As some of you may know I used to work for Keystone Internet Access as their
Webmaster. I was also part owner of KIA.
Keystone Internet Access has been sold to another ISP (www.usachoice.net). They have bought the controlling interest stock and as far as I know all of the stock. Somehow my 25% interest in the company turned into 8.9%. I settled up with usachoice.net and have filed the lawsuit against my brother and his wife for the difference in what I got and what I should have gotten.
My brother has objected to the Law Suit by saying that his wife Beverly should not be involved in the suit because the agreement was between me and him. But this would be wrong because both of their names were involved with the corporation and the sale of the corporation. If I were to only go after him I may get stuck with only receiving half of what I should get. The Law Suit is being reworded so as to include his wife properly.
To add to this on going problem my brother has decided to take out his hostilities on the family. He says he no longer wants to have anything to do with the family. I feel this is a very cruel thing to do to the family. They have nothing to do with him stealing my investment, firing me, deleting my web pages and trying to wreck my life any way he can. I have been leaving the family out of this as much as I possibly can and feel the only reason he is trying to do such a thing is in a last ditch effort to get me to drop the Suit. The family has offered a lot to me if I would drop the Suit. I have never asked for anything from my family and am not about to take something like that now. I just wish he would grow up and act like a man.
Lynn and I went to Jeff DuBois's office for depositions on the upcoming hearing. I guess Bill didn't want Lynn around and told his lawyer that he did not want Lynn in there that she has nothing to do with this. But that was not a problem, Lynn figured something like that would happen and she brought a good book to read while she waited for me. Thank you Lynn! She is so understanding. It was supposed to be a short deposition lasting only about an hour, but instead we were there for over three hours and we still are not finished.
They took my deposition first, asking about my schooling and work history. Then Jeff DuBois asked me about my web page and what the address of it is and when I put it up. Then he started to ask me about this page and my attorney David Hopkins objected and told me not to answer any questions referring to this matter. He feels this page has nothing to do with the case at hand, seeing how it was put up long after I was fired. Jeff DuBois said it would be needed for further court hearings. So I guess my dear brother is going to try to sue me for telling my friends and family the truth. I didn't think you could get in trouble for telling the truth! I guess we will have to wait and see. The rest of my deposition was suspended until the attorneys hear back from the judge.
Next was my brothers deposition. My attorney asked him about his job history, education and about his filling for bankruptcy. He also asked him how much he got for his sale of stock to USA Choice and how much his initial investment was. He asked Bill what my duties were at Keystone Computer and he said he hired me as a handy man and to sweep floors. I thought I was going to break out laughing. He told him that I wasn't capable of working as a computer technician. That I had no technical knowledge and that was why he had me go work for Keystone Internet Access. Hopkins asked him how I could answer tech calls at KIA if I didn't have any Tech abilities and Bill said that internet problems are easy, all I had to do was follow a simple procedure. Hmmmm, I think I was the one who wrote up the procedures that are posted on KIA's web page. He also said that I didn't do any work to keep the system up and running that when ever there was a problem I called him and he would run to DuBois and solve the problem. Wow, I didn't know my job was so easy. I guess I was pretty stupid to be there so many evenings rebooting the DNS server, email server or remote access servers and so on every time the system went down. Hopkins asked Bill why he fired me and Bill said that I was making terrorist threats against him and his family and that I was threatening to take down KIA and to Bankrupt him. He also said that I physically assaulted him. Wow, and I'm still alive! Let's see he's how much bigger than me! I think he might have forgotten that he was under oath.
At this point we ran out of time and did not get to take Beverly's deposition. I guess the attorneys are going to reschedule to complete it.
I was visited by a DuBois Police officer Saturday morning. He was looking for information about a Helicopter. Dave Simmons of Neon Exposure claims I have a helicopter of his from back in 1998 and that it was worth $2,000. But I was quick to inform the DuBois Police Officer the real story.
I'm not sure of the exact date yet but back when Keystone Computer first moved into the Dubois Mall my brother (Bill) hired Dave Simmons to build the Round counter top that had the lights and registers in the front of their store. At that time Dave Simmons was working out of a garage on the other side of Sabula. One day Bill and I stopped at Dave's place to see him and got to talking about helicopters. I gave Dave a demonstration with my helicopter and he asked me if I could repair his? I told him I would take a look at it and see what I could do. That had to of been back in 1994 or 95. I looked at the helicopter and told him I could not repair it because you can no longer get the parts for that helicopter. He asked me if I wanted to buy it off of him and I told him no, I didn't want it. It had nothing on it that would have been of any use to me. The Radio was the older Wide band frequency which was illegal to use back in 1991 and the engine was too old and had not been taken care of and would take a lot of work just to get it to run again. He then asked me what it would be worth if he were to sell it. At that time I told him if he could get $50.00 for it to take it and that I thought it was only worth maybe $20.00. He then asked me if I would give him $50.00 for it and try to sell it. I told him no I didn't want it and he could stop by and pick it up.
