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KnowYourRights
KnowYourRights, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 16224
Experience:  Experience protecting consumers against unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent advertising, marketing and financial practices.
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Dear Sir;I had an agreement with a Nigerian US citizen living

Resolved Question:

Dear Sir;
I had an agreement with a Nigerian US citizen living in Houston Texas when I was in the US for vacation with my family in August 2012 to buy a TUNDRA pick up van through the auto auction sales. Subsequently, he showed me pictures of a blue TUNDRA van which I liked. I requested that he bid on my behalf, which he did and we won the bid. After adding his commission for the assignment as a licensed auction buyer the cost came to $6,450. He gave me a bill of $1,800 for the repairs and another $1,300 for the shipment. I wired all the funds to him in 3 installments; first the car cost plus commission - of $6,450 in Nov.2012, and the 2 others between Jan and March 2013. Since I transferred the funds to him through the banking system in March he has refused to take my calls, uncooperative and evasive. Later he responded and claimed that he has shipped the car which will get to Lagos Nigeria on 23 Sept 2013. He said I will get the bill of Lading before the 23rd Sept. 2013 to use in clearing the car. But since 23rd Sept has come and gone Jude has refused to take my calls or respond to my emails and text messages.

What is my remedy now to recover the car or my money? How do I report him formally to the authorities? Who do I deal with him to refund my money or deliver my car over one year afterwards?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  KnowYourRights replied 10 months ago.
Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. Would you mind sharing with me how you even found this person? Did you ever meet him in person and do you know if the information you have about him is accurate?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Good day Sir. Yes I actually met him physically and he is from the same state as I am from Nigeria. He runs an auto repair shop in Houston and is a licensed auto auction purchase agent. I know the address of his workshop. He was introduced by a lady I know very well who was his friend. When I visited his workshop, I saw many cars which he claimed were bought from auction sales; his workshop repairs and resells such vehicles. In fact he showed me how the auction deals are carried out. I saw a TUNDRA van advertised for sale and I participated in the bidding with his computer but we lost the deal to a higher bidder who was faster in announcing his price before the final call for bids. Thereafter, he said he will bid for new offers for me that will come up. 2 days after I left the USA and returned to Nigeria.


 


He called me a few days after that he has seen another TUNDRA car for auction and we agreed that he will bid for me after he sent me the pictures. Later that day he confirmed he got it for about $6,150 but after adding his commission it came to $6,450. He said that if I don't pay after a certain time his account with the auctioneers will be debited and charged interest for delay possession of the car. So I quickly wired the money to his advised account. Afterwards he estimated the cost of the repairs which came to about $1,800. The money was sent to him in January this year and later I sent him the cost for shipping the car to me in Nigeria in Feb/March. From then on he wasn't forthcoming with progress of the car,


 


I began to send messages through relations who also know him and through the Nigerian Community associations to which the guy belonged. With so much pressures he began to respond and said he has sent the car to the shippers and that it will arrive Nigeria 23 Sept 2013. He asked for my international passport number and postal address to send the bill of lading. I gave him all the information and he has gone quiet again.


 


My suspicion is that he may have sold the car and misappropriated the proceeds. I sent my relation to him to show him the car in July but he didn't take him to where the car was. I am wondering the best course of action that is effective and that will help me recover the money or the car


 


Thank you for your time. Please note that my card has been debited already even without the said satisfaction survey after getting your expert advise


 

Expert:  KnowYourRights replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for the additional information. There are two ways in which this can be handled. The first, is if you think this was a scam or fraud and the man ripped you off, to contact the police and file a report. They will investigate the matter and determine if a crime was committed and if there is a legal basis to make an arrest. If so, the State would file charges and represent your interest as the victim. In doing so, they would obtain restitution, to make you whole and have you paid back for the money that was lost. The second option would be to file a civil lawsuit against him and sue. Seeing how he has a legitimate business and does this for a living, he and his company can be sued for breach of the contract/agreement. You also can file complaints with the State and report him, which could result in his business license being pulled. You also could file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau as well. Based upon what you described above, there is no basis for him not delivering the car, responding to your communications or refunding your money. He may think if you left the country that you will not take any legal action against him but if you sue him, you will want to retain an attorney to appear on your behalf and also go after him for attorney fees.

Please let me know if you have any follow up questions or need any clarification on something which I stated above. Also, remember to rate my service before exiting the site, so I can receive credit for my help. I hope you found it to be Excellent! Only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either of the two lower ratings to the left, please stop and reply to me. I want to make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possible and that you are satisfied with the help I provided.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Thank you very much. Can I know your name, at least first name. I think the advise is helpful. From what you said I can:


1. Report him to the police as a scam by filing a report. Please how can I contact the police online? can I do that through the US Embassy in my country? Would like to have an online police contact address to explain the fraud and give details of the payments I made to him. I have all his contact information: workshop address, house and phone contacts as well as bank accounts that I wired the funds.


 


2. Sue him and still report to the state and claim legal fees. you are right; he thinks because I have left the states I may not pursue the case. How wrong he is! I have multiple US visa that can carry me till Feb 2014 which I can still renew for another 2 years. But court cases will require my presence in the State when the case comes up. I work in a bank and doesn't have such time.


 


I will like to pursue option one and would appreciate all the possible information to enable me lodge a complaint as soon as possible. If I didn't get satisfactory out come from that measure I will then sue him under option 2. But one thing is certain: I must seek redress to recover my funds or the car no matter how long it takes. I hope I can claim damages for loss of use of the car or lost interest on the funds?


 


Cheers


 


Udee


 

Expert:  KnowYourRights replied 10 months ago.
1) You could not do this online and would need to contact the police station in the county where his business is located. You may be able to obtain a general email address from them but for a serious matter like this, it is best to speak with them over the phone and explain your situation and that you reside out of the country.

2) If you did file a lawsuit, your attorney could appear on your behalf and even ask that your appearance be waived at times or that you appear over the phone. If you did have to return to the States, you could go after him for the cost of that as well.

Please let me know if you have any other questions, as I would be happy to respond and answer them. If not, please remember to rate my answer, so I can receive the proper credit.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Most grateful


I will use my brother in Houston to file the complaint to the nearest police station and follow up for any developments. If I need to travel in connection with the case I will sue him and claim for the additional travel cost.


 


Thanks once again. I will complete the rating grid


 


 

Expert:  KnowYourRights replied 10 months ago.
Thank you. Good luck with everything.
KnowYourRights, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 16224
Experience: Experience protecting consumers against unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent advertising, marketing and financial practices.
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