The Carnage Left by Staples Inc.
My Story by Leonard C. Faucher
October 15, 2015
INTRODUCTION TO THE READER
You might have known me through my educational experience, business relationship, or perhaps you’ve never heard of me. This article describes the loss of my company and, most importantly, the absence of having any contact with my daughters since 1982. While I’ve sent them many birthday cards, gifts, and letters over the years, I have not received any response, or my letters were returned. I even hired a private detective to confirm their addresses but those have turned out to be incorrect.
This is an article that I prefer to have not written. As the Irish part of my family say “…don’t air your dirty linen”. However, the circumstances are such that I absolutely must let as many people know about what has happened to my children as they are, unquestionably, the victims of a combination of lies, and fraud. Having been a former public school teacher and, also, a current adjunct professor, I love kids especially my own. It is for this reason that I ask you to help me spread this article to those that you know. I am sure each one of you would take every measure possible if a similar misfortune occurred in your life. It is extremely important that my daughters know that their real father loved them, never abandoned them, and took every measure to reveal the truth of what made them the innocent victims of the conspiracy that you will, hopefully, read.
In the back woods town of West Newfield, Maine, on September 3, 2001, a horrific motorcycle accident left Lucille McIntyre brain dead and her husband, David, badly injured. A mother of four, Lynn, as she was called, died several months later at a health care facility in Kennebunk. Her death terminated over a decade of both physical and mental abuse directed towards her by her first husband and those that would financially benefit from her untreated mental health issues. Caught up in the battle of revealing the conspiracy of how my franchise chain, OfficeLand Inc., was secretly stolen by my arch competitor, Staples Inc., Lynn became expendable. As you read my story, the battle was part of a war that took place over many years with several fronts, connecting important factors of who I was and who I could have been in the office products industry. In April of 2015, my wife and I read interesting statements in the Staples Inc. posting in Wikipedia. Identified as Staple’s first acquisition it read as follows:”
• In 1991: OfficeLand, Inc, under great controversy, Staples purchased OfficeLand’s 23 stores.
In the Spanish version of Wikipedia the information is better defined. It reads:
• In 1981, Staples acquired OfficeLand, Inc. a franchise with 23 stores. The purchase was made in secret, involved only the board without notifying the owners or investors of the franchise. This fact was brought to court and requested under investigation by the FBI in the United States.
If you research my past, you will find that I was the CEO of a 26-store franchise chain called OfficeLand Inc. (Success Magazine, Beyond the Banker, August 1991) which preceded Staples, Inc.; a very formidable competitor located less than a mile from my headquarters in suburban Boston. The majority owners of Staples, before it went public, were three very influential people: Leo Kahn (first investor), Tom Stemberg was CEO, and Mitt Romney was their large scale investor through Bain Capital. All three individuals were directly involved in Staples’ initial success as they opened the first store only a mile from my own office products store. Before Staples launched, I had several one-on-one meetings with Tom Stemberg and had met Romney at their store opening. They all knew in 1986 that I was founder and CEO of OfficeLand, as the story about my franchising of OfficeLand was featured on the front page of Office WorldNews, the leading trade magazine in the industry. With the help of Dr. Yao Tsung Yen and Dr. Albert Chi, formerly Digital Computer Company IT managers, I established a robust new computer company that distributed OfficeLand 286 computers through my stores and to customers of the Wall Street Journal. With 26 stores already located in every New England state, I was expanding faster than Staples, who initially did not sell personal computers.
Despite the great success I was having with my franchise chain, there were storm clouds mounting. At a NOPA (National Office Products Association) convention in Chicago I was approached by Joel Spungin, CEO of United Stationers. A 2 billion dollar company at the time, United Stationers was one of only two major wholesalers that primarily supplied the over 20,000 small office supply companies in the country. There were rumors of a deal that Spungin had made with Staples to be the needed backup of about 17,000 special-order products that Staples didn’t carry in their stores. If this was true, most store owners knew that the unholy alliance between United Stationers and Staples could be fatal to them. Spungin approached me at a cocktail party at the Hyatt Regency and angrily told me “…you’ll never be able to franchise in the office products industry” and walked away. Coming from a person who we were doing business with and should have been reaching out to me for expanded new business; this was an ominous message from the largest publicly owned office products firm in the industry. Today, the fact is that United Stationers is the “backup” supplier to Staples throughout the country and the 20,000 smaller office supply stores have disappeared. I am sure many of these owners have stories of their own. To the consumer, prices have not dropped and convenience has only declined. To have Staples as the only office products retail store in the country would be a travesty to consumers and an insult to anti-monopoly laws.
Even though Staples founders were known to be extremely ruthless, I had no idea as to how they would personally affect me.They would do anything to eliminate the competition and anyone who could potentially stand in the way of their corporation’s expansion. In my case, the Staples founders’ strategy involved my sister and my mother (who worked for me at OfficeLand). It turned out to be easy to bribe them and other family members to sabotage my leadership of the franchise group. My sister Kathy, who I fired one month after she began working for me, and her new husband, Robert Pereira, began a fictitious office supply company called Office Express. My sister and her husband established a small office in Worcester, Massachusetts in order to facilitate connections to Staples through a vendor who I knew was a close friend of Tom Stemberg’s. He was Jerry Berberian of Berberian and Associates. Every strategic business move I made went through the pipeline to Staples’s founders through Jerry. Starting with my mother, the trail included my wife, and Bill Romaniecki who was a former high school friend. Together with my brothers Steven and George, they formed a group that reported all my moves to my sister, Kathy, and her second husband, Bob Pereira. It was Pereira who had a Babson MBA that assisted falsifying the legal documents to accommodate Staples lawyers.
