About a week ago we covered a co-founder conflict leading to Chris Record selling his stake in Tecademics.

Tecademics itself is no more and has been amalgamated into IQup.

One loose end that neither Tecademics co-founders Chris Record and Jim Piccolo or IQup seem keen to tie up however, is a missing $20,000 prize awarded to one of their affiliates.

Colton Fitzgerald is a former Tecademics affiliate. At a “Tec Talks 2017” event, Chris Record named him as winner of “$20,000 cash”.

This was announced on-stage in front of an audience of Tecademics affiliates.

Fitzgerald won the $20,000 prize as part of Tecademic’s “90 day challenge”.

In Fitzgerald’s own words;

The way that the Challenge worked was Tecademics was selling curriculum on how to do what’s called “dropshipping”.

The way it worked was you would sign up for a Shopify account, find products from China that you wanted to sell, add them to your Shopify store, and then advertise them on Facebook.

Tecademics taught you how to do this.

The 90-Day Challenge was a marketing stunt in order for them to sell this curriculum.

If you signed up for their free Facebook group, you would receive a daily free training on how to make these online sales.

A large part of their marketing was about having a chance to win some really cool prizes if you hit certain sales goals.

Based on these sales goals, Fitzgerald generated $1000 in Shopify sales or Tecadmics commissions.

That earned him “the chance” to win $20,000, which was decided by raffle at the TecTalks 2017 event.

Chris Record did the raffle live at the TecTalks 2017 event and ended up calling me on stage to receive the $20,000.

I was so pumped, he handed me the microphone and I gave a quick speech and everything.

That was a huge moment for me. I actually thought it was going to skyrocket my business because now I had the kind of funding that I needed to get real results.

For the remainder of the event and days after, nobody from Tecademics approached Fitzgerald about collecting his prize.

Eventually Fitzgerald called Tecadmics for an explanation, only to be seemingly stonewalled.

Emails to Jim Piccolo went unanswered, as did attempts to contact then Tecademics President, Phillip Lechter.

Jim Piccolo was terrible with responding to what I had to say and Phillip Lechter would just let the phone ring when I tried to call him.

After a period of time, I started calling Phillip Lechter twice a day just to try and get him to answer, and he would just let it ring until voicemail.

When I did eventually get on the phone with Phillip Lecher, he told me that the money was in “escrow”.

Now, I know what Escrow is and I knew the money was never in escrow.

He lied to me so that I would go away and not bother him any longer.

After a few more phone meetings with Phil, I informed him that I would be contacting an attorney about this.

He seriously told me: “Getting an attorney won’t get you paid any faster. He can send a demand letter, but it won’t do anything.”

Upon contacting Chris Record about the missing prize, Record told Fitzgerald he’d “sold out” and had “no control” over whether they paid him.

Since going public with his story, Tecademics/IQup claim Fitzgerald has cost the company “$40,000 in damages”.

What this figure is based on is unclear.

For his part Fitzgerald maintains Tecademics had no intention of ever honoring the awarded prize.

The only thing I can do now is tell my story.

I hope people understand that when companies do giveaways like this, they aren’t always with the best intentions.

IQup meanwhile appear to have deferred responsibility to Chris Record.

As per a FAQ on the Tecademics website, the company advises the “90-day Challenge Facebook group” is closed to new members.

The 90-day Challenge Facebook group is currently being managed by Chris Record directly.

We have no information if that group is going to be opened for new participants in the future.

Sounds to me like the challenge is pointless if advertised prizes aren’t being awarded. Why would you even bother?