitter @JeffMossDSR. You can discuss this article on Facebook by clicking here. You can also go fuck yourself if you’d like. Totally up to you.)