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Hi everyone,


Can anyone provide any assistance with the legitimacy of a horse rescue located in Kentucky? The name of the business is SOKY Equine Development Center, and it's run by Jeffrey *****.

They are running a Facebook group, posting rescued Arabian horses available for adoption, and then having adopters PayPal the money over. They charged me a $400 adoption fee, and a transportation fee of $475 to bring the horse to Virginia.


I was SO SO excited to help rescue a horse... but then things got a little bizarre.

Jeff had no problem emailing me the adoption paperwork, but when it was time for him to send me the transport paperwork (1.5 weeks ago at this point) he suddenly ran into supposed technical problems with his email server and has been unable to send it to me, despite promising to do it probably 10 times!!

Within the last two days, Jeff has stopped answering my phone calls, and has STILL not sent me the transportation paperwork for the horse I supposedly adopted, who was supposed to arrive in Virginia in THREE DAYS. The horse (along with many others) was also listed by the SOKY Equine Development Center on EquineNow.com. (I attached a screenshot of the ad.)

As much as I don't want to think this... I am starting to believe that I may have been scammed.




Tonight, I wrote a note to Jeff on the wall of the Facebook group saying:

"Hi Jeff! I've called multiple times about Lemaan, and have been unable to reach you, despite the fact that my horse is supposed to be transported in three days! Please call me when you can." My message was immediately deleted from the group's wall ... and Jeff didn't call me... :cry:


Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions on how I should proceed, or if this organization is a scam? Thank you so much.
 

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I sure hope you didn't get scammed, I seen the pic of your horse posted June 10th. If he doesmt get back to you, I would contact the authorities and screen shot as much of that facebook page as you can with names and such.
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Oh really? I had just came across them just 2 days ago and was looking at the same exact horse as you, although I have no plans to purchase. Pretty horses but I was wondering the same thing as you. I had found the transporter's facebook page that they use and some of the postings from the guy that runs it seems kind of rude. I've also noticed most if not all of the horses they are adopting out are not registered. If you do not receive your horse that you paid for in 3 days or hear back from him, contact authorities. Please update us as to what happens so I know to avoid them in the future.
 

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I took it upon myself to search for a Dr Hughes that they use near Glasgow, and I couldnt find anything. I only searched for a minute. Might be something you could look for and get a contact number for.
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Update: ***Thank you everyone for your quick feedback*** Thank goodness I followed your advice and took a million screenshots, OutoftheLoop. Best suggestion EVER. The SOKY Equine Development Center page on Facebook has suddenly (in the last hour!) been deleted. Looks like this was indeed a scam. I will be calling the police and the FBI in the morning and reporting Jeff *****. WOW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Interesting - no wonder he's been getting away with this. If someone voices suspicion, they're blocked. Heading to the police station and also going to report this fraud to the Internet Crime Center. Hopefully they'll be able to stop this guy.
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Honestly, I was suspicious the moment I saw that add. I call my animals 'sexy' in pure sarcastic jest, but to advertise a horse as sexy... It screams scam to me. I'm sorry you got sucked in. I very nearly had the same thing happen to me, but the scammer left a lot of loopholes (a $1000 5 y/o Friesian gelding that jumped 6ft jumps and that would be flown from NZ to Australia for no extra charge. I was so naive!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Honestly, I was suspicious the moment I saw that add. I call my animals 'sexy' in pure sarcastic jest, but to advertise a horse as sexy... It screams scam to me. I'm sorry you got sucked in. I very nearly had the same thing happen to me, but the scammer left a lot of loopholes (a $1000 5 y/o Friesian gelding that jumped 6ft jumps and that would be flown from NZ to Australia for no extra charge. I was so naive!).
Yeah, I originally saw an ad for a different horse, and looked up SOKY Equine Dev Center on Google, which led me to their Facebook page (which I have since been blocked from, as of last night). They have a very extensive page with tons of professional-looking videos and photos of the horses. Around 500 ppl have "liked" the page. I found the horse I submitted the adoption paperwork for on the Fb page. It wasn't until much later that I found the "sexy" ad on EquineNow. You're right, it's definitely weird. On the Fb page Jeff is constantly adding photos of new (gorgeous) "rescues" and tons of ppl comment on them and thanks him for the great work he's doing... I can't believe I got scammed so thoroughly. He called all my adoption references, including my vet; spoke to me at length about how much he trusted the shipper ( Tack Tavern Transport ), and probably spoke with me 8 times on the phone about the horse's health, background, training, etc. He explained away his failure to email me the finalized paperwork by saying he was off the farm and rescuing other horses. Ugh. I'm at the police station now, they told me to call PayPal first, before filing a report.
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Wow, he sure went to a lot of trouble! For your sake, I hope he is honest, because I've never known a horse scammer to make so much effort... But you're definitely doing the right thing by reporting it.
 

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Tell the cops NO ! I want to file a report NOW ! do not let the cops blow you off,
Yeh I looked at his FB page awhile ago, then went back after seeing this add. Notice he doesnt have oned single " I got my horse today, thanks" type post on his page ?
 

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From what I have found on facebook this guy is a scam artist and the shipping company he claims to use say they have nothing to do with this guy.

I don't know if I am allowed to post a link to the facebook group that all this all came out on or not?
 

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Strange- I can actually still see your post about him not answering your calls.

It comes up in "Recent posts by others" on the right side of his page...

I sure hope he finally calls you back!
 

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According to what I have found on facebook the guy is supposed to be arranging transport for the horse. The transport company he claimed things were set up with knew nothing of the deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Update: The whole issue *appears* to have been a lack of communication. (SOKY didn't answer my calls or voicemails for days, the group's Fb page was apparently temporarily down for some reason, and I wasn't told that they were no longer working with the former transport company).

I posted this same question on a Fb group, and the verdict there was that it was definitely a scam, but people appeared to be very angry and have an agenda... so I'm not very sure about the credibility of some of those comments.

I finally was able to get in touch with Jeff, and SOKY is arranging transport for Lemaan with a different company. I will update again in a few days and let everyone know how this turned out! Thanks again for all the feedback :)
 

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I've seen links to SOKY on the AERC FB page, so I hope for you and for the horses it is legitimate. Please keep us posted and I hope you get your boy soon and safely!
 
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