Chris Gilcrest of Growquest Growers is a FRAUD! Now of Earth Stone & Rock

Update: Christopher Morgan Gilcrest is now out of prison and in Lancaster, California doing business as Earth Stone and Rock. He’s switched from an “air nursery” to an “air quarry”.

Earth Stone & Rock
4408 Vahan Court
Lancaster, CA 93536
(661) 483-1442

Yep. He was convicted in June 2015 and the prosecutors expected a year sentence. Sure sure enough, July 2016 and he’s registered several domain names and is now shilling landscape gravel. Looks like he’s up to his old tricks by having multiple pages on Houzz with stolen photos. If you go to YouTube he’s all over that too, palming off other’s work as his own. He’s already got his YouTube feed going with his same old tricks. He comments on someone’s landscaping like he’s an expert and if he gets lucky, he tapes some workers installing a gravel driveway and palms it off as his own. His video about harvesting boulders from private property in the Mojave desert is a hoot if you know what to listen for.

If you are contemplating paying him money for anything, read below and be warned. You need to know what kind of person you are doing business with. He’ll give you the business all right. But that’s all you’ll get. He’ll cash your check and you’ll never get so much as a grain of sand.

Don’t believe he’s a fraud? Check Linked In. As Growquest his education was the International School of Horticulture. A PhD no less. As Earth Stone & Rock his education is Santa Barbara City College. Gee, do they have a satellite program in prison?

Personally, I don’t do business with anyone that uses gmail as their business e-mail. If you can afford a domain you can afford a professional e-mail.

He is also doing business as:

all being hosted by GoDaddy in Scottsdale, AZ.

There are probably more. You’d have to go to WhoIs to or google him find more but I really don’t have the time.

I would highly recommend anyone having any work done on their house to google the company and the owner before signing anything. Christopher Morgan Gilcrest is the last person you want to hire to do anything.


Do not order or do business with Chris Gilcrest, owner and operator of Growquest Growers of Santa Paula, CA. Also doing business as and Surf & Sierra Wholesale Nurseries, LLC, ABP Nursery, A Surf & Sierra LLC Co, formerly A Better Plant Grower.


Two addresses:
134 Davis Street (see below)
590 West Main St. #123 (see below)
Santa Paula,California 93060
Phone: (805) 921-3900
If you want to check out the almost 250 negatives on Dave’s Garden blog go HERE.
Or you can check out the numerous complaints lodged against him under his various business names at the Santa Barbara Better Business Bureau HERE . He apparently filed bankruptcy, then just opened right back up again under a new name and continued to defraud more people.

HERE Is a report from the Ventura County Star.

Ripoff Report is another website that lists complaints.

And another is at GardenWeb.

Feel free to leave an appropriate review on YELP. Unfortunately one star is the lowest it will go.

Lastly we have Scaminformer. If you have been ripped off by Chris Gilcrest under any of his company names, contact the Ventura County District Attorney and fill out a written report with any supporting documentation you have. Contact Catherine Mano 805-662-1703 with the DA’s office to add a complaint to this case. Case Nbr 9:10-BK-16202-RR. Also be care as this company is also doing business under the names. That’s what I’m doing. They need as much as possible to arrest this guy (again) and indict him (again). Maybe this time they can put him away for a while.

If you’ve been ripped off by Christopher Morgan Gilcrest, you should also call Intuit at 1-877-559-7866 and report Growquest Growers, Chris Gilcrest and all of his other businesses for fraud to their risk management and underwriters department. You won’t get your money back, but you’ll have the satisfaction of helping to close his account with Intuit, forcing him to find another funding middleman. Paypal won’t do business with him as they have a money back guarantee if you don’t get your merchandise and I’m sure they had to pay out big bucks for his fraud.

This guy is apparently a rip-off artist with webskills. He was finally run out of Tulare County and is now in Ventura. I pity his new wife, if he even has one. If there indeed was a divorce, I’m glad the former wife finally got away from this schmuck.

