dishonest and fraudulent business dealings.
What is this?
Senior figures in Guardians of the Galaxy have conspired to rip-off their members through extortionate mark-ups on doctrine ships. Ordinary line members of GOTG have suffered the brunt of this.
This has been a deliberate, pre-meditated and coordinated effort. It reaches back to 2015 and is currently ongoing.
What’s the evidence?
Our first piece of evidence is the following screenshot from a Goon Jita trader who noted an unusual sale in his market logs.
However, after accounting for GOTG’s freight costs and Jita pricing of the ship and fittings, the prices are marked-up significantly. You can see this data below.
|Average Cost||554||Jita Cost + Shipping to Deklein||472.6||Avg. Mark-Up||17%|
|Average Cost||710||Jita Cost + Shipping to Deklein||527.4||Avg. Mark-Up||34%|
|Tempest Fleet Issue|
|Average Cost||649||Jita Cost + Shipping to Deklein||552||Avg. Mark-Up||17%|
For context, most coalitions set the maximum mark-up for seeded doctrine ships at between 5 and 10%.
Costs from last week were generally higher, at a 36% mark-up for Eagles, 19% for TFIs, and 42% for Lokis. As all these costs come from DO6H-Q, and the coalition is deploying elsewhere, the lower prices at the moment may be a form of fire-selling.
We have also looked at those listing the contracts:
Tempest Fleet Issue
Just4You Holding (Siberian Squads Renters)
Roshi Kyanmar (SLYCE)
Not NOT (SLYCE)
Halleflux Equeron (Independent)
Damian Kowalski (MOA) (Director)
Joel Evernius (SLYCE)
Vespo Freir (Alt/Independent)
Damo Powers (Director, Kenshin, DARK.)
Marie Marie (Corp Officer, KOS)
Loose Cannon Simona (Director, MOA)
MIKE Commander (Director, MOA)
United Nexus Corporation (Corp in KOS)
Naproxin Industries (Corp in KOS)
Valera Manderein (Director, SLYCE)
DochMarr (Kenshin Alt, DARK.)
From this list, we can see 9 corporation directors involved, either directly or indirectly. They range from across the coalition; indicating the structural nature of this problem.
This evidence combined tells us that, at the minimum, the GOTG market is entirely unregulated. Moreover, a number of senior members of corporations actively exploit the line through selling overpriced doctrine ships.
However, this does not fully explain the logs indicating Sort Dragon’s potential involvement.
To find out more on that front, I talked to a range of people with knowledge of GOTG’s internal workings.
So, what did they say?
I spoke to one former leader within Darkness, dr poom, about my investigation:
“All I can say is they do not enforce regulation over 25% mark up on doctrine ships, and they do not monitor the market. It is too much of a hassle back when I was with them. Heck, I was one of the main market seeders but always under-cut the expensive stuff. People can be greedy, but that was like 8 months ago.”
After he said this, I mention how high the prices are, and that I think there’s a possibility that Sort was using the lack of regulation to play the market himself.
“Wtf. Sort always said it was too much hassle to monitor the market and contracts. I guess he needs to delegate that. I guess since the moon mining changes funding stuff is hard.
I was on with Sort daily and he treated me really well. He was good to me, a little harsh to other folks, but he has a lot going on running stuff. He always was against any type of RMT and bad dealings. He might play the meta but he never scammed anyone.”
This does not point blame at Sort Dragon. However, it does reinforce that there is a serious reluctance to regulate the coalition market. This makes GOTG distinct from all other major coalitions and alliances. This should be a serious point of concern for average GOTG line member.
I pushed on further and moved on to my next interviewee, Ironwulf, Sort Dragon’s former right-hand man.
“I haven’t been in GOTG for a long time. I still say that when I was second-in-command in GOTG, that Sort used to be very sketchy with his Isk practices. It’s probably one of the reasons we had a falling out. When we moved up North, he sold all the FCON supers we had to NC/PL before his own coalition, just because he knew he would make more money. Boki has a wallet division for Darkness in his corp. He pretty much runs that corp as a racketeer for the alliance.
I heard they already cut SRP down to CTAs only, which means Sort is not liking the money which is going out. He is very isk driven, and not in a positive way. They should have the money they have in the alliance wallet, as they’ve been sitting up there untouched by other entities for quite some time, but all funds go to Sort’s personal wallet. He believes the alliance is a extension of his personal wallet. He has said it multiple times.”
I again bring up the unusually high marked up ship contracts.
“The rule used to be 30 percent max. I wouldn’t put it on leadership to be doing it. they are more of an overall skimmer. Sort would pocket the 25 percent tax before putting the effort into seeding.”
I found this conversation to be more eye-opening than the last. However, it must be borne in mind that Ironwulf and Sort parted on bad terms. Therefore, it is important that we are critical in our examination of this statement.
Seeking additional verification for Ironwulf’s comments, I spoke to a former coalition fleet commander for GOTG during World War Bee. As his actions were very much complicit with the unregulated markets, he chose to remain anonymous.
“Wartime is the best time to make Isk in GOTG if you do not mind making hauling and using jita. Personally, I made 28bil in GOTG, after they moved to Deklein, off selling ships at 20-40% mark-ups. I would sell Cerberuses, Scimitars, and Huginns for roughly 22-28% markup depending on their need. I made 8bil the day GOTG anchored their first keepstar in 209G-D. We had a max red-pen CTA and I KNEW a lot of carebears had never owned a doctrine ship. I sold Machariels at 45% mark-up. I paid 800 mil and was selling them for 1.3bil.
There is no regulation, and in fact many guys in Resilience (Sort’s Corp) find it funny. Blacksmoke16 is one of the biggest perpetrators of this. Blacksmoke, as many know, is the largest market animal in GOTG. He knows the doctrines before they hit the public arena, he does the hauling, and he sells the ships at an extreme markup. Sort Dragon often throws this under the guise of “alliance logistics”. In my experience now, over a year later, alliance logistics is where your alliance buys or makes stuff and sells it to the membership at lower markups to make sure their members are in the proper ships rather than practices that were being done while I was there.”
What’s our takeaway from these interviews?
It might be the case that all of these interviews are lies. In isolation, we might reject any one of them as such. However, all three are self-reinforcing and referencing. Moreover, they are backed up by hard evidence in the form of contract pricing.
They show us that while Sort Dragon might not actively participate in the price fixing, he is aware of it. We did consider whether Sort was genuinely unaware, but that seems improbably incompetent.
Regardless of Sort’s culpability, the interviews overall paint a damning picture of the GOTG doctrine contracts as abused by some of the members of the coalition to the detriment of the rest of the coalition. This money is unlikely to be going back into SRP, as SRP has now been limited to CTA fleets only. It is being carried out purely for personal gain.
What does this all mean overall?
What this all means is that certain members of GOTG and their leadership are running a racketeering operation on their own line members and coalition mates. This is being done in a time of war, with what appears to be the tacit support of the coalition leader.
This isn’t spin or media bias. There simply isn’t an alternative explanation as to why there should be such a high mark-up on ships so consistently across the coalition.
Have you checked your alliance contracts recently? If so, what do you think of the pricing?
Featured image credit: Razorien