On September 3rd, 2011, the day after Lauren decided the best way to handle the uproar surrounding her Deumos scam was to sit drinking on Stickam for half a day and ignoring/blocking anyone who asked about it, she posted this cryptic, passive-aggressive message on her blog:
The only information that "seems to be purposefully withheld" is Lauren's explanation of why she decided to scam so many people who looked up to her. It's also interesting to note that there are inconsistencies within this claim, particularly the £210 amount. Let's have a look at how Lauren can't even keep that part of her story straight (screencap taken from efagz):
Interesting. The thing is, Lauren lost her right to privacy when she decided to open up an online storefront and accept payments from customers. Money changed hands. It's no longer a personal matter when other peoples' money is involved. Once a crime is committed and other people come forth as victims, the right to privacy disappears in that situation as well. Such an excuse would never hold up in a court of law, and, frankly, sounds like a poor excuse to justify stealing from so many innocent people. Which is exactly what she did.
Lauren then decided to--you guessed it!--go back on Stickam, scowl at her screen and ignore any inquiries about the Deumos scam. Because that clearly worked so well for her the day before, right? And more unfortunate people who had been scammed by her tried to contact her via the Stickam chat, only to once again be ignored and/or banned by her obsessives:
Shortly after this poor person (pearsani) entered the chat asking about their missing jumper, even changing their font colors in the hopes that Lauren would see their inquiries, Lauren said her Firefox browser was frozen. How convenient.
As you can see, Andy (Gnarcolepsy) reiterated Lauren's claim that her Firefox was "frozen" and therefore she couldn't read the chat. However, in the above screenshots, one can clearly see Lauren moving about on the screen fixing her makeup. When one is broadcasting a live stream on Stickam and the internet browser freezes, the live stream itself freezes as well. Anyone can test this theory out for themselves. When the browser is frozen, one cannot be so clearly captured moving about with no hitching up or pixellation, as Lauren is here. Yet another lie Lauren has spun to avoid taking responsibility for her crimes. Even though she could not accept the blame for this situation she created, she still needed validation via webcam on the internet. This is just my personal opinion, but to call it pathetic isn't even really the right word and does a disservice to the word itself. I think of it more as incredibly shameful and straight-up disgusting than anything else, really. Anyway, I digress.
While drinking on Stickam (again, or still, may I remind you), Lauren then decided to try to pin the blame on somebody else, something she does with alarming frequency. She claimed that Rich (who was out of the apartment at that time) "wouldn't let" her issue refunds, and that he was angry with her. She tried to make it sound like he controlled her finances (because it is his name on the Paypal account she uses) and that she was, once again, the victim in this situation that she created. She still did not address why she never sent out any Deumos packages in the first place, however. Lauren was still on Stickam when Rich came back home, and sometime after that she got sloppy drunk and blathered to Rich and her one and only real-life friend (whom she met on Furcadia and just so happens to take the majority of her "self-portraits") Merry that Tӓhti had allegedly sent her an apology on Tumblr and that she no longer had it because she hadn't published it. (For non-Tumblr users, if you get a message and reply to it without publishing it, it disappears. Weird, I know.) She then went on a rant about how she wished so much that she had published it, and that if Tӓhti wasn't nice in her 2nd review, Lauren was "gonna show 'em everything" (her defrauded customers? the internet?) and that Tӓhti was begging her for forgiveness for writing her original review. She kept slurring "At the end of the day, she has her shoes AND her money," (which doesn't even make sense, to be honest) and painted a picture of being "wronged" by her most well-known customer... who she scammed. This writer as well as hundreds of others witnessed this sickening, spineless display, and to date, I personally have never seen such flagrant unprofessionalism and cowardice. I have never seen a "businesswoman" handle herself in such a poor, childish and just plain embarrassing manner.
Tӓhti actually posted to efagz just to refute this drunken nonsense and add her side:
She also specified and posted a screenshot from her email that she had only been in contact with Rich, not Lauren, throughout this ordeal, and that that was because Lauren had blocked her from being able to make contact. Nice!
Right around the time that Lauren went on her drunken, confusing tirade against Tӓhti, the post containing Tӓhti's original review disappeared. Hmmmm. Strange, no? Tӓhti claimed she was receiving too many hate messages over it and marked the entry private, which makes it invisible to anyone but her. Her explanation:
The thing is, when Tӓhti began posting in the efagz community on Livejournal, no one was "trashing" her. In fact, the vast majority of the community was quite supportive of her. The only reason anyone said she was foolish was because the review disappeared, and it seemed, at the time, to not to be a well-thought-out decision on Tӓhti's part to essentially take back her word (and therefore credibility) on being scammed by Lauren. (Although, it can be speculated that Tӓhti possibly marked the review as private to ensure that she would actually get her refund in the meantime.) Understandably, members of efagz as well as users on Tumblr were confused and dismayed by the disappearance of the original review. From an outsider's perspective, it seemed like Tӓhti did it just to appease Lauren. Only Tӓhti knows the reasoning behind her decision to mark it as private, although it is understandable that she would possibly mark the review private just to ease her own mind over receiving an unstoppable flood of emails about a situation still in progress. However, it seems that the support Tӓhti received from efagz and Tumblr convinced her not to completely retract her review.
(Added on 12-4-11: Good news! Tӓhti's review is public again and can be viewed here.)
On September 7th or 8th, these posts appeared on Tӓhti's and Lauren's blogs, respectively:
Tӓhti stated that she was finally refunded on September 8th.
And here is Lauren's version of events... notice how wildly positive she tried to spin things, as well as the comment at the bottom inquiring about the 7+ other people who she ripped off and did not recompense:
Apparently, Lauren will only attempt to correct her wrongdoings to you if you are famous on the internet. Anyone else is SOL. She only cares about her reputation and not her fans (who bought items from her) as she tries to portray. She is not above bribing others or fabricating information regarding others who are well-known on the internet to cover up her crimes and pretend like nothing ever happened. It is clear that Lauren never had any intention of sending Tӓhti her shoes or refund, and only did so grudgingly after Tӓhti was forced to publicly address the situation and Lauren created a massive, unnecessary internet shitstorm over it. The situation with Tӓhti really showed Lauren's true colors--that she is a spineless, cowardly, dishonest crook, a thief with apparently no remorse and no conscience.
The fact is, no one ever received their packages from Lauren/Deumos. No one. Since her "fans" are so quick to reblog anything she posts and seem to swoon over her replying to them on Tumblr, doesn't it follow that those who bought things from her and received them would be bragging all about that, too? And yet... total silence as far as anyone receiving their Deumos merchandise. She made hundreds of dollars and never shipped one single package. It seems also that she never had any intention of following through with her orders. It is theorized that she received her Deumos samples, took her first few orders while keeping the samples for herself, realized that it would be expensive to actually fulfill these orders (something she really should have looked into BEFORE opening an online storefront), and got carried away with her newfound cash, publicly documenting her online shopping sprees and quickly spending it all on clothes and alcohol. Initially, she probably figured that she could ignore a few "unknown" people emailing about their items, since she could simply block them from commenting on any of the websites on which she has a profile--after all, who would believe a few random people calling her a scammer when everyone else loves her so much? What she didn't seem to consider, though, is that not everyone who gets scammed will turn the other cheek and let her get away with it just because she's considered conventionally pretty and popular. There are also those who, despite not being well known on the internet, really aren't afraid of Felice Fawn's personal army of misguided teenagers.
Continued in Part IV...