Two months. No rose. No refund.
But plenty of excuses. The guy doesn’t respond to e-mail, but boy, when you start putting up negative feedback he is johnny-on-the-spot with threats. Sorry, Chris but 247 redundant complaints can’t all be liars.
This guy is a fraud DON’T BUY FROM HIM.
Wish I had done some research on Growquest before ordering from them. A simple Google would have found Dave’s website, the 247 complains lodged against Growquest for pretty much the same thing over and over and I would have saved myself $60.00 I’ll never see again.I ordered a Chihuly 36″ standard rose tree from Chris on Dec. 1. He required payment through Intuit. I usually use Paypal. (They have a money back guarantee for non-delivery. Must be why Chris prefers Intuit, the do nothing tax people)

I waited for a bare root rose tree. Finally e-mailed him on Feb. 1 as I think 30 days is quite long enough to get a tree. He then e-mails me on Feb. 16 that he has to call me for a credit card for delivery since it’s no longer in his system. (It was never in his system). The tree is all “boxed” and waiting for FedEx but I haven’t paid for shipment. Apparently the $10 was for a wooden crate, not shipping a bare root rose in a cardboard box like any other nursery. Then he says he’s just going to delivery it himself. Well, that’s come and gone and still nothing.

So now I’m doing the research I should have done to begin with and I find this guy is a grifting fraud. He provides just enough to appear to be legit, while defrauding thousands of dollars from customers.

Hey, Chris. I’m not waiting any more. It appears I’ll never see my $58.94 again. I could *really* use that money. You’ve got family problems? (Hey, you’re a business and that shouldn’t interfere. Man up.) Well, I’ve got my own. I’m a teacher, haven’t had a raise in 6 years, plus I’ve got furlough days that further reduce my income. But the cost of everything goes up. I saved a long time to be able to afford a $60 tree rose because Chihuly is what I wanted. Thanks for stiffing me.

I’ve gone ahead and called Intuit. I’m going to try to get Chris’ account closed so he can’t use them to bilk people anymore. I’ve filed with the BBB (yeah, get in line).

Not that I’ve heard he’s got videos on YouTube I’ll be posting comments there too. He’s got 647 videos. I’ll be making a post and putting a negative review on each one. That’s about $0.10 per video. I’d say that’s getting a bit of my own back. Since I can’t get my $60 back in cash, I’ll take it out in covering the net with negative feedback for Growquest. Oh, I’m Italian so retaliation is all part of the package.

I’m tempted to drive up to Santa Paula, show up at his door and demand my rose. But I really don’t want to waste my time and gas making a 7 hour round trip because I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have my rose, won’t be available for a face to face and I’d leave empty-handed; no rose and no money.

Chris, I only hope God reins fitting Karma down on you. Like having all four tires go flat at the same time. Of course, then you’d just scam some more poor mark out of the money to replace them. I look forward to the indictment and jail time you’ll serve when you finally defraud someone of enough to qualify as a felony rather than a misdemeanor. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

I’d like to thank Lysette Freeman for the courage to track this guy down and to post this on YouTube.

If you find Growquest on YouTube there are over 600 videos. Ol’ Chris makes it look and sound like he’s got a huge operation, wide selection, big nursery. Nothing could be further from the truth. As Lysette shows, he works out of what appears to be a garage or storage unit behind this house. This is 132 Davis Street. Growquest is to the left. Probably that garage/storage way in the back.

You see any vast nursery in this aerial shot? Nope. Neither do I. Looks like Growquest might be in an enclosed patio behind this house. Are you impressed? Wonder where all those 600+ YouTube videos were shot. I think Chris just tools around and stops and takes videos of anyone’s yard who isn’t home. He also goes to commercial nurseries and takes video of them, implying that this is *his* inventory.
Now this is an improvement over his previous business address which was the median strip in the middle of West Main St.


The thieving asshole himself has found this post and left a reply threatening me with a lawsuit. You can read it under “About the Eclectic Progressive”.  Boy, I guess I’ll have to take a number since he threatens to sue everyone that posts anything truthful (or in his words negative) about him on the internet.

How pitiful is it he googles himself to find all of the comments about him. Took him long enough. Almost a year.

And Chris? If you’re reading this? This is only ONE. By all means spend hours googling your name to find more. I left negative feedback on you ALL over the internet. I wasn’t the only one. Most of my posts are WAY down the line behind HUNDREDS of other people you’ve defrauded. (Do you really think a judge is going to take your word over mine? With YOUR criminal record?)

