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[sticky post] REdmara, missing Blythecon funds [Sep. 5th, 2013|07:49 pm]
Bad Dolly Deals...

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Posting on behalf of EricaDuh.
Bad Dolly Deal against *redmara*
I regret to announce that the BlytheCon money we raised in ticket sales is gone. Mara (redmara) was responsible to care for it, and will be held responsible for it but now I need to work on getting resolved before Friday or I have to cancel the event. Until this is resolved I will have to put all planning on hold.
After a month + of consistently having my emails, PMs and messages ignored, I was finally told by Mara last Thursday, that the BlytheCon money was garnished. However, no proof of garnishment was provided from Mara, and she has completely side step the question when asked to provide it.
She requested that I gave her time to raise the funds, and in good faith I had given her exactly a week. By now I should have received at least half of the bare minimum needed to make this event happen, and unfortunately I don't even have that.
I am afraid we will not be able to meet the entire bare minimum of $12,800 by next Friday. For this, I am going public and letting you know what has happened to your money.
To sum up
$23428.18 is gone. I have received $3893.36 back and will need $8906.64 by next Friday, to make BlytheCon happen.
It is now up to you what should be the next steps and I am here to help assist. If there was anything I could have done to prevent this from happening, I would have done my very best.
I will do my very best to answer everyone's questions in a quickly matter, please bare with me as I have cc'd this everywhere that it should be,

* redmara is actively selling items on BK and the FB sundries group and she is currently giving the Blythcon Paypal acct for payment info. The acct is only accessible by Erica at this time.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: licensed
2013-09-06 12:51 pm (UTC)
Here is the email correspondence.

Erica M

Aug 19

Hey Mara

I've been trying to get in contact with you for a while.

I completely understand that you're going through a lot, and I totally sympathize. But I really need to know where we stand as far as BlytheCon. I need to know if the funds for BlytheCon are still saved up, and if it can be deposited into my bank account.

According to showclix we made 23,855.68. and in PayPal we have 2,272.71. Which leaves us a total of $26,128.39. The paypal funds are locked and I cannot access it at all as the account has met its limit. It does not reset by month.

We still need to pay off the venue which is approximately $8000, and the rental which is $2,242.72. I also need to purchased majority of the goodie bags as well (approx $1800).

The venue will ask for the remainder later this month, and we were supposed to put down a 50% deposit for the rental by now. I have been trying to get in contact with you to find out if the check or payment was made for the rental. I can ask the vendor but that doesn't look like good business coming from us.

We are 53 days away from BlytheCon. It is imperative that we speak this week. I have all these items to order for BlytheCon and now I am left with a little room to work with. We have a lot of people depending on us and we cannot back out now.

Please get back to me. Feel free to call me at any time. 212******* or 646******

Thank you
----------------------------------
Mara E

Aug 20

to me

I am sorry. I've been very Ill and don't have normal Internet anymore. I did send out the rental deposit I'll check with them tomorrow to make sure we are all set.

I'll get a bank account added tomorrow so you can access the rest of the funds. I'm out of town but can call you Thursday when I get back.

I'm sorry I Have let everyone down.
----------------------------------
Erica M <musik.black@gmail.com>

Aug 20

to Mara
Hey Mara
Thank you for responding to me, I am Just really glad you're not hurt or something worse. Just had this bad feeling something might have happened since you're not one to disappear.

I really hope there are no hard feelings between us, you know I care about you! I just wanted to make sure you were okay and get everything settled with BlytheCon so there is no last minute worry. Ive always said for you to take care of yourself, and I honestly wouldn't bother you if I absolutely needed to.

Anyway, if we can get the paypal account fixed or if i have access to the Blythecon funds everything will be in order.

Just let me know if you need me to do anything.
Thanks again!

Sent from my iPhone
------------------------------
No reply for three days
------------------------------

Erica M

Aug 23

to Mara
Hey,
Just to follow up and say i contacted the rental place and they havent gotten back to me whether they received the check or not. Are you able to check and see if they deposited it?

Also I still need funds for the goodie bags. Paypal funds are still locked. If you send me a credit card number and info (billing address, exp. date and security code) I can enter it myself.

Let me know!
Thanks
Erica

Sent from my iPhone
------------------------------
No reply for four days
------------------------------
Erica M

Aug 27 (10 days ago)

to Mara, Mara, mara, mara.e
Hello

This is my last email I am going to send. I am really tired of hounding you. I am tired of getting super stressed out over this.

