Stuart Paskin – Serial Scammer!
Never before have I actually encountered someone with such a blatant disregard for peoples livelihoods as Stuart Paskin, from Lux Level Ltd. I have heard of Serial Scammers, but never witnessed one first hand.
We were contacted by Stuart Paskin – the conman – in November of 2016 as he wanted Opencart eCommerce work doing and that’s something we have specialised in, in the past. I spoke to him on the phone and he seemed like he may run a decent company and could have been someone we could have worked with reasonably well. However, from the 3rd or 4th phone call with the guy I started to dislike his tone and how he seemed to expect a premium level of “realtime” service from us pretty much straight away.
He would frequently call at 6pm and 7pm and even called me in the evening on a Sunday once, as the site (which we had not made, and did not host) got hacked and he *needed* it sorting there and then.
Everything he ever rang about was always the most important, business critical thing in the whole world. He expected me and my team to drop everything we were doing whenever he called. When we were working on his stuff, half the time he wouldn’t even know what he wanted and he continually moved the goalposts or “dangled the carrot” with comments like “ok thanks for that, can you now just…” which any web or IT professional will know is the start of the dreaded scope creep.
After a month of working for him, we sent our invoice which he instantly challenged – I had not clocked my time on the phone to him but it was upwards of seven hours, but in the rush to get the bits done for him I just didnt clock my time properly and I made him aware of this when he was questioning the invoice that I’d sent. From that moment I decided to clock my time fully and make sure I charged him the full amount of time we spent on his website(www.thewhitetent.co.uk)
The next month things went from bad to worse. Stuart just could not seem to understand we worked for multiple people, and whenever he rang with something that was “business critical end of the world I need it now” and I said we would look at it as soon as we could, either he would get someone that worked for him, his business partner Stewart Stalker (yes, thats his real name) or he would call himself, after 15 minutes from submitting the original request – asking if we had done it yet and how much longer it would be before we would have it done. It was infuriating.
I did give him a few times/dates when things would be finished and we did miss the deadlines, but this guy was a brand new customer and no matter how he spoke to us or how big a customer he claimed he was going to be – we already had big customers and im afraid they would always have come first.
We got through a second month taking his constant phone calls and emails, and I had to put up with him talking trash about my team and my company and how things were never right and always had bugs. The web industry and websites that you end up inheriting from other people often come with problems. The website we worked on had been with at least 3 development companies before us and everyone does things differently so we would often add things and it would knock other things out, or we would do the exact task and because we were unable to read minds and didnt do something he never asked for, but assumed we would just “do” – he was an impossible person to work with.
I sent his second invoice – despite his first one STILL not being paid – and he really kicked off this time. I put my hours on the invoice but didnt charge for them initially as by this point I wanted to get my staff members time and our direct costs paid for. I can live with a few hits to my own hours (even though I shouldnt have to!) and I knew by putting them on the invoice he would just throw his toys out the pram and vanish into the ether. I also wanted my first invoice paying so didnt want to rock the boat too much!
From this point we had a few heated phone calls and then they went quiet on me and stopped getting back to my invoice reminders. I went in one morning to finish something off and my access had been removed, and Stuart eventually got back to me to say they were getting someone else to finish the work off. I wasn’t upset to be honest, I just wanted my invoices paying and when I eventually got through to him on the phone he said his father in law had been in hospital, and that he would “pay what he felt he owed us” as soon as he was back in the office. Pay what he thought he owed us??? What the hell is that??
I decided to try and reach out to the guy that originally built the site, and sent him an email via his website. He got back to me and to my horror he had been screwed over to the tune of £4500. I spoke to another company that I found was linked to the website, and shock-horror – Stuart Paskin left them behind owing them over £1500!
As the days went on, I uncovered more, and more people that Stuart Paskin and Stewart Stalker at Lux Level Ltd had screwed over. So far, in the Paskin Fan Club there are 7 companies, 3 of them are full digital agencies and the rest are independents but we have all spent hours and hours and hours dealing with Stuart Paskin and his constant nagging demands, we had ALL neglected our core, existing customers to try and satisfy Stuart Paskins requests. And we had ALL been left behind, doubting our own capabilities with unpaid invoices on our accounts packages – I will blog about these stories separately.
A few months have passed now since we dealt with these con men but the pain of having to deal with them is still with us – A quick check on Companies House reveals he is still very much in business and is in fact linked to a children’s charity! INSANE!
Ourselves and some of the other victims have been paid (we never got what we were actually owed, we ended up being paid the bare minimum but technically we got our invoices paid) but there are still people out of pocket including the person who originally built the website for them.
I am going to do a series of posts relating to the brand & company names these scammers use, and also (with permission of the victims) I want to write about the individual horror stories left behind by Stuart Paskin’s devious business practices and his repeated attempts to rape and pillage small creative agencies all over the world.
If you’re contacted by this loser – then run for the hills!
Stay tuned for more blog posts about Stuart Paskin and his team of internet bandits.
12 replies on “Stuart Paskin – A Prolific Digital Agency SCAMMER – The Worlds Worst?”
I have just been invited to submit a proposal to him on People Per Hour for customer service/admin. His site looks very professional but on trying to find an actual email address for them I found this instead. Thank you. I won’t be submitting a proposal.
Hi Linda, thanks for the comment and glad we could help.
He also operates under name of Stuart Jules. Beware
Hi! I came across your post and thought I’d add my 2pence in.