In order to accomplish a disruption of new OfficeLand computer sales, my family arranged a flood that completely destroyed my new OfficeLand computer store in Newton Corner. This disaster was followed by a sham court case where the insurance company refused to cover my losses and only my lawyer was paid. Having worked many nights to transform the old basement to a new computer training center and repair facility, I was shocked to hear my mother tell me how the “accident” happened. As she informed me that she “heard” that the janitor for the upstairs office (over the store) left a water faucet on over the weekend which caused the damage. When I had asked the landlord whose offices were above my new store, he denied knowing how the damage occurred. When I pressed my mother for a more detailed explanation, she said nothing more. The loss was huge as it destroyed both the store and the many boxes of new computers that had just arrived from Mitac International of Taipei. These computers were destined to be delivered to both my Wall Street Journal customers and to my OfficeLand stores.
The destruction of my OfficeLand Computer Store forced me to move my company headquarters to Londonderry, NH. It also required that I cancel the new computer deal with Goldstar for half of a container of new small footprint computers that would replace the older generation. I had issued a Letter of Credit with Goldstar for many thousands of dollars and now I needed the money to move our entire operation to New Hampshire. However, the cancellation of this deal had major repercussions to my future success.
At COMDEX in Las Vegas, where I made the arrangement with the Korean company, Goldstar, for a new replacement computer there was a gentlemen that was listening to our conversation. At the conclusion of my meeting, BenyAlegrem asked if we could meet to discuss a future partnership in computers. Explaining he was the CEO of CalAbco of Woodland Hills, CA, he stated that he, too, wanted the same computer and would split the container with me. This would save me a good amount of cash. After several visits and a number of meetings with Beny, we both agreed to co-market the same computer but under two different names. East of the Mississippi, I would market the computer under the OfficeLand name and west of the river, it would be under the new name Beny was giving it…. Packard Bell. Slowing the delivery of my computers to Massachusetts, Goldstar was also in a labor dispute with its employees. Needing the cash for my New Hampshire transition to New Hampshire, I withdrew my bank LC. Packard Bell sold more computers than IBM or any other personal computer. Not too many years after, I saw Beny’s picture on the front cover of Fortune Magazine having sold Packard Bell to NEC for 2 billion dollars. Today he also owns the iconic Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel. Of course, there was also the possibility that Beny was at the COMDEX Goldstar booth at the same moment I was, because someone in my company told him I would be there.
With a new store, franchise offices, and new distribution warehouse, my move to Londonderry, New Hampshire created a brief increase in store sales. However, my franchise expansion significantly dropped off. I thought it was because of the 1989 recession but I now believe that important franchise sales leads were diverted to my wife who failed to give them to me. Because of new technology and purchasing power, OfficeLand still continued to grow and in 1991, the NH State Chamber of Commerce asked me to become their “Business Man of the Year”. However, I could feel something was very wrong and suggested another recipient.
With little franchise growth, I knew I had to make a strategic move to help my business. My goal was a merger with another company that would probably help propel the growth of OfficeLand. In 1991, Staples was starting to rapidly expand. A member of the CEO Club of Boston, I witnessed the recognition of other large office products firms selling out to Staples for a great deal of money. Having taken in a second round of funding, Staples was buying all the completion. Being one the largest competitors to Staples in New England, I wondered why they hadn’t approached me. Seriously considering a merger and relocation of OfficeLand Inc, to Maitland, Florida, my family resisted and worked overtime to undermine me. They told lies to my confused wife and innocent son that I was unfaithful and having an affair with an employee. In Florida, I inspected future office space and conditionally hired two employees. Sam Hargrove and Susan Sunka were ready to work for me and OfficeLand International, Inc., the new corporation which would be the result of a merger.
Convinced that I was having an affair with Sunka and after many weeks of depression my wife, Susan Faucher, surprisingly filed for divorce and bankruptcy at the same time. Federal records read later, however, showed that my wife was secretly using a Philadelphia law firm and withdrew from bankruptcy after my lawyer was successfully able to deconsolidate the case. If successful, her efforts would have permanently removed me from the franchise industry, according to FTC laws. Also to my surprise, was the fact that Lynn Crocker (Lucille McIntyre) divorced her husband and moved with two of her youngest children to Manchester, NH. She was the only person who I could talk with openly about OfficeLand and I began to visit her. One day, I told my 15 year old son that I was going to visit Lynn. To my surprise, my ex-wife was with Lynn when I arrived. Explaining my uncomfortable reason for departing Lynn’s apartment, I turned away to leave. From the corner of my eye, I saw Susan coming at me with a knife in her hand. She would have definitely stabbed me in the back had I not been able to grab her and experience 10 minutes of continuous thrashing. Lynn, in an attempt to call the police, discovered her telephone was not working. Later she saw that the phone jack was slightly pulled out of the receptacle. It probably happened when she went upstairs to check on her daughter. Finally the police arrived and arrested Susan, charging her with attempted murder that she proudly admitted. All of this was a shock to me and my fifteen year old son. At the same time, I was under great pressure from my son to help his mother get out of jail. Susan’s despicable activity was also news in the local Manchester Union Leader. An Assistant NH Attorney General called me to state that they were charging Susan Faucher with attempted murder and wanted me to testify against her. Mistakenly trying to do what was best for “my family”, I told him that I would not cooperate. That was a big mistake. Instead, the Court found Susan Faucher guilty of Domestic Violence and sentenced her to 3 months at Hampstead State Hospital which was an actual medium security prison. As Len Jr. was only 15 years old, through his appointed Guardian ad lidem, Mark Jewell, I was given full custody until he turned 16 years old. After turning 16, he returned to his mother. During her incarceration, I even took my son to visit Susan. Upon her release, I helped her locate an apartment in Londonderry and, on several occasions, took her back and forth from the Nashua Psychiatric Clinic, as she was ordered by the Court. Later, in 2004, when I tried to locate the news reports about the attempted murder, I discovered that there was no record of anything having to do with Susan Faucher and her violent attack on me. All that the District Court had was an empty file folder dated October 21, 1991. In 2010, when my present wife called the NH Attorney General’s office in Concord asking for any type of report of the incident, there was none. She was also told that, if Susan Faucher had been charged with attempted murder, there had to be a report in Concord. It was obvious that influential people had these reports expunged. It appears that only Attorney Mark Jewell, the former guardian ad lidem of Len Jr, and Len Jr. knew what actually happened.
