Anatomy of a Scam: Regnal Media – How a Portland-area advertising startup is turning drug addicts & felons into white collar criminals

***UPDATE*** This is an update to a post originally published in June 2017. In response to this story, CEO Devin Langer contacted the author from his Regnal Media email account in July. He writes:

“I’ve documented everything for quite some time now. I now feel it’s the time to take action. I will not allow me or my employees in the recovery community to be harassed and bullied. I do not care about Core Brand Solutions, but I do care about my company very much.”

He goes on to demand “money for damages” and “a few businesses removed” from this site. When it is suggested that sounds an awful lot like extortion, he states, “It’s called settling out of court” and, “This will all be done with attorneys, not some sketchy PayPal exchange.” He then demanded a sum of $10,000 and implied I may be facing potential criminal charges as a result of this website. When I suggested he have his lawyers forward me a formal settlement demand, he replied, “Best of luck.” 

A follow-up of my later interactions with Langer will be covered in future blog posts, but to date I have not received any contact from Langer’s attorneys regarding this website. 

Meet The Scumfucks

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Regnal Media company trip to the Catalina Islands – September 2017

Scam advertising & marketing company Regnal Media is a Limited Liability Company registered with the State of Oregon in October 2015 by Devin Langer who is listed as both the organizer of the corporation and its registered agent. Regnal is Langer’s name backwards. In December 2016, Regnal Media registered as a Limited Liability Company in the State of Washington. Their offices are currently located in the city of Vancouver, WA.

Regnal Media LLC – Articles of Organization – Oregon Secretary of State

According to their Facebook page, Regnal Media is an “independent marketing company connecting local businesses to consumers. The company was founded by Devin Langer in October of 2015, beginning with local restaurants in Portland until it quickly spread to cities all over. We work with restaurants all over the United States and Canada installing touch screen tablets to keep up with modern times of using technology in place of menus. Our touch screen tablets are free for customers to use and provide guest entertainment, a look at the menu, and digital banners of surrounding local businesses. Together we bring local residents, business owners, and restaurants together.”

Using a similar business plan as other scam companies such as Core Brand Solutions and Production Media Company, Regnal Media uses a mix of high-pressure boiler room sales tactics, social engineering, and outright lies to scam victims. With seemingly glowing reviews and a strong social media presence, Regnal Media seems like a reputable business on the surface. However, as you begin to scratch away at the thin veneer of fake five star reviews and slick sales pitches peppered with trendy marketing buzzwords, only then does the giant turd underneath become fully apparent.

Regnal Media touts itself as a “company based on second chances.” In a March 20, 2017 blog post, Morgan Dixon writes: “At Regnal Media, we believe in giving people second chances. One of our biggest company values is overlooking the past people have and celebrating the future ahead of them. We don’t judge people based on what they have been through, but rather where they are headed.” She goes onto write, “People make mistakes, companies make mistakes, but the biggest mistake of all is thinking someone equates to the mistakes they’ve made in their pasts. People change, companies change, and change can be made for the better.”

What Morgan fails to mention is that some of the “mistakes” Regnal Media associates have made in the past include numerous felonies, most notably theft and other financial crimes. As far as the “future ahead,” there is not a lot of evidence that supports any changes for the better either. In fact, there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary including potentially criminal actions perpetrated by Regnal Media associates against the author of this very blog.

To be clear, the purpose of this blog is not to shame people just because they may have a criminal past. Everyone makes mistakes and this author applauds those who genuinely want to turn their lives around with legitimate pursuits. Unfortunately Regnal Media is not a legitimate pursuit. Instead the purpose of this blog is to serve as a warning to consumers about who they may potentially be doing business with.

While this blog features a lot of commentary and opinion, it also contains facts backed up with sources. Consumers have the right to know if the sales rep they’re giving their credit card information to was charged with financial crimes like forgery or identity theft, or if the owners of the company they’re doing business with are convicted felons.

That said, let’s take a look at some of the key players at Regnal Media.

Devin Langer, CEO Scumfuck

As noted in previous posts, Owner & CEO Devin Clarence Langer has a lengthy criminal record including convictions for theft and burglary. According to court records, it appears Langer was once previously employed by Production Media Company. Langer also serves on the board of directors of a similar Portland-based scam company called Planning Folders LLC. According to the annual amended report filed with the Oregon Secretary of State on August 4, 2017 by registered agent and listed owner Daniel Huerta, Planning Folders’ business activities include “wedding folders.” Like Regnal, Planning Folders also has a public image problem and is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau.

