Bamboozled: “He kept all my money”

BB brandingLizzette Britt didn’t know an ex-con with a storied history was the man behind Save My Future, a company that promised to manage her bills for a fee.

“I learned about the business through word of mouth and then I looked up the website and felt it was legitimate,” said Britt, 43, of Jersey City.

bamboozled august 11 01Britt, and her sister, Shawnette Britt, visited the Atlantic Street office on June 6, they said.

The pair said a rep explained how the program worked, and then they were greeted by Germaine Theodore.

“Mr. Theodore himself came over and started explaining more about the program,” Shawnette Britt said. “I was so excited to get this kind of help.”
All they’d have to do would be to sign up with the company, paying a $35 per month membership fee. They’d give Save My Future a list of bills, and once they gave money — 65 percent of what was owed for the bills — the company would make the payments, adding the other 35 percent.

The bills would be paid 15 days after a customer paid their 65 percent, they said they were told.

The sisters signed on.

At first, Lizzette Britt said, everything appeared to be on the up and up.

bamboozled august 11 02Save My Future paid her June car payment, a Verizon bill and a rent bill, totaling $2,397.

But after that, none of her other bills were paid, she said, even though she gave the company $5,263 more.

She realized something was wrong on July 14, when she found some bills were overdue.

She went to the company for an explanation.

“I was told that someone hacked into his account and the money was frozen and he needed to open another account,” Lizzette Britt said. “But I had already given him my money.”

Shawnette Britt learned her bills weren’t being paid when her landlord asked about her unpaid rent.
It wasn’t only her rent. She said other loans, her car payment, her electric, gas, Verizon and cell phone bills were not paid.

“Long story short, Mr. Theodore never paid my rent or none of my bills since June,” she said. “I paid in advance all my bills so I could have the months of August and September to take my boys on vacation and do school shopping. Well, he kept all my money, didn’t pay any bills and screwed me over big time.”

The Britt sisters are among more than 40 complaints that have come into Jersey City so far.

This isn’t the first time Theodore has been accused of not playing fair with other people’s money.

Theodore is out on bail on a theft by deception charge for his alleged participation in a similar company — TCG Movement in Maplewood — last fall. But authorities indicate he may not be free for much longer.

“We are seeking to have his bail in Essex County revoked,” said a spokesman from the Attorney General’s office. “A condition of bail is that a defendant must remain law abiding, and so we are seeking to have his bail revoked based on these new allegations in Jersey City.”

The new allegations mirror those that led to the theft by deception charge in Maplewood in September 2013.

Back then, Bamboozled brought you the story of Theodore and TGC Movement, which promised to save customers 35 percent on their bills. The company claimed it could provide the discounts thanks to government grants and charitable contributions.

In essence, customers would give the company money, and TGC Movement would pay their bills.

In essence, customers would give the company money, and TGC Movement would pay their bills.

Except, customers said, the bills weren’t paid.

bamboozled august 11 03In total, 209 complaints came in to Maplewood police, claiming Theodore and TCG Movement took $262,128 but didn’t pay their bills, according to Maplewood police.

Theodore and eight other people were charged with theft by deception, Maplewood police said.

But it seems that after getting out on bail, Theodore moved his business to Jersey City, renaming it Save My Future.

“There are been numerous complaints that he is engaging in the same kind of conduct in Jersey City that he is alleged to have engaged in in Maplewood,” the spokesman for the A.G.’s Office said, he said, noting the state is jointly investigating the case with Jersey City police.

Our calls and emails to Save My Future were not returned.


The Save My Future website — which is registered in Germaine Theodore’s name, records show — indicates that the company is having some trouble paying bills.

But, it says, that’s the fault of customers.

“We regret to inform you that Save My Future will no longer accept personal checks due to customer negligence,” it says. “Due to these occurrences, the business’ funding will now be delayed. We are anticipating a 15-30 day delay per account review.”

And of the early checks the company did send out to pay bills for the Britt sisters, interestingly, the funds come from an account for “Save My Future/TGC Movement Sales Marketing.”

The website also said the company is a nonprofit, but the state said it has no filings for a charity by that name.

Additionally, state records show “Save My Future Bill Pay” did register with the state as a for-profit corporation on July 15, 2014. Germaine Theodore is listed as the company’s agent.

We’re not sure how Theodore got into the debt management business, but he’s no stranger to law enforcement, public records show.

He got out of jail in January 2013 after spending seven years and 15 days in prison for a litany of offenses, including passing bad checks, theft by deception, identity theft, sale of a false driver’s license, forgery and weapons charges.

Theodore admitted to almost $100,000 worth of fraud and using the internet to steal personal information from unsuspecting victims, according to press reports at the time.

There are also 17 judgments and tax liens against him, including several by the Office of the Public Defender, records show.

Before he was arrested on theft by deception charges in Maplewood last fall, he was arrested on outstanding warrants for receiving stolen property, resisting arrest and deceptive business practices dating before his prison term.

Oh, yeah. There were also six outstanding warrants for traffic violations, all in different jurisdictions.


If you’re in the market for a debt management firm, educate yourself before you lay out any hard-earned money.

First, we’ve never heard of a legit company that’s willing to pay a percentage of your bills. Sure, some companies will negotiate with your creditors to lower the amount owed, but no one will actually add money to the pot you pay your creditors.

Before calling on a legit pro for help, try to negotiate with your creditors on your own. You may be able to lower interest rates or come to an agreement with a more favorable payment plan.

If you need more assistance, reach out to an accredited nonprofit credit counseling service that provides free or low-cost assistance. You can find one through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).

If you did business with Save My Future or TGC Movement, you’ve probably shared lots of personal information with the company. Make sure to protect yourself by contacting the three credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — and ask them to put a security freeze on your accounts. That will stop hucksters from opening new credit accounts in your name.

Also contact any lender who was supposed to be paid by Save My Future. Show them a copy of this column to explain what’s happened, and ask them to work with you on a repayment plan.

Have you been bamboozled? Contact Karin Price Mueller at


Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s