Movement Magazine

CON GAME:

admin September 24, 2014
WHO IS CONNING WHO
As anyone who knows me or my 22 years publishing MOVEMENT and supporting the Jacksonville scene, you know how much I love this city and have tirelessly dedicated my time, finances, blood, sweat, tears, and sanity to the betterment of this city’s entertainment scene. For the most part, it is a great place for quality events with solid honest promoters who help make our scene a better place. but every now and then I encounter someone with the opposite goals and motivations. Someone who seemingly sets out to dupe the citizen of our bold southern city to fork over their money, hopes, and wishful thinking for the promise of a good time without any intention of giving anything in return. I have the displeasure of saying that it seems I may have encountered just such a person who may be trying to take advantage of enthusiastic Doctor Who fans in Jacksonville.
Read through and you be the judge.
I love going to cons. I’ve been an attendee of some of the biggest cons in the Southeast for over a decade and have had booths at many of them to promote MOVEMENT. They are a vital and integral part of the nerd scene that every city should have the pleasure of experiencing both big and small. To that, myself and MOVEMENT as a whole have been avid supporters of all local Jacksonville cons like Wasabi Con, Ancient City Con, Amelia Con, Jax Comic Con, Retr-O-Rama to name just a few.
Needless to say I was particularly excited when I saw a Facebook post for a Doctor Who Event planed to happen here in Jacksonville. I immediately posted it on our MOVEMENT Facebook page to encourage people to go to their site/page and support the event.
Not long after I made this post, I was alerted by a comrade of MOVEMENT to a post warning that this event was not legit and linked to this article on Bleeding Cool — http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/01/04/the-doctor-who-event-that-may-be-a-lot-smaller-on-the-inside/ — which called into question the validity of the Doctor Who Event and its organizer Thomas Perryman who was allegedly selling a complete collection of bootlegged episodes of the Doctor Who series on a USB hard drive via Amazon.
Dude’s a pirate, bootlegger, and a scammer. If you dig Doctor Who, and want to attend conventions for it please look into official events, or endorsed events. This dude just takes cash, and claims the events get moved/times reset over and over.” posted my comrade as a warning to his friends list on September 4th.
 
Another poster responded to this adding “The mods of /r/jacksonville had to deal with this dude a number of months ago (January – I think). He got banned for spamming, after cursing the mods out for saying so (that was simply the last straw). This is *not* an authentic event, and it became very apparent it wasn’t in dealing with this guy.”

At the time of the Bleeding Cool article (January 4, 2014) this Doctor Who Event was advertised as being at University of North Florida and was to feature Doctor Who actor Colin Baker. But then reports started coming into us that organizer Thomas Perryman allegedly never had any event space even booked at UNF for this event to happen and we found this quote posted to the UNF Student Union page “A scam artist named Thomas Perryman is claiming to be organizing an event at UNF in the Student Union. He is selling all pirated material and trying to rip off people in the process.”

