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  • Is Tom Gentile Legit or a Fraud? – The Untold Story of Optionetics’ Co-Founder

Is Tom Gentile Legit or a Fraud? – The Untold Story of Optionetics’ Co-Founder

September 9, 2022 by Dan Agbo

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 27, 1965 and educated at Kennesaw State University, Tom Gentile is America's self-acclaimed top pattern trader who has "taught more than 300,000 traders the specific secrets to spotting high-probability and low-risk trade opportunities" in order to "help individual investors play the market like a true 1-percenter™!" 

But are these claims true? Is Tom Gentile legit or a fraud? Are his services worth it?

I'll dedicate the following paragraphs to answering those questions by telling you about Tom Gentile, his newsletters, books, investment pitches, his former company Optionetics, complaints against him and the company, who actually owned the company, whether the company is still active and whether it was sold for millions of dollars as Tom Gentile often claims, so that, at the end of this expose, you should be able to judge for yourself and know whether Tom Gentile is a scammer or not.

Who Is Tom Gentile?

Tom Gentile claims to be "one of the world’s foremost authorities on stock, futures and options trading" with over 25 years of experience under his belt and a trading style "designed to help individual investors propel themselves past 99 percent of the trading crowd."

Tom started studying options trading from his parents' home in 1986 and "quickly climbed the ranks of the American Stock Exchange." In 1993, he co-founded Optionetics, a financial education firm which he allegedly sold for millions of dollars.

"Tom has taught more than 300,000 traders the specific secrets to spotting high-probability and low-risk trade opportunities," Tom says. "His next goal is to help individual investors play the market like a true 1-percenter™!"

Tom shares trading secrets at seminars and workshops as well as in newsletters, e-books, and courses.

Newsletters

Tom Gentile is the editor of the following newsletters: 

"Fast Fortune Club"

Tom Gentile promises to share the trading secrets that made him a multimillionaire in "Fast Fortune Club" to help you amass wealth for yourself through "an easy-to-follow blueprint for grabbing super-quick cash payouts of $605… $822… $1,190… $2,830 every single week."

"Alternative Wealth Network"

Tom Gentile believes that investing in the right “microcurrencies"—relatively unknown small cryptocurrencies with big profit potential—could help you earn more than investing in Bitcoin in the early days. That's what he tries to show you how to buy or avoid in the "Alternative Wealth Network," which costs $599 per year.

"Microcurrency Trader"

"Microcurrency Trader" is Tom Gentile's new newsletter service, which purportedly shows you "how to capture the explosive potential of the best cryptocurrencies in the market" with "exceptional historical gains of 1,000%, 10,000%, even 20,000%!"

"Weekly Cash Clock"

"Weekly Cash Clock," as the name suggests, provides "a weekly profit strategy that always gets you in on Monday and gets you out, with your profits, by Friday" by processing "billions of data points in millions of market channels – all to spot the unique market convergences that signal when certain stocks are about to shoot up dramatically in any given week" to help you "capture gains of 100%…200%…up to 500% in just four days or less."

"Quantum Data Profits"

"Quantum Data Profits" helps you "capture the biggest, fastest gains available today." It uses "a revolutionary scientific method" to "detect rapid stock moves…and turn those moves into a motherlode of potential profits."

"Quantum Scripts"

Tom describes "Quantum Scripts" as "the biggest breakthrough in data science with the power to detect the fastest-moving stocks, predict rapid price accelerations, and target mega trades with 10X profit potential in just days."

"Rocket Wealth Initiative"

In "Rocket Wealth Initiative," Tom claims he could help you "earn big-cash payouts in less than 24 hours – and receive major discounts on the market’s top 100 blue chip stocks."

"Power Profit Trades"

"Power Profit Trades" is a twice weekly e-letter focusing on "detailed strategies and instructions on trading for maximum gains using conservative moves on simple stock-only trades right through the most lucrative options trading plays that can easily triple your returns." Subscribers are promised access to Tom Gentile's latest research report “How to Double Your Money on the World’s Most Valuable Companies.”

"Trading Circle"

"Trading Circle" features Tom's "research, in-depth connections, and money-doubling trading opportunities" with the goal of delivering "the biggest and fastest trading opportunities in the market." 

Books ... That Don't Sell Well

Tom Gentile has co-authored a number of books with George Fontanills, including "The Options Course," "Trade Options Online," "The Volatility Course," "The Stock Market Course," and "The Index Trading Course."

However, one funny thing about these books is that they've achieved little or no success since their publication.

For example, "From Practice to Profits," a 169-page book Tom co-authored with George in 2002, has no review yet on Amazon.

The same goes for "Trading Fundamentals," another 180-page book the duo published on Amazon in 2004.

