10/17/01 – I’m sitting here with $2,800 in my pocket, a broken heart, and a quease you can’t possibly imagine.
The law: If you bounce a check, you either make good on it… or you go to jail. Makes perfect sense. In essence, you basically took an item or service… and you didn’t pay for it. That’s stealing.
Yes, I understand that.
When you privately own a company, and a sleazy con artist cleans out your bank account right from under you… it’s still your signature on those checks, and you are responsible for making those checks good.
I understand that too. That was never in question.
But when a judge looks at your history… sees how many times you’ve been in court since the summer of 2000 trying to straighten this mess out; refuses your money, goes back on a previous agreement because of the District Attorney and decides "Enough is enough! You need to learn your lesson…"
Sorry. I’m lost there.
Clarify this for me Judge Cheslock… what lesson needs to be learned here?
Don’t write checks when there’s not enough money in the bank account?
Well, DUH… that’s common sense. It took three weeks for all of the NSF notices to pour in and to find out how a sleazoid was cleaning out a bank account with back-dated checks. She immediately went to the bank, had the account closed, and put all of the new business deposits in a new account. Put a stop on any outstanding checks that were going to bounce.
Then there’s the matter of $10,000 in bad checks… work with these people to keep it out of the courts. Take care of each court case as they come in.
Did that. It’s cost this family close to $19,000 in restitution and court costs. It cost us our home. It’s driven her parents and our friends to the point of bankruptcy.
Every account she has faced in court has been bad checks from a three week period of June, 2000. Once there was a problem… she stopped writing checks.
Did you take that into consideration, Judge Cheslock?
How about in July, 2000… when she handed over evidence to a grand jury in New Jersey? They found the previous owner of "Creative Design" , Ed Giguere guilty of fraud, and theft by deception. He had to cough up $50,000 in restitution to the homeowners he took deposits from, or be someone’s "wife" in a Jersey prison.
Charges that he originally really tried to pin on my wife?
She turned the tables on him… thanks to a judge and a grand jury that actually looked at the evidence and employed wisdom to their judgement. New Jersey quickly saw justice being served.
It was supposed to set the precident in Pennsylvania. It was supposed to pave the way to a civil suit, that would result in restitution to dozens of homeowners seeking justice here. A light at the end of our tunnel.
"No way", says Monroe County’s idiotic District Attorney, Mark Pazuhanich to my wife. "You have too many checks and criminal cases out there that need to be cleared up first… then come to my office."
In other words… "let’s do this the ass-backwards way."
Let’s leave tons of honest, hard-working people screwed, and angry, and willing to lash out at someone else. This short-sighted view will let a true criminal and con-artist, known for starting a business, running it to the ground and selling it off to an unknowing sucker… leaving them holding the bag. He did this four times before "Creative Design". He’ll keep on doing it until a judge decides "HE needs to learn a lesson".
I saw the hopelessness in this situation last fall and begged her to "let’s get the hell out of here, and battle this from a safe distance… on our terms, and in our time."
Her argument was "What are we teaching our children? To run from their problems?"
Yeah… look where that’s gotten us so far.
Is that the lesson, Judge Cheslock?
We prayed for a miracle… the case against Home Depot was hopeless. This one has gone on since October 2000. We’ve had the restitution money in our hands at least three times over… then some other case comes up, that wouldn’t wait either… and out went the money. Her defense lawyer pulled every trick in the book to keep postponing it.
Largely, thanks to my in-laws, we made it at the last minute. But we were $200 short of the $2,801.61 five minutes before the court session, my boss loaned it to me.
Out of breath, running six blocks from an ATM to the courthouse, I was stopped at the courtroom doors, and asked to pick up my son from the Sheriff’s office. She was told in the elevators that the judge and Home Depot’s lawyers wants to give her 6 months… whether she had the money or not.
Carole’s attorney got it down to thirty days. Two sentences running concurrently.
Thirty days of me taking care of five hysterical kids, who have ALREADY been through hell and back; trying to figure out where the hell we’re going to live, as the house we’re renting went into forclosure last month (remember when I had to send all that money to my landlord to get the kids back?); and an agency watching our every move, ready to pull those kids back into foster care at the first sign of trouble…
The answer? Take a leave of absence from my job, go on welfare,
and let the taxpayers pay for all this, or I lose the kids.
Yeah… I learned the lesson, your honor…
Home Depot, a multi-billion dollar corporation can use the law to screw over anyone they want. I’ve got the money right in my pocket… and they won’t take it, because they don’t need it.
Don’t look at a family working their asses off trying to right a wrong, Judge Cheslock…. just look at the arrest warrants, and the number of times she’s been in court for bounced checks because of a three-week period in June 2000, and judge her on that. Nice.
All of you that shop at Home Depot, and planning on giving them your business… get the hell off my site right now.
And don’t come back.