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I was off from a tech startup with vested shares. I signed a…

I was laid off from...
I was laid off from a tech startup with vested shares. I signed a purchase agreement for the shares which was cosigned by the CEO but not witnessed. The agreement was stapled to a copy of the money order that I provided for payment. The shares were databased in a 3rd party system called eshares, and eshares has a simple interface that lets the admin indicate that the share purchase was recorded and issues a stock certificate as an emailed pdf. The CEO told me in an email that she had recorded the stock sale, but I cannot get her to do the procedure to release a share certificate. She seems to be saying that the share certificate is unnecessary, but the helpdesk at eshares thinks that I should have the certificate and the last time I bought vested startup shares I received a certificate. Meanwhile eshares is saying that the vesting is about to expire.Do I need the share certificate? If so how do I get it from the CEO?
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Answered in 7 minutes by:
11/7/2017
socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,597
Experience: Retired
Verified

Hello,

If eShares is telling you that the vesting is about to expire, then that indicates (to me) that the share purchase wasn't recorded. Otherwise eShares would know that there can't be any expiration, because the shares are purchased.

You don't need a certificate, but you need some sort of proof of purchase, and a confirmation from eShares.

You could ask the CEO for a signed letter stating that you are entitled to the shares that you have paid for. Even better would be a statement from the CFO stating that the share purchase is recorded in the corporation's journal.

Ultimately, you may need to have a lawyer send a demand letter and threaten legal action unless the formalities are complied with.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
The CFO is the CEO and I have an email from her saying that the sale was recorded. Eshares is just a service and they could stop using it. Its data is only as good as the info the company submits. Nevertheless a share cert. from EShares is a traceable legal document. So I want it unless I don't really need it. What I have is the last page of the share purchase agreement stapled to a copy of the money order that I tendered. It is signed by me and by the CEO but not notarized. Is it worth it to get a lawyer to make the CEO give me the certificate or am I just fine with what I have, please? BTW it's a private company. Also I have been told by one person that the CEO lied to him on termination. So am I on solid ground with the email plus the document I have.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I don't have good cell reception here

An email is pretty weak evidence of the transaction, because it's hard to prove that it was actually sent by the CEO. You need either a physical certificate, or a letter with a "wet "signature from the CEO stating that you are the owner of the shares. Without that, you could find yourself being ****** out of your shares in the future.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, Justanswer retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf. Note: If you cannot find the rating button on your webpage, please just type in your rating in a response to this note, and customer service will apply the rating for you.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
OK then, are you willing to tell me approximately how much will it cost me in the Bay area to get a lawyer to write a request to the CEO for what I want? That would make me very happy.

Lawyer fees are negotiable. There is no fixed standard. I would charge you $250 to send a demand letter. But, I'm in SoCal.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, Justanswer retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf. Note: If you cannot find the rating button on your webpage, please just type in your rating in a response to this note, and customer service will apply the rating for you.

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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,597
Experience: Retired
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