Maybe it's for the above reasons that Tom decided not to publish his new book, "Trading Secrets of a Cryptocurrency Millionaire" on Amazon or anywhere else, saying, "I need to be clear: You won’t find this book or anything within it on Amazon or any other website or brick-and-mortar store."

The book, which is about crypto trading, was written to "help regular people be able to make money with cryptocurrencies" and contains Tom's "best secrets, trading tips, techniques, and strategies for trading that I want to share with YOU."

The book costs just $9.99, but this is a strange departure from the prices of Tom's other books. A copy of "From Practice to Profits" sells for $40, while a copy of "Trading Fundamentals" goes for $55.55 on Amazon.

However, what baffles me is how books written by a self-acclaimed successful options trader haven't become bestsellers after so long a time.

Without spending too much time on Tom Gentile's books, which from the lack of reviews might not be worth anyone's time, let's talk about some of the pitches I've come across that he's currently using to lure in unsuspecting subscribers to his investment newsletters.

Some Recent Annoying Pitches

At the moment, Tom Gentile is running a "Bigger than Bitcoin" pitch to promote his one newsletter service.

"20X Bigger than Bitcoin"

"20X Bigger than Bitcoin" is the title of Tom Gentile's presentation promoting his own newsletter, "Microcurrency Trader."

In the presentation, Tom tries to persuade people to invest in cryptocurrencies now as this is the perfect time to do so, claiming that they would be able to make money 20 times more by investing in cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. He was referring to some lesser-known digital currencies called altcoins.

Tom didn't condemn investments in Bitcoin but said some altcoins were even better and faster ways of making money.

“Bitcoin’s value jumped by 1,364%," Tom says. "But these little-known cryptos shot up in total valuation by an astounding 16,695%.”

"Is that true?" you would want to ask.

First off, this isn't 20 times bigger than Bitcoin. This would only be around 12 times bigger if we're talking about the price increase alone.

Secondly, I'm sure we can all imagine that numbers like this aren't seen very often. Tom is probably cherry-picking his best example to get readers excited, so excited that they buy into his newsletter service as fast as possible.

Is Tom Gentile a Scammer? – Complaints Galore

Given Tom Gentile's huge claims in his investment newsletters, I decided to dedicate days of thorough and painstaking research to scouring various sources to see if I could substantiate these claims. Instead, what I found is complaints of many of Tom's past students and subscribers who are pissed off by his often over-hyped but expensive and useless services.

Shortchanging

There are claims that Tom shortchanges subscribers of his investment newsletters.

In one instance, a subscriber paid $1,900 for a one-year subscription to Tom's "Quantum Scripts" newsletter, while another subscriber paid about $200 for the same service.

To make matters worse, the subscriber complained of not receiving any buy suggestions yet and wondered about contacting "SEC," presumably the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, to report a possible case of ripoff.

Expensive Subscriptions

Users have also described Tom Gentile's services as expensive.

For example, the "Microcurrency Trader" subscription is outrageous and goes for as high as $1,950 a year with the upsell of an additional $1,500 for a lifetime subscription. His analysis of the coins ready to break out has been adjudged to be decent, "but you don’t need an expensive subscription to get your ideas" since there's similar stuff online and it's free. 

A subscriber says the newsletter isn't worth it, and suggests doing your own crypto analysis and learning from YouTube, while some Optionetics graduates have also complained about the expensive nature of the course.

No Refund

There's also evidence to suggest that Tom Gentile doesn't offer a money-back guarantee for his "Quantum Scripts" newsletter subscription.

Eric Leung, another "Quantum Scripts" subscriber, had a change of mind after the first week of subscription and decided to cancel the two-week subscription because of the subpar nature of the service, which is just like tutorials on options trading with a question and answer session at the end of each lesson.

The subscriber later contacted customer service for cancelation but was asked to complete all four lessons in the package in order to cancel the subscription.

"I was not able to finish all the lessons in just a day and when I tried to do it again the next day, I was not able to find the lessons anywhere on their web site," says the subscriber. "So I called their customer service again and they said they have to reset my account and change my password. But the same thing happened the next day."

Although there was a 30-day satisfaction guarantee on the subscription, the subscriber was kept in the loop each passing day until the grace period expired.

In 2018, Ralph, of Sioux Falls, United States, paid a $1,995 one-year subscription for the "Weekly Money Call," another of Tom's options trading newsletter services, but was unable to cancel the subscription and get a refund.

Ralph says, when he asked to cancel the service and get a refund of the unused portion, he was told they would only allow the value of his unused portion to be applied to any other Tom Gentile's service and he would need to pay the difference for the cost of the new service, but he didn't want to engage in an additional service with a person he had no trust in.

So, now that we're a bit unsure if we can trust Tom to give rightly owed refunds, can we trust what he claims about being "the co-founder of one of the most trusted financial education companies in the world," a company he "sold to a Wall Street firm for $20 million" (he states this in his "Bigger than Bitcoin" presentation)? Let's take a look at this company, which goes by the name Optionetics.

