Jerked Around by a Business Partner

By Nina Kaufman, Esq.

From the “No good deed goes unpunished” department:

Q: I deposited more than $20,000 into my business partner’s account under the impression that he would add my name to the new company and to the house I had paid off for him and that he would put my name on the new car title,  too. But none of the above has happened and he refuses to discuss it since I am not going hungry or without a place to stay.

He now says he cannot trust ANY woman to do the right thing in money matters that involve him (But he sure took my money without any qualms).  How can this be resolved?

A: You have a thorny situation on your hands, and I don’t envy you.  Unfortunately, without having anything in writing (which I assume you don’t; otherwise your business partner wouldn’t be as cavalier with your money), your only option right now is to sue him.

You may get lucky in that the threat of bringing a lawsuit (and the costs he’ll incur) may make him reconsider his actions,  either by making you a rightful business partner in writing or by refunding your money.  The catch is that you’d need (and want) to have your own counsel begin this process for you.  If you try to handle this yourself, he may not take you seriously (especially as he doesn’t seem to do doing so now).  Contact your local bar association, as it may be able to give you referrals to attorneys in your area who are familiar with these legal issues.

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