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Richard S Sternberg
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Richard Sternberg’s Answers

148 total


  • Can my friend be prosecuted for Money Laundering.

    Yes this is a friend, and not me so I do need advice. Please no get a lawyer responses. Friend is going into business in the US with someone who is flying in large (over 100k) in cash through the US without reporting it. He is telling her he is go...

    Richard’s Answer

    I'm not going to check the other answers, because I'm in the car about to drive somewhere, but, in addition to being illegal if it is true, I'm willing to bet that the guy sending the foreign checks asks for his share in less than a few weeks. After the check "clears," it will turn out to be a forgery, and the money your friend sent overseas will be real money from her bank account. This scheme sounds too much like the scam making its way to law offices worldwide.

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  • How can I avoid the UK Lifetime Allowance Declaration that may impact my UK pension?

    I worked for a firm in the UK for 5 years up to 1981. I have lived in the US since and have become a US citizen. I paid into a pension in the UK and now have to complete the forms required to receive my UK pension. My company in the US was in bank...

    Richard’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Lukken. This is a UK pensions issue. You need a pensions or employment benefits solicitor in the UK. I checked to see if the Avvo.com engine reached to UK solicitors, but I don't think Avvo.com has reached the UK Bars. If you don't have access to the old referral system, I'm sure I can get you a name in the UK. A brief consult ought to sort it out, as they say.

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  • Will I be able to file a complaint against a US citizen who owes me money, if I am a Filipino living in the Philippines?

    I worked online for someone living in Massachusetts, he owes me $800 and it's been months and has not paid me yet, just kept promising he will pay me ''soon.'' I am a Filipino citizen living in the Philippines. It was a home based call center wher...

    Richard’s Answer

    The direct answer is that you can, of course, file suit in any appropriate court in the US, because foreign citizenship isn't an impediment. The appropriate court for small claims like $800 is usually a lower state court, and most states have simplified procedures and evidence rules in such courts. Consult a Massachusetts lawyer for more on that. The problem is that most such lower courts have heavily crowded dockets, and trials are often continued multiple times, and, each time, you need your witnesses to be in the location ready to testify.The costs will significantly exceed the $800 you are claiming, and such costs are rarely recoverable.

    This is why experienced international businessmen include in their contracts protocols to ensure payment. There are many devices for that, and letters of credit or escrow accounts or surety bonds are some of them. What you really need is to lick your wounds on the $800 and invest in a properly drafted contract the reduces the likelihood of getting stiffed in the future.

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  • Can I use my bank account in the US to send money to my home country and earn profit through exchanging currency.

    I am a non US citizen studying in the US. The country where I am from imposes foreign currency exchange control, meaning that I can exchange US dollars in my home country in the black market at much higher rated than at the bank. Is it illegal ...

    Richard’s Answer

    The opportunity you are considering can be quite lucrative in restricted currency countries. Money changing is quite legal in the US, and I'd be surprised if USCIS cares about violating outdated and archaic foreign law restricting currency exchange. But, there are US reporting constraints, such as the limitation on moving $10,000 or more without reporting it. And, reporting it could create a problem if US Customs cooperates with the restricted currency country as part of a terrorist financing effort. Multiple, organized efforts to move $10,000 or more in cash can bring equal grief. The better bet is to construct a more complex scenario in which something of value is being imported into the US or some US investment is moving into the foreign country. Often, you can negotiate a private currency protocol with third world countries hungry for US currency or piggyback on a pre-existing protocol and split the now legal profits of currency exchange. You may also be missing ideas using presently existing resources or third-country banking sources sometimes grandfathered into legality. But, doing this on a budget operation without proper counsel Is foolishness and it will be exceptional foolishness is you slip up and begin to look like a drug trafficker, terrorist funder, or other money launderer. Clear it with your immigration counsel as well as a lawyer experienced in third world trade issues from restricted currency states.

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  • How can I stop my sister from selling the family house

    My sister is the executive of the family house and she wants to sale it for personal gain I am the only soul air to this house the Deed to the house is in my mothers name which is Watkins my last name is Watkins this has been my home sense birth I...

    Richard’s Answer

    Let's see if this passes the "smell" test.... You argue that you are an heir and your sister is not because she has a different last name than your mother, right? Does that even begin to sound plausible as a rule of Law? Curiously, something even nastier called primogeniture existed in medieval times, but then again, you probably aren't Prince John Lackland.

    All heirs of your mother's intestate estate -- or all of the beneficiaries of her Will -- are entitled to share in the inheritance equally or as described in the Will. The fact that you've lived there (free, presumably) and paid maintenance expenses is irrelevant, though the tenant may have TOPA rights, the other heirs might be entitled to their share of the rents. See a lawyer if you think you might be able to buy out the interests of the other heirs.