After a couple of months a friend of mine stopped in and I showed him the helicopter and he said he might be able to fix the bent shaft and make some of the parts it needed. I called Dave and told him and he told me to go ahead and let him work on it. Sometime later my friend called and said he fixed the shaft and repaired the helicopter to the best of his abilities and asked me to come over and check it out. We tried to fly it without much success. The helicopter was nearly impossible to fly even with experienced flyers such as my friend and I. I called Dave again and he told me that we could keep the helicopter that he had no further use for it and if my friend could make use of it he could have it for the cost of the repairs.
Some years later my friend started driving truck over the road again and while on one of his trips someone broke into the hobby shed and stole all of his equipment. I had not heard anything about the helicopter since then.
I also found out that my brother (Bill) has bought into Dave Simmons business Neon Exposure. It doesn't take much to see that this is just another ploy of my brothers to try to ruin me and get me to stop the law suit. I talked to my attorney and he informed me that the statue of limitations for a felony is 2 years and must be for at least $2,000. Isn't that interesting since that is exactly how long and how much he said about his helicopter. I guess the police didn't believe him either, seeing how they didn't press charges. I even encouraged them to! :)
I have gathered together my witnesses and we should be seeing a court date of some time in January.
As another slap in my mothers face, my brother did not show up for Christmas on Christmas Eve. She had fixed a meal hoping he would show up and she asked me not to come over so he would not have any reason not to come. My family and Bill's children did go to the candle light church service with our mother. It is a terrible thing not to remember what Christmas is all about!
The attorneys met with the Clearfield County Judge and came up with a court date. Jury selection will be January 18th at 9:00 am and the Court date is set for April 4th and 5th.
On January 18th Lynn and I went to the Court house and participated in the Jury selection. My Brother and his wife were present but would not even look at me or Lynn. That was the first I have even seen my brother this year and probably won't see him again until April. I saw him outside and was going to yell to him see you in April but I refrained. I waved to him nicely as he drove past, but he only glared.
Court case today. My Attorney did a fantastic job! I think he surprised everybody when the first witness he called on was Bill. We all saw Bill turn to his Attorney and ask can he do that? Jeff told him yes go. That turned out to be the best thing he could have done. Bill had to come up with his lies right off the bat without the opportunity to hear what the witnesses knew first. This made it very easy to catch Bill in his lies.
They put me on the stand next and my Attorney pretty much let me just tell my whole story. My Attorney asked me when I gave Bill the $5,000.00 and what I was told the deal was at that time.
Next he put Jeff on the stand and he was able to collaborate my story and tell the jury how Bill tried to destroy his life after quitting Keystone Computer.
The testimony to that point was so convincing that we did not even call my other two witnesses to the stand to testify. At that point I told Jeff and the other two that they could leave that we would no longer needed there assistance.
Bill and his Attorney called in a witness on his behalf of John Bricen. John said he heard me say I was 5% owner of KIA but could not say when or where I said that. He first said we had a number of meetings with me involved then later said that I was involved in at least one meeting and that was when I told him I was 5% owner. But he also said that 3 of the meetings were at Keystone Computer and one at the KIA office. I would not have been able to attend any meetings at the store because I would have been working at the Internet office and the one time they did meet at the Internet office I remember. I came back from lunch to find the door to the back office closed. Bev told me that Bill was having a meeting and not to disturb him. When Bill came out he came out with John. John saw me and said I thought you were going to be a part of this meeting. So in fact I was not in any of their meetings.
Bill was asked if he was ever involved in a bankruptcy and he said no then asked if any company he had was involved in filed for bankruptcy and he said no. Hopkins asked if he was sure and he said yes. Hopkins then picked up a piece of paper with proof of his bankruptcy and Bill then confessed and said you didn't ask me if I personally filed for bankruptcy. He was asked if I invested my money before the Corporation was formed and he said he didn't know. He asked him if he knew any of the dates and he said no. He then showed Bill a copy of the check I gave him and asked him to read the date on the check. He said August 11, 1995. Hopkins then said the date on the Corporation papers was August 14, 1995. He told Bill he must have went running to his attorneys office after getting the check to start the corporation. He then read the letter to see what people were present at the time of starting the corporation and the only people listed were Bill, Bev and his attorney. Even though if he claims I was a stockholder I should have been present at that meeting.
The Jury was out for about an hour and a half. They came back to the court room and gave the judge their verdict. The following is a look at the questions given to the jury:
Question 1: Do you find the Defendant, William M. Hook, committed a fraud upon Plaintiff, Richard A. Hook, in reference to the shares of stock in Keystone Internet Access, Inc.?