As Susan and I were married for 15 years, I could not understand how hateful she had become. Trying to kill me was not in her character. I believed that someone or a group of people were encouraging her to do so, but I was in denial that my own family was involved. Looking back, for many years my mother did not want anything to do with Susan’s family. However, only a few months before the attempted murder, my mother invited Susan’s parents to her home in Waltham. Keep in mind that the Staples’s Wikipedia statement talks about “The purchase was made in secret, involved only the board without notifying the owners or investors of the franchise. I am sure that the facts will show what my family had discussed with me at the time, which was to add my mother and my father-in-law to the Board. However, from my point of view that was never done and even if it was, I was the significant majority stock holder of the corporation which required my signature for any major change. You can be sure that this was the reason for my mother’s meeting with people she claimed to dislike. I am now sure that it was also the reason my bi-polar wife, joined by her parents, was whipped into a frenzy by believing the infidelity I never had. Following the meeting of my mother and in-laws, my in-laws began a new and unusually close relationship with the owners of the OfficeLand of Manchester store, Frank and Connie Catanese. They were taking action to enjoin the assistance of all the franchisees, beginning first with Connie who I had appointed as OfficeLand’s Regional Franchise Director representing the Northern New England stores.
In 1989, I had moved to suburban Manchester from Shrewsbury, MA in order to be close to Susan’s parents, hoping they would help curb Susan’s depression. This seemed to start when she, weekly, traveled to receive the books from my mother at my Newton Corner store. After dropping out of the community college, I had taught Susan to become the bookkeeper from our home on a new Digital PDP 101 computer. I also tried to demonstrate love and respect to my wife but her response was to remain withdrawn and, sometimes, insulting and I didn’t understand why. From our new home in Londonderry, NH, after witnessing nothing less than a breakdown, I called her mother for help and was told “ …you have the problem”. I fully understand, now, what was happening as it was my mother and sister who had been undermining me for years. My mother was angry that I did not fulfill my high school promise to her that I would become a Catholic priest. However, it was my sister and her Mafioso-like husband who exhibited an obsession for great sums of money and would do anything to get it. I am now sure that it was my mother and sister that bolstered this image of a fabricated affair causing my wife to join their conspiracy and involve her parents and my son in their malicious activity. However, while my mother’s motive waspathetically religious, greed drove my devious sister, her husband, and my brothers Tom, Stephen, and George, all of whom participated.
There was another very important reason as to why my family was doing everything possible to prevent my success. After college graduation I married an Irish Catholic woman from Watertown and we had two daughters, Lisa and Kimberly, born in Manchester, NH in 1970 and 1971. Three years after we were married, Maureen McEllhenny filed for divorce and we shared custody of my daughters. McEllhenny married Bill Biswanger of Massachusetts but divorced him shortly after their marriage. Not long after she married Jon Gilbert also of Massachusetts. In 1974 I married Susan and we had a son, Len Jr. Having always loved my daughters, welcomed their overnight visits, and paid my child support payments to their mother, Maureen McEllhenny approached me with an impossible request just before the girl’s teenage years. Telling me that her husband’s family was very wealthy, she wanted me to agree that I should give them up for adoption to Gilbert. Explaining that my daughters would be able to “...travel to their homes in France and Vail, and have the best college education possible”, I made it clear that I would always remain their father and the answer was no. Not long after my negative response, the harassment began. Many times I would travel the 30 miles from Shrewsbury to Waltham to pick my girls up for their overnight visit, but they would not be there. After three separate times of Maureen being found guilty of Contempt of Court and exhausting the very little money I had, the Court assigned a Mrs. Brown to the case. She assisted me in making sure I was allowed to see my daughters again. Not long after, however, my own attorney, Robert Tennant, notified me that my daughters had petitioned the Court to be adopted by Jon Gilbert. He was convinced that the judge would agree with their request. Tennant suggested a compromise that would allow the girls to have periodic visits with me each and every year until they became adults. With no money left to fight, and no support from my own family, I reluctantly agreed. However, for the several decades that have gone by, I’ve never been allowed to have any contact with my daughters. While for many, many years, I thought my own family members were supportive of my continuous efforts to re-connect to my daughters, they were doing the opposite, secretly preventing me from seeing them. The reason is now so obvious but repulsive at the same time. While I could not be bought off for any amount of money to give up my children, each and every one of my family members did. The quid pro quo between my family and the wealthy Gilbert Family was to make sure I would never be able to take any action to see my daughters. OfficeLand Inc. began as the result of me leaving the very best teaching position any music director could ever have as the Needham High School Music Director (and Special Needs). In 1981, I learned FORTRAN, researched and learned the new world of personal computers, accounting, and took over an outdated adding machine company in Newton Corner. I prepared it to become the “Ace Hardware” of the office products industry. This was my strategy, since Attorney Robert Tennant insisted that I would have to pay him or any other lawyer $100,000 to be able to fight the legal battle to see my daughters.