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  • How Do I Get Phone Records of Deceased Relative

    I would like to get both inbound and outbound cellphone records for my deceased sister. I am the personal representative of her estate. Is it possible to ask the probate court to grant access to her phone records? Or is the only way to get the...

    Richard’s Answer

    This will either be easy or a bit hard. If you have been appointed PR, you stand in the shoes of your decedent sister. Send the company a request for the records and offer to produce your Letters. Don't pay her final bill yet. That will help them focus on your needs. Technically, to get paid, they must file a claim in the estate. If you can't get then to cooperate, see if you can get the clerk or a lawyer to issue a subpoena duces tecum under the ADM case number. You may need to file a LIT case.

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  • What does hearing vacated mean

    On court docket

    Richard’s Answer

    I agree with both of my learned colleagues: "vacated" means it -- or, more precisely, the Order that set it -- is no longer effective. "Vacated nunc pro tunc" would add "as if it never was." I don't know the Idaho courts and the standards of Idaho local practice, but, if vacating the hearing was unexpected, you might want to call your opponent or call the clerk. Mistakes have happened on dockets before, and the file the judge gets might not show the correct on-line docket entry. If the judge thinks there is a hearing, and you aren't there, that could well lead to a default.

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  • What needs to be done when someone passes away in Washington DC and rented an apartment?

    My mother passed away in Washington D.C., she has no will, rented an apartment, didn't own any property and has almost no assets (no car, little to no money in the bank, etc). I lived in her apartment with her for her last few years due to her ail...

    Richard’s Answer

    Mr. Johnson's response is useful, but I just want to re-emphasize a couple points. If you've lived in the unit for the last couple years, under DC law, you probably have tenant's rights, even if it is merely as a tenant by sufferance. If you pay the rent and haven't been a pain for the landlord, I'll bet they'd be happy to write you a new lease if you want to stay. Under some circumstances, it may be unwise to report your mother's passing, because, if the unit has been rent controlled for decades, the landlord might be able to raise the rent. You'd be best off talking to someone like Mr. Johnson about your particular situation and your particular lease. You aren't getting evicted this month, and the chances are that the landlord won't interfere for months if they get an August and future rent checks. To retake possession, they need to sue and serve you as a tenant there. They aren't likely to bother if they are getting paid and you aren't causing problems.

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  • How to exit from the DC Housing Choice Voucher Program as a landlord?

    I no longer want to participate in the DC Housing Choice Voucher Program. I have gotten three different answers from DCHA when I called them. No information is in the Contract. How does a landlord exit the program if there is a HCVP participant...

    Richard’s Answer

    Your problem isn't getting out of the government program. I suspect you can stop cashing their checks anytime you wish. Your problem is that you cannot kick out a tenant who is offering to pay the agreed rent except on some very strict conditions and in no less than 90 days. There are many, many ways to mess up that notice, and it is almost certain that you'll have it defective at least once, so the delay could easily be 6 months to a year. And, it you just want to get out of the program so you can rent to someone new, you aren't eligible. Even if you take it back for your own use, you'll need to take it back for your bona fide use and not re-rent it for a very long time. You need a lawyer to step you through this, or you need to sell the property. Since you have to offer the property to the tenant before selling it in compliance with TOPA, and the sale will be difficult without getting rid of the subsidized tenancy, you really need guidance from counsel and a good real estate salesman with knowledge of dealing with TOPA rights.

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  • Beginning my own Cuban Tourism Company out of the US: How can I make it legal/is it legal?

    I was born in Cuba, been living in the US for 40 years. My family still resides in historic Havana; I visit them via Canada every few months. I was recently thinking how great it would be if I could start my own tourism group offering tours to Cub...

    Richard’s Answer

    The embargo still exists, and, as an American citizen and resident, you are at great risk if you create a travel program from the US via Canada to evade the embargo. But, as others have mentioned, there are exceptions, and a brilliant way to be out in front of other Cuban tour packages once Hillary wins might be to set up a legal, compliant tour program within the new exceptions. This might mean greater initial expenses for legal compliance and, even, to have counsel running your tour plans past Treasury or State. It might mean that your margin for the early days aren't what you'd like. But the real profit here is likely to be down the road when, instead of educational, person-to-person contacts and religious groups, you are the only Cuban tour company with a track record. I've tried to attach a link from Treasury loaded with links and written releases from the Government. If that gets edited out, try googling . These are not the only sources, and you are taking a risk to set this up without counsel -- especially with the Canadian twist.

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