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  • Report:  #1530014

Complaint Review: Larry Nelson Helen Caswell Holiday Magic Rapaport Corporation - Emeryville, San Francisco, possibly Sacramento California

Reported By:
letitbeknown - San Francisco, CA, United States
Submitted:
Updated:

Larry Nelson Helen Caswell Holiday Magic Rapaport Corporation
1555 Park Ave Ste G Emeryville, San Francisco, possibly Sacramento, 94608-3586 California, United States
Phone:
510-845-9349
Web:
N/A
Categories:
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I once worked for this company when it was called Holiday Magic/Rapaport Corporation that turned out to be a work-at-home scam involving assembling products.  I processed their mail.  I was hired via an employment agency so I had no idea this company was involved in scamming people.  Because they purchased some of the products that were sent to them, they gave the impression that they were an honest company.  After awhile it became clear that they were rejecting a lot more of the sample beaded jewelry and stuffed bears than they should have been.  I noticed also that they never sold the few finished products that they did purchase.  The owner's names were Larry Nelson and the manager was Helen Caswell.  The woman was the charming front person that handled the client-victims on the phone.  She even fooled me into believing that she was a decent person so I was really stunned to realize they were running a scam.  I am now convinced that she was a covert narcissist.  They received so many complaints that they were featured on Dateline NBC around 1997.  The show exposed their scam and the big house they purchased in the Oakland Hills.  These two lived well as a result of their crimes.  They owned exotic birds and their house was very nice.
After that they just changed the name of their company to Busy Bee Crafters and kept the business going for years more.  They had no remorse.  When I told them I was quitting, I was screamed at and bum-rushed by both of them and Helen Caswell sent me a crazy letter writing things like "YOU LIAR!" "You RAGE QUEEN!" in big  capital letters.  It was the written equivalent of a massive temper tantrum.  She seemed downright psychotic.  They both became unraveled after the Dateline episode.  When I went to court with them because they refused to pay me unemployment, they both lied like a cheap rug.  Helen did most of the talking and she told vicious lies about me to the judge.  It was amazing to hear how easily they lied to Dateline and now to the judge.  This is a hallmark of pathological narcissism.  Eventually Larry left the Bay Area and Helen moved to Oregon where no one knew her.  It made me sick to see people write on her Facebook page what a kind and caring person she was because that was not the Helen I knew.  You can find both of their profiles on Facebook. Nowhere did I see any indication of remorse for what they did to thousands of people over the years. 

According to Helen's Facebook page they have both passed away (may God have mercy on their souls) but my advice is to avoid the names of the companies Holiday Magic, Rapaport Corporation, and Busy Bee or any work-at-home business associated with the names Helen Caswell and Larry Nelson in California in case they sold the businesses.  By the way, they continued to perpetrate their scam for years more under the name Busy Bee Crafters after the Dateline show exposed them.  Do your research and avoid these kinds of companies.  According to the BBB, most of them are frauds. If you were friends with these people and you can't believe what you're reading about them, then I advise you to learn about covert narcissism.  I saw their dark, arrogant, and greedy side.  What kind of person could run a scam like this for many years and still consider themself a good person?
 



3 Updates & Rebuttals

letitbeknown

San Francisco,
California,
United States
My letter to KOIN Portland News Station

#2Author of original report

Thu, December 21, 2023

I submitted this letter to KOIN News Portland alerting them to the career criminal Helen Caswell who moved to Salem, Oregon and got a job writing for the Salem Weekly.  I encourage all victims of her work-at-home scam business to do the same.  

Dear KOIN News,   Recently I looked up a former friend and employer whom I worked for in 1997 and I discovered that she had moved from California where I last was in contact with her to Salem, Oregon.  Around 1997-98 Dateline NBC aired an episode featuring a company called Holiday Magic located in Emeryville, California.  In the show they exposed how the company was in fact a work-at-home scam that claimed to pay people to assemble products at home.  This was the company that this woman managed with her live-in partner. The manager's name was Helen Caswell.  I processed their mail.  I was hired via an employment agency so I had no idea this company was involved in scamming people.  Because they purchased some of the products that were sent to them, they gave the impression that they were an honest company.  After awhile it became clear that they were rejecting a lot more of the sample beaded jewelry and stuffed bears than they should have been.  I noticed also that they never sold the few finished products that they did purchase.  I also noticed they received angry letters from individuals on occasion telling them to get a real job.  The owner's name was Larry R. Nelson.  See attached file showing their names and when they started the company, which was 1991.

 