Optionetics

Optionetics is a seminar-based financial training course offering free nationwide seminars "in which Optionetics’ reps entice prospective traders with options lectures and demonstrations of their trading system."

The free seminars are run by salespeople who deliver trading information and attempt to get attendees to sign up for a two-day paid seminar for "$2,995," which covers training and course materials on options trading.

Optionetics tries to recruit people with "promises of wealth and confidence in an industry that is volatile and risky."

But are these promises to be believed? Or are they just meant to deceive people and rip them off of their hard-earned dollars? Let's find out.

Complaints Against Optionetics

There are a lot of complaints against Optionetics, so it was quite a challenge for me to separate, sift, and analyze them. However, I was able to glean the information contained hereunder from just a single source containing over 70 reviews from ex-Optionetics graduates.

Money-Making Venture

Many people have expressed frustration over their inability to utilize the options trading techniques developed and taught by Optionetics.

Leo, an Optionetics graduate, claims that despite attending Optionetics courses multiple times and listening to audios numerous times, he was unable to use the course materials, describing them as a money-making scheme to lure people to buy more courses.

Another Optionetics graduate, Michael, seems to corroborate this assertion. Mike took his first course in 2004 and "spent around $24,000 on trading courses and software," but he "never made money" after all the training and two years of regular trading. He had also met "folks who had lost large sums of money and this was after spending thousands on Optionetic[s] courses." Michael says he doesn't use the training materials any longer.

Alan, who also took Optionetics courses, says he had "never made any money with options" and "did better with buying and selling stocks with a much higher risk."

For Bob, the two-day Optionetics seminar was to sell you on to the next one, which is about $4,000 and includes some software packages, with at least one of those software packages having "an on-going subscription fee."

Jacqueline Reckseit, of Delray Beach, Florida, also fell victim to the antics of Optionetics handlers and their shady deals. She lost $1,495 on "special Optionetics software to research trades and two weekly publications which recommend trades" and another $6,500 she invested following Optionetics strategies, but she was lucky enough that her credit card company refunded her $2,995 fee for the seminar after she disputed the transaction.

Plants

There are also claims that Optionetics uses plants to give fake testimonials to trick others into buying courses. "As far as i can remember there was only one guy in our class that appeared to make any money using the technique," adds Leo, doubting if "he was not a plant!" 

When I read Sophia's comment about the Optionetics course, it reverberated in my ear, and it seemed to confirm the fact that Optionetics plants people to promote its courses.

According to Sophia, she completed the course many years ago and "still refer[s] back to the material on a regular basis," blaming people's attitudes rather than the course for their inability to utilize the training to their advantage. "The course changed my life and I use the strategies they taught me for real estate investment as well," Sophia claims.

Quacks

From what I've found online, it seems that Optionetics reps are nonprofessionals posing as salespeople, or at least this is the idea I've gotten from reading other reviews.
Peter, an Optionetics seminar attendee, for example, says none of the so-called salespeople had "ever been a professional trader themselves, calling Optionetics "a scam." Peter claims he knew one guy there who was an ex-jazz pianist only a few years ago and is now teaching about trading. Peter says he enjoyed George Fontanhill and thought that, when he was in control, "they had their heart in the right place, but no longer."

Misleading Information

George, who once attended an Optionetics seminar, faulted the Optionetics sales presentation as misleading. George says he "found the sales presentation slick on the surface but very misleading if you paid attention and knew something about trading. The video presentation was made in 2008. Why are they not able to update it with something more current? The risks were greatly played down and the money made was greatly played up, however the profits they quoted were a total lie! Taxes were never mentioned, only vague references to broker fees."

This is just a few of the many reviews I was able to winnow from a single source. A handful of the over 70 comments from the source alone contained damning evidence against the mouthwatering claims often made by Optionetics co-founder Tom Gentile about training "300,000 traders [on] the specific secrets to spotting high-probability and low-risk trade opportunities."

Many people have lost fortunes buying his expensive Optionetics courses and trying to implement some of his unworkable ideas, whereas most of these resources are available for free online.

Who Owns Optionetics?

It's hard to say who really owns Optionetics, but we can at least for now link the names of three individuals to it, namely George Fontanills, Tom Gentile, and Richard Cawood.

Optionetics was allegedly founded in 1993 after Tom connected and worked with George, a trader and author, who has also co-authored a number of books on options trading with Tom, but it's unclear how Richard got into the picture.

According to Corporation Wiki, a website which provides "corporate transparency and historical data on companies," Richard is associated with eight companies, one of which is Optionetics–which is inactive at the time of this writing–whereas Open Corporates, an open database of over 198 million companies from 140 jurisdictions, listed him as both CEO and a director, with his only active company being Miami, Florida-based Cawood Holdings Inc., where he is the president.

