CEO With Sordid Past Behind Flexpetz Dog Sharing Service

ITCHMO EXCLUSIVE: Simon Brodie, the controversial founder with a criminal past behind the Allerca hypoallergenic cats, is the CEO of a company that owns Flexpetz, the pet sharing service. Brodie was convicted in the UK of multiple counts of accounting fraud. Ever since his move to the United States, he has been linked to pets or animals in his ventures and is shadowed by a history of failed ventures, lawsuits, unpaid bills, and fraud allegations. He characterized his past by saying “I’ve had some hits, some misses.”

How is Simon Brodie linked to Flexpetz?
Brodie was appointed the CEO of Tetros, Inc. — a firm purchased by ColdStar Capital — on April 4, 2007. Flexpetz issued a press release on April 10 which described itself as a wholly owned subsidiary of Tetros, who are both owned by ColdStar Capital. ColdStar, who lists its president as Jonathon Nicholson, is based out of the Cayman Islands.

When we talked with Brodie, he flatly denied having any knowledge about ColdStar Capital. When asked about the SEC filing that lists him as CEO of Tetros, Brodie retracted his statement, but would not provide a phone number for Nicholson.

The reference to ColdStar Capital was removed from the Flexpetz website on Thursday, the same day we spoke with Simon Brodie.

Add $22,000 exotic “Ashera” cats that haven’t been seen.
Simon Brodie is also the founder of Allerca (which is selling hypoallergenic cats for thousands of dollars) and also the man behind the supposedly unique “Ashera” cats.

Brodie is seeking to set up franchises to sell these “Ashera” cats. However, the cat breeder community says that the cats are not new. They say that the cat depicted on Brodie’s site is the Savannah breed already in existence. In fact Brodie’s company web site does not identify the cat as a Savannah and refused to show pictures of the actual breed until the franchises have been launched.

Mainstream media such as the New York Times and Time magazine have picked up the hypoallergenic cat story and Time went as far as to call it one of the best inventions of 2006.

Even murkier past

A Boston Globe article sheds more light into Brodie’s past.

Former associates have cast doubts about Simon Brodie’s new venture based on the past of its founder.

His latest legal troubles include a $285,000 federal tax lien placed on him last February by the Internal Revenue Service — about the same time Allerca was evicted from its headquarters in downtown San Diego, which was also Brodie’s home, for failing to pay rent.

A ColdStar Capital press release describes Brodie in a more favorable light:

Mr. Simon Brodie, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer has over 20 years of international management, sales, marketing and trouble-shooting experience. He has managed divisions of multinational corporations and has guided startup companies from start-up through acquisition.

Mr. Brodie has worked with organizations including United Kingdom’s National Health Service, Barclays Bank, HSBC, National Freight, Computer Sciences Corporation and JP Morgan. In 2004, he established companies to operate the new concept of high-priced domestic “lifestyle pets” which has resulted in worldwide acclaim for this new sector of the multi-billion dollar pet industry.

A Flexpetz representative could not be reached in time for this post.

24 Responses to “CEO With Sordid Past Behind Flexpetz Dog Sharing Service”

  1. Andrea says:

    How terrible! Why do scumbags always get involved with animals somehow?

  2. AM says:

    Because animals can not open their mouths and say in words what is happening *to them, us humans can.

  3. ~Martha~ says:

    Good investigative work, Itchmo!

  4. Natalie says:

    The San Francisco location was just profiled in the newspaper in Sacramento…


  5. vida says:

    Impressive investigation! Thanks for draggging this into the light!

  6. Natalie says:

    Sorry… cursor went to wrong place. Feel free to fix that.

  7. wescott20 says:

    This guy got in trouble in England first….is he British and not a US citizen? If he’s not a citizen here, why not just deport him before he scams more people?

  8. Itchmo Pet Safety Alert: Possible Fraud Risk On Multiple Pet Service/Product Companies | Cool Dog Hall of Fame says:

    […] can read Itchmo's full story here: CEO With Sordid Past Behind Flexpetz Dog Sharing Service Filed under General Dog Information by Carlotta Permalink • Print • Email […]

  9. Jenny Bark says:

    Thanks Itchmo, real good work. I’ll take a copy of this to my vet & some of the shut ins I visit who want a pet but can’t take full care of them. Thanks again.

  10. Merlin Marshall says:

    Nice piece of reporting Itchmo! This guy is certainly trouble. It just goes to further prove the old adage, “If something is too good to be true, then it usually isn’t.” That and there are a lot of ways to separate people from their money.

