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Alexia Esq.
Alexia Esq., Managing Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  19 Years of Legal Practice Experience in this precise field.
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Good afternoon, I find myself in a somewhat strange situation:

Resolved Question:

Good afternoon,

I find myself in a somewhat strange situation:

For about 3 years, we were members of a nonprofit organization. During this time, we had problem after problem, caused by the president of this organization, who seems to enjoy the spreading of rumors.
During this time we also noticed slowly, that the person is not keeping correct records, not complying with tax laws and skimming here and there off.
This is a small organization with very little money. However, it was a matter of principles to us.
The lady also used to insult me, when only some were looking.
We decided to no longer be a part of this.
However, we were asked to join one meeting in support of the treasurer, who has been trying to do a good job.
During this meeting, the president caused a major fight between some of the members.
When I heard her tell a lie about myself I confronted her. She was sitting, I was standing on the other side of the table.
She kept interrupting me, so at some point I said in a very loud voice "Shut up" (in spanish Callate").
Of course, she got angry. We then told her, that we know about her dishonesty and were really tired of knowing, that she was behind each and every problem in that organization.

The problem is, that now she is telling people, that I almost touched her; or touched her, which is not true. I do have witnesses to that.
She is also telling people, that she plans to have me arrested for touching her; if not now then soon.

To all of this, she kept poking her own finger in my face. I told her to stop that.
Looks to me, that she is looking for an opportunity to get in my face expecting a reaction.

I have no interest in frivolous demands, nor would I want to be involved in any issue with her. However, she often does know where I am at. Knowing her, she is very capable of trying to do this in order to cause more trouble. After all, we did call her out on fraudulent behavior.

Is there a way to actually defend myself from someone like this?
Our clean legal standing is very important to us.

Very cordially,

Carolina Rodriguez XXX@XXXXXX.XXX
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your inquiry! I have been practicing law for 17+ years and have specific experience with issues similar to yours. That being said...With regard to your post:

I am sorry for the loss of your father in law.

Can you clarify what type of organization this is, i.e. its purpose?

Also, can you clarify how this has escalated while you have been in PR? Had she only been babbling to anyone who will listen, all of her untruths, or is there more to it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

We have not seen her since that meeting. And we have never had any intention of continuing to be associated with her in any way.


 


 


It's the Spanish Association of North Florida inc.


 


Her name isXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXsa Benton, Maria Benton, Lisa Benton, Lisa Peña and/or Maria Peña. (Yup.. name play happening left and right)


She has about 3, possibly more so called non-profits registered. Not all under her name directly; one under her husbands name, with her and her daughter as board members. another one with friends.


(we can't keep track)


 


She has been talking to some of the other members. However, I've known her for 3 years and can be certain, that she is one of the worst human beings we have ever met.


We felt, it was important for us to say what we had discovered and then to stop being in any kind of contact and much less business relations.


 


She will try to do this, because a) it gives her a chance to play victim right now, disregarding any possible outcome and just for the fun of causing damage.



b) This is an opportunity for her to distract from some more pressing issues, like the fact, that she has been lying about fiscal status of the organization and has been spending membership fees without any responsibility.


 


c) She already tried to tell people, that I did touch her; which is completely untrue.


 


d) She has been spreading so many rumors, that we can not fix them all.


 


 


A clean legal and fiscal standing is very important to my husband and to me.


 


 


Very cordially,


 


Carolina Rodriguez

Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Carolina, for your clarification. With regard to your concerns:

For about 3 years, we were members of a nonprofit organization. During this time, we had problem after problem, caused by the president of this organization, who seems to enjoy the spreading of rumors. That is unfortunate.

During this time we also noticed slowly, that the person is not keeping correct records, not complying with tax laws and skimming here and there off. Did you have a fiduciary duty to report these crimes?

This is a small organization with very little money. However, it was a matter of principles to us. I understand.

The lady also used to insult me, when only some were looking.
We decided to no longer be a part of this.
However, we were asked to join one meeting in support of the treasurer, who has been trying to do a good job.
During this meeting, the president caused a major fight between some of the members.
When I heard her tell a lie about myself I confronted her. She was sitting, I was standing on the other side of the table.
She kept interrupting me, so at some point I said in a very loud voice "Shut up" (in spanish Callate").
Of course, she got angry. We then told her, that we know about her dishonesty and were really tired of knowing, that she was behind each and every problem in that organization.

The problem is, that now she is telling people, that I almost touched her; or touched her, which is not true. I do have witnesses to that. If her statement rises to the level of actionable defamation, you can file a civil complaint against her for that, certainly. You will have to prove damages, ie. that the untrue statement of fact was believed by others and cost you something, such as it definitely damaged your reputation, or cost you financial losses (i.e. you lost your job, etc.)

She is also telling people, that she plans to have me arrested for touching her; if not now then soon. Fortunately, she can not have you arrested. Only law enforcement will determine whether this allegation is "arrest" worthy, and I have never heard of someone being arrested for an alleged crime of this nature. She is basically accusing you (falsely) of a battery (unpermitted touching), but with no evidence and no witnesses confirming you touched her and no injury at all, I would not foresee a citation, much less an arrest.