As in many wars, my battles were in several theaters and Lynn was the only witness to this horrible attempted murder incident which had been erased everywhere. Not many months after being released from prison, although we were divorced, Susan Faucher was repeatedly invited and attended my family’s periodic events despite my objection. It was impossible for me to understand why my family embraced Susan after I had been so close to being killed by her. In addition, my long time high school friend, Bill Romaniecki, had been staying in touch with her. On one occasion my son told me that “… Romaniecki was trying to get his mother to have me committed to a state mental hospital”. I reassured Len Jr. that would never happen. Obviously, I now realize that my family was trying to create distrust and problems between Susan and me. They wanted to make sure that I would never learn the truth about what really happened to my OfficeLand stores.
While Romney’s investment in Staples came through Bain Capital, it was his personal attorney who was secretly involved with the theft of my 26 stores. After a decade, with the help of my present wife, we discovered that my OfficeLand’s corporate attorney was not just a member of the law firm that also represented Staples, Inc. but, to my surprise, it was also Attorney Jeff Stein that personally represented Mitt Romney. Attorney Jeff Stein of Hale and Dorr was a person who I was relying on to guide me through the myriad of obstacles put in place by Staples but, instead, he pointed me in the direction of failure and the destruction of my once very successful store chain. Through his contact, Joe Mays of the New York firm identified as “Securities Consulting Group”, Stein recommended that I travel to Salt Lake City to meet with a mergers and acquisitions company, A-Z Professional Consultants Inc. that would eventually arrange a merger with a small public company, Members Services, Inc. Later, we discovered that the M&A company principals had a connection to the Gambino crime family. In fact, they are all now sitting in federal prison for racketeering. Not long after my trip to Salt Lake City, and with the help of another crooked M&A lawyer recommended by Stein, David Sharpe, all the 26 store franchise agreements that I turned over to him completely vanished. I hired a Manchester, NH, attorney, Jennifer Rood, who asked Sharpe to return the critical documents that generated large sums of royalty payments each month to my company. He refused, stating they would be needed “…for Court”.
We now know, for sure, that all the OfficeLand stores were purchased by Staples without me signing one document or receiving a penny. And it makes great sense to me that the “Board” which consisted of me, my wife, my father-in-law, and my mother all must have falsified documents including stock ledgers and sold my chain for an undisclosed amount of money. I heard, before, from two franchise owners that they did, indeed, sell out to Staples Inc. but I never knew how. In fact, I thought that Staples Inc. may have bought them out individually. The theft of my stores coincided with several key events; Susan Faucher’s attempt to kill me in which she served jail time, her filing for divorce, and a separate filing for joint bankruptcy. This was nothing less than a pincer attack from all directions resulting in personal chaos and a depleted bank account.
Having completely lost OfficeLand, and with the help of Dr. Basil Henriques, two years later I tried another technology based office products store called Office Oasis. Having been well-known in the industry, I was able to get about 90 manufacturers to invest over $250,000 in my office supply store on CD. At a Chicago NOPA convention, a vice president of Xerox handed me a check for $10,000 for placement on the Office Oasis CD. In presenting it to me, he stated the following “ Giving this check means a great deal to me and Xerox, as I have been told by Staples that if I have anything to do with you or Office Oasis, they will never permit Xerox to be one of their vendors”. Not long after, my CFO Peter Hughes resigned and I made the mistake of hiring Staples’ first CFO, Bob Leombruno. Bob was one of the authors of Staple’s Business Plan, a document he loaned to me in order to win my trust. Planted by Stemberg into my new operation and signing all forms of NDAs, instead of using his position to help raise investment funding, Leombruno caused the company’s demise. It proved, again, that Staples founders were not only behind the theft of my 26 OfficeLand stores, but were actively preventing any new efforts that I might develop to greatly influence sales in the office supply industry and slow down their takeover of the entire industry. Subsequent personal attacks from Stemberg and Staples have followed me up through 2013.
The real tragedy and core of this story was what happened to Lynn Crocker. My family did everything possible to keep me from having any contact with her or even learning about her death years later.
