I am back in Tokyo after three years’ absence to help my friends Mark and Mary Devlin in a battle with a high-profile “entrepreneur” who has reneged on paying more than 1.5 million dollars he owes to the Devlins for their magazine Metropolis, which they founded in the early 1990s, built up into the No. 1 English-language in Japan, and finally put up for sale in 2007.
The man who owes them the money, Terrie Lloyd, is well known in Tokyo business circles for his claim to be the “founder of over (sic) 17 start-up companies in Japan” and for publishing The Journal, the official magazine of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ). Terrie presents himself as the consummate business guru, still running seminars on “How to Start a Company in Japan” despite presiding over the failed print offering, “Japan Inc.” and recently accepting a default judgment against his company Metropolis KK in a lawsuit filed against him by one of a string of printers seeking payment of massive outstanding bills.
It doesn’t take long to get a negative first impression of Terrie Lloyd – Tokyo seems full of past victims, each with a horror story about the time they “worked for” / “dealt with” / or merely “crossed paths with” Terrie Lloyd. In just four weeks, I have heard a lifetime’s worth of allegations about hidden assets, disappearing collateral, shell companies, a coterie of corporate stooges, and overall slippery dealings… all directed at Lloyd. The sources range from former business associates, employees, social acquaintances, and insiders claiming an intimate knowledge of a unique code of conduct they say Lloyd employs in his business activities.
Writing as a journalist who worked in this community for nearly 20 years, acted as the editor of the official newspaper of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, and watched how our community was brought together by the creative efforts of the Devlins through their magazine Metropolis, I have a personal interest in getting to the bottom of this story.
What I discover, I will post here. Terrie Lloyd’s business survival in this community is dependent on the views others hold of him. If the allegations against him prove true, it would be our collective responsibility to bring him to task and, if warranted, to justice, lest he present a face of our community to the broader population that misrepresents the kind of people that we are and the kind of business we came here to conduct.
The duty of a journalist is to seek out the facts and to present the full truth that those facts reveal. I intend to do so, meticulously. I invite others to help by forwarding relevant information. By working together, this community can still protect its own reputation and expose wolves disguised in sheep’s clothing.
Why start one if you can just take one without paying for it?