Read Tom Hamblen's broken promises for yourself-
While there are promises made and later broken on nearly every page that tells of Tom Hamblen's plans or HGC's future, pay particular attention to pages 25 & 34, which in hindsight reveal a lot about the plan that would have raised a bright red warning flag if we didn't trust Tom Hamblen as much as we did. Note on page 25 how cunningly Tom Hamblen is listed as a "Current Stock Holder" without reveling his dual status as an employee participant and the owner. The significance being with Tom Hamblen as an ESOP participant we could never become 100% owners of Hamblen Gage as promised, and his salary put him in a position to accumulate shares in leaps and bounds compared to any of us. In effect he was selling the bulk of the company to himself. This is the loophole the IRS closed and why Tom Hamblen chose to sell us out, and do it before December 31, 2004, rather than actually allow us to own any significant portion of the company. Also note that page 34 reveals another major intent of the ESOP; to pay-off Tom Hamblen's brothers with tax savings through the ESOP rather than out of his own pocket. The real "employee participants" would have to pay-off the notes to Tom Hamblen's brothers before we would ever see any significant ownership in the company. And with Tom Hamblen accumulating shares by the bucket compared to our thimbles, the "real employees" owning a significant share of the company was never going to happen. The HGC ESOP was a sham. Tom Hamblen created and used it to spare his pocketbook. The HGC ESOP was never intended to end as a "100% employee owned" company as promised. Had the IRS not closed the loophole exploited by Tom Hamblen the "real employees" of Hamblen Gage would still be toiling away chasing the brass ring Tom Hamblen held way out of our reach.
Read all the promises made to the employees in this ESOP booklet for yourself. Tom Hamblen abused his employees' loyalty and exploited our trust when he sold us this book of broken promises.
Don't let this happen to you. If you are promised something that sounds to good to be true, no matter how smooth it is being sold to you, you are probably the target of a scam, or a necessary pawn in someone else's scheme, as we were. In either case you will walk away with little or nothing, and no chance of ever grabbing the promised brass ring.
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