$515K Digital Altitude clawback filed against Paradise Media Ventures
Just before the FTC moved to shut it down, Digital Altitude transferred over half a million dollars to Paradise Media Ventures.
There doesn’t appear to have been any legitimate reason for the transfer, and so now the Receiver is demanding the funds back.
Paradise Media Ventures is run by John Souza (right). The company provided Digital Altitude with “certain educational materials” from around August 2016.
By November 2016 the business relationship had turned sour, with Paradise Media Ventures claiming Digital Altitude was in breach of contract.
A $600,000 settlement in favor of Paradise Media Ventures was reached.
On January 5th, 2018, Digital Altitude was supposed to pay the remaining $300,000 settlement balance. Instead they erroneously sent Paradise Media Ventures $600,000.
Upon realizing this error, Mary Dee contacted DA’s bank to reverse the erroneous $600,000 payment, but the bank advised that it could take up to a week for that reversal to be effectuated.
Having initiated a reversal request through DA’s bank, in order to assure that PMV received the payment it was entitled to and could not claim a default, it became necessary for DA to send another payment of amounts due.
This saw Digital Altitude transfer another $105,000 to Paradise Media Ventures on or around January 12th.
After making the January 12, 2018 payments, DA learned from its bank that the reversal of the erroneous January 5, 2017 $600,000 overpayment to PMV was rejected by PMV’s bank.
Naturally Digital Altitude approached Paradise Media Ventures and Souza for a manual transfer back… but instead of returning the overpayment Souza ghosted them.
DA made several demands to PMV to return the funds that were overpaid, which all drew no response.
PMV’s principal, John Souza, simply went dark on DA and soon thereafter this action and receivership resulted in a change of control over DA.
Attempts by the Receivership to recover the $515,000 overpayment from Paradise Media Ventures were initially met with silence.
Eventually Souza entered into negotiation discussions with the Receiver, however to date “those discussions have not been fruitful” (read: Souza is refusing to hand over the money).
On March 15th the Digital Altitude Receiver filed a clawback motion against Paradise Media Ventures.
The motion requests an order requiring Paradise Media Ventures turn over the $515,000 it was overpaid.
PMV has no legitimate entitlement to the Overpaid Funds, but nevertheless it refuses to remit them to Receiver as repeatedly demanded.
The motion is supported by a declaration by Mary Dee.
These days Souza is pitching Social Media Magic University (SMMU).
Souza claims SMMU has 75,000 students and is “the most trusted social media firm”.
I can’t see Souza putting up much of a defense here, so it’s pretty likely he’s going to get steamrolled in court and have to return the funds.
Update 23rd March 2019 – There’s a March 18th order that “continues the motion” from May 13th to June 3rd.
The order doesn’t mention a motion so I’m not sure what exactly is being continued.
In any event, looks like the Receiver’s motion against Paradise Media Ventures won’t be resolved until June 3rd at the earliest.