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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 101572
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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It appears I fell very ellaborate investment scam smart

Customer Question

It appears I fell for a very ellaborate investment scam smart business pros. do I have any recourse with my credit cards or loss in amount of $15k, it has been since february.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) please wait to rate until I ask you to do so. It may take a few replies for me to be able to render an complete answer. I will let you know when I do.

I am sorry to hear about this. Can you please tell me a little more about what happened?

This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Google rip off report + smart business pros very lengthy detail of what happened to investors. Several layers to make seem liget. inital contact, another guy Thomas and dept. Seth to set up llc corp ($4k) and campaign manager to call and update progress. invested 10k for small business leads call to get credit card processing business and would get % of monthly charges.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Okay. I need to know:

1) What did they promise, exactly?

2) Are they located in SC, or are you? If you, then where are they? Do you have a website for them?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'll answer easiest first, I'm in SC. i sent check to Alpha Lead Holdings Phoenix, AZ. Website: http://smartbusinesspros.net/ my ID was 4151 my password ***** ***** can't find it right off. Still up with the 1000 business and whether declined/pre-qual/sold etc. they were calling on my behalf to sell CC/merchant services processing to. I have all their names and contact numbers also. 3 ways to make commissions: They promised that I would make $500 for each terminal the businesses had to purchase with new cc agreement. They leads were supposed to be small businesses that had been recently turned downed for a traditional bank loan, like Chase. They could offer loan 3x their cc sales a month. i would make 2% of the loan also. 60-90 days before see profit get 1% of there cc processing rate, residual income. Said average 3-6% of leads convert to sales. Gave numbers based on low of 60 sales. Also set up WithSeth McDowell for LLc, EIN, tax ID thru state of Wyoming also to get corporate credit. I am still paying minimum on credit cards I used. Used 10k of own, and came back and wanted additional $4k for the LLc side of business that I charged. They said corporate credit would come thru to reimburse me.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. You may consider a suit.

To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state because they all stem from the same common law. A pleading in Court needs at least one cause of action, although it is not unusual to have more than one.

Someone in your situation may wish to sue them for breach of contract and fraud.

To recover for a breach of contract, the plaintiff must prove: (1) a binding contract entered into by the parties; (2) a breach or unjustifiable failure to perform the contract; and (3) damage suffered by the plaintiff as a direct and proximate result of the breach. Tomlinson v. Mixon, 367 S.C. 467, 626 S.E.2d 43, 49 (S.C.App. 2006).

The elements of fraud are: a representation; its falsity; its materiality; knowledge of its falsity or a reckless disregard of its truth or falsity; intent that the representation be acted upon; hearer's ignorance of its falsity; hearer's reliance on its truth; hearer's right to rely; and hearer's consequent and proximate injury. Florentine Corp., Inc. v. PEDA I, Inc., 287 S.C. 382, 339 S.E. (2d) 112 (1985).

However, it all depends on what exactly the contract stated. And, these companies tend to be very fly by night, so it may be hard to track them down or enforce judgment. It is recommended to use counsel.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith by rating me positively.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks but there are so many involved what are my chances to even find them? I could spend what I lost in legal fees and end up with nothing and be out twice as much. Can I challenge my credit card charges or has too much time gone by?
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

If you will sue them, then you can track them down via a subpoena to the merchant account that charged your credit card.

You can challenge the transaction, but as long as it was authorized (as it was), this is all the merchant account will care about and likely, it will be confirmed as a "valid" transaction. The merchant account does not judge the quality of the items/services purchased in its decision.

Some attorneys may take this on a contingency fee, meaning they do not get paid unless you do, with little/no up front costs. In judgment, a winning party may request reasonable attorney fees.

Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The 10k was sent by cashier's check, any recourse? I have adresses, names and phone numbers.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

You state "Can I challenge my credit card charges or has too much time gone by?"

So if you paid $10k by check, how doe the credit card come in?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please see prior post ... Used 10k of own, and came back and wanted additional $4k for the LLc side of business that I charged. They said corporate credit would come thru to reimburse me.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Apologies.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

You had to send the check somewhere. A copy of it can likely be traced, through the address. Your attorney is likely to be able to find the company (or the individuals behind it) using the check and general skip tracing services. So finding them is not hard if they are continuing to do business.

(FYI I tried to find them using the WHOIS service but they are using a third party anonymity agent).

Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Anyone at your office willing to do this on contingency fee? How long could this drag out?
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Sorry, JustAnswer experts cannot take customers as clients. So I must politely refuse. The suit can drag out for months if they fight it, or end in weeks if they simply do not respond and default.

Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!