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Update: The Plastic Merchant Finally Files for Bankruptcy (Link to Documents)

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The Plastic Merchant Bankrupt

The Plastic Merchant Has Finally Filed for Bankruptcy

The drama with The Plastic Merchant (TPM) has a new chapter, this one being a bankruptcy filing. For those unaware, The Plastic Merchant (TPM) was a gift card middle man that purchased gift cards from many people and then re-sold them at a profit. Last year, they said the company owner was sick and not working, started bouncing checks, and then they basically went under. This left a bunch of people unpaid, myself included.

The Plastic Merchant Backstory

To make a long story short, the owner disappeared, checks were bounced, and people were rightly upset. The website eventually disappeared, calls and emails went unanswered, and people sought legal action from the Missouri (site of the owner) government. The Missouri AG decided not to pursue anything.  The website even showed a sign of life earlier this year.

Bankruptcy Filing

TPM filed for bankruptcy in Missouri this week (link to filing documents), so there’s a new chapter. There are some interesting things in the document, like claiming Magic the Gathering cards as valued property. I’ve never been a claimant for a business that filed for bankruptcy while owing me money, so this will be interesting.

Final Thoughts on The Plastic Merchant

TPM was great while it lasted, but the way it folded up and disappeared is fishy, to say the least. I don’t buy the story they previously released, so it will be interesting to see how this goes down in court. We’ll keep you updated, since this affects some of our readers. If you know anything more, feel free to share it.

Hat Tip: Dawn in our Facebook reselling group

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Ryan Smith
Ryan Smith
Travel hacker in 2-player mode, intent on visiting every country in the world, and can say "hello" or "how much does this cost?" in a bunch of different languages.

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  1. If anyone has proof of bounced checks from The Plastic Merchant, please submit your proof of claim and include it as evidence. Because of the fraud issue, Chapter 7 could be rejected. It’s easy to file your claim online:

    Michael Dean is trying to get these debts discharged because they are business debts, but he fails the Means Test for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If we can prove that he sent out the bad checks he will need to file for Chapter 11 which will include a repayment plan based on his income.

  2. If we are owed money, how do object that the debt is not dischargeable?

    It seems like they are trying to discharge all debts. Would the illegal check kiting that Michael C Dean did be enough to object and force them to pay us back?

    • John – anyone owed money is receiving letters in the mail stating what’s happening and how to object. Mine arrived Friday. Obviously, this only applies if you’re named in the documents.

      • Yeah, I received the letter. Was just wondering if someone more familiar with bankruptcy law knew actual reasons to object.

        I’m thinking most objections will just be thrown out.

      • Rumor was that he did a poor job of paying taxes since 2017 (it’s plausible, the guy wasn’t very organized). He does list $0 owed to the IRS in the bankruptcy documents, so he probably had to pay them off before bankruptcy

        • That’s not what that means. Apparently people can list future IRS debts that have not been assessed in an attempt to discharge them! I was also confused by that!

  3. I cannot be sure, but according to the information I’ve seen, it appears that TPM and his bankruptcy lawyers are grossly under-reporting his debts. My name shows up in the filing and it says he owes me less than $200, however, I’ve calculated that he owes me something closer to $600. A was chatting with a friend the other day, and the bankruptcy filling say that my friend was owed ~$1,500, whereas according to my friend’s calculations, it’s actually ~$10k. If we assume that the average claim is underreported by a factor of 6 (a rough average of the two data points above), then Michael Dean may in fact have unpaid debts of $4.8M rather than the ~$800k that his filing indicates.

    • Mine is actually spot on if you count the following data: there were cards I’d submitted and was “owed” when TPM folded shop. I checked the balance on every card. Anything that wasn’t 0, I listed it personally on Raise. (note: Raise will tell you ‘this card has been listed here before’) and I was able to find all cards that still had funds, could be listed, and then sold them. I recouped as much of my money that way as I could. The TPM document lists the exact dollar and cent of my calculation of what was sold by TPM to someone else, taken from me, and I never got money for. What does all of this mean? No idea.

  4. Wow! I saw 3 of my friends plus a few bloggers on that list! At least he kept good records!!! Hopefully they’ll get a few pennies on the dollar. I’m also shocked TPM wasn’t an LLC.

  5. I’m really surprised to see this is a full personal bankruptcy claim. So, TPM wasn’t running as an LLC to protect his personal assets? Seems basic logic to protect personal assets when handing a relatively high volume of funds…

  6. Fascinating. Dean suddenly realized he owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to resellers. Months ago he claimed to the MO Attorney General that resellers cheated HIM by reselling before he could sell their cards.

  7. I met that guy about three years ago, in Chicago as I recall. Suffice it to say that my spider-sense told me not to do business with him.

    Good call.

    • Really? Can you tell me more about this?
      I’ve read in a few places that he basically came “out of nowhere” and all the sudden was running TPM, showing up as a new face without anyone knowing him previously.
      I got into TPM after a friend told me about it, who had done about 5mo with TPM at that point.
      Interested to know more about this event.

  8. “Great while it lasted.” HAHA thanks for the laughs.

    I guess some people really do miss “Profitable with a 3% credit card”.


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