Bwa ha ha! I’m just peeing my pants in fear.


Well, low and behold ol’ Chris the thief finally served some time. The Ventura D.A. got him on two misdemeanor violations for food and agriculture regulations. Well, it’s a start. Hopefully next time it will be wire fraud and the Feds will have him for five to ten in a Federal prison.




And asshole Chris has been caught again, convicted again and this time will serve time and be fined.

In 2013 Gilcrest was convicted of agriculture violations:

“July 05, 2013 4:15 pm  •  

Illegally shipping 65 rose bushes to Napa County in 2012 has led a Ventura County man to be convicted of two misdemeanors and serve 10 days on a work-release program.

Christopher M. Gilcrest, 49, of Lancaster pleaded guilty Tuesday to two violations of food and agriculture regulations for unlawfully shipping nursery stock and selling it without a valid license, according to a news release from the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.

Ventura County Superior Court Judge Kevin Denoce sentenced Gilcrest to 10 days on a work-release program, 36 months probation, and ordered him to pay a $500 fine and $2,335 in restitution.”

Notice it says 3 years probation. That would extend into 2016.

But that ol’ liar and thief Chris Gilcrest couldn’t wait to resume his illegal activity. Apparently too stupid to realize that once he was caught and convicted, the chances of him being caught and convicted a second time go way up. And so it did. He was arrested on March 9 of 2015 and convicted  June 2 of 2015. This time he’ll get more than a slap on the wrist.

1 felony count of grand theft

2 felony counts of conspiracy

1 misdemeanor of false advertising

He’ll get one year in the county jail, 5 years probation, he’ll have to pay restitution to hundreds of victims (he’ll never be able to do that as it is thousands of dollars he doesn’t have) and he’ll never be allowed to run a horticulture or agriculture business or sell nursery stock.

Now those of us who know this asshole know that the minute he’s out his website will be back up and he’ll be defrauding people across the U.S. again. It will start all over again. And thanks to the revised three strikes law in California, this asshole will be arrested, convicted, serve and then be out again to do it all over again even though the next time will be his third strike. In fact, I think this time might even be his third strike. But no on has learned anything. He’ll keep committing crimes and the Judge will just increase his punishment a little each time. No. I don’t think one year is long enough, nor will he be monitored during his 5 years probation to make sure he’s not resuming business as usual.


24 Responses to Chris Gilcrest of Growquest Growers is a FRAUD! Now of Earth Stone & Rock

  1. Neith says:

    Can I just tell you how terrible Chris is… I bought a Buddha hand. He called me EVERYTHING but a child of nature. Accused me trying to skirt around his policies… says he has three other locations but will not ship from them. Tried to turn me in to the USDA… I am not a nursery… just little old me. Told me I would have the tree in 48 hours TWICE! Will not issue a refund and told me to take it up with my CC company. This has got to be illegal. Someone needs to shut him down. THIEF!

    • mlaiuppa says:

      Well, yes, it’s illegal. But he’s such a little fish there has to be a lot of people making a big stink to get the D.A. to do anything. The problem is Chris nickels and dimes his marks. He stole just less than $50 from me. It adds up to enough for him to live on, but not enough for the D.A. to go after him for larceny.

      Follow my links above to give Chris more negative feedback on all of the online forums. And do go to the Ventura D.A.’s page, download the forms and mail them in.

      You can also give feedback on YouTube but Chris will block your negative comments so in the end you’ll only be able to give his videos a thumbs down. I spend several evenings doing that to every video he posted.

      My Dad doesn’t know Chris cheated me. If he did, he might just drive up there and cut all his valve stems. He’s Italian and doesn’t take kindly to thieves that steal from the family. In his mind a set of four tires would be equivalent payback for the rose tree Chris never shipped to me.

      So no, my Dad doesn’t know.

      But I’m so tempted to tell him.

    • mlaiuppa says:

      Hey, look who just showed up to threaten me with a lawsuit? None other than the lying, thieving bastard himself.

    • Sabrina says:

      I am another one of the people he has stolen money from ordering roses that never shipped. I am notifying the FBI and then the IRS. Maybe if enough of us file a complaint with government agencies he will finally be caught and have to pay up!!!!!