I worked for Stuart for 3 years around 2006. At that point he was running a retail supplies firm and a retail bag design and supply service (I was a graphic designer at the time and produced bag designs and artworked his catalogues).
He’d inherited that company from his father who was a very successful businessman. When his father ran the firm it was a 5 floor company trading in millions with clients like Harvey Nichols and Harrods. By the time I joined, Stuart had ran it down to a cramped office, 7 person operation.
I can honestly say to this day I’ve never worked for a more irrational, entitled, rude or clueless client.
He has a long history of convincing companies into supplying him with stock or services, running up huge bills and then folding his company. Walking away leaving the suppliers in dire straights and leaving anyone employed in his current company out of work. From what I gathered from my time spent a couple of days a week in the office, he was in danger of putting a company in Ireland and a couple of suppliers in India out of business.
Like most of his dealings, ours started off well. But eventually the Stalker/Paskin, good cop/bad cop schtick got pretty tired. When we parted ways I was owed over three grand which I never got back. In all honesty, I think I got off lightly.
To reiterate what you’ve pretty much covered; If you’re approached by this man, STEER CLEAR!
I did some business development work for him at the beginning of 2015. I worked for 3 long months with the same frustrating ‘ugency’ and know it all behaviour with encounters with both Stuart and Stewart having to endlessly chase invoices and as a part time working Mum, this was seriously stressful and needless behaviour. I was lucky and had pulled back my hours by the 3rd month having seen no cash but I did manage to get my invoices paid, in the end…I had a negative gut instinct from the start with him and slowly became his PA with tasks like having to find emergency plumbers for his girlfriend and him dropping off the face of the earth for weeks on end while he travelled across Morocco and beyond. I’m definitely feeling very lucky after having read this and other articles.
This guy has a long history of ripping people off! The longest company I can remember is visual creative. He got banned from a website called working mums because he had a lady that recruited a sales force on commission only and had quite a team, calling at their expense to book appointments for shop fittings. The reality was it took almost six months to convert a lead meaning many desperate mums were out of pocket at this time and gave up hence when the sale converted he kept their commission. He is a long running con asrtist and leaves a trial of destruction where ever he works. Wants work doing there and then but never likes paying. He was also reported to people per hour so I am surprised to hear they are letting him post on their again. This is not the first forum written about him and won’t be the last!
We knew him under ‘The White Tent’ but beware he now claims to be trading under ‘Maison Bianco’.
Paskins owes me £6K. I worked for him and he short payed me. I took him to the Small Claims Court and Won my case. He didnt even bother to turn up. I tried to sequestrate his bank account he removed the money. I gave up but Stuart you really are a little shit ?
So reading all the previous posts, nobody will be surprised to find that he is taking Lux Level into voluntary liquidation, apparently as the Directors are owed monies. What about the untold creditors. Now this is the best bit, the liquidators, Insolve Plus, have had in the past common directors as guess what, Lux Level. Look up Mrs Barbara Kahan, who at one point was a director of Insolve Plus and also a director of Lux Level. A previous comment by an employee refers to how this has been common practice. I have been struggling to understand how the directors have not been struck off and any connections with a firm of Insolvency Practioners would explain this. This needs addressing and I will follow through and escalate accordingly and encourage anyone else who has lost out to this individual to post to this site, so his story of deceit can be put together. I the meantime, I would encourage anyone who is owed monies to lodge their claims with Insolve Plus to rank in the creditor list for Lux Level. If the directors are owed monies and are unsecured, then all unsecured creditors will rank parri passu, but somehow I think their won’t be any money in the company. The best bit is that people continue to document their dealings with this individual and his practices.
I had the unfortunate experience of dealing with Stuart in about 2009. He contacted me via People Per Hour and explained he wanted to meet me to design retail spaces for him and that he had lots of “irons in fires”. We met in London and visited a store in Mayfair he had one of his freelancers design. It was a very poor design and he clearly didn’t know what he was talking about. I was almost correcting Stuart whilst he was presenting to his “client” and I’d only met him a few hours earlier. The guy has absolutely no idea what he is talking about, and most clients of his should recognize this as he doesn’t know anything about design, but I was lucky enough to get paid. I submitted an invoice stating 1 day of my time plus travel which he eventually paid. He then got rather aggressive saying that he didn’t agree to me being paid for my time and that my time is free to him until a job becomes live!!!! He then threatened to take me to court if I didn’t pay back money he had happily paid (less than £200 IIRC)! I thankfully learnt very quickly, this guy was a joker, unprofessional, ill-informed, uneducated in the profession he claimed he was an expert in and I refused to waste any more time with him. I have heard lots of stories about him and one old client of his even set up a website with the domain “theclientisac*nt.com” to express theirs (and others) frustrations and vast amounts of money being owed.
Ive just found a copy of the site you mention, im compiling my fave quotes against Paskin hahah some are great.
Thanks for the comment and info mate.
Hope your current customers are nice 🙂
Great to see your post on this guy, my friend too had a run in with Stuart paskin back in 2001.. I was led to belive he was owed in access of £100k back then.
His late father god bless “Cyril Paskin” (founder of the Philip Green Memorial Trust) woulid proberly turn in his grave if he could see how he turned out.. PGMT now called (Paskin Children’s Trust) guess who’s in that now?
I hope this post will help others “Avoid” this guy.