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Saturday
Apr282007

Radiance Medspas & the 23 franchise class action lawsuit.

Is he blood letting at Radiance Medspas just starting?

Blood%20Splat-t.jpg

I'd heard from some Radiance Medspa franchise owners that the 90 day response window that their lawyers had set for Radiance Franchise Group to respond to their petition was up this last Friday... And no word.

For those unfamiliar with what's going on...  As I understand it, 23 Radiance franchisees filed a class action lawsuit against Radiance corporate for failing to live up to the franchise agreement and substantial misrepresentations in the UFOC. Radiance was given 90 days to respond or the franchisees would consider Radiance's franchise agreement to be void.

If Radiance really looses those franchisees I can't see how they can continue to operate since they'll have to disclose that to all potential buyers. Something similar may be in the works at Dermacare if they don't get their act together and make the Dermacare franchisees happier.

I'm wondering what happened? Anyone in the know?

I think Radiance might be down to just one guy huddled behind a folding table. The map showing Radiance's expansion efforts hasn't been current for many months and still shows clinics as open that have left or gone out of business.

usa_map2.gif 

I don't know if the Radiance Medspa in Cedar City is open but I know that the Salt Lake City location split with Radiance months ago. I wonder if they're just really overloaded with buyers and can't get to the little things? 

Reader Comments (186)

Folks,
Radiance appears to be in rough shape. Take a look at how many lawsuits have been brought against them in AZ alone:

http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/docket/civil/caseSearchResults.asp?lastName=&FirstName=&bName=radiance&x=0&y=0

There are at least several others in other states, Oregon, Colorado, not to mention the 23 franchisee lawsuit. They apparently aren't even fighting or responding to some of them as they suffered default judgements and their income is now being garnished directly from franchisees.

I heard that the franchisees started a discussion group of their own and many of them shared how much more expensive the business was to start and run than they were told. Few, if any, were profitable and several were attempting to get out. Radiance found out about the group and started monitoring the discussions so it ended.

They were apparently also refusing to refund franchise fees to buyers who discovered their financial misguidance and tried to legitimately rescind. There is a great 20/20 or 60 Minutes story here.
05.14 | Unregistered Commenter?
The original scam artist of Radiance Medspa is Matt Ruben.
Anyone who wants to see how he was scamming people in California and was caught,Do a google search and read about the Ruben Family and their lawsuits and found guilty. Then he came to Arizona and was guided out of Radiance. All he wanted was money without quality or experience to the poor franchisee.
I feel for all of you.
Can't find anything about Matt Ruben doing a google search. If he has nothing to do with the current ownership, Chuck Engelmann, than who cares what this guy did with Radiance
05.15 | Unregistered CommenterMDFL
I just read a press release and it seems part of my territory has been sold to someone else without my knowledge or consent. This franchise has been a real joke since the day I opened and has continued to get worse. Nothing surprises me anymore. This industry is riddled with a bunch of a-holes.
05.17 | Unregistered Commenterradfran
Anyone who buys a Radiance Medspa franchise and can't find the comment thread on this site is not someone who can run a business. (Dermacare too although I don't have first hand experience.) These medspa franchises are truly a sink hole for docs. I can't believe that they're still selling.
Haha..a poor sucker just opened a Radiance in my town. LOL. This is gonna be fun watching him go under.
05.18 | Unregistered CommenterMichMD
The Radiance Medspa's are a joke. Chuck Engelmann did the same in Michigan a few years ago with an ambulance company that left many people being sued and losing a fortune. His brother is a doctor and according to the paper is going to open the largest Radiance Medspa in all of the states. They are both crooked
05.18 | Unregistered CommenterMichDO
The Radiance Medspa's are a joke. Chuck Engelmann did the same in Michigan a few years ago with an ambulance company that left many people being sued and losing a fortune. His brother is a doctor and according to the paper is going to open the largest Radiance Medspa in all of the states. They are both crooked
05.18 | Unregistered CommenterMichDO
His brother is in my town I was wondering if he is related.
There's already 3 other medspas in this small town. LOL. Guy thinks if you build it, they will come. Uh no, they won't. People see 'spa' and they think 'pricey'. That won't fly here.
05.18 | Unregistered CommenterMichMD
This radiance medspa his brother is opening is located in a territory designated and paid for by the rochester hills radiance that has been open for a year. How the hell does that work?
05.18 | Unregistered Commenterradfran
MICHMD,