  2. Neith says:

    May 21, 2012 ~ On the phone with Intuit. They have shut him down as well. Just got off of the phone with Catherine Mano and left a message. Seems the first case is closed per a Lady named Patty. I intend to open another

    • mlaiuppa says:

      Really? Well, I’ll take credit for Intuit shutting him down. I spent an afternoon going through the phone tree until I personally talked to someone in the fraud department. I gave them links and told them to call the Ventura D.A. and gave them numbers. They take using their service for fraud very seriously. I was told they were going to have to wait until he was convicted but I guess not.


      Wonder who he’s going to try next. Paypal won’t take him. I imagine he is running out of options soon. He’s reworked his website to have a self-contained shopping cart. At least that’s what it looks like as I won’t go far enough to find out what system he’s using. Might be google as there is a G+ symbol on the site.

      He’s got four domains for websites up and has a cart that now accepts credit cards online. Looks like he’s branching out to Canada, Mexico and the U.K. Hmm. I wonder what kind of fraud it is when you go international? Geesh. I wonder what it will take to shut him down now.

      He’s also claiming to be opening centers in San Antonio, TX and Charlotte, N.C.

      Also moving to east Ventura in Piru. Not surprised since he has to keep moving one step ahead of the Sheriff.

      Let me know what happens with your complaint with the D.A.

  3. Stallionman says:

    The trees that Chris LOSER sold me was diseased and DIED. I had them checked out by a true professional and he told me that he didn’t grow them right and used not only bad soil, but also salt in the water and killed the roots. He is a total FRUAD. He takes your money and sends you dead trees. Many people have stated that he in fact stole their money. Now the FBI is onto him. read it all online. Check out BBB. Its all there. Last night he called me 5 times cursing me out like a little child over and over again. Then he emailed me over and over again, which I called the police, filed a report and wrote to BBB what he has done. I also called the FBI and filed a complaint. I sent the police all the emails he sent me. He is very RUDE, NASTY, UNPROFESSIONAL, LIER THEFT AND NO GOOD LOSER. HE IS NOT A MAN AT ALL, BUT A MENTAL ISSNESS CASE. Seriously someone needs to put a stop to him. I will not be insulted at all. I am blogging everywhere. Its called freedom of speech Chris, so take that LOSER!!! He will steal your money and send you plants that will die. Good luck!!! BBB has an alert out on his company that is run from an apartment and garage. BE CAREFUL!!! Read some forums, I believe their is a class action suit that is filed. I will jump onto that.

    • mlaiuppa says:

      Be sure and let me know about that class action suit.

      I sent him $58 through Intuit before they shut him down.

      I was responsible for that.

      Now Chris has a shiny new website with every plant in the world available in stock ready to ship to anywhere. He’s trying to expand his fraud to other states and even other countries. I’m not surprised the FBI is after him now since using the internet to steal across state lines is wire fraud and Federal, not State. I can’t wait for Chris to be breaking rocks in an orange jumpsuit.

      Now that he can’t use Intuit or PayPal he’s also taking money directly from his website. I think that will also go against him heavily at trial.

      He never called me but I’ve got e-mails from him admitting he got the money, saying he’d deliver and then cursing me and threatening to sue ME just because I asked for a refund for a rose tree he never delivered and told me he’d never deliver because I was rude enough to when it would be delivered.

      (I ended up buying one local for $70 because it was no longer bare root season.)

      You can use Google Maps to find the location of his nursery. It’s a storage garage behind an old house. One of his locations is in the median of a street.

      If his trial was local enough I’d go testify in a red dress and do a dance when convicted.

