Management Recruiters International Franchise Ethics

Steve Mills, Managing Director of Management Recruiters International Worldwide franchise made and then broke written agreements with MRI Network franchisee. Read the facts of how he did this and how he was even misrepresenting the truth to his own management in MRI Network and CDI Corporation.

However, it should also be noted that Roger H Ballou, CEO of CDI Corporation has also misled CDI Corporation shareholders on record. Additionally Joseph R Seiders CDI Corporations General Counsel, has misled Ohio courts in his affidavit.

This appears to be a common and recurring problem for CDI Corporation at senior level and for their wholly owned franchise Management Recruiters International.

Read the facts and form your own opinion on the ethics and business practices of these companies

--------------- Start of 11th mail to Roger H Ballou about MRINetwork Franchise Ethics ----------------

18th April 2009

Mr Roger H Ballou
CEO CDI Corporation

Mr Roger Ballou

MRI Network Franchise Break Agreements

Background and Management Recruiters International Ethics

Mr Ballou, you will recall in my last letter to you that I detailed the unreasonable coercion by MRINetwork that Steve Mills, your then managing director of Management Recruiters International WorldWide (MRIWW) repeatedly applied to me in an attempt to force me into signing a get-out clause for your negligence. That is, your negligence in your years on franchise misrepresentation. Specifically how you continued for years to misrepresent Mr JW as a regular MRI Network franchisee, when as you know Mr Ballou, his franchise agreement had expired many years earlier and yet you chose to continue to represent him as a regular MRINetwork franchisee. You chose to do this even though he was not paying his royalty fees and was in massive and growing debt to you culminating at more than 170,000 (approximately $300,000 US Dollars). You even encouraged other real Management Recruiters International to inter-work with him via this deception and as you know, Steve Mills actually congratulated me for winning a substantial contract with Mr JW, whilst the deceit of your years of franchise deception was still intact.

Management Recruiters International make an Agreement

After I Mr. JW withheld money from me in the same way he had been doing to you for years, I contacted Steve Mills from MRI Network corporate office. After Steve Mills attempted and failed to coerce me into signing a get-out clause for your negligence he asked to meet me. I met Steve Mills at the office of a Regional Representative for MRINetwork. We discussed the issues around Mr JW withholding money to me, a genuine MRI Network franchise. Whilst we did not agree on all issues, we did come to an agreed strategy and agreed way forward. That agreement was put into writing and copied to the Regional Representative. There is no ambiguity, Mr Roger H Ballou, that we had a written agreement that was witnessed by and copied to the elected Regional Representative.

In fact Steve Mills confirmed agreement back to me in writing when he wrote:

Bob, I've made two changes. I've added a full stop in a sentence about terminating Mr JW and changed the "A" to an "a" in agreement in the last para. Otherwise I agree that these are an accurate reflection of our meeting.

Agreement Detail:

The written agreement that Steve Mills, Managing Director of Mills of MRIWW came to with me included the following points:

1. Any money that MRINetwork recovered from Mr JW would be split 50:50 with me until my money had all been recovered.
2. Mr JW would have nothing more to do with the account management of the substantial contract with the global consultancy.
3. Steve Mills would ask for a joint meeting with the global Consultancy that Mr JW and I won the substantial contract from.
4. MRI Network would pay all the legal fees associated with this debt recovery. (I will address this point in subsequent letters to Roger H Ballou CEO CDI Corporation)

MRINetwork franchise break agreement Repeatedly

What then happened was quite different. What Steve Mills actually did was completely contrary to our written agreement. However some of this information was not known by me at the time.

Management Recruiters International break agreement once

Steve Mills, your Managing Director of MRIWW did set up a meeting with the global consultancy. However, his meeting did not include me as agreed, but instead included Mr JW. That is the person who had no valid franchise agreement, had not been paying royalty fees for years, who you had been misrepresenting as a regular franchisee for years and who had already withheld money owed to me.

What does that say about your ethics Mr Roger H Ballou? What does it say about the ethics of MRI Network and CDI Corporation as a franchisor?

Management Recruiters International break agreement twice

Steve Mills subsequently sent me the most ridiculous proposal. Steve Mills proposed that Mr JW should head up and account manage the interface to the global consultancy and represent all of MRINetwork. Not only was this an absurd proposal, but it was contrary to the agreement that we had reached and confirmed both in front of the regional representative and in writing.

