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LADYLAWYER
LADYLAWYER, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6531
Experience:  Civil; Family; HOA; Landlord/Tenant; Real Estate; Probate; Insurance; Immigration; Wills & Trusts
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I have a furniture business - 4 years ago i took on a partner

Customer Question

I have a furniture business - 4 years ago i took on a partner we ran into financial problems and started the bad practice of taking the clients money and rolling it into the business - we ran so behind we couldn't produce the product - They are beyond upset and I imagine lawsuits or some legal action is coming at me - I am saying me because my partner ran out and left it in my lap - What can happen - what do you suggest is a good course of action- a this point I have terrible credit -some inventory - my house will be in forclosure soon -My x partner had nothing in terms of assets - Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 1 year ago.

 

LADYLAWYER : Hello, Thanks for choosing Justanswer.com! I look forward to helping you with legal information today.
LADYLAWYER : Are you aware if any of them have filed police reports or want to prosecute you criminally for fraud?
Customer :

no I am not aware -but one of the clients came to a showroom that i was closing that day and was screaming crook up and down the hallways of the XXX XXXX XXXXX XXXX - I don't think it will be long though -Two or three asked for there money back -We had on our website that there are no refunds on custom pieces

Customer :

i need to know what I should and should not be saying to the clients -I don't know what to do - Some of them I'm trying to build with money from things that i am selling - but they had lead times that went over a year each and they are furious

LADYLAWYER : Okay, well besides the criminal charges that you are just going to have to wait and see about, you need to consider bankruptcy for your business.
LADYLAWYER : You're not able to make restitution to them at this time, correct?
Customer :

will bankruptcy take care of the payments the clients gave us?

Customer :

I would need to sell everything I own to try and make them happy

LADYLAWYER : Yes, however, if criminal charges are filed, the court can order you to pay restitution and these payments cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
LADYLAWYER : So you see, there is a civil and a criminal side to what has happened here.
LADYLAWYER : You may want to consider that to avoid criminal charges.
Customer :

do they give you time to pay -and if you can't what happens next XXXX

LADYLAWYER : If you pay them back, they are much less likely to file charges against you.
LADYLAWYER : And if they do file, the prosecutor might go much easier on you since you already paid them back.
LADYLAWYER : Yes, jail.
LADYLAWYER : You would have some time to pay back though. The judge will decide how long.
LADYLAWYER : But please note, you could go to jail based on the fraud alone. Even if you paid them back at this point, that is a possibility if any of them press charges. So the best thing to do would be to make them happy to keep them from pressing charges in the first place.
Customer :

my partner in all this has been MIA she has no assets and was never on the llc but was on the banner hanging in soho and business cards name on the orders sent out to clients and a notorized copy of the splitting of the trademarks for the product we were selling - will she be responsible even if she left town? Or tries to start up another business somewhere in a different state

LADYLAWYER : Yes, she will. Further if you are sued civilly and not your partner, you can sue her as a third party and recoup part of what you are ordered to pay, from her.
LADYLAWYER : If there is a criminal complaint filed, you will share with your attorney that she was part of the business and she will either be charged as well or at least called to testify.
LADYLAWYER : If only you are made to pay criminal restitution, you can still sue her in civil court to recoup money from her.
Customer :

Should I try to apologize to my clients and tell them I'm working on it

LADYLAWYER : well, have you already admitted to taking their money and putting it into the business?
LADYLAWYER : Hi, still with me?
Customer :

No i have not but I was thinking maybe I can barter things and just tell them I lost my major vendor - I would never mention I put it in my business

LADYLAWYER : Okay, good. You don't want to incriminate yourself.
LADYLAWYER : yes, you can tell them you are working to get their money back to them.
Customer :

you have answered my major questions - I think I am going to give them all calls and see what I can do on my own

LADYLAWYER : And remember, whatever you can case be used later in a civil or criminal case, so you don't want to say anything you couldn't be able to prove later.
LADYLAWYER : You don't need to give them any explanation, just apologize, say you've had some trouble in your business and that you are working to pay them back.
Customer :

BTW is a handwritten agreement that has been notarized official in regard to the trademark agreement - I found one she wrote and typed up herself and signed my name (fraud )- she used bully tactics to get me to do this

LADYLAWYER : this will come into play in the event that there are any civil or criminal cases
Customer :

how so - will the notarized copy that I did sign and agree to hold up on her end if she trys to take this line on the road? You have been so helpful

LADYLAWYER : Any sort of document that you can use to show her involvement in the company can go to prove her liability to either you or the customers.
LADYLAWYER : My pleasure to help you!
Customer :

One more question will her notarized copy hold up if she were to pursue this line on her own in the same or different city - what i am asking is it legitimate -

LADYLAWYER : I would have to view the document. Is it something to assign the trademark for the business to her?
Customer :

yes - It states she is 50% owner but it was never changed with theUSA official trademark office - it was between us

LADYLAWYER : It doesn't sound valid. If anything, it will just go to show her liability with the debts.
LADYLAWYER : And the business isn't worth anything at this point, so there is really nothing for her to enforce.
Customer :

thank you

LADYLAWYER : You are most welcome and it has been my pleasure, truly. I think you will be okay here if you just get your assets sold and start paying some of these customers back. You would have to do that anyway in bankruptcy. Please let me know if you have any further questions about this--I am happy to answer them! If not, would you kindly leave a positive rating for me at this time? It costs you nothing further to do but it is the only way the site will give me credit for my time. Thank you!
Customer :

i have one more question how do I get my name off of our website? It says palumbo anderssen if she continues to solicit orders i don't want my name involved

LADYLAWYER : You will have to have an attorney send her a cease and desist letter for that and then sue to remove if she will not.
Customer :

your the best will submit excellent smiley face now

LADYLAWYER : Haha, thanks! My best to you!
41522.9692858796
LADYLAWYER, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6531
Experience: Civil; Family; HOA; Landlord/Tenant; Real Estate; Probate; Insurance; Immigration; Wills & Trusts
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