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BizIPEsq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 996
Experience:  I am a business attorney. I represent individuals and companies with all business related matters.
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I am a broker / middleman for antiques. Occasionally I will

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I am a broker / middleman for antiques. Occasionally I will permit my source to meet with buyers I have in order for them to describe what they want and what the source may have. Any time I do this I have an agreement that my buyer never buys anything directly from the source. I also have in the agreement that I receive a 21% finders commission for locating the source and the equipment. Recently a buyer of mine disclosed that he had made a direct purchase from a source. The price paid was $45,000. He paid me about one third of the 21% and told me that was all he was going to pay me because HE chose to work a deal on his own. I said that it was directly in violation of his signed agreement. I suppose he KNEW that I would have promptly sued him for the balance. He as much as said that and remitted the balance he owed to me. Now...the questions exist in my mind. He intended to cheat me obviously. How do I know that he indeed did pay only $45,000 for these items. He stated "I bought a very high priced item and a few others." For all I know he might have spent 4 times that amount. He also might have had OTHER dealings with my source. Can I subpoena him for "Copies of all checks or instruments of payment made to "Mr. Source" without my knowledge."? That way I should see a cancelled check for $45,000 and that alone would set my mind somewhat at ease. The reason I am so suspicious is that he paid me the additional amount MUCH faster than I had expected and without me even finishing or sending the demand letter. I think perhaps he is afraid that I might find out "other things" that he did to violate this agreement. Since I have NO outright evidence can I require him to produce these documents in order to verify that he has kept his part of the signed agreement?
Hello, I will be assisting you.
Unfortunately, you cannot subpoena any documents or require the person to answer any questions unless you are involved in a court action. At times a broker's agreement permits the one of the parties to do an accounting and look at the books so you should take another look at your agreement, but my sense is that your agreement is silent on this point.
You could do the following: ask him for a written statement (call it a receipt so it is less threatening) or tell him that you will provide him with a receipt that lists all the items that he claims he bought and have him sign off on that receipt. Then make contact with your source and tell him that you have a receipt from the buyer and that for tax purposes (or some other reason) you need to confirm the list to make sure you have an accurate receipt.
If the source refuses to disclose then you could initiate a court action and thereby you will be able to conduct discovery. Or at the very least send an officially sounding notice from an attorney to maybe compel the person to disclose the info
Good luck
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I am assuming that I should NOT request a copy of the cancelled check at this point. Correct? Only the information in order to create a receipt for my tax purposes? I DO claim 100% of my commissions for the IRS. Unfortunately for me, legal wise, is this buyer/client of mine is a multimillionaire and he has lawyers at any time he needs.
Correct, you should request the canceled check after he approves the receipt. Come up with a creative plausible excuse why you might need the canceled check.
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