Now deeply concerned over the validity of this event, I deleted the post about it from the MOVEMENT page and set out to do some research.
First step. Since it seemed he had never even contacted UNF to book a space before advertising it, I called the Ramada hotel which he is advertising the con being located at now (in a lengthy and detailed description) on his web site:
A screen grab of his site on 9/24/14. The venue was canceled on 9/2/14. Later this same day the special note was edited off, but all the info for the hotel and ticket sales links remain.
Hoping to confirm if he actually has the space booked and put my suspicions and fears to rest I was connected to the booking office for the hotel’s convention center on September 4th 2014 and  they told me that yes, Thomas Perryman did have the space booked for Doctor Who event, but had just canceled the convention at the Ramada two days before on Tuesday September 2nd, 2014.
OK. It’s a month out from a con. He allegedly has a number of guests booked. Maybe he just found a better place to hold it. Maybe there was an issue with the hotel. So I check the site and his Facebook event page. Nothing is changed. OK. Well, let’s give Perryman the chance to run down what’s up before I post anything. Could all just be a misunderstanding, right?
So I post on the Doctor Who Event Facebook page — https://www.facebook.com/doctorwhoevent/ — to try and get an update on what was going on with the convention due to the venue cancelation. This post is immediately deleted with no reply. OK, so maybe he just doesn’t want to have it out there publicly yet. I get that. So I send a message through the Facebook page:
To this I also received no reply.
Later that same day (September 4th) there is a new post to the Facebook page and info added to the web site: “September 15th we have some great updated news about the Jacksonville, Florida show…..stay tuned WHOvians!”
OK, so, maybe it is just as simple as venue change. Maybe he needs time to sort out the new space. I can see that. So I’ll wait for this “great updated news” about the show before I jump to any conclusions. 
Just to satisfy my own due diligence as a reporter, I also go ahead and contact a number of the advertised guests to see if maybe Perryman has contacted them and give them the heads up on the cancellation and what the future of the con may be. No one had heard a word about any change. In fact, most of the guests had only been approached by Perryman at other conventions and asked to attend his and aside from that short interaction, an email or two, and sending him their head shot to use on his web site, most have had little to no contact with him or signed any contracts to attend this event.
Shockingly, one of his advertised guests actually told me “The host is under suspicion of fraud. He was taking profit by illegal use of sponsorship.” This being true or not, to hear it from a guest of the event did not give me hope.
Another of the guests Perryman advertised was artist Vanessa “Banky” Farano who I had just recently had the pleasure of hosting at a series of my own events here in Jacksonville. At the time she had not heard anything about the cancellation or change either. I was the first to mention it to her. So she messaged Perryman to try and find out some info. This is a screen grab she sent me from September 4th with his reply:
We called the hotel back on 9/23 to ask if there was any sort of falling out. The hotel denied this was the case and again said he had just simply called and cancelled for what they presumed was low pre-sales. But at the time we got this screen grab, OK, we get that it COULD be an issue with the venue. Promoters do have issues with venues. That happens all the time. But with most promoters they would immediately let their guests and patrons know what’s up and that news would be coming soon to update everyone. Right?
Not in this case.
The 15th rolls around and we check the Facebook page. The same post is still there only the date has been edited to the 19th. OK, we’ll wait a little longer. The 19th comes around. No news, just a third date change to the 22nd. Something is odd here. The weekend of the con is quickly approaching and this “great updated news” about the show seems to just keep getting pushed back further and further. 
September 22nd comes and goes. No date change this time. Nothing. No update. No announcement. No news. Not until one attendee finally asks “What’s the news?”
Finally the silence is broken and the “great updated news” is revealed with the post by the page: “LOL, a little delayed but it is in reference to a Doctor Who Shop Zone Page at the website and we will have Dr. Who Stamps, many collectibles, and rare items. The page was supposed to be up…..sorry! Here is just one item …”
 
Soooo … the great news about the show is that there is a ‘Shop Zone’ that was supposed to be on the web site, but isn’t up yet? Seriously. What the actual fuck. At this point this is either one of two things, a stall tactic or gross negligence as a promoter. Either way, I felt it now deserved a post to the page. The first mind you since my last post nearly three weeks prior was deleted and my only message to the page was ignored. Here is the post as it appeared on the page:
My comment went once more unanswered and was deleted. This time though, he made a post to comment about my post:
Really? How am I competition? This all started out because I actually posted about the event to the MOVEMENT page to try and advertise it and SUPPORT it. Would a competitor do that? I support all other local cons and cooperatively work with them through the magazine or my club nights to make both of our events better. Aside from doing a free-to-enter weekly Doctor Who watch party on Saturdays at Midtown, which is a three hour event and no competition at all for a full weekend long convention, I can’t figure in what possible way this guy would see me as a competitor. In the same respect, I also can’t figure out how asking for accurate updated information is “trying to start drama and rumors.”? It’s not a rumor the venue has been canceled. Its not rumor no one has gotten clear updated information. Its not starting drama to ask for facts.
Instead of replying to my post, even to just say anything like “working to find a new venue” or something to update all the good people who have given this guy money, he deleted it, banned me from posting to the page, and calls me a hater:
Hater? He may be right in the fact that I hate sleazy frauds who try and steal money from unsuspecting fandoms. But just asking for valid information doesn’t make anyone a hater. Personal interests? He is right. I am personally interested in not letting anyone take advantage of or robbing hard earned money from this city’s nerds.
He then deleted the entire post from the page in another attempt to hide the truth about what’s going on.
All this points to one thing, this guy is up to no good. But the most shocking of all of this was still yet to come. Later that day (9/23) I got a message from artist Vanessa “Banky” Farano with a screen grab of a message she got from Perryman to her:
Perryman vindictively passes on an advertised guest because I ask for valid info in a post on Facebook? What kind of fuckery is this? And claiming it is due to me stating that I was her friend and manager? Perryman is allegedly a writer and that I can now somewhat believe after reading this steaming pile of utter fiction.