I am assuming since we are the only Radiance Medspa in Michigan, the poor sucker who it is going to be fun watching go under is me. LOL Well sometimes I do feel like a sucker and that is why we will soon be an independent with no association with this franchise. I also have no plans on going under as business is good and only getting better. Hope all is well with your business. Unlike yourself I only hope the best for people, but your probably one of those people who has to walk in the door sideways to fit that ego in.

(The last word of this post has been removed since it violated my 'be nice' policy... Of course, no one likes to be called a sucker so it's kinda understandable. And MichMD didn't have any idea that Poor Sucker was reading or I'm sure he would have been kinder. Jeff)
05.18 | Unregistered CommenterPoorSucker
Hey Poorsucker,

Jeff is right. I apologize. I'm sure you'll be alot happier being independent.
05.19 | Unregistered CommenterMichMD
And for the record, poorsucker, no I was not referring to you. There is another RAdiance opening up soon.
05.19 | Unregistered CommenterMichMD
Hey PoorSucker,
Are you part of that Radiance suit or are you trying to break away on your own? I'd like to hear how you're doing that actually.
Well, about one month since first saw a post about Radiance 23 franchisee lawsuit and still haven't seen the complaint on the Maricopa County Court website, what gives? Lawsuit or no lawsuit? Filed somewhere other than Radiance's home location?

Also couldn't find anything on this mysterious Matt Ruben on Google. Any additional hints?

Anyone know if Chuck Englemann actually worked at eBay Motors and Barrett-Jackson as his resume claims?

I'm just wondering what's happened to this lawsuit and if all these Radiance franchises were able to break away?

07.23 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Grumpy

The franchisees broke away.

07.24 | Unregistered CommenterRadFran

RadFran, do you know where additional information could be found about this? Is Radiance still selling franchises, are they still in business? Thanks for the help.

I can see being interested in what happened with the Radiance break-away, but I can't believe that anyone reading the horror stories of these poor franchisees would still seriously consider buying a Radiance franchise.

07.24 | Unregistered CommenterdlMD

I would be surprised if they are still in business. I have heard alot about employees not being paid and the rent overdue and landlords locking the doors on them. Not sure what is true as I do not speak with them. I would not be surprised if they are still trying to sell franchises. They will take money from anyone willing to give it to them. I do not know where there may be additional information on the lawsuit. Not even sure it would be considred a lawsuit since corporate never responded or attempted to resolve the issues. The franchisees wlaked a they said they would and as stipulated in the UFOC's.

07.24 | Unregistered CommenterRadFran

Thanks RadFran, that's very interesting. I wish all of the franchisees the best of luck since it sounds like they have been left out in the cold. I see one of the people suing Radiance is trying to garnish the franchisees, not sure if they'll have to pay for Radiance's wrong doings if they have pulled out of the agreement, could be homefree on that.

Someone said earlier that this scam of Radiance Medspa would be a great story for 20/20 or 60 minutes and I think the franchisees should write letters and get someone to take this on a national level. Chuck Engelmann has a dozen places to hide, he's done it before and will do it again. I understand that if you're in the family you don't really have to lay out any cash, isn't that interesting?

07.28 | Unregistered CommenterMIchDo

Chuck Engelmann is still selling franchises, he will do this until the courts tell him not to and then he'll still sell a couple after that. This guy doesn't understand the meaning of fair play. He always seems to come out on top though, so be very careful when dealing with him or anyone working for him

07.28 | Unregistered CommenterMIchDo

One last thing, if your franchise states that another one cannot open in your territory, why isn't the other guy stopping Chuck Engelmann's brother from opening one? So far he has only advertised that one is coming, neither of these guys have morals.

