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  • FIRST POST
    • icecreamcastle
    • By icecreamcastle 10th Jul 17, 8:23 PM
    • 43Posts
    • 7Thanks
    icecreamcastle
    Help please!...Our business has been conned!
    • #1
    • 10th Jul 17, 8:23 PM
    Help please!...Our business has been conned! 10th Jul 17 at 8:23 PM
    Hello,

    Thank you in advance for your time and any help - hopefully, this is the correct forum to post in.

    We hired a distribution company to distribute our publication for the last 2 months. We have since discovered, they have not delivered any of them! We have ample of evidence in both the failure to do the work and the work they agreed to undertake.

    Thankfully, we paid via PayPal and PayPal have been extremely helpful and it looks extremely promising we will receive the distribution costs back.

    However, we are still around £8000 out of pocket due to our print costs (we haven't received our publications back) and we have also lost a lot of custom due to the failure to deliver.

    My questions are:

    1. Are our missing publications now classed as stolen items? They went straight from our printers to the distributor. We paid for and own the publication. In law, is this theft?

    2. If yes, do we report this to the police or somebody else?

    3. What is the best course of action to take or who do we contact in regards to attempting to recoup our print expenses and loss of earnings?

    Thank you once again for your time and help. I've tried to keep this first post as brief as possible but can fill in more details if required.
Page 2
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 11th Sep 17, 12:40 PM
    • 15,147 Posts
    • 14,752 Thanks
    Guest101
    Hello All,

    Just an update of the latest events.

    Well, we managed to get our distribution costs back via PayPal. Four disputes were opened against the distribution company and the owner failed to respond to any of them! Without saying as much, the impression was PayPal had had dealings with him before as they assured us immediately we would receive our money back. I must say, PayPal were extremely good.

    More and more companies are being scammed by this con man as more negative reviews are popping up online. The con man has changed the name of his distribution company many times and I would imagine he will change it again very soon!

    Sadly, for us, he has destroyed our company. After all our blood, sweat and tears, we lost far to much business over the 2 months he failed to deliver to survive.

    We have never received any money back regarding our loss of print costs (PayPal was purely the distribution costs) and, obviously, our loss of earnings and the fact our company has now had to close due to his con.

    Please could somebody advise me what to do next? I can't afford a solicitor, so who can I contact for help? Is this a case for the small claims court? Should I start a new post in a different forum?

    I'd really appreciate any help. Not only has this destroyed my livelihood and professional future but this has really affected me personally.

    Thank you again for any replies.
    Originally posted by icecreamcastle
    You could try to reclaim the printing costs, but sadly everything else you aren't entitled to.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 11th Sep 17, 4:09 PM
    • 9,637 Posts
    • 7,628 Thanks
    lincroft1710

    More and more companies are being scammed by this con man as more negative reviews are popping up online. The con man has changed the name of his distribution company many times and I would imagine he will change it again very soon!

    Sadly, for us, he has destroyed our company. After all our blood, sweat and tears, we lost far to much business over the 2 months he failed to deliver to survive.

    We have never received any money back regarding our loss of print costs (PayPal was purely the distribution costs) and, obviously, our loss of earnings and the fact our company has now had to close due to his con.

    Please could somebody advise me what to do next? I can't afford a solicitor, so who can I contact for help? Is this a case for the small claims court? Should I start a new post in a different forum?

    I'd really appreciate any help. Not only has this destroyed my livelihood and professional future but this has really affected me personally.

    Thank you again for any replies.
    Originally posted by icecreamcastle
    If you try to reclaim your print costs (as Guest 101 posted, as these were the only other tangible losses you suffered) it will cost you even to use MCOL.

    Since the distributor regularly phoenixes, either he will liquidate the old company before you start to claim or just ignore everything, in which case you should get a judgement in your favour, but he will further ignore that. Trying to get your money from a liquidated company is nigh on impossible, especially £8,000. Would the company have assets of £8,000?

    Business conmen tend to hide any assets their companies may have, or all the perceived assets are on lease agreements so aren't actually assets. You can only sue the entity you had the contract with, so you can sue A. Conman Ltd, you cannot sue Mr A. Conman.
    • icecreamcastle
    • By icecreamcastle 11th Sep 17, 9:34 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    icecreamcastle
    Many thanks for your reply. From what you've said, it appears we are stuffed on those fronts. The company has already changed it's name from the first payments we made to the last (although the PayPal account was the same and I believe in his name).

    Looking at his previous company accounts online, the numbers are extremely small - although, you have to image he is making money somewhere.

    I'm really not sure what to do. Even if we have no chance of compensation, there should be some way he is stopped from doing this to other hard working people. Is it worth contacting trading standards or the Police?