Lynn Mason Crocker was only 29 years old when she and her husband from Wells, Maine, purchased an OfficeLand franchise from me in 1990. The bright new office supply and computer store was the last OfficeLand franchise store I sold. It was located in Sanford, Maine. While I could go into many details as to why Lynn Crocker divorced her husband, our common experiences brought us close together and I ended up living with Lynn and her kids for a period of time in Wells, Maine. Lynn told me that at the age of ten after her mother died, her father, William Mason of the town of Industry, Maine, had sexually forced himself on her on a “daily” basis. Her story horrified me, and compelled me to visit a very competent psychiatrist in Biddeford, Maine, who agreed to meet us. After his consultation with Lynn, he explained that she was so mentally ill, that she “…would never be able to have a normal relationship with any man” as it would require many years of mental health counseling. He also gave me the book The Beans of Egypt, Maine by Carolyn Chute. The book abrasively explained the nature and extent of incest in the backwoods of Maine.
When Lynn first divorced, she was given joint custody of her four children and shared them, two at a time, with their father, Donald Crocker. With little warning, in a subsequent custody hearing she was ordered to turn over all four children to their father. To her surprise, her ex-husband changed attorneys and retained a very well-known and, probably, expensive lawyer from Kennebunk. (I now believe that was an attorney provided to him by Staples or someone connected to Staples, as Lynn made it clear that they could never afford an expensive attorney). From my perspective and as a former teacher certified in special needs, Lynn was an exceptional mother always teaching her children the importance of reading and balancing needed discipline with caring love. At the time, she was fully employed by an office products company that I introduced her. Her job allowed her to have the income needed to help raise her children. Losing all her kids and being forced to only see them in the presence of their father was enormously painful for her. She had previously told me that during their marriage, her husband had been both physically and mentally abusive. Because the children were required to return to their father’s home every day after school, she and I moved very close to the children’s home in Wells. I took a temporary job at a greeting card company in nearby Biddeford. However, not long after, I heard her boys plead that Lynn return home so that they could have Christmas together. She informed me that her ex-husband wanted her to begin dating one of his friends. He made it clear to Lynn that she should be with “…anyone else except for Len”. Laughing at his suggestion, she assured me she had no interest in another man. I was a bit hurt, as I was always trying to be a good influence with the children and dedicated myself in off-hours to help with their school assignments. Under constant pressure from her children, Lynn reluctantly informed me that she was returning to her husband “…for the good of the children”. For over a year I had travelled a very difficult path with Lynn but understood that her pain was so powerful that I simply had to with draw from the situation. At the same time, I was alsofired for no apparent reason from the greeting card manufacturing company. Before I departed, I saw in the attic of the townhouse where we were living, sealed cardboard boxes with the individual names on each box…” For Dustin, For Donald, For Chris, and For Sarah”. This didn’t seem correct as the move was only oneblock away and left me with the impression that Lynn was planning her own demise. It was too late for me to do anything to prevent it.
Closing up the home, I made arrangements to temporarily live at my mother’s home in Waltham, Massachusetts until I could get back on my feet. That was a short lived idea as one Friday afternoon; two of my brothers (Tom and George) arrived at my mother’s home after my mother had called them to tell me and my brothers that she “…had received a bomb scare”. When I asked who it was, she explained that it was Mr. Bomber! When I suggested that she call the police, both my mother and brothers said “absolutely not”, as it may provoke bigger problems for her. They all agreed that I had to leave my mother’s home as my presence was probably the reason for the bomb scare. I half heartedly agreed with them as I did not want to place my own mother in any danger. As these were all the same people that I gave employment, I wondered why they did not offer to help me. Of course, I later discovered that they were part of the Staples conspiracy to take over my stores. These family members needed to make me as weak as possible to make sure that I never had the financial resources to take action against them.
All I had to my name was my car and very little cash. In fact, my cash was so limited I had to live in an old factory building owned by Harry Tong of Hampshire Music. I knew the owner of this very old warehouse building located in downtown Nashua, because I had helped my father obtain a part-time job there, bundling and shipping out - dated sheet music to music stores all over the country. (My father, who expressed pride of my accomplishments had been divorced from my mother and was living in New Hampshire and would have never been part of the conspiracy. In fact if he had known about it, he would have immediately stopped it). The warehouse building was never heated and I had to sleep in the walk in freezer section where I set up a cot, electric heater, and light to ease my comfort. For about a month, I had to live as homeless person, wondering how a person who never drank, didn’t do drugs, had no issues with the law, and had a Master’s Degree found himself in such a terrible situation. Nevertheless, I kept up my spirits and continued to look for a job or some way to find a source of funds. I refused to go on welfare and had no facility to file for unemployment.
Fortunately, a wonderful benefactor entered my life as I was looking to begin another business. It was a miracle for the kind and brilliant Dr. Basil Henriques to hand me $1,000 cash, arrange for me to have a small apartment in Woburn, MA, and allow me to begin a new civilized life. While I began my financial recovery, Lynn Crocker was having her own problems.
Despite being thrown out of my mother’s home, I kept visiting my mother as I never suspected that she would cause me harm. To my detriment I continued talking with her about everything I was trying to do in order to bring order back to my life. In January of 1993, my mother told me that she received a telephone call from Lynn Crocker’s sister, Tina, who was living in Augusta, Maine. Tina told my mother that Lynn had left her husband after Christmas and had been confined to a public psychiatric hospital in Biddeford. According to my mother, she was concerned that no one was doing anything to help her sister. As a single mother with a small son, Tina was not able to help Lynn and was looking to me for assistance. Late afternoon on a cold winter day, I drove up from Woburn, Mass. to the Biddeford State Hospital and was allowed to see Lynn. Happy to see me, she begged that I sign the release allowing her to leave with me, as she did. Despite her jubilation in seeing me again, I was conscious of what the psychiatrist told me as it was a haunting message (she would never be able to have a normal relationship with a man). Now that she was with me, I was unsure as to what I would do with her. Clearly, she was mentally ill and needed help. When I was involved with special needs I knew the Massachusetts state mental health system to be among the best in the country and felt that if I could get her admitted facility in Massachusetts, her recovery was possible. As she also told me, she wanted to be far away from her ex-husband, Donald.
