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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 36175
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Since our last correspondence there has been more developments

Customer Question

Since our last correspondence there has been more developments regarding my attempt to salvage my business.

To clarify I stated that I was leasing from a third party, The third party are my “Friends”. There is a back story to the reason I am leasing the property though them.
Mike Fichera and Vito Collela are my friends, Mike for just under 20 years. For the last 5 years I have been asking him to go into the car wash business with me. He wanted no part of any of it until March of this year when I said I would put up the money and run the actual service end of business while he agreed to either “help” or manage the day to day business which was the finances, vendors, tax, payroll etc. This was for the lack of experience on my part with running a business properly.
No agreement was madeat this time, Towards the end of March we started to scout locations. We then made a tentative agreement that it would completely be my car wash and I would pay him a fee for his help or services. Which was 1 night a week and 1 full weekend a month. Sat and Sunday. Then it changed again where he would just help me for a month or so and I could pay him what I felt was right.

Both of us drove around looking for places everyday. April came around, and it was right before the Easter holiday. Vito, during the summer family holidays sells flowers and holiday items out of the back of trucks, One of the locations he has been using is a closed down gas station.

Mike tells me about it and I agree this is the place I want to do it. The only stip was that the owners will only do business with Vito, so he (Vito) would lease it from the owner and I would sub lease from Vito. So now the deal was being made.
It started that mike was no longer working with or for me, Mike and Vito would now partner up and sub-lease this property to me. The deal was $500 a month on top of my rent. Within 2 weeks, it was $1000, $500 to Mike and $500 to Vito plus the rent. As they learned more and more of my business plan and realized what potential and how lucrative my business model was they started to change terms almost on a daily basis. Now a $20,000 up front payment was required plus over $25,000 in construction and improvements they agreed to with the owner. Next they made a new term of a back end payment of no less than $10,000 when a multi year lease could be signed. the owner is planning for a complete property makeover (not affecting my area)for a future business venture, when that happens we would then get a multi year.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the update.

My answer remains exactly the same as previously discussed. The only difference here is that you have a lot of oral agreements and because they are difficult to prove, you will have difficulty proving your case in court. This makes it all risky business.

I'm also somewhat uncomfortable with the "feel" of this transaction -- it smells a little bit like "fish wrapped in newspaper," if you follow my meaning. Legal actions can resolve disputes with persons who are prepared to submit to the rule of law. Persons who are willing to take matters into their own hands, if they don't get their way, can create a different set of difficulties -- of the sort that only law enforcement personnel are equipped to handle.

So, if that is what is really going on here, then I suggest that you may want to simply walk away from the transaction, and take your dispute to the local district attorney or the FBI -- because it's outside the province of normal business relations.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

As far as the my last email, I just wanted to give you a little back story on how it all began and what transpired. As far as them stringing me along and all the ideas and plan I have proof in form of text messages and taped phone conversations. I don't think I would be comfortable with going to any law agency. AS OF YET. I would like to try the litigious route first.

My question is, Since they lied about signing the lease do I wait till they do or do I take action before they sign and actually begin operating.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
You may want to make an effort to contact the property owner and try to lease the property yourself, before you consider waiting on your associates signing the lease. You need to be able to prove that the owner won't deal with you, even if you offer better terms than your associates. Whether your associates actually sign the lease could be useful evidence, too. But, I don't think it's decisive, either way.

Hope this helps.

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