    Believe it or not, he is extremely young (22 I believe) and has been conning people since the age of 18. I also believe he still lives with his parents, but if you say we can't sue him personally, then we really don't have a chance.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 12th Sep 17, 7:30 AM
    • 4,770 Posts
    • 4,148 Thanks
    00ec25
    Believe it or not, he is extremely young (22 I believe) and has been conning people since the age of 18. I also believe he still lives with his parents, but if you say we can't sue him personally, then we really don't have a chance.
    Originally posted by icecreamcastle
    if your contract/purchase was in the name of his company then no you cannot sue him personally whatever his age or intent

    the police will not be interested unless you amass significant numbers of similar outcomes for other customers over the life of more than one of his companies and thus make it easier for them to believe fraud has taken place. Even then they are unlikely to have the time/resources to investigate

    there is no harm in contacting trading standards but they cannot do anything as legally there is nothing to stop him "phoenixing" and a new phoenix has no legal liability for the actions of the old one even if the director is the same. To get someone disbarred from being a director, and therefore unable to repeat the pattern, will take a lot more money than it would be wise for you to spend given your situation.
    Last edited by 00ec25; 12-09-2017 at 7:35 AM.
    • paddyrg
    • By paddyrg 12th Sep 17, 9:27 AM
    • 13,037 Posts
    • 11,104 Thanks
    paddyrg
    If he still lives with his parents, have you gone round to see him and ask where your money is? They may be unaware and this might add the pressure you need.

    You also say he's changed names if his business a few times, but it's unclear if he's been closing and launching limited companies or just changing trading names as a sole trader. If the latter, it's good news.
    • Chappers27
    • By Chappers27 12th Sep 17, 9:34 AM
    • 52 Posts
    • 53 Thanks
    Chappers27
    You need to make a file of everything you know. What is your evidence and is it rock solid? What do you know about the company? Are they a private limited company? Search for them on companies house - and check their accounts. Does it look like they are about to go bust? See if they have other clients and contact their other clients. If they go bust, your chances to getting your cash back aren't good. What is the relationship between the printer and the distributor?

    I dont agree that nothing can be done. If the Director of the company has been defrauding clients then he can be stopped from being a Director of any company again for life. I would get in touch with Trading Standards immediately. You won't have to pay to stop him being a Director, as its in the public interest.
    Last edited by Chappers27; 12-09-2017 at 9:37 AM.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 12th Sep 17, 10:26 AM
    • 15,147 Posts
    • 14,752 Thanks
    Guest101
    Many thanks for your reply. From what you've said, it appears we are stuffed on those fronts. The company has already changed it's name from the first payments we made to the last (although the PayPal account was the same and I believe in his name).

    Looking at his previous company accounts online, the numbers are extremely small - although, you have to image he is making money somewhere.

    I'm really not sure what to do. Even if we have no chance of compensation, there should be some way he is stopped from doing this to other hard working people. Is it worth contacting trading standards or the Police?

    Believe it or not, he is extremely young (22 I believe) and has been conning people since the age of 18. I also believe he still lives with his parents, but if you say we can't sue him personally, then we really don't have a chance.
    Originally posted by icecreamcastle
    THIS IS A CIVIL MATTER - for the last time!


    What he is doing is not a crime.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 12th Sep 17, 10:33 AM
    • 37,664 Posts
    • 33,978 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    I dont agree that nothing can be done. If the Director of the company has been defrauding clients then he can be stopped from being a Director of any company again for life.
    Originally posted by Chappers27
    But that won't necessarily stop him getting other people to front his companies ...
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    • icecreamcastle
    • By icecreamcastle 12th Sep 17, 12:34 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    icecreamcastle
    Thank you once again for all your replies. Looking on company house, it is the same limited company, incorporated in 2012 and has changed it's name 4 times and with the one same director.

    I know he has other websites, with bogus physical addresses and different names which aren't listed as companies on company house - but i'd imagine the small print says it is trading as the 'official' company it was named as on company house at at the time.

    I've spoken to 2 companies that have been conned by him and in a matter of minutes on the internet, I can find another 8.

    Thank you once again for your replies. I will gather up all the information I have and contact trading standards to start with and go from there.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 12th Sep 17, 1:07 PM
    • 15,147 Posts
    • 14,752 Thanks
    Guest101
    Thank you once again for all your replies. Looking on company house, it is the same limited company, incorporated in 2012 and has changed it's name 4 times and with the one same director.

    I know he has other websites, with bogus physical addresses and different names which aren't listed as companies on company house - but i'd imagine the small print says it is trading as the 'official' company it was named as on company house at at the time.

    I've spoken to 2 companies that have been conned by him and in a matter of minutes on the internet, I can find another 8.

    Thank you once again for your replies. I will gather up all the information I have and contact trading standards to start with and go from there.
    Originally posted by icecreamcastle


    So why didn't you do this BEFORE handing over all that cash?..... Sometimes it's best just to take responsibility for your own mistake.


    I know that he's probably a bad guy, but you should do your own due diligence too
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