As it was late in the day and she was very tired, I stayed with her at a cheap motel in Portsmouth, NH. Over the telephone, I asked my mother if she could temporarily allow Lynn live in her almost empty Cape Cod home in Waltham until I could get her admitted. Of course, my mother’s Catholic values went only so far and she said no. Lynn slept soundly throughout the night and was energetic and full of life when she awoke the next morning, insisting that we immediately become married. While I had strong feelings for her, I knew that there was no way that I could marry her. I explained that there was only one path for her and that was extensive mental illness recovery. I also identified to her the benefits of being admitted to a Massachusetts State mental facility. However, privately, I was not quite sure how that was going to happen.
During this period of time, it was important for me to stay in touch with my son despite the chaos we both had been through. Explaining the Lynn situation to 16 year old Len Jr., who was living with his mother, I asked him if he thought that my old high school friend, Bill Romaniecki, and his wife who lived in Attleboro, MA, would temporarily take in Lynn. This would be at least until I could get her admitted to Fuller State Hospital, also located in Attleboro. Fuller was known to be Massachusetts’s finest state long –term facility which, I believed, Lynn needed. However, after Len Jr. discussed this possibility with his mother who continued her close relationship with the Romanieckis, he reported back that there would be no problem. I had fired Romaniecki from OfficeLand. Later he purchased an OfficeLand Franchise inHanover, Mass. (a store he then sold to Staples, I found out later). What I did not know at the time, was that he and the other franchise owners, together with my ex-wife, and my corrupt family, had made arrangements to sell the complete chain of stores to Staples. I would get nothing, no payment from this sale of my company. Romaniecki was part of the conspiracy and he and my family were doing everything possible to keep me from learning anything about the takeover by Staples. Of course, I didn’t know at the time that taking Lynn to my former high school friend for help was like placing the chicken in the fox’s den. As the Staples’s acquisition had just happened, as we now know, certainly Lynn would have discovered that fact when she was living with her ex-husband for the holidays. Her own OfficeLand store was part of the deal. However, not realizing the conspiracy and with no other options, I gambled that he and his wife would be empathetic. This misjudgment on my part proved fatal to Lynn.
I did not have much time with Lynn before going to Attleboro, but the morning she woke up and told me that she wanted us to get married; she also told me that there was much more for me to know about her brief stay with her ex-husband. She told me that she was ridiculed for her activity with me in front of her children and was also, again, both physically and mentally abused and there was much more to tell me. Not wanting for her to become immersed in the difficult troubles of the past, I told her that we would cover her previous experiences later. I also promised her that she would someday fully become a “…whole person” and become well enough to have her children back. She told me that she knew she had major depression problems and wanted to “…get better” for her kids. To this day, I feel very guilty about having taken her to Attleboro and placing her with people who were only interested in the money they were receiving from Staples.
Through Len Jr., arrangements were made with Bill Romaniecki that I drove Lynn to their home. Len Jr. also told me that Bill and his wife, Jackie, were not angry with me and very definitely would help Lynn. Arriving at their home, Jackie made a bed in their basement for Lynn. I saw a marquis of a local high school performing the “Mikado” by Gilbert and Sullivan. I took Lynn to see the operetta that evening, hoping that she would cheer her up and allow her to become relaxed before returning to a strange home. As for me, I had to travel back to Woburn (50 miles) where I was working with Basil in a new company. The next day, with Basil’s help, I made a few phone calls. One was to Fuller State Hospital where they were very cooperative but explained that Lynn would need a Massachusetts State Driver’s License before being admitted to their hospital. With Bill and Jackie nearby, they were supposed to help her obtain a Massachusetts driver’s license and declare their home as hers. They never did.
After about one week and during one of my visits to see her, disaster struck. Taking her out for an ice cream, she became very depressed and was uncontrollably crying as she was begging to see her children. So out of control, I took her to the Attleboro Sturdy Hospital where she received immediate care. After the doctor met with her, a policeman was assigned to guard the outside entry to her room. However, I was permitted to see her at any time. I believe that there was something that she only told her doctor that caused the police to be assigned outside her door. Perhaps it might have had something to do Bill. Bill was unemployed and was remaining with Lynn all day while she was in their home. I became suspicious of Bill and there was no activity taking place in helping Lynn obtain a driver’s license that she needed for entry to Fuller. The hospital staff “section nined” Lynn and made immediate arrangements for her to be transferred to Corrigan State Hospital in Fall River (about 30 miles away). The nurses encouraged me to follow the ambulance and explain things to the doctors at Corrigan. As she was admitted to Corrigan, the staff and doctor went out of their way to explain that she would have to stay with them for about three months for important mental health care. She was not being allowed to have visitors until the doctor felt that she was ready and he would call me when she was. From my personal point of view, she was in good hands with very competent Massachusetts mental health staff, and I needed a great deal of time to get my own life together.
