Frequently Asked Questions
We have taken some of the most frequent questions that were being emailed to the old homepage, and answered them here. Hope it helps.
Q: Is Jeffrey Peterson Hispanic?
A: No. Jeff is a Caucasian, English language dominant American citizen by birth who was born and raised in Southern California to a British mother and third generation American citizen father. His father was a distant relative of European Spanish settlers in the city of Santa Barbara, California. During the many years Jeff worked in Mexico and Latin America, despite being fluent in Spanish, locals in those regions called him a “gringo.” (Sometimes, “Norteamericano!”)
Q: If Jeffrey is not Hispanic, how and why did he start Quepasa?
A: During the .com technology sector boom of the late 1990’s, Jeff was looking for industry needs that had not been solved by existing internet businesses. While studying consumer demographic data, the large Hispanic population in the United States stood out to him as underserved on the Internet. In fact, as Jeff said in his 2003 biography, at that the point in history when Jeff started Quepasa, 1998, “no one had built anything significant for Hispanics on the internet in the U.S., yet.” Jeff set out to teach himself Spanish, moved to the U.S. Border state of Arizona, and launched Quepasa in 1998.
Quepasa registered its first million users within several months and quickly outperformed the only other U.S. Hispanic Internet brand at the time, Yahoo! en Español. Shortly thereafter many top Hispanic/Latino media figures came onboard to help Quepasa, such as Gloria Estefan, who is the top selling Latina crossover entertainer of all time yet she had never endorsed a product in the history of her career, having repeatedly turned down top advertisers such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi for endorsements. She told Jeff that she was moved to join Quepasa as the only brand she ever endorsed, with the concept of empowering Hispanics by raising awareness of technology and the internet within Hispanic communities throughout the country.
For these reasons and others, including the largest Spanish language outdoor (billboard) national media purchase on record at the time, Quepasa quickly became the first well known U.S. Hispanic online community in United States History.
Q: How did Jeff meet those top Hispanic market personalities when Quepasa first came out on the national scene during the .com boom years?
A: There was very little available on the entire Internet, at the time, for Hispanics. For the Hispanic market, Quepasa was almost the very beginning. By virtue of being first to market, the company gained a tremendous amount of attention, quickly. It has been said that the entire Latin Media industry is controlled by 100 (One Hundred) or less key personalities. Many of those personalities were drawn to Quepasa’s business at one point or another, especially during it’s early growth phase. Many contacts were made at that time, that would last for years.
Q: What is the true story about Jeff being fired from Quepasa right after the company went public, then taking the company over again two years later?
A: For reasons that are beyond the scope of this FAQ, including but not limited to pressure from Quepasa’s investment banks to hire a Hispanic CEO for the company, regulatory and compliance, and the fact that Jeff didn’t have a college degree at the time, the perceived need to hire a “authentic” Hispanic CEO was a constant theme internally while Quepasa’s first IPO was in registration during early 1999.
Jeff ended up hiring a graduate of Harvard Business School, Mr. Gary Trujillo, as Quepasa’s CEO. Shortly thereafter, Quepasa went public on the Nasdaq Stock Market. After being hired by Peterson only 60 days prior, Trujillo fired Peterson almost immediately after the IPO. This is a well known story in the history of Phoenix, Arizona business circles. A lawsuit followed, and was settled about 90 days later. Quepasa paid $2 million dollars to Jeff in the settlement, and Jeff kept his stock shares and left the company.
History shows that Trujillo ended up leading Quepasa to loose almost it’s entire market value over the following two years, which was nearly a $500 million dollar loss to shareholders at one point. To be fair, at least some of the loss was due to the .com downturn of years 2000 and 2001, which were almost equally as bad as the proceeding .com boom years were good. Thousands of technology companies went out of business during this time.
When Quepasa almost disappeared in 2002, Jeff ended up taking the company back and serving as its Chairman and CEO, for a second time. After the 2002 takeover, Quepasa recovered more than $150 million of market value, and 45 million registered active users, under Peterson’s renewed leadership.
Q: Is the Rick Scott who led the investor group to buy Quepasa in 2007, the same Rick Scott who is the Governor of Florida, today?
Q: Why did Rick Scott buy Quepasa?