07.28 | Unregistered CommenterMIchDo

These guys operate however they choose regardless of legality or consequences, besides I would be surprised if RMFG is still operating at all. Many wonder how he is still operating both from a legal and financial position. There is no contact between the existing franchise and RMFG and they are just another Medspa acting independent from the franchisor. Like you said no morality at all and if you have ever dealt with him you soon relize he is as slick as grease. Such a con I wish I never met.

07.29 | Unregistered CommenterXRadFran

I still think the spa in Rochester should stop Chuck Engelmann's brother from being able to open a Radiance Medspa in his office. That just seems the fair thing to do, morals or no morals this is a business and when you mess with someone's living you should have to pay dearly.

08.4 | Unregistered CommenterMichDO

I hope all the franchisees who are saving the 6% royaltees are doing better now, might just be enough to keep them afloat. Several collections attorney's are now going after Chuck personally and AZ attorney general should be involved soon.

Why is this guy not in jail? Now we get to hear this garbage about a turn around group pumping $$$$ into this franchise he has drove into the ground. Will someone stop this idiot.

08.11 | Unregistered CommenterRadFran

What money? What turn around group? Why doesn't the Attorney General do something to stop this guy from taking people for all they have and then some? I just don't understand how carma doesn't ever catch up to some people, Chuck Engelmann should have been stoned for what he did in Michigan with the ambulance company scam.

08.12 | Unregistered CommenterMichDO

MichDo,

Thats the big question who is this group if there really is one. I don't buy it. Chuck is a liar and a thief simple as that. In all reality there is no group at all and if there is they have no idea what they are getting into. Chuck has too many skeletons in the Radiance closet.

08.12 | Unregistered CommenterRadFran

You gotta be kidding me, what idiot investors would actually throw more good money after bad into Radiance? A simple google search comes up with this site for goodness sake. Did Chuck himself talk about these phantom investors, or is there some independent (i.e. reliable) information available? If Chuck said it you can be sure its simply another fabricated delaying tactic to keep his ship afloat for a while longer while he continues to shelter his assets from the lawsuits.

This guy always comes out smelling like a rose, he causes people to lose their entire life savings and he maintains his wife and girlfriend in quite a good style. I wish just once he would have to feel the pinch like all the people that get mixed up with him.

08.17 | Unregistered CommenterMichDo

I just read an old update on the web that Thermage and Radiance are forming a partnership. Is this the bail out company and additional money that was mentioned? Doesn't this company look into what is going on with a company before pumping money and products into it? Chuck is a smooth talker, but you would think a large company would look into what is going on in the business before investing.

08.18 | Unregistered CommenterMichDo

Don't think Thermage has anything to do with it. I think Chuck put a so called deal or partnership together with them because so many franchisees decided they were going to do thermage on thier own whether he liked it or not.

08.18 | Unregistered CommenterRadFran

If that's true, then they are crazy to be linked with a company that is getting such a bad reputation. Chuck has many years of making things look good when they actually are not, his brother does the same thing. It's all about the money and how quickly they can get it from you. I can't believe this guy still sells his ideas to people and why the people don't check into this before investing their life savings (or at least a good portion of it).

08.19 | Unregistered CommenterMichDo

Saw the Radiance Medspa in Rochester Michigan and it is beautiful, wonder if the owner is still part of the whole company. I would be surprised if he is because of Chuck's brother wanting to open a Radiance Medspa but you should see his office, there aren't real walls in the waiting room, it looks like fabric dividers and not very clean. I don't think there is enough room in his office anyway, but good luck to the guy in Rochester.

08.22 | Unregistered CommenterMichDo

I am interested in anyone who may have invested with Charles Engelmann in a business called Professional Practice Equity, LLC. This company is loosely related to Radiance Medspas. I am not interested in the franchise aspect of Radiance, but primarily in securities investment issues with PPE. Feel free to contact me if you are, or were an investor in PPE.

Sorry, forgot to post how to contact me. I may be contacted through the AZ Corp Commission, Securities Division in Phoenix, AZ.

Sorry, forgot to post how to contact me. I may be contacted through the AZ Corp Commission, Securities Division in Phoenix, AZ.