I’ve never had anything but a one way conversation with Perryman through his Facebook page — all of which has been included above it its entirety in this post — so clearly I never even had the chance to tell him such nonsense.

And though I do know her from her appearances at my events and we are Facebook ‘friends’,
for the record, I am not now nor have I ever been Banky’s manager or have I ever made any claim even remotely similar. Period. Perryman ‘Mite’ want to check his facts before he starts spewing lies about anyone else and I challenge him to show anywhere/anytime that I ever said this.

So after all of this, I now know for sure this guy is a liar, he makes up lies to excuse away his commitments, anyone that questions him is an ‘idiot’, and he deeply fears the facts coming out about his doomed convention.

After his little name calling and blatant lies about me, I am solemnly committed to make sure all of my con-comrades read this post and keep an eye out for this guy and avoid working with him or letting him toll their cons to take advantage of their guests and patrons for further scams.

To that, it’s not my money at risk on tickets for an event that will never happen. I can already guess the outcome here. So for every one’s sake, I hope they don’t fall for this potential scam. The small nearly hidden disclaimer on his site tells me no one will ever see their money back if they’ve been foolish enough to give him any: All purchases made through this website and seller AWA Florida-Dr Who are final and there are no refunds. This applies to collectibles and events.”

For everyone reading this that doesn’t know me, let me say this, don’t believe a word I say. Find out for yourself. I encourage anyone who is unsure of what to make of all this and would like to believe this is still happening, by all means, call the Ramada for yourself and find out. Their number is (904) 737-1700. Ask for the booking agent for the their convention center. They’ll tell you the truth he won’t. Then ask him what’s up on his Facebook event page. You may find yourself banned as a hater as well.

We fear Perryman is just talking people’s money and believe he is now stalling to announce the cancellation to rake in as much money as possible and will not be putting on a show for it or returning any of the money. UNF was a scam. So it seems is this. And he’s not doing or saying anything to make me or anyone else think otherwise. And if I’m right, this will certainly do harm our local con scene if he gets away with it.

Help your scene, help yourself, spread the word about this and PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU’RE NOT GIVING MONEY TO A SCAM!

______________________
UPDATE 9/24/14

After this post being shared around Facebook for just under an hour a new post appeared on the Doctor Who event page:

Only a scammer would want to silence anyone asking for vital pertinent info to an event. So again, ask yourself why delay giving attendees vital info that will effect their travel plans and finances? Why not let people know not to book a room at that hotel? Why edit the web page multiple times but NOT take down the hotel info?

And to reiterate my standing on this. I’ve never been against this con. I did not oppose it. I tried at first to support it. If I thought for one second this guy was really a fan and doing this for the fans instead of trying to just shamelessly profit from it, I would open up all my resources to him to help find a venue and make this event happen. But when he never replies, deletes posts, and make completely false accusations and statements about the situation, I’m left with little choice but to start sounding the alarm. It’s what any true WHOvian would do.

Geronimo!

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UPDATE 9/25/14

We contacted the charity he had listed from the Jacksonville event page on his site, ‘Angel Snugs’ and asked if they knew anything about the cancellation or relocation of the con and this is what they replied – “We were aware of this event but he notified me weeks ago that he was cancelling it, and to stop promoting it.” So he notified the charity WEEKS ago to STOP promoting it, yet still to this date  he has not taken down the ticket links, hotel info, or made any similar announcement to his guest or ticket buyers about any such cancellation. 

**After this update Perryman deleted this from his page.
 
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UPDATE 9/28/14

Another guest of this convention, John Ross Vandagriff, the Doctor Who cosplayer advertised all over their site announces today that he will also not be attending posting this to his Facebook page: “This event for next weekend in Jax has been cancelled for unknown reasons, but the article here and another one I’ll post in comments below will explain why I won’t be attending anything further associated with the person in charge.”

