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Sounds like some fraud occurred which could be legally argued. Not with Seduction or a purchase as large as a car, I had a person take payment on a job that he never started or finished. He had lost his license to do business months prior and was broke, both with the business and personally. I sued both him and his company (to avoid a bankruptcy dodge) and won judgement but others that he had done the same to, filed criminal charges. That put him in jail, where making license plates isn't a paying job where he can return my money or have wages garnished. I will likely never see a dime of the $5K he owes me.

As someone who has experienced this, I feel awful for those who gave him money. I would love to give you some hope but it is a low probability of getting anything back. If putting him in jail would be some solace, better chances for that.

 

 

 

ExpensiveNoise posted:

There are four customers that we know of that have paid DV a considerable sum of money towards their builds. There is also one gentleman that DV sold his car (on consignment) and never notified him that the car sold and kept the payment. Closing up shop and continuing to fraudulently communicate with customers that it is business as usual is not protected under bankruptcy laws. The fact that he has waited what appears to be 6 months to file (I do not think he has filed yet) will not be taken kindly by a bankruptcy judge. 

5 People I paid in full back in October 2017!!  no 356 Coupe

Timbo posted:

Hi All,  I paid for a 356 Pre-A  Coupe in October 2017 and nothing,  he has cut off all communication.

 

Is anyone interested in a larger group lawsuit?  

 

Very Concerned

You may want to hire that attorney quickly. He filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last month in California. There was a meeting of Creditors on 5/20/19. You should have received notice of the bankruptcy filing and the creditor meeting from the Court if Daniel listed you as a Creditor. 

I'm no Attorney but know a bit about this process in general terms. They already had a meeting of the Creditors and all that's left in  BK process is the formality of the BK hearing.....Seduction has the protection of the BK court and the Consumer has little if anyway to recover.  From what I have read  it seems Mr.  D planned his exit well, unless someone can prove ".... Intentional Insider actions to hide funds and or assets.

 

Last edited by Alan Merklin

I always encourage site participants to conduct extensive research from as many sources as possible, then make a decision based on that research.

I don't have a dog in the Seduction fight, but have been through similar scenarios with an unscrupulous builder, who has been and still is the defendant in a number of civil suits, mainly for non-performance.

Specialty Auto-Works (SAW), the predecessor of Specialty Auto-Sports (SAS), had a judgement against them for approximately $420,000 for failing to build cars for about 20 buyers, all of whom had paid varying amounts of deposits, from about $8,000 to over $40,000.  After the Tennessee state court delivered its judgement, SAW sought bankruptcy protection from the Eastern Tennessee Bankruptcy Court, and the entire amount owing was cancelled by the BK.  Within a few weeks, SAW was out of business, replaced by SAS, with the same guy running the new company, Stephen W. Lawing.

Not only is such behavior lawful, but encouraged by BK attorney sites.  They not only encourage potential clients to seek BK protection, they will tell them ways to increase the money they can keep from creditors immediately before and after the BK petition is filed.

Almost all of us on here are straight shooters.  That doesn't mean that we never step on our appendages, but that we don't live our lives thinking of ways to get something for nothing.  However, the BK process cares little for our spiritual compass or moral outlook, as some BK petitioners well know, especially those who engage in serial filings, i.e., repetitive bankruptcies.

If you think filing a civil suit will be successful, you may want to talk with competent counsel first about costs of suit versus the chance of collection from a defendant who has already filed BK.  If you think you have a chance at bringing criminal charges, do some research and contact the district attorney's office in the county of Arizona where Seduction did business.  They will have a consumer fraud department or can refer you to the appropriate agency for filing a consumer fraud claim.  Many states, like California, have county District Attorneys, who prosecute state criminal matters.  Some of the less-populated states do the same with a state Attorney General.

Please keep the site informed on what you decide.  Shared knowledge increases our ability to fight back.

Last edited by Jim Kelly

Timbo, you can ping me at Dan.Blumhardt@gmail.com if you’d like to compare notes on legal advice.

Tough to know for sure how many builds involved. However based on the named claimants and the amounts in the public filings, you could estimate perhaps 20 or so cars were sold on installment payments and were never delivered. 

So the scale of the situation itself really raises lots of questions about intent in this case. 

My hope is other builders like Greg Leach can now flourish by helping to pick up the pieces and work with former seduction “customers” to keep 550s and speedsters on the streets.    We’re a passionate global community and remain super supportive of our builders.  

Thanks again to all those on the boards who’ve reached out with support and further info!

Man this is sad to read and pisses me off. As a reporter I've covered my share of businessmen who pull this sort of thing. Most of them get away with it, time and again. I've long wondered why anti-fraud criminal laws are so seldom enforced in the USA. I don't see that anyone benefits from this—except the guys who make a career out of defrauding customers and investors. 

