As many of you are aware, Michael Allio reached out to us via Instagram regarding the profile we wrote on him, telling us that we “VERY FAR from reality.”.
This is how we left things with him:
“Can you please clarify anything that we’ve shared that is explicitly not factual? We’d want to address that immediately.”
“Im going to bed now but will happily address this next week.”
That was October 29, 2021. We’d worry that Michael never got out of bed, but his frequent posting on social media says otherwise.
We’re fine that he never got back to us because he shared enough to make us realize that we weren’t going to get explanations that made sense. Instead, he approached us as if we were naughty toddlers and, when that didn’t work, he attempted to guilt us with his story of cancer loss.
As we’ve mentioned before, we’ve been deeply impacted by loss caused by cancer. Regardless (or maybe because of that), we don’t believe personal tragedy should be used as a shield against scrutiny.
In our DMs to Michael, we agreed with him that we should have asked him for comment before publishing. On further reflection, we retract that statement. We don’t owe it to Michael to let him use our platform to push his narrative. For the questions that we’re the most curious about, we’d have no way to verify his responses and we don’t publish claims we can’t fact check.
The people we write about, by virtue of being on the show, have a much larger platform than we do. They often have hundreds of times the social media followers we do. They have any number of much larger publications to which they could make statements who would do minimal or no fact-checking.
We created our site in part as a check on the show, social media, and those publications giving these individuals enormous platforms with very little vetting, as well as an avenue to explore the artifice inherent in influencer culture.
There have been a few times in the past where we have interacted with cast members on social media who we did not profile. (Specifically, we tagged some of Michelle’s night one eliminations in our punny goodbye post on Instagram, we exchanged tweets with Brandon from Katie’s season on Twitter in our campaign to be able to watch Bachelor in Paradise Canada in the USA, and we traded a few messages with Peter’s pizzeria before he ghosted us.) Going forward, we have decided to limit our interactions with cast members and not to accept unsolicited DMs from them. In some circumstances, we will still reach out to a cast member to ask for clarification or when we are on the fence about whether to publish something.
We are not interested in access and want to avoid forming any parasocial relationships with cast members. We certainly would never want to have a relationship with a person that could lead them to think anything they said to us was “off the record.”
We do not publish everything we find – not even close. We only share publicly available information and, even then, we have our own internal guidelines about what we consider “fair game” or not. We try to highlight this process and how we arrived at our decisions in the articles when relevant. For example, we explained our reasoning when we included Victoria’s OnlyFans, Jamie’s old tweets, and Will’s brother. This doesn’t mean we’ll make the best call every time and we are always open to feedback.
We try hard not to overstate our conclusions and we care deeply about getting it right.
Cast members we have profiled, along with anyone else, are welcome to submit specific corrections – including all relevant documentation – via our website.
Without further ado, here’s our update on Michael
About Allstera & MA Workwear
We grouped Allstera and MA Workwear together because, from what we could find, Allstera was never registered as its own company. We’re curious whether any of the $23,900 PPP or $141,000 EIDL pandemic relief funds granted to MA Workwear by the federal government was used to purchase the Personal Protective Equipment that was sold on the Allstera site.
Regarding the PPE, in our original article we shared screenshots of advertised prices of personal protective equipment (masks, hand sanitizer, etc.) on Allstera’s site from 2020, and asked whether the prices seemed reasonable.
In our exchange with Michael, he said:
“Allstera was made as a B2B site which its primary function was to service hospitals and front line workers. The prices on the retail side were not what we were selling product for but rather a deterrent as we did not want to sell to a retail hoarder.”
Michael appears to acknowledge here that he knows that the prices of PPE on the website were high, but the intention was to prevent other people from hoarding.
We can’t say for certain whether the primary function of the company was to serve other businesses. But, we also can’t figure out why somebody would open and promote a publicly available retail store if their intention was to not sell to the public. Additionally, Michael’s LinkedIn (before he disabled it) said that Allstera “delivers quality and affordable sanitation consumer products [emphasis added] and personal protective equipment.”
We have no way to verify the prices at which Allstera sold product to other businesses. Michael claimed,
“On the b2b side… we made next to no money.”
He did not comment on how much they profited on the retail side.