    • WisemanFire says:

      Contact Catherine Mano 805-662-1703 with the DA’s office to add a complaint to this case. Case Nbr 9:10-BK-16202-RR.
      Chris Gilcrest is a total fraud. He should be in jail. He stole my money. He is a lier, calls you names and steals from you. He disconnects his phones from time to time and then adds another address to his business. He bounces around from place to place after he got kick out of Tulare country. Now he is in Ventura Country. This LOSER, LIER, THEIF should be in jail. Someone needs to put a stop to him.
      NEVER USE GROWQUEST GROWERS AT ALL. BE CAREFUL HE HAS MANY WEBSITES OUT THERE. WRITE TO BBB AND THE FBI LIKE I DID. When you call his bluff or write something bad, he will get very mad at you, call you names and treats you like a child. Something is totally wrong with him mentally. Seriously many people have stated this.
      The trees that Chris LOSER sold me were diseased and DIED. I had them checked out by a true professional. The trees he sent had too much salt, bugs and was root bound. I found out that he never grew this himself. These are knock off trees from a discount place. Basically, these trees were trashed and he sold them to me. He doesn’t even ship them to you, but throw them in an old crappy van laying down in the hot sun. He damaged these trees. It is on purpose. Check out BBB. Don’t buy from him!! HE CHARGES YOU FOR UPS SHIPPING BUT NEVER SHIPS THEM. THIS IS BAD!!!
      He has many you tube videos that shows his plants, DONT believe it. Look at all of them, every video is from a different nursery. He goes around taking videos, post them on You tube as his own, which is a crime and then he sells you crap. He doesn’t sell you these trees at all that you see on the videos. What a TOTAL JERK AND SCAM.
      I know his game well and here is the story. You can confirm everything by going to you tube and reading all the negative things about him. None of this is made up at all by me. THIS IS THE TRUTH. READ ON.
      This guy is a thief big time. He has no nursery at all. He works out of a garage with an apartment. He drives around from nursery to nursery taking videos and then post them online to sell you items. His wife left him. His family is mad at him. His children, well, I won’t go into that. Recently his brother is in trouble. Chris Morgan Gilcrest has been in jail, and has to pay a fine. He was required to cease and decease order by the FBI. Now he is being investigated by the FBI and BBB. BBB also has alert out on his business and name. Please look online, you will find everything. I am not making any of this up.
      He will either send you trees that will die or not send you anything at all. My job is to stop him and post whatever and whenever I can. There are many customers doing the same thing. We have the right to as freedom of speech. In fact what he is doing is breaking the law and is a federal crime, since he stole over $1,000.00 from customers. I hope he is jailed. I have called the FBI and BBB.


      • Margret says:

        AMEN!! I totally agree with all of this. He is a bad man. I pray to God that he is stopped. Can’t we stop him like what wiseman fire states? Please add me to the class action suit.
        Thank you and Bless you for standing up to him.

      • mlaiuppa says:

        Hey, look who just showed up to threaten me with a lawsuit? None other than the lying, thieving bastard himself.

    • mlaiuppa says:

      Hey, look who just showed up to threaten me with a lawsuit? None other than the lying, thieving bastard himself.

  4. Margret says:

    To Chris Gilcrest,

    Other Growquest victims can contact the Ventura DA – (805) 654-3110 – to add information for their fraud investigation of Growquest & Chris Gilcrest.

    Where are my products? I sent you my money months back. I will report you to BBB if you dont send me my stuff. You have my money. Do you want me to file a police report against you for not sending me my products?
    I see you have many bad reviews. I should of listen to the others and never send you business. I see it no other way, but to also give you bad review like the others and reply to the others. What you did to me is very bad and you wont get away with this.
    This person and company has so many bad reviews, I should of known never to buy from him. He has my $227.50 and never sent me my items. He wont respond to my calls months past and emails. He totally took advantage of me and others. I can see that his reputation is very bad and is shady.

    Do not do business with this guy. What a bad company. He is not to be trusted at all. Some of the other reviews are bad and glad I read them.
    I will support all the reviews that people put out in a negative manner.

  5. Ken Muska says:

    I ordered four Albrequina olive trees from Gilcrest & paid for them by check per Gilcrest saying he does not take credit cards except on the shipping, on 2/7/2013 for a grand total of $131.89. One tree died days after arrival. Gilcrest asked for photo of tree, so I emailed a jpg & he said he would replace it. Then the emails stopped. Filed a complaint with the BBB Santa Barbara asking for refund of $32.97 for one tree on 5/5/2013, then he responds to my email on 5/6/2013, saying “yes” which says nothing, which is it, refund or replacement. He did not respond to BBB so they closed the case with a three-year bad rating for Growquest. This scam needs to be shut down.