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UPDATE 9/29/14

Just days away from this alleged con some ticket buyers are asking Amazon for refunds for tickets they bought through his site. Two WHOvians have contacted us today to let us know their refunds were approved one along with a note on the refund email received that read “Event NOT canceled refund given to unhappy buyer.” Though the other buyer told us Perryman contacted him through the event fan page and in regard to the refund made mention of “very low ticket sales.” but no mention of a new venue. At the time of this post, he has not changed anything on the web page. Ticket links are still up. Ramada info is still up. Guests who have publicly cancelled are still listed.

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UPDATE 9/30/14

Tonight I’ve spoken with another WHOvian duped by this con-artist. What she thought would be a “Fun family weekend” has turned into a nightmare for her and her family including her special needs daughter who was looking forward to meeting a Doctor. They bought four weekend passes to the Doctor Who Event for the family to go, a total of $200.00 invested in tickets back in March of this year when Collin Baker was allegedly scheduled to appear. In message exchanges between the mother and Perryman, being told of her daughter’s special needs, he allegedly offered a meet-and-greet and green room access to the girl to meet her first Doctor in person. This of course had the family even more excited about this event. However, after the ‘cancellation’ of Baker and as this event has drawn ever closer it has become clearer and clearer to the family that Perryman isn’t being up front with them. They contacted him for a refund to which he has avoided doing, suggesting the family try and resell the tickets, which they have been unable to do. More recently, after some direct questioning about the con to Perryman, he has unfriended the mother and sent her some rather nasty messages (she read one to us and we are waiting for these to be forwarded to us so we can post word for word). Though the mother says the weekend won’t be a total loss because her special needs daughter has made it through to a participate in a Special Olympics event that same weekend, she did say “The worst part was having to tell my husband I lost $200.00 and my daughter than she wasn’t going to meet the Doctor.” The family will be contacting Amazon to try and get a refund. We hope the best for them and will update the progress on this as we hear from them. Please continue to help spread the word about this scam and don’t let any other innocent fans fall victim to this fraud.

 

UPDATE 2 – 9/30/14
 
In one of the more blatant and shocking examples of Perryman‘s seemingly endless string of frauds, I received a call today from Brian Coghill who represents the replica Tardis’ that are advertised on the Doctor Who Event site for rental. Perryman has dedicated an entire page of his web site for a “Rent A Tardis” service with info and links about their appearances, photos of them at conventions that he allegedly arranged, and another Amazon payment link at the bottom to collect a $250.00 deposit so you could have one of these Tardis at your event, convention, wedding or other affair. See the screen grab below of this page on his web site:

The only problem with this service? The entire thing is a total fraud. Perryman has no connection to this group. He has no permissions to be a third party reseller of this company’s service and certainly does not have any permission or authority to collect any amount of money from anyone to book one.
Coghill (pictured on the left in the background looking away in the photo of the Tardis’ at the Connecticut ComiCONN on Perryman’s site and used to try and claim of some sort of completed job) directed me to the Hangar 18 Props Facebook page where on August 5th, 2014 they posted a clear declaration distancing themselves from Perryman, his events, and any events he is associated with, and laying out in detail that he has no affiliation with them or the rights to rent any of their products:

Allegedly Perryman originally did try and rent these from Hangar 18 Props to set up at the Connecticut ComiCONN but Coghill and his group upon being alerted to Perryman’s questionable practices and upon request to not work with him from the BBC (who sanctions their appearances) they quickly cut all ties. In kind the convention ended up cutting out Perryman as the middle man and worked directly with Coghill to keep the Tardis display at the convention as advertised.

At the time of this update, nearly two months after Hangar 18 Props posted that Perryman was not affiliated and should not be advertising the rental of their products or collecting ‘deposit’ money, he still continues to keep the ‘Rent A Tardis’ page up and running with active links to Amazon to give him money for something he has no right to collect on.

If anyone had any doubts of Perryman’s intentions this makes it undoubtedly clear what he’s up to. Buyer beware.