Please put whatever it is you're doing on hold for a few hours and take care of this - that's all I'm asking. If you dont have internet send me the information I have been hounding you for, for the past 2-3 months. send me the bank acct to the funds and unlock paypal. I cant do everything, you need to confirm stuff on your end to finalize.

If you want nothing to do with the planning, thats fine with me. Sign over the funds to me, and I'll leave you alone.

With that said, if I do not receive access to the BlytheCon funds by Aug 31th, I am going to drop out from planning. On top of that I will have to go public with my reasons why.

I dont want to do this. But for my protection and for my family, I will have to.

Sent from my iPhone
-----------------------------
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: licensed
2013-09-06 12:51 pm (UTC)
-
Mara E

Aug 27 (10 days ago)

to me
I totally understand. My life has just fallen apart in more ways than I can say. Things here are very bad for me.

Here is the bank account info ----
I will mail the deposit this week I promise.
------------------------------
Mara E

Aug 27 (10 days ago)

to me
Im sorry I forgot to add the routing # ---
------------------------------
Erica M

Aug 27 (10 days ago)

to Mara
Thank you
do you have an online login i can access for this account.
I can enter the bank and routing number but need to confirm the deposits paypal will make
------------------------------

Erica M

Aug 27 (10 days ago)

to Mara
Just realized that there might be login security issues,
so you can send the funds from your BOFA to my bofa account

Last Name - --
Account Number: ---
Zip code - ---

thanks

ps good luck with everything i hope things get better soon
------------------------------

Erica M

Aug 27 (10 days ago)

to Mara
Also dont send the deposit, they are not responding to me so i guess its safe to say i lost the rental. will need to find a new place
------------------------------
Erica M

Aug 28 (9 days ago)

to Mara
Can you please forward confirmation Today that the funds are being transferred to my Bank of America account? I cannot have this wait any longer.
------------------------------
Erica M

Aug 29 (8 days ago)

to Mara, Mara, mara, mara.edenfield
Hello
Please send the funds from your BOFA to my bofa account. I cant do anything with your account number and routing.

Last Name - ****
Account Number: ****
Zip code - ****

Thanks

Sent from my iPhone
------------------------------
Mara E

Aug 29 (8 days ago)

to me

Erica,

This is the hardest emails Ive ever had to write. A little over a month ago my bank garnished the Blythecon funds for money my ex and I owed on a business account. Because It was under a totally seperate Social Security number and a corporation I didn't think they could do it but they can since Im on both accounts.

I tried to kill myself after it happened when it became clear I couldn't get it back.

I am recovered barely enough to fix it. As you have seen I am selling all my dolls to pay for the money that is gone. I am having people pay you directly for the dolls. I have already sold $2875 worth of dolls and you should be receiving the paypal funds today or tomorrow directly. (1200,925 and 750)

I will be sending another $800 tomorrow when my boyfriend gets paid. I will transfer the money directly to your bank of america account. I am expecting several thosand dollars (probably ~3k) next week from a car accident settlement from my insurance company. I am selling my car for another couple hundred. I also have several thousand dollars in sundries I am listing this weekend. I will have enough between everything to make sure that the event itself is paid for. I am selling what little jewlery I have, TVs, computers and have already sold my camera. There will be enough money by the end of next week to pay all the deposits and rentals so that the event can happen.

I dont even know what to say. This has devastated me. I will then continue to pay back everything as quickly as possible.

Im so sorry.
------------------------------
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: licensed
2013-09-06 12:53 pm (UTC)
Erica M

Aug 29 (8 days ago)

to Mara
This is bad in every possible way.

I dont understand why this information could have been told to me a month ago. I have to find this out a MONTH before the event starts? Do you have proof of the garnishment, and you should have known this was coming before they took it.

I dont know where I am going to find the funds to pay for the rest of the venue, find a new rental place and place the order for the goodie bags. This is over $15,000, are you going to be able to earn that money back in a week? You do realize that 404 will ask for the remainder of the funds in the next two weeks.

You need to go public about this. Everyone has my address, and my husband is furious right now. This is not only affecting me, it is affecting my family. My daughter is in danger. By you not telling me this is putting my family in harms way.

First, I need you to send me the deposits paypal made into the bank account you sent me the other day, so I can get the funds out of that paypal account.
Secondly, I need you to go public about this. This cannot come from me, you need to own up to this.