George, a former chairman, president, CEO, and director of Optionetics, and an ex-hedge fund manager, holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from New York University and a master's degree in business administration from the Harvard Business School. He has written and co-authored a number of books with Tom Gentile, including "The Options Course," "Trade Options Online," "The Volatility Course," and "The Index Trading Course," all of which are published by Wiley, an American multinational publishing company that publishes academic and instructional materials.

Tom Gentile is also a former director and vice president at Global Investment Research Corp., another name for Optionetics, according to data from Corporation Wiki.

However, in the course of my investigation, I bumped into another person, arguably a former executive member of Global Investment Research Corp. named Tony Clemendor, who previously worked as chairman, director, and chief operating officer of the company.

So, from the screenshot above, I can say, without mincing words, that four people, including Tom Gentile, own Optionetics. It's not owned by Tom Gentile alone, as he seems to have made us believe when he claimed to have sold the company for millions of dollars.

Is Optionetics Still Inactive?

According to Open Corporates, Global Investment Research Corp., alternatively called Optionetics, was incorporated in Texas on Aug. 3, 2001 and dissolved about two years later on Oct. 10, 2003. It was registered as a foreign for-profit corporation in Texas with a "forfeited existence" status at the time of this investigation.

Forfeited existence is an inactive status which indicates that a corporation or limited liability company failed to file its due franchise tax return. This means that the affected company is no longer a legal entity and could encounter problems when it's sold. However, the status is changed by the Secretary of State upon the receipt of a certification of the delinquency from the comptroller of public accounts.

Optionetics also terminated its operations and ceased to be a legal entity in California on May 30, 2013, when it filed a Certificate of Surrender by Foreign Corporation. This is about four years after its purported sale for millions of dollars.

When I looked up Optionetics on the official website of the state of Delaware, where the company was formed, the names of two companies appeared.

The first one is Optionetics Finance, LLC, which was incorporated on Dec. 1, 2010.

The second one is Optionetics, LLC, which was registered on Oct. 24, 2005.

Be that as it may, neither of the two companies has a record of good standing. It's also safe to say that the second company is actually the Optionetics we have been talking about, and it was only incorporated in 2005.

Optionetics Sold for Millions of Dollars?

According to media reports, OptionsXpress, a Chicago-based online broker, acquired Optionetics in 2009 for $20 million, thus affirming the claims of Tom Gentile that the company was sold for millions of dollars.

But as a co-founder of Optionetics, Tom couldn't have sold the company and enjoyed the proceeds all alone, as he would want to make us believe.

So, it beggars belief to suppose that a company which has everything shrouded in secrecy and which has defrauded many unsuspecting members of the public could be sold for such a handsome amount.

For example, if you look at the screenshot below, you'll see some recent activities of the company. On March 1, 2021, Optionetics added Richard Cawood as a director, while on April 30, 2021, it added Tony Clemendor as the chief operating officer. 

I would rather assume that the purported acquisition of Optionetics was a mere publicity stunt aimed at deceiving more people to continue to patronize the company. 

To be honest with you, the internet is full of negative reviews about Optionetics, and it's such a horrible company that nobody would want to deal with it.

Even after the purported sale of Optionetics for millions of dollars, angry subscribers still complained about its continuous shady deals. For example, the last review of the company was posted on July 24, 2017 by one Leo, already quoted above, years after the purported acquisition of the company.

According to a former employee from Santa Rosa, California, Optionetics has been bought out a couple of times by brokerage companies, but they "try to get employees/contractors to sign contracts that do not guarantee work and do not provide any benefit for the employee/contractor."

Wrapping up


To be honest with you, it's hard for me to say whether Tom Gentile is a scammer or legit, but it doesn't seem that he's a successful options trader or at least not as successful as he claims to be in his sales pitches, nor is he "America's #1 pattern trader." Otherwise, there wouldn't be many negative reviews about him and his services. Even his recent publication "Trading Secrets of a Cryptocurrency Millionaire" and his latest pitch "Bigger than Bitcoin" point to the fact that he's moving away from traditional options trading to crypto trading, apparently due to loss of goodwill as his purported options trading magic has never worked.

Again, if he were so successful in trading options, why did he spend so much time trying to teach others how to trade options instead of focusing on his own options trading business?

Although I couldn't independently verify Tom's claims of having worked on Wall Street, I did find it absurd as there's nothing to show for it as he has yet to bring such experience to bear on his options trading business or to help others in the same line of business achieve success. 

Tom's claims of having "taught more than 300,000 traders the specific secrets to spotting high-probability and low-risk trade opportunities" are also unfounded as most of his former students have complained about losing their investments by following his flawed recommendations.


Dan Agbo


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