We’d also like to note that the self-imposed date of 9/27/14 that Perryman set for “Any & All Show information” to be released to silence all who oppose his con (see update 9/24) has come and gone with no new info. Silence has fallen.

______________________
UPDATE 10/01/14


I spoke yesterday with Matthew Jacobs (pictured above as he appears on the Doctor Who Event web site today) over the phone last night regarding his advertised appearance at this con. I asked him to message me in his own words what happened on his end to pass along to our readers. Below is the email I just received: 

Dear Max,

Good to talk yesterday. Thank you so much for alerting me to the fact that Thomas Perryman has been using the promise of my appearance to sell tickets to his convention after he told me I would not be needed and the convention would be postponed.
I was approached about a year ago and offered to appear for a fee, flight etc. At that point it was quite a big affair, with Colin Baker. When I checked in again a couple of months ago it had shrunk to a Ramada Inn and I was headlining, it was still going, then a couple of weeks ago he emailed me to cancel my appearance due to lack of ticket sales. He said he was still going ahead but it would either be postponed or a much smaller affair.
I feel awful about fans who bought tickets and can’t get their money back.
I hope Perryman does the right thing in the end.
Yours

Matthew Jacobs

My question is, why can Perryman give this information WEEKS ago to some guests, but not others, or more importantly why can’t he say this to his ticket buyers NOW? Why does he STILL have the links to ticket sales up? Why does he STILL have the Ramada hotel info listed? Couldn’t this all have been avoided if he had just been upfront and instead of deleting posts and blocking people and just told everyone what was going on? As one commenter said; “With all the damn effort he takes to keep the lie alive he could have just done the damn con!” So true. Thanks to Matthew for talking with me and contributing his side of things.

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UPDATE 10/2

FINALLY!

Late last night, nearly one month to the day since Perryman canceled the Ramada as a venue for his con, he FINALLY posted the first new info about it. Unfortunately it is nothing most of didn’t already expect and comes across as one more of his now standard and vague delay tactics to milk more money from innocent con goers, much like the commenter who “just bought tickets today!”. 

Now the con is ‘rescheduled’. There is a new venue, but he fails to mention where it is. Ticket links are still up on the web site (along with photos and info of nearly every guest who have already canceled or been canceled) and you are encouraged to buy tickets without any idea where this will be or who will be featured

What con have you ever heard of doing this?  

And let’s not forget all you lucky ticket holders who already bought tickets and will have nothing to do this weekend. You’re tickets will still be honored! Woo! Only now they are not for the event you paid for, but for a new date with no known location info and no idea who the guests could be. And while he continues to collect the hard earned money of wishful fans, everyone gets to wait at least another month until November to even hope to find out any info because HE is stepping back into the shadows hoping all these ‘false accusations’ will just be forgotten.

Don’t bet on it. 

WHOvians watch out for one another. And watch out for those who would take advantage of this fandom. You’re on notice Perryman. You are being watched. Do the right thing and take down your ticket links and refund anyone who asks for it. Take down all the incorrect information on your site (including your fraudulent Rent A Tardis scam) and stop trying to take advantage of people. Then you‘re more than welcome to step away where ever you’d like. Preferably as far away from Jacksonville as possible.

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UPDATE 10/5

As the weekend this con was supposed to happen draws to a close we can only sadly report that the worst that could have happened, did happen. Thomas Perryman did finally post info about the con being rescheduled, then he shamefully deleted that post so the last visible post on the now deactivated fan page would be a post about the upcoming con with no notice of venue or date change. With most people looking at Facebook for info these days over official web sites, far too many people actually did buy tickets to this event and some even traveled from out of town and booked hotel rooms at the Ramada for this con that was never going to happen.   

Note the bottom comment on this thread:

How unthinkably callus of Perryman to steal people money for tickets to a con he knows will not happen, but add insult to injury to not at the very least inform these buyers of his proposed rescheduling so they do not waste even more of their hard earned money on travel and lodging. Simply shameful.

Added to his ongoing string of fraud, we have also confirmed that Perryman took payment as a deposit for the Rent A Tardis service he has a page up for on his site. The booking was for this weekend at a family event at a Library in Kissimmee, Florida. 