Planning Folders LLC – Articles of Organization – Oregon Secretary of State

Kortnie Smith

Langer’s girlfriend Kortnie Renee Smith, who was previously listed on LinkedIn as Regnal Media’s HR Manager, has also had her fair share of run-ins with the law including felony convictions for theft and possession of heroin. Although she has plenty of experience getting arrested as evidenced by the collection of 15 unique mugshots below, Ms. Smith does not appear to have any prior experience or even formal schooling in the fields of Human Resources or Business Management.

Kortnie Smith Professional ProfileUnfortunately, Devin and Kortnie aren’t the only bad apples in upper management positions at Regnal.

In December 2016, Langer added Christopher Larson as a manager of the LLC. In a May 2017 post on the official Regnal Media Facebook page, Chris Larson is identified as a co-owner.

Regnal Media LLC Posts

Regnal Media LLC – Information Change – Oregon Secretary of State

Chris Larson also previously worked at Production Media Company and is listed as a defendant in a lawsuit by Production Media Company against Core Brand Solutions and several individuals associated with both companies including Nate & Angela Eastburn, Joe McCallum, Damian Sander, Brett Weaks, and Brandon Williams. The lawsuit was originally filed on May 17, 2016 in Oregon Circuit Court, Multonmah County and is currently ongoing. There will be more info on that case in upcoming posts, but in the meantime you can click here to see the official register of action by Oregon Circuit Court (click “smart search” and enter case number 16CV16281).

Like Devin and Kortnie, Chris also has a lengthy criminal record including arrests for heroin possession, theft, and escape.

Other questionable associates working for Regnal Media include Account Manager Jacinto Hausinger who has his own fine collection of mugshots. His criminal record includes arrests for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Burglary, as well as numerous felony drug charges.

Jacinto’s girlfriend Emily Jernigan also at one point worked for Regnal Media as a Sales Training Agent. Previously she worked as a National Branding Specialist for Core Brand Solutions. In addition, Jacinto and Emily were also both active participants in Core Brand Solutions’ shill review campaign and each left glowing reviews on CBS’ Google review page.

Although Account Manager Damon Davis doesn’t have the most impressive mugshot collection out of the Regnal Scam Crew, he certainly has some of the most impressive charges. For his July 2012 arrest alone, Damon racked up at least 16 charges including Felony Possession of a Firearm; Delivery of both Cocaine & Heroin; Felony Possession of Cocaine, Heroin, and Methamphetamine; Felony Attempt to Elude; DUI; Reckless Driving; Reckless Endangerment; and Assault among others.

***UPDATE*** And just recently, on July 1, 2017, Davis was arrested and charged with felony Forgery in Portland.

Screen Shot 2017-10-07 at 8.55.08 PM

Damon Jeffrey Davis Arrested Portland PDX OR Mugshots and Arrest Reports 2017 07 02Account Manager Ernest Zachery Bighaus has convictions for felony Assault, Burglary, Identity Theft, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. Bighaus recently posted on his since-deleted Facebook account that he has relapsed.

Screen Shot 2017-10-07 at 8.51.36 PM

Regnal Media Trainer Kirsten Sylsberry also has a sordid past with the law. Although her charges of resisting arrest, carrying a concealed weapon and negotiating a bad check were eventually dropped, one of her co-defendants in that case received a 30 month sentence for drugs, child neglect, and and endangering the welfare of a minor stemming from a 2010 raid on an Oregon drug house in which a 7 year old girl was taken into protective custody and two more defendants received Federal drug charges.

Kirsten Sylsberry Professional ProfileNow that we’ve met some of the cast and crew, let’s take a look at Regnal Media’s business practices.

The Better Business Bureau

Regnal Media is NOT accredited with the Better Business Bureau and currently holds a D- rating. According to the BBB: “On April 24, 2017, BBB recognized a pattern of complaints from consumers regarding advertising, contract, delivery and customer service issues. Consumers allege company is selling advertising on tablets to be used in local restaurants on table tops.  After paying for the advertising, consumers find the restaurants have never agreed to use the tablets and the tablets are not found at the restaurants as promised by the company.”