I am in such a messed up position, this is just not right
------------------------------
Mara E

Aug 29 (8 days ago)

to me
Erica,

I know its bad. I tried to kill myself over it. I understand completely the gravity of the situation. I am seeing 2 therapists, a psychiatrist and on 4 different medications to try to keep me stable.
Words cannot express how sick I feel over the whole thing. i a so sorry it has cause you harm.

I have talked to the original rental place this afternoon. They said they are still happily working with us and we have time to pay the deposit. I will have the $1121 to you on Friday to pay them.

I have confirmed the bank account on paypal so the funds are available for the goody bags. Plus i will have another almost $3000 to you by this weekend and another probably $3000 to you next week to cover the bulk of the venue. I will have the rest of the money as I am selling my car and My boy friend is taking out a title loan for the rest.
------------------------------
Erica M

Aug 29 (8 days ago)

to Mara
All feelings of guilt and resentment regarding this matter needs to be dealt with another day. You need to let everyone know whats going on. I can plan this event but I cant pay for it at all. I dont know where to go from here, my hands are completely tied.

At this point we need to consider canceling. I am sorry but I cant depend on waiting next week to find out no change was made. Especially since you not responding to me and waiting it out until now to tell me. I cant predict the future, and neither can you. The market of selling Blythes have been really bad, even the most awesome customs cant sell, and no one wants to pay more for what their money is worth.

This has to be made public, the more the delay, the worse this is going to get for us.

If we cancel we need to look at the legal issues that will be involved and be prepared for the nightmare that will follow. This debacle needs to be settled immediately. You need to have those garnishment letters or notices ready because people will want to see proof.

Also I will need to remove you as admin from BK, as I can see the nightmare of that being thrown in my face coming quickly.
------------------------------
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: licensed
2013-09-06 12:54 pm (UTC)
Mara E

Aug 29 (8 days ago)

to me
I understand but I will not cancel. I know for a fact i will have enough money to pay for the event to happen. As Ive said Ive already sold 4 dolls. Plus I have an insurance settlemt and selling my car so I know I can make up the difference to make sure blythecon happens. If you want me to handle it directly from here that is fine. The legal responsibility for holding the event is on on me and it will happen. And I take full responsibility for it.

The event will go off and people will get what they paid for. Cancelling it now isn't fair to the people who have purchased plane tickets etc. I have already talked to the rental place. If you want me to order all the goody bag things myself I can do that too.

And I understand about removing me as an admin from BK.
------------------------------
Mara E

Aug 29 (8 days ago)

to me
I will be withut internet the rest of the day till tomorrow morning probably so there may be a delay in my responding after 4.
------------------------------
Erica M

Aug 29 (8 days ago)

to Mara
When selling your dolls, please send all funds to blythecon2013@gmail.com. I do not want to use my personal account as I do not have the dolls and people will find it fishy that they are sending the funds to me.

I hope you understand my main concern of all of this is the legal issues and protection of my family. After much research and advice I've received, I can be marked as an accomplice in all of this. To protect myself, and my reputation in this community, you have to come clean about this. If you are honest regarding the garnishment, people will be understanding if you are actively working on recovering the funds. Honestly, people have told me to just go public, but once again I am giving you the benefit of the doubt to own up to this.

It pains me to not only see our friendship get tarnished, but also make a hard decision between whats ethically right and someone I truly cared about and considered as a friend.

With that said if this isn't brought up publicly within 24hrs, I will have to go public. This coming from me will not look good at all.
------------------------------
Erica M

Aug 29 (8 days ago)

to Mara
I have taken the liberty and came up with a breakdown and total we will need to make this happen. I had to round up to get an even number

Venue - $7384
Rental - $2242.72
Goodie Bags - $1500
Decorations - $1600
---
Total: $12,726.72

This is bare minimum. It does not include catering and cash bar we had discussed.
------------------------------
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: licensed
2013-09-06 12:55 pm (UTC)
Mara E

Aug 30 (7 days ago)

to me
Sorry I just again have internet for a few hours. Thank you for providing me with a breakdown it does make it much easier. Again i have loans in place to cover everything we need and will probable have enough for the cash bar and catering.

I am sorry about the mix up with the paypal funds. I had already sent your email address before you replied not to. I am having everyone send the funds directly to the blythcon2013 account.