A: Rick was a venture capitalist at the time. His company, Rick Scott Investments, was acquiring, buying and selling many different businesses. We are not going to comment on his reasons for buying the Quepasa Social Network, which had a stock market value of about $200 million at the time he finalized his acquisition. However, the stock purchases are a matter of public record and can be viewed at the SEC website: https://www.sec.gov
Quepasa merged and changed its name to “The MEET Group” in 2012 while retaining Quepasa’s old SEC filer number of 0001078099, so you need to search for historical company records with that SEC ID or company name. This is a direct link: The MEET Group, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings
Q: What is the “hit piece” news article that Jeff has mentioned in the press, in the Arizona Republic newspaper on December 14, 2017?
A: False, inaccurate. It is what President Trump might call “Fake news.” For Jeff’s many Democrat friends, we apologize if the use of the term seems unexpected for Jeff, but we feel it’s accurate in this case. Jeff has publicly called the December 14, 2017 Arizona Republic story a “hit piece” news article that was planted by a previous friend and business partner with whom Jeff has been engaged with in a complicated, ongoing business dispute left over from the years when Jeff lived in the State of Arizona. Jeff’s lawyers were engaged with this group in the time period before, during, and after the article was planted; the dispute is ongoing. According to statements made by Jeff, the same group in question collected several of Jeff’s prior colleagues and coerced them into making inaccurate, false statements in the Arizona Republic article.
The article was intended to create the appearance of impropriety, with a sinister narrative. What the article doesn’t mention is that Mobile Corporation, the company mentioned in the article, was a legitimate start-up project just like any other. The company was represented by the top law firm in Silicon Valley throughout its dealings with investors, followed the correct procedures that technology startups are expected to follow, and had extensive documentation and diligence files. Proper authorizations from Mobile’s Board of Directors was obtained for business transactions as would have been expected for a internet start-up venture managed by a former CEO of a publicly-traded company. The company’s programming and operational teams worked in four offices around the globe, and generated tens of thousands of lines of proprietary source code; alpha, beta and operational versions of a working online platform were released and directed at freelancers and the Mobile technology sector.
Mobile Corp. eventually took steps to become a publicly traded company on a major North American Stock Exchange, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) in 2016.
Historical screenshots of Mobile.co’s operational working-online platform in different stages of development and release can be seen on the website archive.org. To see screenshots, go to archive.org and type in the URL “mobile.co”, then you can click on screenshots from different years. The archive.org system is not perfect but it’s a legitimate way to see screenshots back in history as to what websites looked like at a point in time. Here’s a link to one such screenshot: Mobile.co screenshot from August, 2015
The going-public transaction for Mobile Corp. was not completed for numerous reasons, including market conditions, regulatory issues and internal disputes at the company that are beyond the scope of this FAQ. The same individual who is quoted with supposed “doubts” about the company in the December, 2017 Arizona Republic Article, Dennis Burke, knows the company followed correct procedures as Burke was the Chief of Compliance for Mobile Corp. from day one of its existence and it was his responsibility to make sure that such rules were followed. Jeff’s lawyers feel that Burke apparently wants to create the impression that corporate funds at Mobile “vanished” in some sort of theft, which is a ridiculous narrative not supported by company documents or history.
The exaggerated efforts to advance Burke’s “theft” narrative left Burke in an embarrassing position of publicly questioning why men’s suits were purchased for an employee at a Men’s warehouse store, which Burke apparently claims is proof that there was “theft” at Mobile Corporation. And the narrative is repeated again and again, anywhere Burke can find someone willing to listen. Although Jeff disagrees with Dennis Burke, Jeff at times has said he feels bad for Dennis. Dennis and Jeff used to be good friends, when Jeff lived in Arizona.
Jeff feels as though Dennis has had a tremendous amount of pressure put on him by other parties who want to discredit Jeff, and have put Dennis in charge of that job. All of this being said, it is not the first time Jeff has been through inaccurate reporting. As just one example, news outlets throughout the United States constantly reported that Quepasa had “gone out of business” and “failed” after the .com downturn of 2002; this was never true. Quepasa never went out of business and never ultimately failed; Jeff halted the fall of Quepasa’s stock shares when they almost dropped off the stock market at .04 cents per share in the year 2002 (all the way down from a one-time high price of $26/share) with his proactive efforts to protect and restore shareholder value, and then kept the company going. See: Quepasa.com regroups after difficult times
Jeff rebuilt Quepasa and worked on restoring shareholder value until he sold the company to an investment group led by Florida investor Rick Scott in 2007, after Quepasa’s market value had been restored from virtually nothing to almost $200 million USD.
Q: What was it like to work with Gloria Estefan?
A: Jeff has always had nothing but good things to say about Gloria. He has said that her endorsement was one of the main reasons Quepasa because as famous as it did, as fast as it did, in the early years.