I sure wish I could help you Investigator M Rice, this guy has ran so many scams over the years that I would love to see him busted for something. I think he could run into a lot of problems selling his spas if there were laws that prohibited any medical person from opening these spa's and just allow derm's or plastic's to run them, that way every PA fresh out of school wouldn't think they could make a killing by opening one of his spa's and that goes for doctors about to retire and still want a good income. I wish you better luck than the people he has taken for a ride all these years.

08.23 | Unregistered CommenterMichDo

It looks like Chuck might be trying to hide some income somewhere.

08.23 | Unregistered CommenterMichDo

MichDo,

Sounds like you have a real axe to grind with Chuck Engelmann. Assuming you know so much about all these scams and all the poeple he has ripped off, I would love to hear what you are doing, besides posting here asking why nobody will stop him. Believe me I am no fan of C.E he is scum, but I am assuming you have nothing to do with Radiance Medspa but yet you are so interested in this guy. What specifically do you know that allows you to make these posts about him running scams and ripping people off?

08.23 | Unregistered CommenterRadFran

When he started the ambulance business in Michigan, he took some of my friends for a lot of money and then he has the nerve to say that he operated and ran a successful AMR, which is a crock. I would like to believe in Carma, but it doesn't seem to work that way because this guy takes people for lots of money and just moves on to another way to take different people for money all the while claiming to be your way to a better life.

08.23 | Unregistered CommenterMichDo

MichDo,

I can certainly understand and relate to your issues with CE himself. Believe me, the employees that were at the Corporate office did not fair well in his scheming any better than any of the franchisees. However, independently we did try to work with the franchisee's to the best of our abilities, even under immense duress. So please do not blame all of us who were there for being dishonest as it solely comes down to one individual.

Its very hard to try and save face and operate a business cleanly when you have a crook for a boss. I do enjoy reading the posts here as being a former insider and witnessing first hand some of the non-sense that went on. It caused great stress in the now ex employees lives who were trying to do the right thing even if CE was not. Some of what the posts on here speak of is true, some is not.

Matt Rubin was a part of RMFG in the beginning, You can google his correct spelling of the name and find the information your looking for. Do not forget his brother Andrew Rubin as well as they were both part of RMFG. As far as employees not being paid, that, im afraid, is very true. Regarding the class action lawsuit, there is no such thing, yes the Franchisees did get together and collectively place a demand on CE but nothing has been filed officially regarding that. As far as Professional Practice Equity (PPE), yes that too is owned by CE.

We as ex employees do feel for the franchisees left out in the cold by all of this, but dont forget we too were left out in the cold as well. Not sure what is going to happen to the office, but from what im told officially CE is the only one left working there.

EX-RMFG-EMP,
It must have been horrible for you to have to work in that environment. I know there were some good folks there that had no idea what and who they were working for. Do you happen to know if Chuck is still selling franchises and collecting monthly franchise fees? I'm curious if all the legal troubles have finally brought him to a halt so that he can't cheat anyone else.

EX-RMFG-EMP

If you know about CE's dealings with PPE why don't you contact Special Investigator M Rice at AZ Corp Commission, Securities Division in Phoenix? It sounds like this guy already has information and just wants to verify it, that's one way to put a kink in CE's dealings.

09.8 | Unregistered CommenterMichDO

So are any of the franchises still paying royalties or was there some legal agreement to end that?

In the long run of things, it doesn't matter if anyone is paying, CE will always have other ways to make big money and bascially nothing. The whole family thinks of themselves as elitests and they should have everything while paying no one.

09.9 | Unregistered CommenterMichDo

I don't know of any franchisees paying CE royalties but there may be some. Ex RMFG may be right about no lawsuit. A letter was filed by an attorney on behalf of the Z's in which demands where made that were promised per UFOC. Very limited conversation happened between both sides and ultimately no answer or response from CE. The speculation is he ran out of money to pay for the attorney's or they made him aware that he was shit out of luck. CE is trying to sell whatever is left of RMFG, what that may encompass nobody knows but it does not seem there is much to offer prospective buyers.

09.9 | Unregistered CommenterRadFran

RadFran,
Do you happen to know which franchisees participated in that letter vs. which didn't? I imagine some folks are still under Chuck's spell. I'm surprised with all the lawsuits that he is still walking free and able to practice his illegal trade.

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