A man who once pled guilty to a scam in San Leandro may have taken Union City school officials for a ride by claiming to film a reality TV show at .
, launched April 29, seemed to be growing as a local attraction and last Sunday's event included a car show and some food trucks.
But on Wednesday school officials in Union City pulled the plug on the wannabe show. In a press release district officials said show producer Michael Gouveia wasn’t paying the district rental fees and had failed to present insurance documentation, according to district spokesman Rick La Plante.
Some of the things Gouveia has told Union City Patch don’t quite add up.
An important issue is the spelling of his last name.
In an April 24 email exchange with Union City Patch, Gouveia confirmed the spelling of his last name as “Gouvea.” However, according to the New Haven School District, the name on file is “Gouveia.”
The misspelling of the last name, which could have been a typo on his behalf (see attached screenshot of author’s email inbox), is key because a Google search of “Michael Gouveia” turns up a link to someone with that name who has a criminal background.
In an interview with Patch last month, Gouveia said he was a Los Angeles-based producer.
The New Haven Unified School District lists a San Ramon address for him and has a San Leandro P.O. box on file from when he filled out his initial paperwork.
The Flea Market Wars Facebook page, which has since been taken down, noted that Gouveia “Worked at A+E Networks (Executive Producer).” (See attached screenshot.)
A LinkedIn profile for a “Mike Gouveia” lists him as a Los Angeles-based executive producer at RealityWorldTV. There's a RealityWorldTV Twitter account listing the same 310 area code phone number used to promote Flea Market Wars in tweets to a porn star and various models soliciting donations for a church. The Twitter page account holder signs some of his tweets with “Mike."
Regardless of Gouveia’s mysterious history, the cancellation of Flea Market Wars is a loss for the community, residents said.
The show was pitched to have a similar concept as Storage Wars but with a slight twist. Each weekend, a celebrity guest was to attend the flea market and pick an item from five different vendors for less than $20 a piece. Those purchases were to be appraised for their value at the end of each episode.
At the end of the season, the celebrity guest who made the most profit from their purchases would receive $50,000 to be given to a charity and the top five vendors who sold the items of greatest value would receive $50,000 to split amongst them, according to Gouveia.
But according to market goers, there were no celebrities or cameras.
Farah Habad contributed to this report. on Union City Patch.