Lowell Landscaping Business Owner Running Drug Rehab Nonprofit Accused Of Pocketing $210K In Donations, Refuses To Show Receipts, Hired Convicted Criminal, Promoted By Media
Editor’s Note: We will be discussing this topic on the Live Show tonight at 9 PM. Anyone involved in the story, including Mike and Victor, is welcomed to contact me if they’d like to share their side of the story. Click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel and watch.
This is Mike Bates from Salem, NH.
We published a blog about him in September of 2021, detailing his extensive record of scamming. This included:
- A 2019 conviction for securities fraud that ended with a 6 months in prison after he conned his son’s basketball coach into investing $50K into a company in which he pretended to have a silent partner. The coach, who was a personal friend, believed he was wealthy and successful because he drove a Maserati, wore expensive clothing, and was raising three kids.
- Defrauding 2 other people with an LLC called Katopher, which listed its primary business purpose as “Management, Consulting, Trading and Option Trading, Public Speaking, Coordination.” In 2010 he swindled the victims of $48,000 in investments, lied to them repeatedly by telling them their investments were growing, and lived off the cash. He was ultimately ordered to pay restitution for those.
- He made headlines in 2019 when boxes of printers were stacked up outside his abandoned house in Salem, and was ordered to clean it up. It’s unclear what he was doing with those, but it was likely part of a failed scam.
- He owed $18K in child support while using his youngest daughter on Tik Tok as a prop to portray himself as a loving father. The videos are extremely cringe and often just feature him dancing by himself.
- Using his ex-wife’s MS diagnosis to start a $25K GoFundMe to raise “seed money to manufacture a brand product for awareness for MS.” He began this the same year he scammed his son’s coach.
- After his ex-wife asked a probate court judge to issue a ruling preventing her daughter from being exploited by Mike on Tik Tok he used his Tik Tok channel to ask strangers to write affidavits to the judge demanding that he be allowed to continue to exploit her.
- His most recent ex-girlfriend had a restraining order out on him after he threatened, harassed, and made fake Only Fans accounts for her. He got an apartment in her name, and after they broke up Bates ended up squatting there for months, leaving her with the bill. He then made a Tik Tok claiming that she wanted to get back with him
- Began to pimp out a young girl named Mattie by selling her sexual services on Only Fans as part of his fraudulent company “Agency X.”
- Used his 22 year old son’s social security number to rent a nice apartment, which stayed in his son’s name while he went to prison. His son later found out what happened and is now facing tremendous debt.
- Scammed multiple Tik Tok creators with large platforms by pretending to be a t-shirt distributor, and offering to run their merch stores. He collected money from the creator’s followers for clothing with no intention of ever sending them anything. After getting out of jail he blamed the creators and said he was the victim of bullying.
You can read the whole story here.
This is Victor Oliveira.
Victor is a former heroin dealer who spent time in prison for dealing drugs.
Victor started his own landscaping company out of Saugus called VCO Landscaping, and began receiving attention by creating a Tik Tok channel where he posted videos of himself buying his employees lunch. He branded himself as “The Good Boss,” and is clearly quite impressed with himself. Recently he began to film himself giving handouts and job offers to random drug addicts panhandling in Lowell. He was featured on WCVB in October 2022, highlighting an addict named Kevin Sgro, who he found on a street corner, offered a job, and sent him to a rehab facility for a month in Texas.
In August Victor realized this could be a good money making opportunity so he started a nonprofit called The Good Project Corporation, which would purportedly help the homeless get clean and find employment.
The nonprofit lists Victor as the President, his mother Renee Guarino as treasurer and director, and his girlfriend/baby momma Lindsay Giordano as clerk and director.
He receives lots of positive, free press from the media, including from Barstool Sports. A podcaster who goes by Jersey Jerry interviewed Victor and Kevin after the WCVB story. At 14:00 Jerry calls Kevin’s story “one of the most special stories I have ever heard,” and at 14:45 said that he would be donating money from his dead friend’s sister to The Good Project because they were inspirational and “literally saving lives.”
Whoever this guy is with 7.2 million followers has also helped to promote TGP.
Victor claims that he “found” Kevin, who he is now good friends with, and is listed as “Our Team” on The Good Project’s website.
They frequently use Kevin as an example of their success, but many believe that Kevin and Victor knew each other, and that their meeting on the street was staged.
Also listed on the team’s website is Mike Bates.
It’s unclear how they know each other, but considering Mike’s long history of scamming he should not have anything to do with a nonprofit. There is a reason Victor did not put him on the board of directors. Mike’s LinkedIn falsely claims that he is the Vice President of The Good Project, his IG says that he is the CFO, and he later changed that to COO. He also claims to be a realtor for Caldwell Banker.
Mike still owes $15K in child support, which he tried and failed to lie about to the court.
The Good Project’s website is filled with prompts to donate and links to their merch store.
The website claims that their mission is to “DO GOOD” and that they implement a 4 phase program. Their “projects” (human beings) supposedly “transition from each phase as well as support our graduates for a lifetime as long as they continue to DO GOOD.