Take special note of this. He took a deposit to book the Tardis THIS WEEKEND in a city other than Jacksonville. The SAME Tardis he was advertising being at HIS con. Further proof this guy is nothing more than a fraud who never had any intention of delivering on ANY agreement or booking he‘s made.

Hanger 18, the group who actually owns the Tardis that Perryman is fraudulently booking and taking money for, only found out about their Tardis being booked when they were tracked down and contacted by the Library, who Perryman stopped returning calls from three weeks ago. To their credit, the guys of Hangar 18 packed up their Tardis and drove it down to Kissimmee and set it up for the Library’s event so they would not be without one as they’d advertised (pictured below)

Brian Coghill of Hanger 18 Props posted this on his Facebook page after the event …

“Once we got there and realized it was almost all small children and moms, we were really pissed, that he could do that to children. They showed me a check with my name on it, and I told them to destroy it. We’re not wealthy, but I can’t take that.”

In a further move to pad his fraud, Perryman updated his Rent A Tardis page with this message:

“We do have a new and proper TARDIS provider (Post August) that is very honorable and will show up for Events and their commitments. TARDIS provider is Woodcrafts By Lexton and NOT Hanger 18 Props as Hanger 18 Props does not uphold commitments made. Brian Coghill & Hanger 18 Props should be avoided at all times. Not affiliated with the BBC nor interested.”

Clearly, Hanger 18’s actions speak volumes louder than Perryman’s desperate blustering. His blatant libel and defamation of character of these good people who not only uphold their commitments but have now also held up HIS commitments will not go unanswered. Hanger 18 plans on taking legal action against him and I for one wish them the best.

Additionally, we did a quick Google search for “Woodcrafts By Lexton” to look into this ‘honorable new and proper provider’ and the only mention or logo for them anywhere on the web seems to be exclusively on Perryman’s WhoEvent.com web site. Another fake? Time will tell.

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UPDATE 10/6

After our post last night about the suspect “Woodcrafts By Lexton”company listed on Perryman’s site as the new providers of the Tardis for his upcoming conventions and Rent A Tardis page:

We were sent a link to this web site that has been around since 2010 with the exact same logo design, just a different name:

Are these the new Tardis providers legit? Do they even exist, or is this another fraud perpetrated by Perryman with a stolen and altered logo from another company? We’re looking into it.

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UPDATE 10/7


Today I spoke to Bernard Holly, the ‘headlining guest’ listed on Perryman’s web site for the alleged Doctor Who Event in Roanoke, VA (and second down on the Hartford, CT date), and below is what he told me:
 
—————————————————

I did have an email conversation with Perryman regarding the two conventions that you mention. I made no commitment to either. 
At first I told him I was busy during the Oct event and couldn’t attend and then that it was too far ahead to commit myself to May next year.  I subsequently learned that I couldn’t attend the May event either.  
I informed Perryman of these facts a few weeks back and have heard nothing from him since.
I did receive mail from a fan who was questioning whether the event was legitimate – I let her know that I really didn’t know, and that I would not be attending either event or any others in the foreseeable future.
So really I have no idea of it’s legitimacy but I will proceed with caution of anything happens like this in the future.

Cheers

Bernard Holley.

—————————————————

Once more Perryman is advertising guests on his web site that he has been informed weeks ago that they would not be attending.

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UPDATE 10/12

I‘ve just heard back from the headlining guest of Perryman’s con, Jon Davey, who has told me … 

I canceled a while ago, but did ask for my details to be removed from web site which not sure if they were.”

His images have been removed from the other dates on his site, but as of today, Davey’s image still remains on the ‘rescheduled’ Jax convention page. 

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UPDATE 11/3

Some people are still keeping tabs on Perryman and his antics and to no one’s surprise, he’s still up to his old tricks. We were directed to the home page of his event site featuring some WHO related art by Charles P. Daly (A.K.A Cpd-91)

The problem with this? Much like every other photo and bits of info on his site, he had niether the right or permission to use it on his page. Oddly enough, he linked right to the artist he lifted the images from:

 

Where on the artists page he has a posted warning that his art was being used without permission and links back to this blog and the now infamous Bleeding Cool article that first outed Perryman as a scam artist.

 Is there no end to Perryman’s brazen theft? 

by Max Michaels
for MOVEMENTmagazine.com

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