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Question: For those owed by bASIC: How much would you be willing to contribute to costs to recover a maximum of $1000/each from bASIC to be considered settled.
No deal. I'm owed a lot more than that. - 14 (23%)
$10 - 2 (3.3%)
$20 - 1 (1.6%)
$30 - 1 (1.6%)
$40 - 0 (0%)
$50 - 8 (13.1%)
$100 - 5 (8.2%)
$200 - 3 (4.9%)
$500 - 2 (3.3%)
$750 - 0 (0%)
$1000 - I just want justice. - 13 (21.3%)
more - It's all principle at this point. - 12 (19.7%)
Total Voters: 61

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Author Topic: LEGAL COURSE of ACTION Discussion --- bASIC / BitcoinASIC  (Read 20746 times)
||bit
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February 12, 2013, 09:38:24 AM
Last edit: February 16, 2013, 10:39:36 AM by ||bit
 #1

Disclaimer: I'm not a legal expert or qualified to give any kind of legal advice. And I'm not giving legal advice. Anything I say should be assumed to be just second hand information or an opinion. Therefore, anything I say about legal issues could be wrong.

ALL that have lost money and/or property to bASIC/BitcoinASIC:
I wanted to start this thread so that people can organize in one place to respond effectively to the business fiasco associated with Tom Van Riper's business. I'm not volunteering to represent the thread here or with any lawyers etc... but I am tired of seeing a lot of waiting and talking about what to do.

In this thread, I'd like to initiate suggested discussions towards a possible legal course of action, and perhaps actual legal action. It seems to me, that the best initial action would be to find a lawyer for consultation. And it can be discussed how to collectively pay for this lawyer, but being careful on how that would be accomplished.

So, let's discuss what needs to be discussed first. And maybe those that lost property can achieve the first step by getting a lawyer to speak with. I will propose four topics to resolve. Anyone can provide ideas for discussion, but let's keep it on task with what will help achieve the end goal - i.e. each person being compensated for property that was taken. If anyone, that has been around the forum for some time, wants to take lead on contacting a lawyer after the discussion, that would be great.

Discussion suggestions:
(1) Who here has an interest in this?
Update: Poll indicates at least 98 persons.

(2) What is the estimated collective amount of the claims, or how to determine this? (a lawyer would probably want to know this)
Update: Poll indicates at least $825,600 taken.

(3) What kinds of evidence is there? {emails, screenshots, forum discussions, phone records, credit card reports..etc..}

(4) Where/how should a good lawyer be found.
     a. Should the lawyer be in the general area of Tom's residence/place of business?
     b. List online or other suggestions, and discuss each merits.
     c. Who will contact the lawyer, and how can we collectively pay for the lawyer?
     d. Can a large conference call be held?
[Update: Progress coming. Stay tuned.]

New topic recommended from the thread:
(5) Are there any other (better or not) ways of settling this in a different way ? What I'm thinking of:
- simply someone to talk to Tom on behalf of the group and see what's really happening
- an agency for consumer protection or something like this (small claims court ? )
- debt collection company
- private investigator/debt collector


I have no idea where this will go. My guess is that it will turn into a kluge, and simply flame out. And if it does, then we can all just sit back and forget about it. So, for now, we can at least gauge the interest in a course of action.

||bit

 
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February 12, 2013, 09:51:26 AM
 #2

Discussion suggestions:
(1) Who here has an interest in this?

(2) What is the estimated collective amount of the claims, or how to determine this? (a lawyer would probably want to know this)

(3) What kinds of evidence is there? {emails, screenshots, forum discussions, phone records, credit card reports..etc..}

(4) Where/how should a good lawyer be found.
     a. Should the lawyer be in the general area of Tom's residence/place of business?
     b. List online or other suggestions, and discuss each merits.
     c. Who will contact the lawyer, and how can we collectively pay for the lawyer?
     d. Can a large conference call be held?

I started the scammer thread, so yes, I'm interested in this. Possible problems/issues: I'm not from the US & I don't know the legal situation there... So if possible, I need a proxy in the US I think Smiley

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February 12, 2013, 11:22:04 AM
 #3

Same here. I'm interested in not let Tom go away with this scam. But as I'm in EU my personal and legal options are quite limited.
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February 12, 2013, 11:24:13 AM
 #4

Due to similar limitations, I likewise may have trouble pursuing legal recourse, but I fully support this initiative and would be glad to render assistance in any way I can.