It’s unclear what that means. Their website says that for a donation between $1-5K the donor will get a “Certificate of GOOD,” and a letter from one of the “projects” they helped. For an extra $5K donors can get a sponsorship at a Good Project event (they’ve never had one), and for anything over $10K they also get to be a sponsor for one of their videos on Tik Tok, which has allegedly has 2.5 million real followers.
Their Tik Tok is entirely self-promotional and exploits vulnerable people in hopes of soliciting donations and positive press.
In a particularly degrading spectacle Victor films himself having homeless people spin a wheel in order to get a prize from him.
If you’re gonna give addicts gift cards or money you might as well just give them fentanyl, because that’s what it’s going to end up being spent on .
Potential donors can give money to a specific addict promoted on TGP’s website. When you click on the donate button it always just brings you to the same general donation page though.
Evidence that their rehab plan is working is shown with a bootleg “certificate of completion,” which looks like something you’d get for getting a 100 on a spelling quiz in third grade.
Thanks to coverage from Barstool and the mainstream media TGP got the attention of other nonprofits from around the country. One of these organizations called The Guardians is run by a man named Izzy White out of Baltimore. Izzy got Victor and Mike in touch with another man out of Missouri who goes by Voodoo Misfits, and has been doing charitable work since incorporating his nonprofit in 2011. Both Izzy and Voodoo believed Victor and Mike were decent guys doing work to help the most vulnerable and wanted to help. Due to the positive press and the existence of a legitimate nonprofit Voodoo felt comfortable donating upwards of $210K in a short amount of time, for specific “projects” (addicts) TGP listed on their website.
I realize this is just a spreadsheet, but I have also seen proof that the money was sent directly to The Good Project’s account.
One of the people Voodoo sponsored was a man from Oklahoma named Steele Walker. The $20K donation was supposed to go towards putting Steele in a long term rehab center before helping him find employment. Mike, Victor, and Kevin the formerly homeless guy, filmed themselves picking Steele up at Logan Airport to send him to a rehab facility.
But instead of getting him treatment in a rehab facility that costs $1,000 a night to stay at, they put him in a halfway house and abandoned him. He says he felt used and taken advantage of after being left alone in a strange city, addicted to drugs, and without any sort of treatment.
Steele later discovered that his “treatment” was being covered by insurance, and that they had likely pocketed the $20K Voodoo had donated for his rehabilitation.
They also raised $23K for a pregnant woman, even though that would’ve been covered under Medicaid.
After seeing these videos Voodoo and Izzy White asked Victor and Mike to show receipts for where their donations went but Victor and Mike have failed to do so. Izzy began to make Tik Tok videos calling them out for this, which has led to a lot of comments on Mike and Victor’s videos. According to a reply from Victor he is not providing receipts because the man who donated $210K to his nonprofit allegedly has a three page history from credit card companies.
This is what is known as “deflection.”
Victor claims that Voodoo was sent the receipts.
But I spoke with Voodoo on the phone and he told me that he hasn’t. He also sent certified letters to everyone on the board (Victor’s mother and girlfriend) but has not received a response.
Mike has told people they are not allowed to ask about receipts unless they donated.
They are still using Voodoo’s well respected brand name on the TGP’s website in order to make themselves seem more legitimate.
But scammers are gonna scam, and in response to the fact that all of this money is unaccounted for Mike Bates put out a video addressing Voodoo, Izzy, Steele Walker, and a Tik Tok creator called The Inked Plumber, who he accused of collaborating with me to write the first story about him. (I had never heard of the Inked Plumber prior to that, and I despise Tik Tok). The video contains sappy background music, and a lame attempt to seem like he is reformed, despite being filled with lies.
He claims that the article I wrote was untrue, despite having links to court documents, judgements, and other evidence to back up everything I wrote. When someone brought this up he said he wouldn’t address it because the person wasn’t using a real account.
I texted Victor today, pretending to be a potential donor who was concerned about TGP’s association with Mike Bates. He claimed that Mike’s past was behind him.
But Mike only recently got out of jail and is a pathological liar. Victor isn’t concerned though because he says that the reports about Mike are untrue, despite being undeniably true.
He said that Mike does not touch the money despite advertising himself as the CFO on his IG account. When I expressed hesitation to donate money due to Mike’s involvement Victor accused me of not wanting to save a life.
Mike Bates and Victor Oliveira are the ultimate conmen, they both know that the other one is crooked, and this is why they refuse to disassociate. They take advantage of and hurt the most vulnerable people while pretending to be “saving lives,” in order to enrich themselves.
The problem is that the mainstream media and one gullible Barstool Sports employee looking for a feel good story have helped amplify their scam by making them out to be a legitimate nonprofit. Their financials must be made public record, but are not due any time soon because TGP has only existed for a few months. However, I have been told from sources that the AGO has been notified and is investigating.
If Mike or Victor would like to come on the Live Show tonight at 9 to share their side of the story they are more than welcome to email [email protected], or message Clarence Woods Emerson on Facebook.