My only problem is I have received the opposite legal advice. I was told specifically to not go public to make sure the event went off. For a number of reasons. 1- to not cast a pall over the entire event as it is being fixed and will all be fixed before hand and there is no reason to upset everyone. i understand that for you I have cause a personal nightmare and heartache. I promise it wasn't my intention at all. You have always been there for me and I can't feel crappier than I do. 2- legally everything is in my name. The contract on the venue, the website, the bank account etc. I am the only person legally responsible for anything . As long as the event continues

I am working as quickly and diligently as I can to fix this. I am going through extraordinary measures to make sure that the money is all paid back and am absolutely 100% confident that the event will go off exactly as planned and advertised.

There is already enough money in the paypal account to purchase goody bags and decorations. There will be enough in there by the end of today I believe to cover all of the rental account. I already have 1200 in cash at home plus I will be getting my insurance settlement early next week. It will be a minimum of $3k. I have a loan option in place for the remaining $3000 for the venue.

Im just asking to be allowed to fix my fuck up.
------------------------------
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: licensed
2013-09-06 12:55 pm (UTC)
Erica M

Aug 30 (7 days ago)

to Mara
There is also the ethical part of this story that I think you're missing. I do hope you realize that by me staying quiet it will show that I am covering this up. I dont care what you write at this point, even a basic "hey guys we ran into some financial problems. No need to worry but I thought I would let the group know that I am on it and handling it.", at least some good faith is shown that you are doing something for BC.

I have done all the correspondence, answering emails and making arrangements with many people who plan to attend, not to mention the people who donate, they put their free donations in my care and trust. While your name is on the financials my name is on everything else. I just hope you can see that this type of situation can reflect future sponsors and also future BlytheCon.
It just doesn't look right on my end that I kept quiet about this. People trust in me, and by keeping quiet just makes me look bad in every way. I dont see how I can regain any trust and keep my truthful reputation in this community if this turns out to be bad. I havent slept in three days because I feel like I have a huge secret hanging over my head.

Not just you and I know about this, I had to seek help from Lizzie because she remains neutral in everything and was able to provide me with help or pointers for where to go from here. I have to run BK on top of planning for BlytheCon, people trusting in me is imperative. Once trust is lost in this community, it is done.

So once again, please consider saying something. Please think about the ethical part in this.

Aside from all of this I have purchased all of the goodie bag items. I sent all expenses paid to the BlytheCon gmail. I ended up spending less than what I budget but hope to use the remainder to try to make the decorations.

Please relate to In-Tent rentals that I can pay for the rental right now, or at least deposit. I prefer to pay with credit card as a check will take 3-4 days to deposit, than who knows how long for it to arrive in the mail.

Erica
------------------------------
Erica M

Sep 1 (5 days ago)

to Mara
I am checking in to see the status of the rest of the funds. There were payments for 4 dolls sent - $1245, $750, $950, and $400. So far I have $3461. I need $9339 to meet the bare minimum.

Please send me hard dates of the insurance settlement, loan, etc.

Please send me tracking for these dolls so I may update their payment record.

There is no time for delay. I need consistency and proactivity from you to make this happen in the next week.

Otherwise I will call off the event


Sent from my iPhone
------------------------------
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: licensed
2013-09-06 12:56 pm (UTC)
Mara E

Sep 2 (4 days ago)

to me
There was also almost 2250 in the paypal account so that will help too. Today is a mail holiday so I wont have tracking till tomorrow since Im paying for postage out of pocket and not from paypal.

I will send you tracking numbers tomorrow.

I will hear tomorrow from the insurance company on the settlement (they too are closed today with the holiday). After I have a figure from them I will know how much I need to make up of the 6500 or so. I also have pawned stuff including my car for an additional 1200 in cash.

I spoke to the rental place and they said CC was fine. it actually makes it easier as they need a credit card on file anyway so you can call them and pay them directly.
------------------------------
Mara E

Sep 2 (4 days ago)

to me
I will also post something today about the issues as you suggested but will reassure everyone that the event is moving forward. I have no doubt that I can make the event happen smoothly.
------------------------------
Erica Martinez <musik.black@gmail.com>

Sep 4 (2 days ago)

to Mara
Following up on the tracking numbers.
Please send a money order of the $1200 to me or transfer it from your bank acct to mine, the bank info was given eariler in this email conversation.

address removed

Once again there needs to be proactivity and consistency to make this work. I don't see you putting any effort in selling the rest of your dolls or selling the sundries you said you would. This needs to happen like yesterday.

