My Aunt (Kim) was talked into investing $2,500.00 into a taxi company by her husband (Paul). Paul worked for said company. The owner of the company (Jeff) convinced Paul by investing they would get 5% interest on the gross income the business generated in a year.
Kim takes Paul's advice and Kim uses her American Express card and pays Jeff via his cell phones SQUARE device.
There was never a written a agreement on what the money would be used for and only word of mouth.
Fast forward 8 months and since then Paul has been fired from the company twice. Each time he was fired Kim and Paul tried to get the money back but were unsuccessful.
There's a credit statement showing the transaction but it was 8 months ago. The money was used for advertising and owner says he's going out of business
Generally, you should never agree to invest money in a company without a written agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of you receiving your money back. The investor might have some claims, but more information would be needed to make that determination. You should reach out to an attorney in your area to discuss any potential claims.
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My colleague stated already very good advice never to transaction any money with a third party over a represented business transaction without first preparing a written agreement and have that written agreement executed by both parties. Notwithstanding, your Aunt may still have an oral agreement that shemight be able to initiate action to enforce or for rescission. However, this is solely, and loosely, based on the text and written communications and conversations between the parties, which you can be assured, there will be three different stories between three different people.
This is an action that she might be able to file in small claims if she simply filed for the return of your money, or if the receiving party states that the money is a form of a loan or purchase, the latter if you never received any benefit for that alleged purchase, but this is solely based on the information contained in your post and more information is required to confirm. To enforce an ownership interest in the company for that investment, that might be outside the scope of jurisdiction of a small claims, or even county court, depending upon the value of the company and the ownership interest understood to have been purchased.
Your Aunt will need to speak with an attorney to discuss the claim in greater detail, and it will also be important to share the evidence that you have such as the texts, emails, and conversations that took place between your Aunt, her husband and the taxi company business owner.
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