Q: What is the story about Jeff’s friendship with Jennifer Lopez’s father, David?
A: Jeff has publicly stated said that he has no idea what is happening with David now. We are still trying to figure out exactly what ended up happening with Mr. Lopez, who has been a good friend of Jeff’s over the years. Facts and business documents reflect that J-lo’s Dad had made a significant amount of money working with Jeff’s businesses, and never lost. Jeff has not spoken with Mr. Lopez since parting ways with his former group of friends in Arizona.
Jeff has publicly stated he feels David Lopez, who is a scientologist, might have been coerced to make negative statements. Interestingly, an article was published by the website Radar Online, a few months before David made those statements to the Arizona Republic, which stated “Scientology has wrecked Jennifer Lopez’s family, with the cult leaving her father David Lopez flat broke.” See: Jennifer Lopez ‘Devastated’ After Dad Gives Fortune To Scientology
We hope the news isn’t as bad as it sounds for J-lo’s Dad, and that Mr. Lopez is doing well. For the record, Jeff stated publicly in March of 2018 that he continues to appreciate David Lopez and that David is a “nice man, he is a great Dad to Jennifer and a great Grandpa to her kids.”
Q: Why did Marco Lopez state in the December, 2017 Arizona Republic “hit piece” news article, that corporate business was not authorized, when Lopez himself voted to authorize it?
A: Jeff has no idea. The defamatory statements made by Marco Lopez, who was Jeff’s best friend and closest colleague in the State of Arizona for ten years, are unfortunately not true. Lopez himself served on the Board of Directors of Mobile Corp., and at all times knew absolutely everything that was happening at the company and in Jeff’s life. In a telephonic meeting of the Mobile Corp. Board of Directors held in 2013, Lopez himself authorized the same transactions he later told the Arizona Republic were “not authorized”, in the December 2017 hit piece article that was orchestrated by Dennis Burke. There are authorized audio recordings of those Board meetings in the Mobile Corp. company archives. So, we have no idea who pressured Marco Lopez to tell blatant lies to the Arizona Republic in December of 2017, but Jeff is sad about it and still cannot believe one of the best friends he ever had in his entire life turned on him.
In the history of their friendship, Jeff used to finance Marco’s home building activities in Southern Arizona. In 2003 or thereabouts, Jeff literally picked up Marco in a moving truck in his home town of Nogales, Arizona and drove him in Phoenix to begin Marco’s new job, working with Janet Napolitano on the Arizona-Mexico Commission at the Arizona State Capitol. Those were happy times for Jeff and Marco. It is a series of events that have culminated in a way that causes a good deal of sadness to Jeff. Jeff and Marco have not spoken in a long time, now.
Q: What about the Arizona Corporation Commission case reported by the Arizona Republic in October of 2017?
Jeff has publicly stated that he was included as a “control defendant” (by virtue of share ownership only) in a civil administrative lawsuit that was initiated against other parties, by the Arizona Corporation Commission, (“ACC”) due to ongoing conflict Jeff has been having with a politically-interested group associated with the Arizona Democratic Party left over from the years Jeff lived in that state. In the civil lawsuit, the ACC was seeking monetary fines from certain parties, while trying to hold Jeff civilly responsible at the same time. We note for this FAQ that press and online reports have called the Arizona Corporation Commission a “cesspool of corruption,” among other things. “You can’t believe the corruption,” said Attorney Bill Mundell, candidate for Arizona Corporation Commission.” See: This Obscure Agency Crushed Solar Power in Arizona
Readers of this FAQ may find it interesting to note that in 2017, several months before the ACC issued it’s unilateral civil opinion against Jeff, ACC commissioner Gary Pierce was investigated by the FBI and ultimately indicted for taking bribes of $31,000. See: Former Arizona Corporation Commissioner indicted on conspiracy and bribery charges
Q: Why is Jeff involved in so many lawsuits?
A: Jeff is a previous CEO of a New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq traded company that often saw trading volume of millions of shares per day and was constantly followed by the press. Jeff was mentioned by top tier financial and news media, such as The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Fox, CNN, USA Today, and many others, including major newspapers throughout the U.S. during a time period of almost ten years. Quepasa employed many people across the United States and in Latin America in its history, and had many business partnerships with significant companies such as SONY Corp. of Japan, Estefan Enterprises, Telemundo, and others, not to mention hundreds of thousands of public shareholders. As a few examples, Jeff used complex litigation in State and Federal court to re-capture management of Quepasa in 2002. “Greenmailers” of stock used to target Quepasa’s public company shares with toxic lawsuits seeking premium payouts by abusing the courts. “Patent trolls” sued Jeff in court, seeking payouts.