-- BinaryMage -- | OTC | PGP
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February 12, 2013, 12:52:17 PM
 #5

I as well being in EU find it difficult to properly get to US legal system. In my opinion, Tom is actually counting on this and I think most of us know we won't get our money back therefore a hitman would better suit, not a lawyer. You can imagine we didn't expected this to happen and in my case I also convinced two friends to join this shit hole and in total we had lost around 17K so you'd imagine if opportunity arrives maybe we won't wait for karma to do justice and fast forward ourselves, maybe not today, not in a month, but you never know. All who pursue legal case, although I wish them luck, I think will also encounter difficulties draining the money from an empty safe.
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February 12, 2013, 01:06:03 PM
 #6

With 17k it makes sense to visit Tom and convince him to pay back your bitcoins. I think chances are much better with a personal approach than using the legal system. It's much harder to deny refund to an angry person in front of you than to somebody that is far away. Maybe a bounty on Tom's head is the right way to go?!
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February 12, 2013, 01:31:31 PM
Last edit: February 12, 2013, 01:52:04 PM by yxt
 #7

...I'm interested in not let Tom go away with this scam. But as I'm in EU my personal and legal options are quite limited.

+1

EDIT:
How much is the support by a local MC  Grin Wink
I will contribute 30$+ to a fund

BTCKano Pool██ ██
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Evan
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February 12, 2013, 01:53:51 PM
 #8

I have some legal training in the US, I am more than willing to help canvas lawyers for you guys, Tom is a Scammer and should be brought to justice.

This said finding a lawyer to deal with this case will be difficult.

The Case that will help us all is a international case tho, from I think Holland where a judge rules that WoW gold (a digital currency) has real world monetary value, after some school yard bullies beat up a kid after school for his account.

Ideally we need to file this where the majority of the fraud happened, eg. Where Tom's home is or Place of business. Unless we have a majority of users that all lived in one Metro area, (like NYC or Dallas or somewhere).

Another idea might be to see if anyone with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is a bit coiner, and see if we can get them involved as this would be ground breaking and new case law. Fhe biggest foreseeable issue is showing to a judge to award damaged that any Bitcoin, transactions we did with Tom have actual real world value.

I am poor, but i do work for Coin Smiley
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February 12, 2013, 03:44:47 PM
 #9

With 17k it makes sense to visit Tom and convince him to pay back your bitcoins. I think chances are much better with a personal approach than using the legal system. It's much harder to deny refund to an angry person in front of you than to somebody that is far away. Maybe a bounty on Tom's head is the right way to go?!


Not sure what legal recourse will yield, but we should check it out... I have access to free consultation (limited) via work program, I'll report back regarding suggestions make...

I really like the idea of taking to Tom in person, just blows my mind that he's said nothing (again, waiting for this to go away) regarding the outstanding refunds.
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February 12, 2013, 03:51:49 PM
 #10

hi,

if there is any coordinated action from EU citizens against BTCFPGA I will participate on it. Order #1438, $8,589, paid via wire transfer, no refund yet. I ran out of patience.

thanks,
 
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February 12, 2013, 04:05:56 PM
 #11

From Europe, too. 3.3 k$ via mtgoxusdcode/btc. Damn, that rabbit hole is getting deeper. Count me in for any legal action, if possible from the EU.

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February 12, 2013, 05:12:12 PM
 #12

Hi,

I will also participate if there is any coordinated action from EU citizens against BTCFPGA. Anyone from The Netherlands?

1x $1099 CC and 2x $629 BTC.

Regards,

Bart
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February 12, 2013, 05:15:01 PM
 #13

When calculating please remember these are bitcoins transacted when the value was much different, if those were still held in bitcoin now the value will be substantially higher.  Impossible for us to know of course? (Edit: Unless this were to come out in a trial, the damages could be substantially higher)
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February 12, 2013, 06:03:00 PM
 #14

My understanding is that Tom never converted our BTC into USD, therefore we should get our entire BTC back, not some conversion where Tom profits from the jump in price vs USD.

Not sure where this would go legally (I assume the authorities don't recognize BTC) but for the record:
I paid
for order #945 88.87 BTC
             # 1375 91.8902 BTC
             # 1480 93.3898 BTC
            # 2090 90.22 BTC
TOTAL PAID = 364.37 BTC

I was only refunded 311.612 BTC so my refund was short 52.758BTC.