In our opinion, anybody who was willing to pay the prices on the Allstera website must have felt desperate and vulnerable. However, our opinion of the prices doesn’t really matter. The opinions that count are those of the customers and the Ohio Attorney General. In the event that someone did buy PPE from Allstera at what they felt were inflated prices during the pandemic, they can report it to the Attorney General’s Office here.
Regarding how they accessed the PPE, Michael said,
“We simply used our exiating [sic] supply chain and partnerships overseas to get our front line workers in akron another supplier option.”
Allstera didn’t exist before 2020, so we’re assuming that overseas partnerships Michael is referring to are the ones MA Workwear has.
The only safety supplies MA Workwear appears to sell are clothing (high-vis pants and vests, etc.) We also looked through all 168 pages of the parent company’s catalog, and there were no masks to be found.
We’re not sure how their partnership with a clothing manufacturer would have allowed them to acquire and resell masks and sanitation products in a more cost-effective or efficient way than was already being done.
Lastly, another discrepancy we noted in our original profile is that MA had a badge on the MA Workwear site saying it was at least 51% woman-owned, despite telling the government they were a male-owned business in their PPP loan application.
This was still up when we checked on November 4th 2021, but it has since been removed.
Regarding The L4 Project
We had a number of questions about The L4 Project. Michael said,
“In fact, you are casting a very negative light on a charity created to honor my late wife and your words are very hurtful.”
While our intention is not to be hurtful, we don’t apologize for pointing out irregularities and asking questions. We think the truth is important, and as we mentioned in our first profile, The L4 project is not registered as a charity. It’s a company.
There hasn’t been any additional clarification provided on the website about who “The Board” is.
They still seem to be looking for volunteers for an eCommerce Manager, Graphic Designer, and Product Merchandising Specialists, but none of the people we’ve reached out to have been able to answer how, as a registered for-profit company, The L4 Project would be able to get around federal minimum wage laws.
Regarding their non-profit status, Michael said,
“L4 is an LLC at the moment because we dont have the man power (all volunteers) to go through the 501c3 process[…]”
We’re surprised that, given Michael’s extensive network he’s unable to find to volunteer (or pay someone) to help him with the 501c3 process. However, he goes on to say,
“but more importantly we like to have the flexibility to give to qualified individuals suffering from financial hardship due to a cancer diagnosis rather than just 501c3 organizations.”
So, it sounds like he actually doesn’t want to register as a charity. The reason given didn’t make a lot of sense to us, so we reached out to somebody familiar with the governance of charities who said it didn’t make a lot of sense to them either. However, she provided a much better explanation as to why the L4 Project is registered as a company:
“To be a 501(c)(3) a charity has to receive a certain percentage of its funds from the general public via donations or via fundraising relating to the charitable purpose (like Girl Scouts are allowed to raise money through cookie sales because it is related to the charitable purpose of teaching girls to be entrepreneurs and Goodwill can raise money from their thrift stores because the stores provide job training, which is one of Goodwill’s charitable purposes). An organization that fundraises through selling T-shirts and other merchandise through an online store would not be able to meet the public support test for 501(c)(3) status unless it was also soliciting and receiving enough donations to meet the threshold level of public support. There would also be an issue because they would be raising too much unrelated business income.”
(Michael, you have our permission to use that the next time somebody asks.)
Additionally, Michael affirmed the information we read on the L4 website, saying that,
“Not a single cent of L4 goes to payroll. If we dont use it for operations (i.e. stock, website management, promotion, campaigns) it goes directly to the L4 fubd [sic] which is managed by the akron community foundation which is a 501c3.”
We reaffirm that, as Charity Navigator repeatedly emphasizes, researching an organization’s financials is essential to informed giving. The L4 project doesn’t provide any financial records on their website (as an LLC they are not required to do so) and are just asking the public to trust them. We’re not saying that Michael can’t be trusted, just that additional transparency would no doubt help people understand why they should forgo a tax write-off to buy a t-shirt from L4 in lieu of donating directly to a charity.
As previously mentioned, we are more than willing to take down any information that is explicitly untrue and issue a correction if provided with the appropriate documentation.
That wraps up our update on Michael. Thank you to all of our readers that reached to us regarding this story. We wouldn’t have followed up on this story if it wasn’t for all of our messages of support. We appreciate you. That said, we hope to leave Michael in the past and focus on other members of The Bachelor franchise. There are a lot of phenomenal women on Clayton’s season with very cool (real) jobs.
xo Your Nosy Friends, Doing Their Best