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What they did was create a scenario where your loan was reflected as an investment that had a buy back option. This way they show the money you put in as equity and not a loan. The approach your family lawyer has recommended is the correct one. Before you file suit I would send a letter informing the friend that you intend to pursue legal action to obtain repayment of your loan and that you do not want any stock certificates as you were not buying stock just making a loan. The letter may force some action before you file suit.
This communication is not intended as legal advice. A local attorney should always be consulted for legal advice. No client/attorney relationship is intended or created by this communication.
In your letter you start by saying you were asked to make him a loan for 90 days as he had to show cash in his company. You executed the documents he presented but was surprised and did not expect to receive any shares as you were not making an investment in the company. The 90 days has now passed and you need you funds returned to you or you will file suit.
The emails are evidence of the true nature of the transaction. They will be admissible in court and will support your case.