I naturally rejected this new and ridiculous proposal. But I ask you to consider the ethics of this proposal Mr Roger H Ballou. Mr JW had no franchise agreement, he was not paying royalties for years, he had withheld money from legitimate franchisees and was in massive, growing and uncontrolled debt to you to the value of around 170,000 UK Pounds (approximately $300,000 USD). Even ignoring your malpractice of misrepresenting him as a regular franchisee for years, this was still a crass proposal by any normal ethical standards. What do you think that bizarre proposal says about the franchise ethics and business acumen of MRI Network and CDI Corporation Mr Roger H Ballou?

Management Recruiters International break agreement three times

Now for something new that I only became aware of after you were forced to release documentation to me through the legal process of discovery. This is further evidence of your unethical approach and willingness to break written agreements and mislead your franchisees.

On 24th February 2003, just 14 days after the agreement was confirmed in writing, Steve Mills raised an internal report with CDI Corporation. The document that Steve Mills raised internally that you were forced to subsequently release is called Transaction In Difficulty report form, or TID for short. In that report Steve Mills broke more aspects of our written agreement. The TID was copied to Stuart Jay, your CFO at the time, Greg Cowan, your CAO and Bill Aglinsky your CFO. Of course, I was unaware of your company ethics at that time since I did not then know that Mr JW had not had a valid MRI Network franchise agreement for years, nor did I know the full scale of his debt or the duration going over many years, i.e. your years of franchise misrepresentation was still intact.

In that report Steve Mills said, referring to Mr JW

He pays 30k now, of which 10k goes to Stewart and 20k goes against our debt.

So here was have the truth Mr Roger H Ballou. Steve Mills was breaking our written agreement yet again. Whilst agreeing that any money retrieved from Mr JW would be split 50:50 with me in writing, he was proposing to keep substantially more, behind my back with you. How unethical is that Mr Roger H Ballou? What do you believe that this shows about the ethics of MRI Network franchise and your stewardship and ethics of CDI Corporation?

Steve Mills of MRI Network tells lies in TID

As an additional point I will now clarify a further point that Steve Mills, your then Managing Director of MRIWW raised in that TID.

Steve Mills wrote:

Mr JW has told Stewart the size of his debt with us.

That, Mr Roger H Ballou is a blatant lie by Steve Mills. Mr JW never told me anything about his debt with you. In fact it was Steve Mills who alerted me to Mr JWs debt with you. However, that revelation was only after your many years of franchise misrepresentation, and after he had congratulated me in winning work with Mr JW and after Mr JW had withheld money from me in the same way he had been doing with you for years.

Misrepresentation - a common thread across MRI Network and CDI Corporation

We appear to have a common and recurring problem Mr Roger H Ballou of you and your senior executives not telling the truth.

I point to examples:

  • Your misstatements to CDI Corporation shareholders where you Mr Roger H Ballou misrepresented the truth on record.
  • Joseph R Seiders misstatements he made to Ohio Courts on oath. I believe that these are blatant misrepresentation of the truth, but look at the facts and decide for yourself.
  • And now Steve Mills lie, plus his unethical breaking of written agreements.

Not forgetting of course your years of franchise misrepresentation by Management Recruiters International that fooled all real MRINetwork franchisees and clients alike. That is by continually representing Mr JW as a regular MRI Network franchisee and repeatedly encouraging real franchisees and clients to inter work with him.

CDI Corporation and MRINetwork Franchise Ethics

Where are your ethics Mr Roger H Ballou? This appears to be a systemic and recurring problem across your companies. You are the person at the top of this and responsible for the ethics of your organisation. Don't you think that it is about time you took your head out if the sand and started to manage this situation?

  • Do you think that it is ethical for you to mislead CDI Corporation share holders on record?
  • Do you think it is acceptable or ethical for your General Counsel of CDI Corporation, Mr Joseph R Seiders to misrepresent the truth to Ohio Courts?
  • Do you think it is acceptable or ethical to misrepresent the truth about who is a franchisee and who is not and actively drive your franchisees towards a known peril?
  • Do you think it is ethical to make written agreements with your genuine MRINetwork franchisees and break that agreement repeatedly?

Your silence on all of these issues is deafening. Are you naive enough to think that by ignoring these fundamental ethical franchising issues that they will disappear?

How do you think prospective MRI Network franchisees will view your track record of misrepresentation and ethics? That is not a rhetoric question, many people will want to know the answer to this Mr Roger H Ballou, including CDI Corporation shareholders.

As always I ask you to address these ethical problems and take some management action. My door is still open and I await your reply. In the meantime I will place a copy of this open letter on my web site

Bob Stewart
CDI Corporation Shareholder

--------------- End of 11th mail to Roger H Ballou about MRI Network Franchise Ethics ----------------

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