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Company claiming support for charities files bankruptcy protection

Company claiming support for charities files bankruptcy protection
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PORTLAND, Ore. - A company with Oregon roots promising great deals and support for charities is throwing in the towel after clients say they're owed thousands of dollars.

SharingSpree.com, operated by Ronald and Megan Sapp of West Linn, Ore., filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Another court filing reveals a federal judge in Tennessee also recently ordered Ron Sapp to pay $410,000 to an investor in one of Sapp's business ventures.

The ruling follows several other court judgments against Sapp in which he owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to investors and clients, despite Sharing Spree revenues of more than $8 million.

Before economic woes set in, Sharing Spree clients were excited with the company's great sales pitch and great discounts - similar to those you can get on other sites like Groupon - while also doing a good deed. Sharing Spree boasted donating nearly $400,000 to charity.

The Skamania Lodge, Portland Aquarium and Cinetopia are all suing Sharing Spree for tens of thousands of dollars.

Dozens of other companies across the country say they have yet to be paid for deals they received through Sharing Spree; customers say they have not received the products they ordered and some charities have also said the would-be benefactor has not delivered on promised donations.

Andy Hillis, a spa owner who did business with Sharing Spree, said the company agreed to pay him $3500.

"(Money owed) has been overdue by four months, and every time I talk to the owner, Ronald Sapp, he keeps telling me he sent a check (and) the check is coming, and that's never happened," Hillis said. 

Hillis' story is echoed by many customers who used the now-defunct website.

"No response to my emails. The phone was disconnected, so I was scammed," said Allison Steyskal, who paid for beauty products through Sharing Spree.

Among the charities that Sharing Spree claims it supports is the Beaverton Education Foundation. Fortunately for that company, officials said they have received all the money promised to them, including a payment of about $10,000 in September. 

Janet Sams, executive director for Candlelighters For Children With Cancer, said her charity was not so lucky. The charity was supposed to be the beneficiary of two Sharing Spree deals, but her organization never saw a dime and received different explanations from Sharing Spree.

KATU Investigator Dan Tilkin has been on Sharing Spree's trail for months. When reached for comment, neither Ronald or Megan Sapp would answer Tilkin's questions.

Paperwork filed in federal bankruptcy court reveals the company brought in $545,427 in 2013, $4,602,133 in 2012 and $3,263,990 in 2011.

Sharing Spree is registered in Florida where it has an "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Public records show the Sapps were renting a more-than 9,000-square-foot house in Wilsonville, Ore., with six bedrooms, six baths and surrounded by mansions.

By phone last month, Ron Sapp said: "We're aware of the situation and we are working on it."
When asked what is going on with his business, he said: "I can't comment on that right now."  

After KATU's latest story on Sharing Spree Thursday, a man identifying himself as Ron Sapp called the KATU newsroom Friday, saying Sharing Spree had filed for bankruptcy. He refused to speak with Tilkin, but told a KATU producer: "The industry is changing really quick."

"I just want this story to go away," he added.

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