The money in paypal should be additional to what is owed, please keep that in mind. The whole missing lump sum will need to be paid off.
------------------------------

End of conversation. No response received from Mara from this last email..
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: licensed
2013-09-06 02:46 pm (UTC)
I spoke to the police department

They told me to send a letter of demand - basically demanding the funds to be returned.
They told me to send the letter US Certified Mail.
If she does not respond in ten days and/or send the funds, and I receive the green card back it's been signed, or the green card was rejected,
I can then file a police report.

I will try my best to mail out the letter today.

To prove my conversation I just had

The report number is P132490762
You can call 770-513-5000 for the report.
I spoke to operator T499HALEY
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mcsweeneyfiend
2013-09-06 04:23 pm (UTC)
Here's my question:

After tickets were sold (LAST YEAR), why wasn't the venue paid for IMMEDIATELY?!

When co-hosting BC11 here in Portland, ticket sales went to the deposit and payment of the venue AS SOON AS THE FUNDS WERE RAISED.

The remaining costs were covered through FUND RAISING.



(Reply) (Thread)
From: rgcainmd
2013-09-06 06:21 pm (UTC)
Exactly what mcsweeneyfiend said! All of this was handled unprofessionally and very far from transparently from the start. Although Mara ended up, in my estimation, stealing the funds, Erica was dishonest and hid this information from everyone until she realized she no longer could without incurring the wrath of the entire Blythe community. And then she publicly blames it all on Mara? Erica IS an accomplice legally and in every sense of the word. Neither Mara nor Erica should ever be allowed to handle public funds again. Furthermore, Erica should step down from any administrative involvement in Blythe Kingdom or any other public forum for that matter. Both Mara AND Erica have proven to be dishonest and manipulative individuals. Are these the kind of people we want in charge of the largest public Blythe forum? For shame!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: eveshka
2013-09-06 07:05 pm (UTC)
I'm not in the least bit involved, but I'd like to know why no-one set up a legal entity for the event with separate financials and a dedicated Paypal account that dropped to a two-signature banking account, shielded from personal finances like this. Setting up an LLC to operate as the backing of the event would have granted tax benefits as well. This seems poorly managed from the get-go.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: rgcainmd
2013-09-06 07:31 pm (UTC)
Well said, eveshka!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ladylynx
2013-09-06 07:12 pm (UTC)
As someone who has organized events, I will say that you have noooooooo idea how vulnerable a position an event organizer is placed in. This could have happened to most people, and the majority of the Blythe community IS "most people." Until you're in that position, you have no idea. Every little mistake is there to be ridiculed. Not enough food, not enough seats, not enough entertainment, etc. And then there are those delightful occasions where a venue decides to discriminate and charge extra, or cancel on you for a higher bidder. And people want to complain about every dollar in the ticket price, when they have noooooooo idea how much venues cost in that area.

I see here that Erica relied on someone who did not screw up in regards to the previous Blythe Conventions and had no reason to think she would. I would, however, say that Mara does not sound like someone who is sensible and Erica needs to work with more stable people. Beyond the mental illness stuff, the woman is basically saying she is going to use her insurance money to help save the day? Insurance money is there to help you recover from an accident, not to pay for things like these. good grief! Loans??? Her wages are garnished and she's going to takeout a loan? Naw, that is not a game plan.

I think Erica has done a great job, all things considered, and I hope the community doesn't share your attitude.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: eveshka
2013-09-06 07:38 pm (UTC)
(Running the risk of sliding off-topic, but)

Every little mistake is there to be ridiculed. Not enough food, not enough seats, not enough entertainment, etc. And then there are those delightful occasions where a venue decides to discriminate and charge extra, or cancel on you for a higher bidder. And people want to complain about every dollar in the ticket price, when they have noooooooo idea how much venues cost in that area.

^ This. So very much.
I've been a part of a major convention planning and production team for almost ten years (I'm retiring this year) and most people who attend have no idea how much work goes into the back end of event planning. When you don't have the legal shelter of a separate LLC, if something goes wrong during the event (hole in hotel room, medical reaction to food served) then your personal finances can get destroyed.

