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”.
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 Olive-Trees.net and Surf & Sierra Wholesale Nurseries, LLC, ABP Nursery, A Surf & Sierra LLC Co, formerly A Better Plant Grower.
DON’T DO BUSINESS WITH THIS GUY UNDER ANY OF THESE NAMES!
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 Garden.com 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:
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.