  6. Patricia Brunst says:

    I agree with your comments and aggravation!!!!! Nope never saw any roses that I have ordered in April. Funny how my check cleared the bank with no signature on the back and very blurry printing. Yes he on top! of what pile!!!!!!!

  7. so much negativity and I stood up for this dude, seemed ok to me but then it came to delivery.

    for my brothers birthday a del from one area of CA to another, promised the week of his birthday, nothing.

    three emails sent, no reply.

    emails before order sharp and aggressive and I still didn’t understand because links were to web pages that didn’t quite work and I couldn’t roll down through.

    other links sent me to unresolved server errors.

    Sad cos my bro pretty reknowned in his field, coulda won a lot of kudos, but hurt me, and disappointed, and now, well, , cpulda done him some good. He blew it.

    • Joseph Hilson says:

      Thanks to each of you for posting your experiences with Chris and Growcrest. I saw him on YouTube talking about various Avocado trees and I was getting ready to place a rather large order for several different Avocados. One of the videos was a June update of his inventory showing some rather nice 24 and 36 inch boxed trees on a large growing lot that made me suspicious. Then he showed several more trees in 5 and 7 gallon pots that made me very suspicious. The shape of the pots was strange, the condition of the trees was very poor, most of the leaves were dying and they were potted using crushed granite for potting mix. Very dry, not watered and in obvious distress. In my younger days I worked in a local chain of nurseries. We operated three good sized nurseries and leased another one. It is one of the largest in the Bay Area now, specializing in roses, huge inventory, and great reputation. I know a bit about the nursery business and growing plants so I recognized Growcrest to be less than a quality operation.
      I began searching the web and found your comments and experiences with Chris and Growcrest. Sorry so many were defrauded and you lost money. You saved me and my operation quite a bit of money and I’m grateful to each of you for having the courage to speak out and confront him. Best of luck in your effort to put this crook in jail. He seems to be deserving of 5 to 10 years in one of our fine graybar hotels. Chuckawalla Valley State Prison might be a fitting place for this crook. Keep after the D.A. They respond to the squeaky wheel treatment. The more you bug them the more likely they are to help you. Bug them politely but persistently.

  8. Testy Tester says:

    100% agree. I had to create a paypal dispute to get out of the growquest nightmare. I wish I found this blog before I attempted to do business with them.

  9. […] Oh, one more thing. He’s supposed to cease and desist for 36 months but he’s got two websites still up and running, the only difference is that he can only take checks for now, so I guess he’s locked out of Intuit, Paypal, Google and a few other other online payment options. Sorry, but anyone that mails this thief a check deserves to get scammed. There is plenty of info on the internet now that gives a very clear picture of what a fraud Gilcrest… […]

  10. Nancy says:

    I am another victim out 60 and no roses. I know I got a few emails and he had the 60 direct luckily I was smart enough to keep that money on a separate debit from my checking account. I read he was sentences 6/24/2015 I think I( need to look up that sentence.

    • mlaiuppa says:

      Sentenced again? What did they get him for this time?

      Since he is a repeat offender I hope he gets prison time this time.

  11. roger mortenson says:

    to all that has had bad dealings with this scum,he is back at it in Lancaster California.His wife teaches on the east side of palmdale and uses the name heather andrews.his new scam is called earth stone & rock.its another fake business he uses to extort monies from unspecting people

    • mlaiuppa says:

      Thanks for the update.

      You hear that folks?

      Avoid Earth Stone & Rock. Looks like he’s switched from plants to hardscape. Doesn’t really matter. He’ll continue to sell “air” rocks and people will pay good money and never see a pebble. I am surprised the state of California would issue a business license to a felon so soon released from prison for fraud.

      I wonder which wife this is. You’d think she’d be smart enough to drop this piece of shit, divorce him and move on. If she’s teaching in a public school she has a state credential. She’ll lose it if she is involved in a crime. Doesn’t even have to be convicted. An arrest would do it. Once that credential is lost she’ll never teach again. I imagine good ol’ Chris is living off his wife’s income so that would really put a cramp in his style. As a felon he also cannot step foot on the school campus where she teaches.

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