Opinion/ Editorial Written by Minotaur68
Back in mid 2007, I was surfing a popular internet forum where I found a topic offering the sale of equity in adult (porn) movies. The investor would buy a share of a particular movie, and in turn receive a portion of the film’s revenue for life. The idea was both hilarious and potentially lucrative, so being fairly cashed up at the time I did some further research.
Was it something I should have seen as being ‘too good to be true’? Looking back I’d still say ‘not really’, because the adult industry is quite huge, the company was already having some success and the movies they had already made were of good enough quality. So I put in $4000USD over 3 separate wire transfers, which was a $1000 stake in one movie, and $3000 in another. The percentage of each movie I was then theoretically an owner of was fairly significant.
So what went wrong? Well, despite the claimed success by the company of almost all movies they made, I hardly saw anything back. I originally got checks for tiny amounts like $5 per month, and being in Australia it would have cost me $10 to cash each one. Naturally, I didn’t bother.
The first excuse of many as to why the return was so low was that the movies had been delayed and this was only the online ‘video-on-demand’ revenue. Actual physical dvds weren’t out yet. That was a good enough excuse for me; I forgot about it for a while and filed away the tiny checks.
Eventually, the company offered a digital form of payment, and I was repaid the total value of checks I had received so far. There were maybe 2 more payments after that, then nothing. $164.13 is the total of all payments I have ever received from Hellhouse Media / T&H Northwest, from an original sum of $4000. Others have not been so ‘lucky’!
I recently stopped believing the endless excuses Ty Gonty / Rex Mundi (this is one of his porn industry aliases) was feeding me, and looking back I was stupid to put up with it for as long as I did. Bank errors, bank delays, changing banks, accounting audit, the weather (!?), checks getting lost in the mail, distributor delays, these are just some. I stopped being polite when they tried to make me sign an agreement that an arbitrary figure of around $700 was true, correct and all I was owed before they would pay it to me. Naturally I refused as I would need to be an accountant to diligently sign it, and that’s what their accountant is employed by them for.
After outing the company’s tactics on the internet forum where I originally read about the ‘investment’, Ty Gonty tried to save face by claiming the waiver form mentioned above was completely optional.. And here I am, still waiting for the wire transfer. No, I’m not going to delude myself into thinking they really intend to send it to me.
After posting my story on a popular website, many people came forward and contacted me. It was then I realised this situation was much, much deeper than my ‘measly’ $4000. They were in identical situations, only most of them hadn’t seen a single cent, let alone the 4.1% of the initial investment that I had. Without going into too many specifics, the amount of money taken from investors totals well into 6 figures (probably close to half a million), and as things proceed, it is almost certain that none of us will receive anything more. Anyone who actually received a check and cashed it had it bounce.
An asset check has revealed the company has very little in the way of assets remaining, nowhere near the years of backdated payments the company owes to investors.
I have already been threatened with legal action for what they call ‘defamation’ and ‘completely untrue and off base’ comments, but I’m not at all scared of this company or the people running it. Nothing in this entry is at all incorrect, and I’m quite happy to discuss it with anyone. I know I’ve lost my money, but I need to warn everyone I can who might have otherwise been suckered in by this company’s false promises and lies. Ty Gonty / Hellhouse Media are completely incapable of directly answering questions about their actions, and to this day continue to churn out press releases with empty marketing buzzwords like ‘restructuring’, ‘moving forward’, and ‘overcoming hurdles’ as well as bignoting their own success, while investors are still left with nothing. They basically refuse to even return any contact now other than a new CEO. Presumably Ty Gonty can’t take the heat any more and is making a quiet exit.
I am certainly not disputing the original ‘success’ of the company or the movies it has made. I am disputing that there was ever any intention to repay investors what they were owed, or otherwise do what was promised or strongly implied from the start.