Glad I never did business with DW. 

Daniel was always an arrogant, self-serving me-me-me kind of guy. But I never thought he'd descend into criminal behavior.

Such a shame. He made some nice parts, I have his shoulder belt bezels on my car.

Never a true builder, he was an assembler that added some custom touches. All "his" cars are really Vintage Motorcar Spyders.

I don't wonder at all how that arm got broken now.

If you look back at his first posts on the SOC, you'll find that there was a great deal of skepticism about his legitimacy at the beginning.  He was challenged over and over to post, or have his new owners post photos of their cars and he just made excuses, like my buyers are too busy for the SOC.  There were lots red flags about him for a long time, including his Go Fund Me page at one one point.  Eventually, he was able to turn that around.  He conned us all. 

 

DannyP posted:

 

I don't wonder at all how that arm got broken now.

I hadn’t thought about that possibility, but it may explain his quick exit from... apparently planet earth.

I never did any business with him (thank goodness) but at first he seemed decent enough and the billet tchotchkes he made looked good.  Shortly thereafter his arrogance made itself known, but I still was surprised how this all turned out.  I expect it’ll be a while before he crawls out from underneath whatever rock he found.  Those of you who he owes cars and/or money have my sympathies.  I hope you're able to recover something.

Troy Sloan posted:

If you look back at his first posts on the SOC, you'll find that there was a great deal of skepticism about his legitimacy at the beginning.  He was challenged over and over to post, or have his new owners post photos of their cars and he just made excuses, like my buyers are too busy for the SOC.  There were lots red flags about him for a long time, including his Go Fund Me page at one one point.  Eventually, he was able to turn that around.  He conned us all. 

 

I remember that go fund me page ....something about a break in at his shop and he lost about $75K of uninsured tools and parts. Stuff like that raises a big flag asap. I don't agree that he conned us all. 

I can't imagine how he feels right now. His passion was building high end stuff for nice cars and now he must hide under a rock likely being afraid at every moment. I have no sympathy for him but I just imagine how he must feel.  

Last edited by David Stroud IM Roadster D

Many people go into business and have a dream but do not have the skill set to sustain a business.   These lacks quickly show up with financing and cash flow issues.  

He certainly had his issues, his character, and in the end stiffed a lot of people unfortunately.

Passion is one thing, a proper business plan is another... E-myth

No shop insurance.  No health insurance.  I’m an insurance agent and I spoke to DV about insurance when I was looking for a Spyder.  He got pissed at me and said Obamacare was out to kill people, all insurance was a rip off and I was a stupid liberal.   

And I was a potential customer.  

Soni bought my Vintage Spyder elsewhere and went about helping people who actually want insurance on their health, business and possessions.  You know, adults. 

Smelled like a old fish smell from day one especially when a new business toots their own horn to excessiveness then gets defensive.  Suddenly, his shop was ummm broken into and had no insurance (hello - flag) and then  down the road everyone got screwed in unison ……….. " The honor and integrity of your name should be based sole basis of all your actions "  

Last edited by Alan Merklin

Newbies stroll in here and ask, who is the best builder?  And often the collective response is: IM, Beck/Special edition, Vintage _________ (Hawaiian Gardens), and JPS. Although the latter is generally followed by a number of mumblings. 

This list doesn’t mean that the other groups don’t build fine cars; I always liked Seduction’s 550. In my opinion, the top three rise to the top because of their proven track record. I assume a majority of folks in the market for a plastic Speedster don’t have $10k, $20k or $30k that they could easily afford to loose. While it’s not a 100% guarantee that the top three shops I listed above won’t steal your money and go out of business, chances are very slim. This is what the smaller builders cannot provide, a sense of security. 

As I thought more about this, there’s only one shop I’d recommend for a new Speedster (or perhaps even used), and that’s Beck / Special Edition.  Why?...for a sound piece of mind.  

One, they build a quality car and have a reputable business. (This is also shared with Henry and Greg). 

Two, they are active with this forum; providing help and direction for various member’s issues. Showing genuine interest to the hobby and those that participate. This is one area where they seem to rise above the others; as the other builders either do not participate on this forum, or aren’t interested in solving member’s particular issues as much as they are pedaling their own products.  

The third reason is that they keep very detailed notes on their builds. No one at VS even knew what the actual color of my car was.  I found SE extremely helpful when looking for a used Beck. I would send them the serial number and within hours would have a honest and thorough response. 

 

I hate to see IM depart the internal combustion engine Speedster scene this year.  In my mind, they have stood out as the number one quality producer.  I won't buy an electric car in my lifetime -- maybe a beach golf car but not a road car.  I want the zoom-zoom sound and the ability to drive as far as my butt can stand.

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