Alias Training & Security Services is No More

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Alias Training & Security Services, known for their well-respected cadre of instructors such as Mike Pannone, Pat McNamara, Larry Vickers, & more has announced that it is no more. Citing issues with their merchant services financial company, Alias announced closure via their Facebook page (now deleted).

It is with a heavy heart that we must announce that as of Monday July 11, 2016 Alias Training & Security Services, LLC will be closing its doors. An ongoing dispute with our merchant services financial company has made things untenable. Our apologies to all affected students, instructors, etc. To all students of upcoming classes please expect an email early this week to explain the situation in more detail.

Again our most sincere apologies,

Alias Staff

Rumors of troubles had been spreading for a bit through instructors that mentioned they had not been paid and unhappy range owners who likewise had not received compensation. It all came to head with various instructors announcing their departure, some with rather damning statements alleging misconduct if not malfeasance. Mike Pannone’s statement via Facebook was particularly detailed-filled:

URGENT- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- PLEASE READ

In the training industry a person’s integrity is everything and once lost can rarely if ever be rehabilitated. I am currently in arrears for a very substantial amount of unpaid instructor fees from Alias with no hope of being compensated, and I have serious concerns that my clients are at risk. For this reason, I must take action.

**Effective upon the release of this statement, CTT-Solutions will cease all connections with Alias Training and Security Services or any agent thereof.

Please go directly to www.ctt-solutions.com for all future classes or inquiries about attending or hosting a class. This will be the avenue for enrollment consistent with all formerly Alias-promoted instructors. I am sure many of you have questions on how I arrived at this decision. To give you context, I was a part of the Alias group at its launch in July 2012 by Paul Hotaling. Paul / Alias functioned much like a concert promoter where he was paid by the sponsored instructors, all of whom are independent companies separate from Alias.

In the last ten months, CTT Solutions and the other Alias-promoted instructors failed to receive timely deposits from Paul/Alias. CTT-Solutions itself discovered that Paul had failed entirely to pay for a class and only after its own forensic re-creation of both training and schedule documents. Then problems worsened when Paul/Alias failed to pay instructors altogether even after the performance of a class for days and sometimes even weeks. Paul/Alias’ conduct extended to the clients themselves who grumbled about the near-impossibility in getting a response from Paul/Alias for information or refunds. This was a consistent complaint heard by the instructors from across the country. To compound the issues, venues were not receiving timely or sometimes any payment for range fees. I was recently informed that several venues had not been paid going back to the Fall of 2015 despite those funds being already taken from the instructors’ payment.

Collectively, the instructors gave Paul/Alias every benefit of the doubt on these issues but that can no longer be done. Alias currently owes payment for a class I conducted 3 weeks ago in a venue that has yet to be paid for range fees. This has become a recurrent problem that Paul/Alias created for Mac, Jeff, Craig and myself since the end of 2015 that has only become progressively worse.

I know I speak for not only myself but Mac, Jeff and Craig when I say your patronage is something we value greatly, making this a particularly frustrating and disappointing situation for all of us. You are why we do what we do. Your desire to learn fuels our desire and reinforces our dedication to teach. We never forget that our efforts are to provide the best training available in the industry. Rest assured that will never change but we need to close this chapter as quickly as refunds can be issued. I look forward to our continued efforts to prepare, and perfect our skills for protecting ourselves and our loved ones in the challenging times we live in.

Likewise, Trident Concepts (Jeff Gonzales) sent out a mass e-mail. 

Unfortunately, many students have already pre-registered and pre-paid for instruction. To the affected students, Alias has not been forthcoming with details and various instructors are stepping up to fill in the information void. Larry Vickers and a few others are honoring any down-payment made to Alias.

Other instructors are encouraging students to take up refunds with Alias directly, which thus far has been unresponsive.



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • datimes

    Reading this makes me appreciate Gunsite and the excellent instruction I received there.

    • itsmefool

      Good point; there are tons of ways to get instruction these days and some of the best are the ones who’ve been at it for years at their own facilities!

  • Joe Schmo

    I first saw Pat McNamara’s post on Instagram about this. Really sucks for the instructors and the students. Best of luck to all!

    • Sarron7

      Would anyone really want Pat McNamara mad at them for any reason at all… I’m just saying.

  • Not paying your Instructors is like not paying your employees. Ultimately shameful.

  • Rudolf Dubrovszky

    Scammers, our company sponsored Frank Proctor for Oregon, they promised and agreed in writing to pay for the range fees and other setups. Never did in the 2 years. Glad they are gone.

  • Kivaari

    I’d bet he’s driving around in nice 4×4 trucks and SUVs. Living large on others dime.

  • Joseph Goins

    My only question: why did it take them ten months to finally give up on Alias?

    • Dakota Raduenz

      I’d wager that he spins a good story. And it IS a brotherhood- often you get the benefit of the doubt, especially if payments are only late and have a good story associated- until you don’t get that benefit and it’s easily a dump and distrust situation.

      I’m not in the business, just my $0.02. Worth what you paid for it!

  • SWRancher

    Glad they are out of business. I experienced similar unscrupulous business practices from Alias in 2013.

    I enrolled and paid full price for a Mike Pannone course in 2013. Practically no communication from Alias. I had a 5 hour drive to the location and called Alias the day before I would have to leave. It had been cancelled; I would not have been notified.

    Alias applied the fee to Pat MacNamara the next month. It also ended up being cancelled.

    I tried for weeks to get a refund and kept getting put off. Excuses about new credit card system and blaming the delay on the “girls”.

    I finally had to get the refund by going through VISA for failure to deliver services.

    I am so glad these good instructors have cut ties with Hotaling and Alias.

  • Kurt Akemann

    I’d believe that if they were more forthright in their communications and had taken real corrective actions. As it stands, their behavior is more like a group of scammers than that of an honest firm with regulatory troubles.

  • raz-0

    It still might be, but I’m not inclined to assume that giving the various grumblings about them that existed since shortly after they existed.

  • GJNM

    Paul Hotaling was never in the military and was, if I remember correctly, an electrician by trade before taking a few classes with Larry Vickers then being part of another training group before striking out on his own. He has been an obnoxious individual for over a decade on ARFCOM under the handle of VA Dinger. His Facebook page did show him living high on the hog with expensive cars, dirt bikes and other items. Choose wisely when it comes to trainers and those who promote them…

  • Sid

    Shame on Alias. Larry Vickers and the other instructors who are honoring the class down payment that was made to Alias by students is extremely generous and nothing short of amazing kindness. They deserve our respect.

    Shame on you Paul.