  11. Lynne says:

    “Mainstream media such as the New York Times and Time magazine have picked up the hypoallergenic cat story and Time went as far as to call it one of the best inventions of 2006.”

    American mainstream media has turned into shoddy, tabloid crap. I get my news online for precisely this reason.

  12. thomas says:

    good job itchmo!!!

  13. Karen Kestner says:

    I’m not surprised. Though “pet” rental is a good idea for humans, it is too stressful for any animal to change environments and caretakers on a daily- to hourly basis. Not a good idea in the best interest of our furry pals. No true animal lover would put one thorugh this type of service.

  14. says:

    Very good job in flushing out the truth Itchmo. I can say one thing about this guy, he is very good at getting press for his shady endeavors. We covered the allergy cat earlier because of the amount of press coverage it got. I hope your investigation into this guy’s past makes it to the front pages!


  15. Stefani says:

    Kudos for the investigative and analytical work, ITCHMO! Wow!

    Thank you for being a watchdog.

    Maybe one day you will do an investigative story on the topic of veterinary malpractice??? It happens all the time and the grieving owners are laughed at by the system and nothing is done about it.

    I just yesterday got public records from Washington DC, where the veterinary board (which is supposed to oversee the practice of veterinary medicine) has dismissed 92% of consumer complaints, and they took no disciplinary action in 100% of the cases (or to look at it another way, they have taken disciplinary action in 0% of the cases sent to them).

    I have records from Washington State too . . . keep planning to compile a database but alas, I have a day job.

    Anyway, back to YOU!! You are doing a fabulous job with these investigative pieces, asking questions no one else is asking. You are playing a very unique and important role in advocacy and monitoring now, and . . . I have to say, ITCHMO has become my primary news source. LOL.

    Keep up the good work!

    Is your pet safe at the Vet?

  16. zu says:

    Justed wanted you all to know that todays New York Daily Candy is spotlighting a new Flexpet for NYC;city=1
    While I love Daily Candy I can not understand how they think this is a “good thing” I already emailed them but got a “form email” back-if anyone else can email Daily Candy to let them know how bad an idea this is maybe they can retract–thanks

  17. pam says:

    ben…send your info to anderson cooper…he likes to ‘keep them honest’

  18. Clare says:

    Great piece of detection work Itchmo. I’ll file this man’s name away as I’m sure he’ll pop up again with another pet project. I’ve been hearing about Flexpetz for many months, and just can’t think what benefit the dog gets out of the scheme - dog’s need to bond with their owners, they thrive on being with their pack. What quality of life for a dog that’s passed around like a parcel?

  19. Pet Connection Blog » A man of many hats ... and pet businesses says:

    […] pal Ben over at Itchmo reports that the controversial pet-sharing plan has Brodie as CEO: Simon Brodie, the controversial founder […]

  20. Ralph says:

    Don’t want Simon Brodie exploiting animals in your backyard? Call your state rep and senator immediately; urge them to pass An Act Prohibiting the Renting of Pets (HB 4893) THIS SESSION. That means: by July 31. Otherwise, we’ll be opening the door for FlexPetz and its clones (think: Dave’s Discount Dog and Cat Rentals or Bob’s Bully Dog-a-Day).

    These are businesses that peddle animals as if they were rental cars. And we all know how people treat those! You have the power to prevent that.

    Don’t know who your legislators are or how to reach them?

    Info: Coalition to Prohibit the Renting of Pets,

  21. . » Blog Archive » Flexpetz Update: Pet Rental CEO a Known Fraud? says:

    […] my exhaustive search for new information on the Flexpetz situation, I came across an excellent article by Ben Huh with some information I thought worthy of sharing. Turns out this isn’t Simon […]

  22. Washington City Paper: City Desk - Puppy Sharing Update: This Just Got a Whole Lot More Interesting says:

    […] according to connections made by the blog Itchmo: News for Cats and Dogs, is listed as CEO of a company called Tetros, Inc., which—at leaset at one point—owned […]

  23. A Big Sky, Montana Resident says:

    I don’t know why Brodie hasn’t been arrested, but he can be stopped. Look here:

  24. Costa Rican Resident says:

    No one tracked this guy from his exploits in San Diego in the late 1990’s till 2004. He was here in Costa Rica in 2000 ripping people of left and right. He screwed the fattest, ugliest girl in our little beach town then stole $500. from her, poor thing. He can’t re-enter Costa Rica (legally anyway), having numerous pending lawsuits. America/U.K. muy stupido. Stop sending us your low-life. I should add that this parasitic, pestilent little pot of puss is a very snappy dresser. Small. Hides well. Excellent Spanish. Mild English accent. 100% BULLSHIT.

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