Advanced-fee finance company continues operating despite legal entanglements

| Monday, July 01, 2002

Bruce Peterik has assumed the post of corporate president of The Funding Tree following Kendra Bernal's arrest and subsequent resignation as an officer and director of the corporation.

He says the company is working with the appropriate state agencies to ensure its operating procedures are in full compliance with all state and federal laws governing the equipment leasing industry. The Funding Tree says it specializes in funding equipment purchases for commercial companies with "B" through "D" credit types. The company says it funds these transactions through equipment leases.

The Funding Tree is currently under a cease and desist order by the California Department of Corporations to stop engaging in business as finance lenders or brokers without a license in violation of the California Finance Lenders Law. Despite the order, the company continues its attempts to provide financing.

"As changes are being implemented, the Funding Tree is working purposefully to fund transactions that were temporarily delayed and to process refunds for those who chose to cancel their transactions," Peterik said. "The Funding Tree fully intends to emerge as a viable operation."

E-mails and telephone calls by Land Line to find out Peterik's experience and Bernal's status with the company have gone unanswered by Peterik.

--Rene Tankersley

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