Sometime in the spring of 1993, I received a call from Lynn’s doctor at Corrigan asking me to meet with him. When I did, he completely explained her symptoms and told me that, besides being Bipolar and having other emotional behavior, she was “an extreme danger to herself” and needed long term care for which Corrigan was not suited. I explained my earlier discussions with Fuller and we both agreed that would be the best place for her. Of course, I relayed all of this information to the Romanieckis and to my mother, telling them that, with the doctor’s help, I was going to have Lynn admitted to Fuller. A couple of days passed and, in the afternoon, I picked her up at Corrigan. The doctor gave her some medicine and a prescription for Lithium and another drug which I was to give to the Fuller people. He emphasized to me that Lynn was incredibly suicidal and that he was only releasing her to me if she went from Corrigan straight to Fuller. Having called Fuller in the morning, I assured him that was exactly what I was going to do and Fuller was ready to admit her. Because Lynn had been a resident at Corrigan, there was no other requirement issue I was told.
Late that afternoon I arrived at Fuller with Lynn and her suitcase. She was optimistic and ready for long term care which she knew would be the best treatment. However, at Fuller’s office they, surprisingly, refused her admission. I explained the situation as to where she had been for 3 months and they repeated that she was not permitted toenter their hospital. They also refused to even call the doctor at Corrigan and demanded that we leave. I believe someone very influential prevented Lynn from being admitted. As it was late in the day, there was no choice for me but to, again, leave Lynn at the Romaniecki home until I could find a resolution the next day. After taking Lynn to her downstairs bedroom, I discussed the situation with both Bill and Jackie and what the Corrigan doctor told me must be done at Fuller. Looking across from them in their living room Bill said “…there is no problem with Lynn as YOU have the problem”. I was disgusted and shocked. I went to Waltham to tell my mother who was also unsympathetic. However, to my surprise my mother told me that she was conveying all the information about Lynn to my brother, Tom, who was living many miles north in Columbia, NH, and he was discussing the matter with Bill Romaniecki. I warned my mother to keep my brother out of this matter. Just for one night I stayed at my mother’s home to shorten my driving time. The next morning I woke up very early so as to travel to Attleboro and discuss the matter with Bill’s wife. Before I left I told my mother of my plan. Jackie was a science teacher and I hoped would recognize the urgency of properly dealing with Lynn. Arriving very early, I let myself in through the basement door where Lynn had been sleeping. I did not disturb her but met up with one of Romanieckis' sons who were getting ready to deliver papers with Bill. I asked him to let his mother know that I was downstairs and wanted to speak with her. However, she never came down and, instead, I heard her leave with her boys to deliver papers. Sitting on the basement floor, and waiting for Bill to come down to talk with me, the doorbell rang and immediately Bill accompanied two police officers downstairs ordering them to arrest me for trespassing. I saw that Lynn woke up and was trying to get the police to tell them that she was with me but Bill kept her from talking with the police. Instead, the police, trying to appease Romaniecki, asked if I was trespassing and told me to leave. Not wanting to get arrested and not arguing with them, I quickly departed.
Angry about what had happened, I went to my mother. She told me that she had told my brother, Tom, what I had planned to do. Obviously, now I know that they were all involved with something that was not good for Lynn or me. Of course this was to remove me from any connection with Lynn as they took control of a very mentally ill Lynn Crocker. Reluctantly, there was nothing more that I could do for Lynn as it was vital that I spend more time getting my life in order.
About a month went by and my mother called to tell me that the Attleboro Police called wanting to issue an arrest warrant for me stealing Lynn Crocker’s fax machine. In discussing the matter with an Attleboro Police captain, he stated that he thought his officer was “too quick” to issue an arrest warrant and was thankful that I had called him. He stated that his officer met with both Bill and Lynn but it was Bill that gave his officer most of the details. I explained that the fax machine in question belonged to me and not to Lynn. I also tried to explain how Lynn had ended up at the Romaniecki residence. He thanked me and asked me to write to him about the incident, as I did, and I never heard anything more. However, I also knew by the information given to me by the police, that Lynn was not receiving the mental health care that was critical to her survival.
About two months after the fax machine incident, my mother received a Restraining Order for me to have no further contact with Lynn at her new home (Romanieckis) as I was “ …a danger to Lynn”. This was odd because I had absolutely no contact with Lynn in Attleboro or anywhere else. Attending the hearing on the Restraining Order, I went to the morning session at Attleboro District Court. When I entered the court room, besides the two court officers, there were only two people sitting in the court room. They were Bill Romaniecki and Lynn Crocker. Looking directly at her, Lynn was emotionless and seemed drugged up. As a former high school teacher, I witnessed that “look” quite often. (I also wondered if my brother, Tom, who was a Customs Agent and suspected smuggler, was the person supplying the drugs. Whether it was Cuban cigars or motorcycles, he bragged about getting anything he wanted from the people that he confiscated their property at the Canadian border.) As I sat down on the opposite side of the court room, Bill went up to one of the court officers and said something to them. All of a sudden both court officers rushed me and took me to the back staying “…that man (Bill) said you have a gun in your briefcase”. Explaining, I never owned a gun, I was allowed to sit down and be heard by the judge. When it came time for the hearing, Bill spoke for Lynn stating I was a threat to Lynn’s life. Afterward, I explained who I was; the former president of the Newton Kiwanis Club and a friend of Judge Monte Basbas. Trying to make clear the incredible detail to this case, Romaniecki interrupted several times and was told by the Judge to keep quiet. Politely stating that he did not have time to hear all the details, the judge asked me to simply promise the court that I would never visit Lynn at the Romaniecki home, and I agreed. He denied the Restraining Order and thanked me for coming in. I was disappointed that I was not able to explain the accurate activity that was taking place at the Romaniecki home but with so many people for the judge to adjudicate, I understood the situation. However, because Lynn remained at the Romanieckis home, I now absolutely knew that Romaniecki and others in the conspiracy were:
• Placing Lynn Crocker in a mortally dangerous situation according to her doctor at Corrigan.
