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Friends First Name on Meetup Has Been Pirated by Helene Weiner

From: Fena
Sent on: Monday, August 6, 2012 4:56 PM

Hi Friends,

As you all know, Helene Weiner joined me almost 4 months ago to grow Friends First.  Friends First was born on March 29, 2007. 

It was my intention to bring her groups into the fold of Friends First, therefore I branded her Northshore group, created  the ladies group for the north shore and her branded her Jewish group under the Friends First Banners.  All seemed well. 

Working with Helene was difficult at best.  As time went on, it became more so.  Finally, just a week and a half ago, I decided to end our relationship. 

During the time that we were working together, Helene used her credit card to obtain the domain name FriendsFirstGroups for our usage.  Everyone knows that Friends First was my creation, even the Meetup site reflects that it was created March 29, 2007 long before Helene Weiner was even a member of Meetup.  

Helene Weiner http://photos4.meetupstatic.com/photos/member/b/f/5/9/member_5568985.jpeg http://www.meetup.com/FUNSinglesNorthshore/members/4890919/ Organizer FUN Singles Northshore 40 & Up. http://www.meetup.com/FUNSinglesNorthshore/ http://photos1.meetupstatic.com/photos/event/2/f/5/0/global_145272112.jpeg [masked] Wheeling, IL 60090 Location:

Northbrook, ILUSA 60062
Hometown: Northbrook

Organizer since:

January 29, 2008

By using her credit card and setting up the account with her name, working on the behalf of the two of us working together, she feels that she purchased the domain name and that it belongs to her and that Friends First on Meetup.com belongs to her.  Indeed the domain name does belong to her.  The Friends First name does not belong to her though. 

During our time together, Helene paid money for other things to further the business as well as helping me financially ($965.00) personally while I worked  towards Friends First being built into a larger entity on behalf of both of us.    She also paid $500 towards incorporation of an LLC that would have her name on it. 

So just being up front here, Helene did some nice things for me and for us.  Yet, working with her was not working out.  There were problems that I won't go into here.  I am not into slinging mud.  Just our styles did not work together.

I have offered to pay her back. In the meantime, I took all the Friends First logos and content off of her original sites and gave them back to her.  I am in the process of removing her name from the LLC because her interest was never funded.  I acted in good faith by giving her sites back.

Helene has chosen to now use the domain name and re-brand all her sites as Friends First, thus pirating the name and attempting to pass herself off as Friends First.  She has re-branded her Ladies group as Friends First Ladies Group North Shore with a brand and a logo that I had created prior to her joining our group. 

As I said, Helene is no longer a member of Friends First, nor is she a  business associate of Friends First and has no claim to the name Friends First on Meetup.com.  She does own the domain name because she purchased that name through GoDaddy.com with her credit card. 

Unfortunately, sometimes relationships don't work out.  That is life.  Pirating and plagerizing another Meetups site is unethical to say the least.  I will let each of you make your own judgments on that one. 

So, with sadness, I wish that I did not have to involve all of you in the drama of our failed relationship but after consulting with my other associates, we decided that we must let you, the members know of the fraud. 

Again, she does own the domain name.  She does not own the name Friends First on Meetup.com.  Hopefully Meetup will agree with me and make her remove Friends First from her groups. I will also be sending this letter to Meetup.com. 

Fena D'Ottavio

[address removed]

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