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Richard
Richard, Attorney
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Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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This question is in relation to the one I asked you on 6/5/13.

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This question is in relation to the one I asked you on 6/5/13. Ross registered AGHOST and listed Spooked in Seattle Tours as a dba, among others. Spooked is just what it sounds like, a walking tour of reportedly haunted locations in Seattle. Patrons must pay for their ticket prior to taking the tour and tips are accepted post-tour. AGHOST charged a membership fee, as you know from my description the other day. Thing is, AGHOST was run as a non-profit, with funds received going towards purchase and maintenance of equipment for use by the group. AGHOST, being the older of the two ventures, had a bank account complete with credit card. When Ross started up Spooked, he deposited money from the tour into the AGHOST account. One of his business partners in Spooked realized this and told him that this was co-mingling of funds. Is this correct? What, if any, legal recourse can the group take against Ross? Against my better nature, the group to which I belong -- all former members of AGHOST -- are considering a counter suit to prevent Ross from future legal action. With this in mind, I'm hoping to get honest, legal answers to their questions so that they don't initiate a case as fraudulent as the one Ross currently has registered against me. Thank you!
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. Was "Spooked in Seattle Tours" registered as a d/b/a for AGHOST? And, they are in fact different entities with different owners...is that correct? Thanks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX don't get a headache looking at all of this. AGHOST never did have good governing practices, and I was part of that mess, thus the multiple registrations. Thanks in advance for your patience and continuing aid in clarifying this issue :-)


 


Per dor.wa.gov:


 


AGHOST was first registered as a sole proprietorship 8/2005, with DBAs of


















AMATEUR GHOST HUNTERS OF SEATTLE - TACOMA



HAUNTED GLIMPSE GALLERIES



PACIFIC NORTHWEST GHOST HUNTERS CONFERENCE "GHOST HUNTERS GETAWAY”



THE BEWITCHED ARTIST



 


Registered in 2010 as Spooked in Seattle Ghost Tours and had 3 people listed as governing members. Christian is the person who discovered Ross was (allegedly) comingling funds.




















SPOOKED IN SEATTLE GHOST TOURS



 



 



 



09/28/2010




 

























Governing People:



CHRISTIAN MICHAEL SCHMITT



MARK ROBERT SIMPSON



ROSS NATHAN ALLISON




 


 


Registered as LLC w/following names 2/2013:


 


















ADVANCED GHOST HUNTERS OF SEATTLE TACOMA



AGHOST INVESTIGATIONS



AGHOST LLC



AMATEUR GHOST HUNTERS OF SEATTLE TACOMA



 


On 7/2011, Mark and Ross Registered Spooked In Seattle Tours LLC, naming themselves as governing bodies. Per Sec of State, this is valid thru 7/2013


 


Per dol.wa.gov:


 


Registered as non-profit, with AGHOST, dba Advanced Ghost Hunters of Seattle, Tacoma from 3/2007-3/2008


 


Registered as a non-profit, with Advanced Ghost Hunters of Seattle Tacoma dba AGHOST 7/2011-7/2013


 


Registered as LLC 2/2013 as Advanced Ghost Hunters of Seattle Tacoma, dba AGHOST and a few others. (see above)

Thanks. Yes, this would be a conflict of interest because he is diverting funds that should belong to the 3 owners into an entity in which he is the only owner. He also has an issue with violating his fiduciary duty. If these entities both do basically the same thing, then he has a conflict of interest as to which entity he is generating business opportunities....to the one he owns alone or to the one in which he has partners. The thing that you would want to get a judge to rule upon is this conflict of interest going forward...i.e., not allowing him to continue to operating basically competing businesses within the frameworks of the two entities....he's either going to need to relinquish his ownership in one of them...in addition to dealing with damages for his past actions, including the commingling of funds.
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