(I know, I know, I thank my lucky stars I got anything back!!!)  But Tom *does* owe me 52.758BTC, I could care less what that's worth in USD, I simply want the rest of the BTC I sent back, since he held it and didn't convert it, that's only fair.

You guys only asking for the USD value, at the point of refund request or whenever, are shortchanging yourselves and the rest of us. Not to mention, it validates Tom's stealing our BTC from us!   (For the record, if BTC value dropped, I would still only expect back what I sent him, not something based on an exchange rate).  USD is collapsing at an accelerated pace and has been for a long time.
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February 12, 2013, 06:18:35 PM
 #15


I was only refunded 311.612 BTC so my refund was short 52.758BTC.


when did you request your refund? if after Jan 20th, i just got super pissed off... (lucky for you though, which is awesome)
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February 12, 2013, 06:39:42 PM
 #16

Don't be pissed off.. I was one of the first to ask for a refund (I requested it on Jan 7, just prior to the shitstorm which I anticipated).

I remember just pondering that drunken "asian benefactors" email, asking myself if I'm not falling for a scammer, then a sudden burst of realization, and 5 minutes later I was and asking for my btc back.

When I posted about it, some of Tom's other "customers" accused of panicking over nothing, that relax, I'll get my money etc. I haven't heard anything out of those peeps since.  I believe the only reason I got BTC back was Dave & LukasBradley convinced Tom, as per that epic update.  That they had to "convince" Tom to execute BTC refunds that day, should say everything, for you guys still waiting to get anything back.

I'm not complaining about the 52+ BTC so hard since I know there are many others more screwed than I.  Still, I want the rest of my BTC back and Tom can expect me to hound him for it until I have it.  I don't care if BTC is $10,000 USD at that point... he owes me 52.758BTC..
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February 12, 2013, 06:44:53 PM
 #17

I have some legal training in the US, I am more than willing to help canvas lawyers for you guys, Tom is a Scammer and should be brought to justice.

This said finding a lawyer to deal with this case will be difficult.

The Case that will help us all is a international case tho, from I think Holland where a judge rules that WoW gold (a digital currency) has real world monetary value, after some school yard bullies beat up a kid after school for his account.

Ideally we need to file this where the majority of the fraud happened, eg. Where Tom's home is or Place of business. Unless we have a majority of users that all lived in one Metro area, (like NYC or Dallas or somewhere).

Another idea might be to see if anyone with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is a bit coiner, and see if we can get them involved as this would be ground breaking and new case law. Fhe biggest foreseeable issue is showing to a judge to award damaged that any Bitcoin, transactions we did with Tom have actual real world value.

Thanks. Those sound like some good ideas.

Thanks for offering to do some canvasing. Please do so, and let us know if you find someone promising. The most I looked were around Fulton New York. One lawyer I saw seemed promising, but I noticed he was a defense lawyer.

Any victims of this that are stateside, and interested, let us know your metropolitan area. I might post a new survey above to screen for members in metro areas soon.

About the EFF. Wouldn't it be easy to prove to a judge that bitcoin has real value by showing the historical price & trade volume on MtGox? Never-the-less, if anyone is a member, let us know so that can be considered.

||bit



 
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February 12, 2013, 07:14:40 PM
 #18

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=138866.0

One shiny BTC should get a comprehensive report at the current BTC price. It might be worthwhile to also look into BTCFPGA and see if it's an LLC, and if Tom controls any other companies with formal registrations.
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February 12, 2013, 07:42:27 PM
 #19

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=138866.0

One shiny BTC should get a comprehensive report at the current BTC price. It might be worthwhile to also look into BTCFPGA and see if it's an LLC, and if Tom controls any other companies with formal registrations.

Thanks Teal. This might be helpful. Still monitoring for interest first. Looks like a lot of lurkers considering the poll numbers.

||bit

 
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February 12, 2013, 07:48:26 PM
 #20

Hopefully something gets done, though I'm not sure how much there is to recover. I'm only out about $100 on currency conversion fees for my CC order, but as someone who was pretty active around BTCFPGA I feel bad for everyone that lost their BTC in this sinkhole.

This could actually be a pretty important legal precedent for BTC if someone does sue Tom, as it's a relatively straightforward case. Tom agreed to sell a physical product denominated in USD, and accepted BTC as a payment method. He never delivered, and hasn't refunded the money or responded to request to. Everyone would have to accept that any judgement would probably be in USD, but given the low burden of proof in small claims court I'd be surprised if a judge didn't give a judgement against Tom.
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