BBB Business Profile Regnal Media LLC

The Reviews

Regnal Media employs an aggressive shill review campaign that is used to not only artificially inflate their own online standing, but also to harass critics and victims alike into silence. The majority of Regnal’s positive online reviews are either from fake accounts or they are posted by Regnal’s own employees and associates. Actual reviews that portray the company in a negative light are often flagged and removed. For instance,  Regnal’s Yelp listing currently has a 4.5 star rating with 17 “recommended” reviews, however there are an additional 80 reviews that have been either removed or flagged as “not recommended.”

While the majority of Regnal’s online reviews are from fake accounts or company shills, there are several reviews left by real people that accurately portray Regnal Media’s way of doing business. Unfortunately a lot of these reviews are flagged and removed before they ever see a wide audience. Here are a sampling of reviews collected over the past few months from Regnal’s Google Business page, their official Facebook profile, Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, and Rip-Off Report.

From Google:

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regnal media llc Google Search (1)regnal media llc Google Search (2)regnal media Google Search (1)

From Yelp:

Regnal Media 14 Photos 17 Reviews Marketing 1101 SE Tech Center Dr Vancouver WA Phone Number Yelp (2)Regnal Media 12 Reviews Marketing 1101 SE Tech Center Dr Vancouver WA Phone Number Yelp (1)Regnal Media 14 Photos 17 Reviews Marketing 1101 SE Tech Center Dr Vancouver WA Phone Number Yelp (1)Not Recommended Reviews for Regnal Media YelpRegnal Media 14 Photos 17 Reviews Marketing 1101 SE Tech Center Dr Vancouver WA Phone Number YelpFrom Facebook:

Regnal Media LLC ReviewsRegnal Media LLC ReviewsRegnal Media LLC Reviews 8.1bRegnal Media LLC Reviews (1)Regnal Media LLC Reviews (2)

From the BBB:

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From Ripoff Report, January 11, 2017:

This company called me wanting to sign me up to advertise my small business on their tablets inside a local restaurant. A few days later the owner of the company called and talked me into paying almost double for a larger advertisement at a second restaurant for an additional year. The contract stated that it would take 120 days before it would be displayed at the restaurant since they would have to design the ad. During this time I had been practically begging for updates from them and would usually wait up to a week for a response. If I called the company directly, the receptionist would just send me to voicemail. Since it was so difficult to get answers from them I thought I would call the restaurants to check and see if the tablets were out. In December 2016, I contacted the restaurant and was told by an employee that they do not have any tablets on the tables and furthermore that the owners of the restaurant would never agree to have them in the first place.

 I then contacted Regnal Media again and told the salesperson I had been in contact with that I thought they were a fraud company since the restaurant didn’t even carry tablets in the first place. I was then sent a signed delivery confirmation that the tablets were delivered that day, however when I contacted the restaurant again they still had no idea what I was talking about. When I contacted my credit card company I was told that since it was past 120 days from when the contract stated I could not file a chargeback. After six months of  having not received our paid service, I have filed a claim with the FBI and I have contacted my lawyer. Regnal Media basically took my money and ran while at the same time dragging their feet to make it appear that they were doing something. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY! THEY ARE A SCAM!

The Fake Reviews

To offset the negative reviews left by real people, Regnal utilizes fake accounts as well as their own employees, friends, and associates to artificially inflate Regnal’s online reputation. Here are some of the shill reviews left by Regnal employees and associates.

Craig Weathers previously worked as Corporate Liaison for Production Media Company and as Executive Acquisitions Manager at Core Brand Solutions.

Regnal Media 14 Photos 17 Reviews Marketing 1101 SE Tech Center Dr Vancouver WA Phone Number Yelp (1)regnal media Google Search (1)

Justin Dupree, who is personal friends with Devin Langer, previously worked at Production Media Company as a Sales Associate before joining Core Brand Solutions. He is currently working as a Business Solutions Consultant at sister scam operation Velocity Marketing Partners.

Regnal Media LLC ReviewsNot Recommended Reviews for Regnal Media Yelp

And here are Regnal Media employees Jenny Souto and Emily Jernigan.

regnal media Google Search

Regnal Media LLC Vancouver WA AlignableRegnal Media LLC Vancouver WA Alignable (1)emily jernigan regnal Google Search

The Saga Continues…

The Regnal Media Saga is far from over. We will have important new updates in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you have been scammed by Regnal Media or any other individuals listed on this site, please take the time to file an online complaint with the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

You can also contact the Vancouver Washington Police Department at (360) 487-7400.

fbi

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