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My company was audited by our General Liability Provider which resulted in a $65,000 "additional premium" due; we disputed the amount, but the Provider failed to correct their audit and instead secured a Court Order to freeze our bank accounts. It was our bank who informed us of who the "creditor" was, however, after much research we were able to locate online Court documents that showed the creditor served their initial Complaint (the only legal document ever "received") on an Employee of the company vs. our Registered Agent. We contacted the Attorney listed on the Court docs and he agreed to release the freeze in exchange for: a) $4,500+ down and; b) our promise to submit a payment plan (we did both, tho the Attorney did not approve of our 1st, 2nd, or 3rd payment plan submissions). In the midst of negotiations, I secured an Investor who put forth $85,000; in exchange, I had to give up all ownership rights and my partners also had to reduce their shares in the company. The new owner knew nothing of the audit debt or legal proceedings before investing. Because the creditor's Attorney chose to cease negotiations and re-file their previous "Voluntary Dismissal of Garnishment", ALL of our Investor's funds have been frozen in addition to insurance checks that are made payable directly in our customer's names; those checks were held in an Escrow account.QUESTIONS: 1) Can legal documents be served on an employee of an LLC that's treated as an S-Corp [Fla. Stat. 605 vs. 607]; 2) Can insurance checks be garnished from a company bank account when those checks are made payable to the names of our customers vs. the company [ Fla. Stat. 726]; 3) Can an Investor's money be seized from our accounts when the Investor did Not know that the debt existed beforehand [Fla. Stat. 679]; 4) Does an Investor and/or New Owner have to be served with copies of Court Orders prior to garnishing our accounts [Fla. Stat. 55& 679]; 5) Can the company bank accounts be frozen when the company is owned by a Trust [Fla. Stat. 77 & 679 & 726]; 6) If an email agreement was made regarding "negotiating" a payment plan, is the creditor's Attorney legally bound to committing to negotiating vs. ceasing negotiations and re-instituting a second Writ of Garnishment; 7) Is it "commercially reasonable" to bankrupt a business by draining all funds [insurance checks and Investor's money] from our accounts; 8) Can Escrow funds be garnished; 9) Can we as a company transfer the legal implications of the Provider stealing insurance funds onto the creditor and/or their Attorney [it's Felony Conversion for insurance proceeds to be used for ANY purpose other than the job they were intended for] and; 10) Are there any other applicable Statutes that would force the creditor into releasing the frozen insurance checks and/or Investor's investment funds?
Our business has an agreement with the federal government to supply wildland fire support. The local compliance inspectors were totally out of line and their misrepresentation cost us work. We are wondering what the best avenue is to address the incorrect report, if they had a legal basis to suspend one of our resources as a sanction, if there were some kind of due process violation since we never got to say our peace, if the government can compensate for the defamatory untrue and damaging statements made, and how to compel the truth about what went on during a particular inspection that is wrought with inconsistencies and secrecy.
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: The business is incorporated in Montana, the base of operation for this issue is in Utah, and the agreement is national and administered by US Forest Service Region 4 .
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None. We complied with the suspension and went about operations with the rest of our equipment until the end of the fire season. Then while writing our point for point rebuttal, we noticed problems with how the government proceeded which is making a response somewhat complicated
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: We have an Incident Blanket Purchase Agreement (I-BPA) which is managed by SAM and the VIPr (Virtual Incident Procurement) programs. Our contracting officer blindly used the alleged non-compliance items as reasons for suspending the resource and they don't even make sense or were flat out false. We have evidence contrary to nearly everything that was reported. We have had similar issues with this individual and local management team before. They influenced our employee to become insubordinate and refuse to follow management's request to withdraw the resource prior to the offical inspection. We were not given the standard alternatives to continue working and the suspension served as the example for other contractors out of compliance (although we didn't even do what they are using us as an example as) We feel they acted with bias, prejudice, and intent to cause our company problems as well as affect future award potential.
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