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Letter from the DA, what should I do?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by nightcoder, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. nightcoder

    nightcoder Newbie

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    I have a dilemma and I'm not sure which way I should go. Approximately 1 year ago, I entered into a contract to purchase an internet business. The purchase price was $40K, $15K down and the remaining $25K over a 5 month period, with the first month being a grace month while things got ramped up. It was written into the contract that if the business was not making a profit of $10K per month after 90 days, I would receive my investment back.

    I won?t go into all of the specifics of everything that happened, but the main points are these. The seller disappeared several times during that first ninety days, claiming different things: he was busy, he was involved in a car wreck, etc. It was to be his responsibility to get the marketing up and running during that first 90 days, however, with the exception of a magazine ad, nothing was taking place. As the end of the 90 days approached, he disappeared again. When I finally was able to raise him again, he gave me a story about his brother, who was also his business partner, had left and taken all of the money, including my funds. I was left with a choice, should I trust that his intentions were honest and work with him or take him to court? I was pretty sure that he didn?t have any money. I decided to help him build a few sites with the strict understanding that when he received money, I would be paid back. Unfortunately, the past 6 months have just been more of the same. The last message I received from him about 10 days ago mentioned needing money for advertising. There is no way I would put another dime into this, nor would I ask someone to do the same.

    Yesterday, I received a letter from the District Attorney for the county where he lives. It states:

    ?Our office recently received a complaint from an individual who had invested a substantial sum of money with this business after seeing an investment opportunity ad in a publication; he has not received any promised return and is unable to contact the person offering the investment. We have traced our complaint?s monies into a particular bank account and find that there is a similar deposit from you. We are curious as to whether or not you might also be an investor in this same program, and if you are, have your dealings with the investment opportunity been successful or not.?

    So, as I see it, I?m left with 2 choices:

    1. Contact them and explain exactly what has happened to me. At this point, I can pretty much kiss my money goodbye. There will never be any contact from this individual again should I sign a complaint.

    2. Disregard the letter (it is only an inquiry for information) and see how everything plays out. If what they say is true, then I could be possibly enabling him to scam someone else down the road.

    You might be thinking that if I cooperate and he is convicted, then restitution would be in order. Unfortunately, that is usually not the case. (Keep in mind also that fraud is very difficult to prove) In most circumstances, there is nothing left of the original money and a scammer is generally not talented enough at anything except scamming to make any money to pay you back. I am, unfortunately, speaking from experience. A few years ago, I was scammed big time, high six figures, and was completely wiped out and left penniless. I was trying to rebuild when this happened. Even my experience here on bhw has been less than stellar, I signed up for the programming and marketing apprenticeship offer from jaeden a few months back.

    So, should I go ahead and contact the DA to cooperate or wait it out and see what happens? Either way, I don?t see a winning choice for me.
     
  2. gifmore

    gifmore Regular Member

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    Sorry to hear about how things have not turned out the way you've wanted them to.

    Some thoughts of mine:

    Disclaimer: I am NOT a lawyer and I have NO legal background. ​


    1) Have your subsequent additional efforts in trying to kick off the business borne fruit, i.e. in profitable dollars? If yes, you may want to consider legal protection for the profit streams. If no, maybe you have nothing to lose.

    2) You may want to consult legal counsel to explore your options.

    3) Something smells about this other person that you've been working with, even without the note from the DA. Now that you know about it, you may be as much a victim as the person who filed the letter and there may be many others who may have been taken for a ride as well ?

    Hope you can find clarity in choosing the best course of action to take.

    Cheerio. :)
     
  3. lewi

    lewi Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    take him out and warn the whole world about him..... best revenge is served cold though so wait it out a bit.... maybe even be someone else and give him a business proposal.... and scam him back the money that he owes you
     
  4. nightcoder

    nightcoder Newbie

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    No, nothing has happened to generate any money, a couple of hundred dollars at most.

    Yea, I'm thinking about that.

    Standing back and reading what I've wrote has given me a chance to read it again. I know the right thing to do is report this because I don't want him to scam someone else. Just hard letting your money go. Thanks for your reply.
     
  5. litenup

    litenup Junior Member

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    Nightcoder

    Sorry, but you are acting like the perfect mark.

    Unless you can do it yourself or know a 'Guido" who will break a few legs for you, you can kiss your money goodbye.

    It's not revenge, its justice. Turn the bastard in.
    He may have some hidden assets that may come out in an investigation, who knows.
    You can also go after him in a civil court. But then you would still have to collect.

    I've learned the hard way to deal with money and payments in increments, do x amount of work, make sure it is done right, next step.

    Sorry it happened to you
     
  6. unlimitedpostings

    unlimitedpostings BANNED BANNED

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    To me, it doesn't sound like the letter is accusing you of anything. The way I took it is that he has done this to other people before and they complained and when they traced the money, they see that you have paid this guy before. I read that pretty quickly and may be missing something, but I see it as the DA is saying you are a victim also. Am I missing something?
     
  7. bhnoobz

    bhnoobz BANNED BANNED

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    I would help them with the investigation. If he is prosecuted you may eventually see some of your money returned. :)
     
  8. nightcoder

    nightcoder Newbie

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    No, you are correct, I'm as much of a victim as the other person.
     
  9. mattstrike

    mattstrike Regular Member

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    This guy is a bad apple.

    I think it is pretty safe to say that most of us here have a somewhat flexible sense of how important it is to follow every single little rule, but there are some major lines that should never be crossed.

    This guy might be an outright scammer, or he might just be a guy with a problem (drugs, gambling, etc.), who convinces himself (over and over again) that he is going to make things "all better" with his next "win", and winds up taking money from trusting people, but never giving anything back (or not much).

    The bottom line, though, is that this guy is hurting people. That money is money that should have been put into real businesses, or paying for someone to go to college, or for medical bills, or whatever, and this guy took it and gave no value back. You have a duty, as a citizen if nothing else, to see to it that this guy does not hurt more people this way.

    My advice is to double check the address of the letter, and make sure it is legit, and then respond to it. Just tell the DA the truth about everything. If the guy is just a loser, and not a scammer, then he will likely get off pretty easy, and hopefully have "the fear" put in him, and change his ways. If he is truly a scammer though, then he needs to spend some time in a cell so that he can reflect on what he has done.

    Just my .02.
     
  10. mrsix

    mrsix Power Member

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    here's your answer. Don't listen to anyone except your attorney. Call one in the morning and get them to tell you what your best move is.