• Using the law to prevent me from having any further contact with Lynn.
But I still did not understand their motive. That was the last time I saw Lynn Crocker. Later, I asked my mother and others what happened to Lynn, I was told the following lies:
• She took a job with Towhill Office Products which became Staples.
• She changed her identity and moved to Rhode Island.
• She moved back with her husband and children.
Despite my personal roller coaster ride with Lynn, all I wanted for Lynn was for her to receive proper long term mental health care. I would have been very content if she fully recovered, left the hospital, and fell in love with a good person and was able to enjoy her children that she so loved. Of course, I would have liked to have remained a friend and watch the progress of her lovely children. Years later, I reflected on her children’s eulogy-like remembrance and picture of her children on Facebook. According to her “husband” David, who I spoke with in March of 2015, Lucille McIntyre had in fact moved back to Maine living nearby her children and received employment from a furniture company owned by a large office products company outside of Boston who sold out to Staples Inc. On the job with her company she met David McIntyre in 2001 and, he told me that they were married the same year. As you already know, her accident was on September 3, 2001 and she died on November 19, and so did the baby she was carrying. David, who knew of Lynn’s incest background, hospitalization in Massachusetts, her ex-husband’s abuse, was not aware of any mental health treatment she had received when she returned to Maine.
Those who profited from the Staples- OfficeLand deal did everything they could to make sure that she would never be in contact with me. Her hospitalization would have invited the possibility that I would meet with her and learn of the Staples conspiracy that I was only able to discover many years later.
• Was she kidnapped in Attleboro? Absolutely!
• Was she given the “option” to again see her children if she moved back to Maine and given a job at the same time Romaniecki and my family had the power to return her to the same abusive husband she left only a few months before. This way they insured that their Staples conspiracy remained far away from me.
• Was there neglect on the part of those that caused her to leave Massachusetts without having any doctor ordered mental health treatment? Absolutely!
• Would Lynn be alive and healthy today if she had been allowed to have long term mental health treatment at Fuller? Probably.
• Ask yourselves if those involved in insuring the capture of their illicit money at the cost of someone’s life should go unpunished?
I’ve had many years of reflecting back on the disappearance of my OfficeLand stores and the sudden personal chaos that ensued in 1991. I am now very sure what Lynn wanted to tell me that icy cold day in January of 1993 after leaving the Biddeford State Hospital. If I had been less sensitive of her very weak mental condition and more concerned about finding out the details as to what transpired and was said to Lynn during her 2-3 month stay with her ex-husband, the results may have been very different. The most important fact I would have learned before Romaniecki and my family abducted Lynn was that her ex-husband took the money from Staples and sold their OfficeLand store in Sanford, Maine. He sold out as the other franchises did and it was the single most important reason to keep Lynn from getting too close to me. Had I known that information at the time, with the help of my friend Basil Henriques and his lawyer, I would have gone to either the New Hampshire or Massachusetts State Attorney General to stop the on-going secret acquisition by Staples. Today, I am sure that my many documents from the Federal Records Center in Waltham, MA, selected witnesses, and depositions would reveal the proof of this conspiracy.
As for my corrupt family, they are now living off the giant trust fund that was created as the result of forgery, and a great many illegal activities to make sure that I was “out of the picture” so as to take, for them, a large amount of stolen money. In order to maintain their perception of integrity they have created an absolute nightmare of character assassination and slander, targeting both me and my present wife which continues today. We are sure that this is also why I have never been able to have any contact with my two beautiful daughters since 1982.
As for Staples Inc., their part of the conspiracy to eliminate a competitor was simply part of the carnage they willingly funded and left behind, allowing the founders to become present-day billionaires. The founders and investors of Staples, Inc. will go as far as they can in order to make sure their success is realized. Carefully shielding themselves from personal exposure, they use the finest law firms who prostitute their services, in order to deliver the order of destroying competition. How it might affect or physically harm people in the process is of no concern to them. Staples Inc. represents the worst of capitalism. Integrity and ethics to their founders are naïve qualities of a past generation. They are only concerned about their increasing personal wealth and maintaining the façade of “gentlemen” as they never will be. They are like the women who “..come and go talking of Michaelangelo”. Beneath the veneer of their ivy league education, they manipulate their friends and are barbaric to those that oppose them. The world would be a better place if people like the founders of Staples never existed. The masses of those that idolize wealth and genuflect in their presence would be better served if they listened more carefully to the message of our new Pope Frances rather to the idolatry of those who offer greed and corruption. These are the same people who also try to run our country and, if they do, they will attain more wealth and we will continue to have less.
Len Faucher was a high school teacher and administrator in the Boston area, Adjunct Professor of Music at Plymouth State University, and Trustee of his Alma mater, The Boston Conservatory. Today he is an Adjunct Professor in Business at a Houston area College and Chief Operating Officer of Franchise Innovators International, LLC.
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