After selling Quepasa to Rick Scott’s group post-2007, Jeff has continued entrepreneurial and consulting work. Jeff has often been engaged with highly visible, leading industry and political figures. For these, and other reasons, Jeff has been involved a a good amount of complex litigation and has seen several cases all the way through to successful jury trials.
Q: What does Jeff mean when he says he has tried to settle a dispute with his prior group of friends from Arizona, for years now?
A: It means Jeff has done every single thing a reasonable human being could possibly do to settle issues with his past colleagues. Jeff has publicly stated that he feels they have become emboldened by new friendships and relationships they gained in Mexico in recent years. It seems like they only use forceful tactics now; the entire group seems focused on discrediting and harming him. Certain of Jeff’s lawyers feel as though this group has no interest in resolving things; that they only want to destroy Jeff, quite possibly, in the literal sense. This is, of course, extremely troubling.
Q: Is it true that Jeffrey Peterson was the CEO of Univision.com?
A: No. Those who have received and answered emails for Jeff during the past few years still do not understand why we are regularly asked this question. While it is true that Univision made an offer to buy Quepasa early in it’s existence, in 1999, that offer was not accepted by Quepasa and Jeff has never had anything to do with Univision. That being said, Univision was previously Quepasa’s competitor for many years (Quepasa used to beat them in rankings, sometimes, with a fraction of the marketing budget) and Jeff is still friendly with the previous CEO of Univision.com, Javier Saralegui. Jeff and Javier are the two best known “Hispanic Internet CEO’s” (even though Jeff is technically not Hispanic) in recent American history. Yet despite knowing most of the Spanish-language and Hispanic media execs for many years, Jeff has never worked for or had any direct relation to the Univision company himself.
Q: Is Jeff dating Emma Watson?
A: No. This is a question that continues to arise in our emails. Jeff’s significant other works in the film industry and was the fit model for Emma Watson in movies, and therefore the connection.
Q: Is Jeff also a slack-key guitar player from Hawaii?
A: No. This question is constantly sent to Jeff’s contact forms. That is a different Jeff Peterson. In case anyone finds this interesting, the Jeff Peterson slack-key guitar player has written to us before to say hello. We think he is a nice man and we appreciate his YouTube videos. See: Jeff Peterson slack key guitar
Q: Is Jeffrey Peterson connected to Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, the former President of the Philippines?
A: Jeff had the opportunity to serve on a private/public policy group that took care of part of the U.S. relationship with the Philippines from 2013 through 2016. During this time, Jeff was able to establish a good friendship with Noynoy, which continues through present day.
Q: Will it accomplish something useful to send hate messages or mail to Jeff’s contact form on this website, telling him mean things about Mexican people, calling him a traitor to White people, or about White supremacy?
A: No. Unfortunately many of the messages that are received on Jeff’s contact forms are precisely this – racist messages. We ask you to please try your best to be nice and, find a way to channel any negative thoughts into something more productive. Jeff believes that all people in the world are created equal, regardless of skin color, nationality, and so forth. At one point in his life Jeff taught himself Spanish and wanted to build a big Internet business that could help Hispanic people, that’s it. There was never any other agenda, zero thoughts about race or supremacy or anything else. Hate messages do not accomplish anything for us or for you. Jeff has zero thoughts about any race being better than another.
Q: Does Jeff speak Spanish?
Q: How well?
A: As of 2019, Jeff has been speaking Spanish regularly for twenty-one years. During that time, he has lived in several Latin American countries, he has worked with the operational and administrative staff of several Governments in Latin America, and hundreds of Spanish speaking computer programmers. He was constantly interviewed by the Latin America media, in Spanish, on live television, radio, or on the internet, when he was the CEO of Quepasa. So he has a good amount of experience with Spanish language. His native language is English.
Q: (This question is paraphrased, for the sake of saving everyone’s time) Will Jeffrey Peterson be persuaded by a imposing cover letter sent from a law firm on letterhead with the names of many lawyers throughout several law offices, who demand that Jeff do some thing that he otherwise wouldn’t or isn’t legally required to do?
A: Probably not. See a few paragraphs above.
Q: What is the best way to persuade Jeffrey Peterson?
A: Jeff appreciates if you can act like a reasonable adult, make a good, logical case about whatever it is you need or want to accomplish, and please try your best to be nice.
We hope you enjoyed this FAQ.