Erica, you need to move fast and do something to insure yourself against financial ruin in relation to this... even if it means cancelling for this year, forming an LLC for a 2014 event, and making the best of what tattered remains you've got.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: frannieandsteve
2013-09-06 07:26 pm (UTC)
rgcainmd I really don't know who you are, but Erica should NOT step down from BK. She has done so much for the Blythe community. I am not sure on why you have so much hate on you, and I do not really care. No shame on Erica, she's the best woman the Community could have. She is a blessing. So watch your words.
Love and peace to everyone <3
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: rgcainmd
2013-09-30 02:40 pm (UTC)
Yes, ericaduh has done sooooo much for the Blythe community! Like taking no responsibility for over $25K in missing funds that SHE was also in charge of, not accounting for the "leftover" money from the BlytheCon Texas raffle, reimbursing herself for the materials used for her goody bag "donations" (Are all the other contributors of goody bag items getting reimbursed for their materials?), not paying the balance on the venue as soon as the money was available, not being transparent about all monies collected and paid, etc. Is this the kind of behavior "the best woman the Community could have" should be exhibiting? Such a shining example for future BlytheCon organizers! NOT!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lycoradiata
2013-09-06 08:37 pm (UTC)
The question for me is... how does the bank garnishes $25,000 without saying anything beforehand? How is that even possible? She should have sold her dolls before to pay her owes. How people are gonna feel buying anything from her now? For the bank to take such action, it must have been from ages ago. It's just so fishy... Unless Mara show some receipts, I'm gonna assume she's lying.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pixie_bee
2013-09-06 09:42 pm (UTC)
To the best of my knowledge all garnishments must be first approved by a judge. She would have known about this a long time beforehand.

If I am wrong, please correct me. I am not trying to muddle the issue. But it seems odd to me that she didn't see this coming; a judge must first approve of the entity to then take the wages, unless the bank acted illegally? If this is the case, then she needs a lawyer.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: TheMamaPirate
2013-09-06 11:34 pm (UTC)
I was a bankruptcy paralegal. People do wind up with garnishments without knowing about it beforehand. They don't get the notice of the lawsuit, the judgement gets placed against them, and boom, the money is gone from their account. Granted, they should have known about the money they owed, but just because you owe money doesn't always mean the creditor will sue.

I'm not defending what happened, but I just want to point out that it does happen.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pixie_bee
2013-09-07 12:24 am (UTC)
That is pretty terrible. I guess the question is if her name was on the money owed or not. If it was, then she shouldn't have been keeping such funds. If that is truly what happened, I don't know if the money can be retrieved or not. Thank you for your comment, it was informative.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: eveshka
2013-09-06 10:46 pm (UTC)
If it is truth, it was because there was no legal separation of entities. Any personal account held singly or jointly by the individual to be garnished can and will be.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bunney
2013-09-07 01:22 am (UTC)
And to jump in with a bank's perspective on garnishment: they don't have a choice. If the court sends them documentation to garnish funds, they have to do it whether or not the customer is notified. At that point, notification is only a courtesy - if the customer misses the notification, it doesn't change anything as far as the bank or the court is concerned. The money is no longer theirs.

If they had set this up as an LLC with a separate TIN it would have saved them a world of hurt.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: aoi_no_neko
2013-09-07 06:45 am (UTC)
Depends on who is doing the garnishing. If it's for taxes there is no prior notification from most states and the IRS, just a letter stating it's being done usually after the fact. If you think about it, they don't want people running off with the money in their accounts so they don't want people knowing the funds are about to be garnished.

Usually though a person knows if they are in financial trouble that could lead to garnishment. But it sounds like Mara was not being honest about things so who knows what was going on.



Edited at 2013-09-07 07:45 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: licensed
2013-09-07 06:28 pm (UTC)
Julie this same question was asked, so I will give you the same answer:

I wish I could answer that question, last year I didnt even have access to the paypal. All funds from bc 2012 in raffle sales was in Mara's posession.
If I could have paid the venue immediately I would have. What I can say is that the first deposit from ticket sales was made into the bank on Jan 07 2013. If that helps in any way.
Please let me know if there are any questions. Thank you
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[User Picture]From: aoi_no_neko
2013-09-07 06:54 am (UTC)
Wow! Got to say it's not the first time an event has had someone run off with the money. Just really sad for all involved.

Lots of good info here for anyone doing a convention in the future.

Maybe it would be a good idea to also talk to a lawyer along with proceeding with what the police asked for.

