1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

Seeking advice small claims + criminal

Discussion in 'Small Claims & Municipal Court' started by wrecked_runner, Jul 27, 2019.

  1. wrecked_runner

    wrecked_runner Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Jurisdiction:
    California
    Hopefully I'll get some advice.

    Background. "Seller" supplied machine part to close friend and "Seller" was in the circle of trusted friends in the our hobby community.

    Sent payment Venmo $1000+ USD to a person working for a company that had a machine part that I wanted. "Seller" claims to have been sponsored by the company that makes and sells said machine part. The machine part was on backorder when I paid the "seller" but has been restocked 3-4 times according to the manufactures website. "Seller" keeps giving updates "they are on the truck, UPS didn't give me the tracking #.." excuses.

    When contacting company that makes the machine part. The company has no record of my order thru "seller" that claims "he is sponsored by the company". So in short the "seller" is lying that he placed my order in early March.

    Long story short the "seller" is lying about having placed my order and has lied about the other 3-4 times "they are on the truck". No I have requested my money back and "I'm in asia, I'll send money when I have internet connection".

    This is a clear cut case of fraud in small claims court but I would rather have this pursued in a criminal case. What are the steps for me to see if I can have this pursued criminally? The buyer is in San Diego and the "seller" lives in Castro Valley (San Francisco area). Also , if I were to file a police report would I call the San Diego or Castro Valley PD?

    Any advice on to how to escalate this to the proper authorities? I would like to take this as a learning experience and learn what the true extent of the law means as a plaintiff.
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

    Messages:
    10,429
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Trophy Points:
    113

    As a first step you might contact Venmo and see if there is any option there since no product was received.

    Write a letter to the seller demanding verifiable shipping information or immediate refund. Allow a couple weeks for a response before heading to court. This letter, should you end up in court, can be used to show your attempt to resolve the matter prior to going to court.

    Small claims is the appropriate legal route, though you may find you will have to file in the seller's county. Hopefully there is enough information known about this person that you can locate easily.
     
    wrecked_runner likes this.
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    6,663
    Likes Received:
    1,459
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Who is in Asia?
     
    wrecked_runner likes this.
  4. wrecked_runner

    wrecked_runner Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I contacted venmo about getting a chargeback which they will not issue because Venmo is a money sharing app , that should be used between people that trust each other. Venmo is willing to share "seller" account information with authorities but is unable to share directly with me.

    I have text and phone messages demanding for refund. "Seller
    The "seller" claims " I am in Asia for work. I'll Venmo you when I have wifi". In which he is lying he has wifi cause he's using it to contact me via Instagram DM.
     
  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    6,663
    Likes Received:
    1,459
    Trophy Points:
    113

    OK, getting back to your questions.

    Best to file the police report where the seller lives. Just don't expect the police to do anything. Proving fraud requires proving intent and I doubt that any prosecutor will take a shot at it.

    In a civil case fraud is irrelevant. All you have to prove is you had a contract and he breached it. You get awarded your money back and your costs. You don't get any more money by bringing fraud into the mix.
     
    wrecked_runner likes this.
  6. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

    Messages:
    10,429
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Trophy Points:
    113

    A civil subpoena served on Venmo should get you the seller and transaction information you need.

    I agree law enforcement won't be much help here, but if you want to make a report you may be able to do it online or by telephone. You just need to figure out which is the appropriate jurisdiction. This would be based on the seller's location of the business, or home if there is no business location.
     
    wrecked_runner likes this.
  7. wrecked_runner

    wrecked_runner Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Money has been refunded. Feeling fortunate. Case is closed.
    Thanks for the advice !
     

Share This Page