To all of this, she kept poking her own finger in my face. I told her to stop that.
Looks to me, that she is looking for an opportunity to get in my face expecting a reaction. Could be.

I have no interest in frivolous demands, nor would I want to be involved in any issue with her. However, she often does know where I am at. Is that relevent? Knowing her, she is very capable of trying to do this in order to cause more trouble. After all, we did call her out on fraudulent behavior. Sure, she is angry. Just to prevent the possibility of her falsifying more actions on your part, I'd make sure she does not have access to your itinerary/schedule. For instance, if she learns of it through what you post on Facebook, make sure that anything you post is not viewable by anyone who is not your friend, even if your friend posts it on his own FB page, or you share it with a friend who is then friends with her. Better yet, just don't put your goings on on FB at all.

Is there a way to actually defend myself from someone like this? Yes, of course. Since the burden would be on her to prove you committed a crime, and she is unable to do so, right there you have a defense. Plus, you will deny it, of course. Moreover, you have plenty of witnesses to attest to the fact that you did not touch her. She has waited this long and never filed a police report - the longer she delays, the less credible the accusations. Let's face it, when we are asaulted, we head to the police immediately, or at least the next day. She didn't do that, and the argument would be that she didn't, because she had no subjective feelings or knowledge of any battery by you. That she fabricated this later (she sounds entirely unstable of mind).

Our clean legal standing is very important to us. You can have it, so don't worry.

Very cordially,

Carolina Rodriguez
XXXXX@XXXXXX.XXX

Optional Information:
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Florida
What have you tried so far?: This discussion happened on april 4. the last days we were in Puerto Rico for my father in law's funeral. Sorry for your loss.

 

It seems that meanwhile, this has been escalating without or presence.



We have not seen her since that meeting. And we have never had any intention of continuing to be associated with her in any way. Excellent. This really sounds like nothing to be too concerned about.




It's the Spanish Association of North Florida inc.



Her name isXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXsa Benton, Maria Benton, Lisa Benton, Lisa Peña and/or Maria Peña. (Yup.. name play happening left and right)


She has about 3, possibly more so called non-profits registered. Not all under her name directly; one under her husbands name, with her and her daughter as board members. another one with friends. If she decides to make a ruckus, have you considered gathering bookkeeping evidence of her theft (skimming) of moneys? That may hush her up.


(we can't keep track)



She has been talking to some of the other members. However, I've known her for 3 years and can be certain, that she is one of the worst human beings we have ever met.Sounds like it, certainly.


We felt, We being just you and your spouse? Or others with you? it was important for us to say what we had discovered and then to stop being in any kind of contact and much less business relations. Good move - if and when she is prosecuted for fraud/embezzlement, you don't want to be connected if you can help it.



She will try to do this, because a) it gives her a chance to play victim right now, disregarding any possible outcome and just for the fun of causing damage.True. But you have leverage - her criminal theft behavior. Maybe focus on getting ironclad evidence of that, in case you need it later.



b) This is an opportunity for her to distract from some more pressing issues, like the fact, that she has been lying about fiscal status of the organization and has been spending membership fees without any responsibility.Ironically, these would seem to be apples and oranges. A president of a non-profit gets (allegedly) assaulted. That has no bearing on the president's job duties...



c) She already tried to tell people, that I did touch her; which is completely untrue.She tried to tell them or she DID tell them... Not that it much matters, since she has no witnesses.



d) She has been spreading so many rumors, that we can not fix them all.Perhaps you should ignore her. She enjoys drama, but if she no longer gets a rise, she may move on to different drama. Moreover, it sounds like most people think she is a kook, so no one likely takes her seriously, and considers the source when they hear silly rumors.




A clean legal and fiscal standing is very important to my husband and to me.I see no reason for that to change based on this. Her rumors do not change a thing, of course. If you were prosecuted, yes, you may consider hiring a lawyer, and that is a fiscal effect on you of course. But I really don't think the state of FL has excess funds to warrant prosecuting a minor incident where there is no proof, and in fact, there is proof that nothing occurred as stated. The DA is not in the business of charging cases that can not win. He'd lose his job.

 

But, if you will sleep better knowing you have done everything to prevent that, then do get some evidence (even witness statements) confirming that on 4/4/2013, Jane Does was with you the entire meeting and not once did your body come into contact with the crazy lady's body and that IN FACT, the crazy lady keeping sticking her fingers in your face. I'd also get proof of her thefts - great leverage! And can be proof later of her lack of honesty, which would likely kill any case she could possibly be involved with, with you.

 


I hope this helps! Let me know if you need follow up before or after RATING me. And PLEASE know that my job depends on a POSITIVE rating now and at least an 8-10 feedback rating later. Thanks! I won't forget your support.

Sincerely,

Alexia Esq.



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Alexia Esq., Managing Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11742
Experience: 19 Years of Legal Practice Experience in this precise field.
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