I hope you are able to get this resolved. And that people don't make accusations about the person handling that without actual proof like it's being done in some of the comments. It's most important to focus on getting the money back.

Edited at 2013-09-07 07:44 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: licensed
2013-09-07 06:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you. A lesson was learned here, in fact quite a few lessons was learned.
It may take a group effort to get the money back if Mara cannot provide it by selling off her property. I can file the report but cant go after her for the full amount.

If we are able to get the funds back it will be a community choice - or group "ticket holder" choice where the money should go to. I will exclude myself from that decision.
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[User Picture]From: aoi_no_neko
2013-09-07 06:45 pm (UTC)
I think you are handling this quite well considering the enormity of all of this.

She really needs to provide you with the information as to the problems occurring connected with that business they had. I would hope there is at least one lawyer in the Blythe community that could help with trying to obtain information. Not just verifying that they actually had a garnishment but also who did it and why. Sometimes garnishments are lifted so it's important to know what is going on in case the money becomes available again.
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[User Picture]From: licensed
2013-09-07 06:20 pm (UTC)
Hello this is an update to say Mara has sent me 2 boxes, one box of 6 dolls, and another box of sundries.

Yesterday we were able to secure the funds for the venue. To explain I am going to abbreviate names as I dont know if they want their full or partial names disclosed, I hope thats okay with the Mods/community.

K.S. donated $3850, the amount we needed to cover the venue, by selling her precious OOAK Hola Gominola doll. The money I receive from the sales of Mara's dolls, I will return to K.S first. It will not be deducted from the amount Mara owes.

The venue is closed to accept the payment in full, so I will make the full payment on Monday and provide proof to the appropriate people.

After submitting this BDD, I received the amount of $960 from J.W. in purchase of 3 of Mara's dolls (not from the 6 I have in posession), so the money sent back is roughly $4850.

While we have the venue covered, I still need to recoup funds to pay off the rental**, and if the community wants to decorate BlytheCon NY. We are planning away to recoup the funds, while giving back to the community for their donation. LMP, PE and RW have joined me to help gather the new donations people have submitted to "Save BlytheCon".

S.M has agreed to sign on as a financial adviser for future funds we receive. She is helping me gather all the expenditures and came up with tips and plans to keep the funds secure.

S.G is helping me gather a full list of Frequently Asked Questions in regards to this entire matter. I will post it here once we have finalized it.

I will update when I have more information for BDD. Thank you.

Edited at 2013-09-07 06:22 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: pipercat99
2013-09-07 06:28 pm (UTC)
500 raffle tickets are being sold at $15 per ticket to raise an additional $7500.
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From: rgcainmd
2013-09-30 02:24 pm (UTC)
I'm wondering if ericaduh (licensed) ever wrote/posted the letter she mentioned in her September 6 post?
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[User Picture]From: licensed
2013-10-17 06:20 pm (UTC)
Hello Everyone,

In regards to Mara E.'s theft of the $23k+~ that was taken:

Tucker, Georgia PD in Gwinnett County told me that everyone involved must send a letter of demand. Unfortunately, since I am not the only person Mara stole from, everyone involved must do their part in demanding the money she took from you for ticket sales of BlytheCon New York 2013.

Elizabeth was able to help us draft a pre-written letter where all you have to do is change the information to yours.

These are the steps you must take

1) Send an email to blythecon2013@gmail.com for the pre-written letter. Due to privacy laws, we cannot post the document as it contains the full address of Mara E.

2) Once you receive the file: Change your name, change the total that was taken from you, and change the date. Do not change anything else that is written in this document.

3) Print and sign at the bottom. SAVE this letter! You will need it.

4) Print your Showclix confirmation email that says you paid the amount. This will help you with your claim. If you cannot find the original showclix confirmation email, please submit a request to blythecon2013@gmail.com.

5) Address the envelope to the address that is in the Document. Go to the post office and send it via USPS CERTIFIED MAIL. The "Green" card. It must go certified mail, not first class, priority, express. Not even FedEx or UPS. Only UsPS Certified Mail.

6) Please wait 10 business days. If you receive this green certified card back unopened, DO NOT open it.

7) Call this number 1+770-513-5000. Tell them the story, that Mara has taken from the event, and you are seeking compensation for your part that she took from. Tell them you have sent a letter of demand, and received the green certified mail card back unopened. They will give you information on the next steps to take.