If you answered "No" to Question 1, the Plaintiff cannot recover on the issue of breach of contract. go to Question 3.
Question 2: State the amount of damages, if any, sustained by the Plaintiff, Richard A. Hook, as a result of the fraud committed by the Defendant, William M. Hook. If you find that the Plaintiff, Richard A. Hook, has sustained no damages, you should state.
Question 3: Do you find the Defendant, William M. Hook, breached a contract to supply Richard A. Hook with twenty-five (25%) percent of the ownership interest in Keystone Internet Access, Inc.?
If you answered "No" to Question 3, go to Question 5.
Question 4: State the amount of damages, if any, sustained by the Plaintiff, Richard A. Hook, as a result of the breach of contract. If you find that the Plaintiff, Richard A. Hook, has sustained no damages, you should so state.
Question 5: Do you find the actions of the Defendant, William M. Hook, were outrageous?
If you answered "No" to Question 5, you should not answer any further questions and should return to the Courtroom.
Question 6: State the amount of punitive damages, if any, which you impose upon the Defendant, William M. Hook, for his outrageous actions.
Dated: April 4, 2001
When Bill's attorney heard the verdict his face turn white as a ghost. Bill and Bev left very quickly after the verdict was presented. Not a word to me or Lynn.
It will probably be months before I receive any monies, but at least I know it is coming. I am mostly glad to know that know that truth has come out and it can not be denied.
The family will never be the same. But now it is only just like it was before Bill came back to PA. No matter whether I dropped the case or not the family would never have gotten back together. At least now the entire family knows the truth!
Bill has appealed the decision and the attorneys are to meet in the Judges chambers on June 21 to decide on the appeal. The chances of Bill winning an appeal are slim to none. This is just another way for him to delay paying his depts.
We had another Deposition meeting in my Attorneys office last fall with Bill and his Wife Bev giving there depositions so as to determine the Constructive Trust between them and Bev's knowing about the agreement between Bill, Bev and Myself.
The Depositions have been given to the Judge and we are awaiting his Judgment on the matter.
Mean while I got home last night and received a phone call from Jeff, our Star witness. Jeff told me that he received a phone call from his attorney. (Jeff is involved in a case with Bill from when he quit at Keystone Computer 7 years ago and Bill accused him of stealing some equipment. That case is still in the courts.)
Bill had his attorney (Jeff DuBois) contact Jeff's attorney and offer Jeff a deal! He would reduce the amount owed to Bill to zero if Jeff would sign a statement declaring that he lied in my court case. Jeff's attorney didn't even put it in writing, he knew Jeff would never perjure himself and leave himself wide open for perjury charges.
I guess Bill is getting pretty desperate to risk charges for bribing a witness.
We have begun the collection efforts against Bill for the $55,000.00 Judgment against him. With interest the amount he now owes is $64,900.00.
On February 12, 2004 We forwarded Post Judgment Interrogatories to Bill's Attorney. He had this document for 30 days then on March 15, 2004 my Attorney wrote a letter requesting an answer to the Post Judgment Interrogatories and gave him 2 weeks to reply. We still never got a reply.
On March 31, 2004 We filed a Motion to Compel with the Court for Bill to answer the Post Judgment Interrogatories within 20 days.
Back in 2004 the Attorneys met with the Judge in his chambers, I was there but was not allowed in the Judge's chambers, to discuss the matter of Constructive Trust between Bill and his Wife Bev.
The attorneys met with each other in private at the court house just before entering the chamber and only met with the Judge for about 5-10 minuets. I don't believe this was long enough for an actual discussion and a decision by the Judge, but when David Hopkins came out all he said is we lost.
Without the Constructive Trust, my lawsuit is only against my brother and not his wife.
PA law makes it nearly impossible to collect against a married couple if the judgment is not against both parties. Since all of their property is in both of their names, I will not be able to collect unless they get divorced or if his wife should pass away before him. If Bill dies first it will all be lost. With the way he lives his life I don't see anyway he will out live his wife.
I will continue to renew my judgment against him in the courts and hopefully this will affect his credit or maybe PA will someday correct their judicial collection system laws!
I believe David Hopkins made a deal with my brothers attorney that day at the courthouse and received some kind of payment in return for dropping the Constructive Trust issue. Hopkins has not tried to retrieve his fees from me, after I told him he has not finished his work. I told him that when I get my money he would get his! Since he has not tried to get his money I can only figure that my suspicions are true!
My brother now is running his deceptive ways with his new business Hooked up properties LLC. http://www.hookedupproperties.com/ I can only imagine what kind of stuff he hides when doing a sale of a home.