Helen Caswell was the charming front person that handled the client-victims on the phone.  She even fooled me into believing that she was a decent and kind person so I was really stunned to realize they were running a scam.  I am now convinced that she was a covert narcissist and sociopath.  Dateline exposed their scam and the large house they purchased in the Oakland Hills.  These two lived well as a result of their crimes.  They owned exotic birds and their house was very nice.  The show filmed their house.  They interviewed an executive at the BBB and he said they had received many complaints about the company.   After the show aired they just changed the name of their company to Busy Bee Crafters and kept the business going for years more.  They had to downsize a little but they still received checks from unwitting victims.  They showed no remorse.  In fact, Helen Caswell cried victim and claimed they had done nothing wrong.  When I told her I was quitting because it was now clear to me that they were frauds, I was screamed at and bum-rushed by both of them and Helen Caswell sent me a crazy letter writing things like "YOU LIAR!" "You RAGE QUEEN!" in big capital letters.  It was the written equivalent of a massive temper tantrum.  She seemed downright psychotic.  They both became unraveled after the Dateline episode aired.  Larry was an alcoholic and would be drunk on the job, but now it had become much worse.  When I went to court with them because they refused to pay me unemployment, they both lied like a cheap rug.  Helen did most of the talking and she told vicious lies about me to the judge.  It was amazing to hear how easily Larry Nelson lied to the investigator on Dateline and now to the judge.  This is a hallmark of pathological narcissism.  I became afraid to confront them after that.  My husband was concerned for my safety.  Eventually Larry Nelson left the Bay Area and Helen moved to Salem, Oregon where evidently no one knew her.  Of all things, she had a job writing for a local publication, the Salem Weekly,  that seems to be run by well meaning people.  It made me sick to see her friends and colleagues write on her Facebook page and Go Fund Me page for medical treatments what a remarkable, kind and caring person she was because that was not the Helen I knew.  I don't think anyone in her circle has any idea who she really was or anything about her criminal past.  You can find both of their profiles on Facebook. Just  search for Helen Caswell in Oregon and Larry R. Nelson in Sacramento, CA.  Nowhere did I see any indication of remorse for what they did to thousands of people over the years or any attempt to pay back their many victims.  And I have questions if they ever really parted ways or stopped running their scam even after they moved because they were friends on Facebook.  On Helen's Facebook page there is a photo of her and Larry titled "Maui 2008."  How did they pay for it?  I also found two complaints about them from consumers on Ripoff Report dated  December 12, 2003 and July 9, 2003 here https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/busy-bee-crafters/emeryville-california/busy-bee-crafters-another-home-assembly-supposedly-rip-off-sent-for-start-up-kit-bbc-did-74893  and here https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/busy-bee-crafters/emeryville-california-94662/busy-bee-crafters-ripoff-work-at-home-company-never-delivered-promised-kit-emeryville-cal-63224     One of the victims claimed that she sent them a $45 check and received nothing.  Another wrote that the Alameda County DA's office had received numerous complaints about the company but took no action.   According to Helen's Facebook page, she passed away this year from cancer and Larry Nelson passed away in 2022.  The public needs to be cautioned to avoid the names of the work-at-home companies Holiday Magic, Rapaport Corporation, and Busy Bee Crafters in case they sold the business.  According to the BBB, most of them are frauds. They still are rated "F" on the BBB website. See the links  and screenshot below.   https://www.bbb.org/us/ca/emeryville/profile/workathome-companies/busy-bee-crafters-1116-27627 https://www.bbb.org/us/ca/san-francisco/profile/workathome-companies/rapaport-corporation-1116-12448


letitbeknown

San Francisco,
California,
United States
Helen Caswell and Larry Nelson were Career Criminals

#3Author of original report

Mon, December 04, 2023

CALL DATELINE NBC!  They were featured on this show in 1997-98 when their company was named Holiday Magic.  These criminals continued to rob people after the show aired.  What follows is my experience with them.  Go check their Facebook profiles, Helen Caswell of Oregon and Larry R. Nelson of Sacramento, CA and tell their friends what they did to you!

I once worked for this company when it was called Holiday Magic that turned out to be a work-at-home scam involving assembling products.  I processed their mail.  I was hired via an employment agency so I had no idea this company was illegitimate.  Because they purchased some of the products that were sent to them, they gave the impression that they were an honest company.  After awhile it became clear that they were rejecting a lot more of the sample beaded jewelry and stuffed bears than they should have been.  The con artists' names were Larry Nelson and Helen Caswell.  The woman was the charming front person that handled the client-victims on the phone.  She even fooled me into believing that she was a decent person so I was really stunned to realize they  were running a scam.  I suspect she was a covert narcissist.  They received so many complaints that they were featured on Dateline NBC around 1997.  The show exposed their scam and the big house they pruchased in the Oakland Hills. 

After that they just changed the name of their company to Busy Bee Crafters and other names and kept the business going for years more.  They had no remorse.  When I left the company I was screamed at and bum-rushed by both of them and Helen Caswell sent me a crazy letter writing things like "YOU LIAR!" in capital letters.  She seemd downright psychotic.  Eventually Larry left the Bay Area to Sacramento and she moved to Oregon where no one knew her.  You can find them on Facebook.  I think they may have both passed away but avoid the names of the companies Holiday Magic and Busy Bee Crafters in case they sold the businesses.  Yes, do your research and avoid these kinds of companies, they are run by criminal sociopaths.


letitbeknown

San Francisco,
California,
United States
evidence on BBB website

#4Author of original report

Mon, December 04, 2023

From the BBB website:

Business Details

This is a multi-location business. Need to find a different location?

Location of This Business2700 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94110-2124 BBB File Opened:7/11/1991 Years in Business:34 Business Started:3/1/1989 Business Started Locally:3/1/1989 Number of Employees:1 Alternate Business Name

  • Holiday Magic

Business Management

  • Mr. Larry R Nelson, Manager
  • Ms. Helen Caswell, Manager

Contact Information

Principal

  • Mr. Larry R Nelson, Manager

Customer Contact

  • Mr. Larry R Nelson, Manager

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