Good luck!

Edited at 2013-10-17 06:37 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: licensed
2013-10-17 06:35 pm (UTC)
Once the financial report is finalized, I will post here what exactly Mara has returned. Please give us time to gather this information, as we would like to be 100% sure it is accurate and all funds are accounted for.
Thank you
Erica Duh
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[User Picture]From: pipercat99
2013-10-17 11:05 pm (UTC)
Correspondence from Erica with Mara. Shared with Erica's permission. I've redacted last names and email addresses.


From: Erica M
Date: October 16, 2013, 1:09:06 PM EDT
To: Juliet
Cc: Mara


Hello,

I have received word that Juliet has not received the 3 dolls she paid for on Sept 6th for $1000. Please provide an update on these dolls. If they have not been sent, please send all three to me so that I may post them to Juliet.

You are forcing me to lose more money from what I have raised to make up for YOUR missing difference. The event barely made it to the very last penny we raised in Postcard sales, and the little you have returned. I barely made enough to refund Juliet from the sundries sent to me, and ALL of it was priced to sell.

Please send an update to Juliet ASAP, or you will have $1000 removed from the final total we received back. This will also be documented on the final report we will be posting to the public of what you owe. The best thing for you to do right now, is to mail those dolls to one of us.

Thank you,
E


On Sun, Oct 6, 2013 at 11:56 PM, Erica wrote:
Hello

Once again I am emailing asking for an update, to know if you will send the money that was taken from BlytheCon ticket sales.

So far you have returned approximately $6627.70 (not excluding shipping fees). The community is missing over $16,000 that will need to be returned.

I have sold majority of the dolls except for three. I have not sold the sundries yet.

Also I had to refund a couple of people due to items not received and for item not as described.

I will have a better idea of what is owed after blythecon.

Please provide an ETA or status - if you ever plan on recovering the rest of funds. If not I will have to file a police report, then seek legal action.

Sent from my iPhone

On Sep 20, 2013, at 1:44 AM, Erica <.com> wrote:

Hello,
Now that I have Blythecon fully paid for, I can focus on recovering the missing funds with the items I received from Mara

I received

5 Blythe Dolls - One recently sold to Kersten g (Otto- $515)
3 Dals
4 BJDs - Secret Doll, Pukifee, Enyo, Mui Chan. Mui Chan is missing a hand
Approximately 298 sundries items.

I am not sure if these items will sell for the original price. The no name items will be priced to sell.

Please advise if you are going to ever send any money back to make up for the missing funds. The community would like to know where you stand as far as sending the funds promised (car accident insurance, loan, $1200 cash). So far you have returned a little over $5000.00.

All $23,000 must be returned as it was never yours or mine to begin with.

If I do not hear back I will follow up with a letter of demand and will have to file a report if no response. It will be up to the community members whether they would want to proceed in taking this to court.

Thank you,
Erica



On 2013-09-11, at 10:32, Mara wrote:

Hi guys,

It took forever but the issue should finally be resolved. I have attached another screenshot of the account resolved message that is now there when i sign in. Everything should be good to go.


On Tue, Sep 10, 2013 at 1:46 PM, Juliet wrote:
Hello Mara!

How is your day so far?

There still is a problem with the Paypal account. Would you be able to call them to have this rectified ASAP. This is the biggest obstacle right now that needs to be fixed.

Thank you and let me know if you need anything.

Love Juliet


From: Erica
Date: 10 September, 2013 6:20:44 PDT
To: Juliet
Cc: Mara

On Mon, Sep 9, 2013 at 8:39 PM, Juliet wrote:
Thanks to you both! I hope this PP issue is resolved soon!


On Mon, Sep 9, 2013 at 5:12 PM, Mara wrote:
Perfect. I had sent a PM on BK and already heard back from them. I was already at the post office when they got back to me so their dress will go out tomorrow.

I have added my social security number (actually it was already on there and I re-added it. I've attached a screen shot showing it says account restored. I also refunded Erica's payment and it let me do so without problem. It also allowed me to send her $8 that was in the account. Can you please let me know the exact problem so I can try to fix it with their help?

Mara



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From: FemaleK9
2013-12-16 04:59 am (UTC)
Was this ever resolved? Was full restitution ever made?
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[User Picture]From: pipercat99
2013-12-16 05:01 am (UTC)
Nope.
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