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hawg
10-15-2012, 04:42 PM
I'm looking for advice and opinion on the following subject.

I am the promoter of a recent state championship event. One of the cooker's check bounced and we did not find out until the Monday after the event was over. On top of that, it was returned as being written on a closed account, so it was a deliberate act. This cooker also placed high in the results and won prize money. The prize money was paid in cash, and it was far more than required to cover the entry fee.

I have tried to call and email the cooker, for the past week, with no response. I did a google search of this person, and he has two prior arrests for hot checks that are public knowledge on the web.

This contestant entered using a team name that is also used by another person with the same last name - I have been told by third parties that this other person is his father. Searches of BBQ websites show his father has placed in several IBCA and KCBS contests in the past as well, and many in the south would recognize his name if it I published it.

Right now, I just want the money, but my only other course of action is to file the hot check with my county attorney - but the contestant lives in another county and I don't know how successful it will be.

Anyone have any advice or opinions? I hate to "out" the team name and contestant name, but I feel like other promoters and cookers should know this person for what he is. He has deliberately cheated me, and deliberately cheated other teams out of prize money.

Thanks in advance,
Hawg

nthole
10-15-2012, 04:46 PM
I'd be sure to alert KCBS about it. Based on recent events they may sanction the team. Unfortunately, unless the person mans up, you're only route for getting payment will probably be a legal filing which is gonna cost you.

bbqbull
10-15-2012, 04:53 PM
Contact your local police in your area. Should not cost you anything to prosecute the person.

landarc
10-15-2012, 04:56 PM
I would also contact the father, if possible, and let him know that you intend to report their team to KCBS and IBCA, and that he might want to consider making good on his son's abuse of his team name.

The_Kapn
10-15-2012, 05:03 PM
Knowingly passing hot checks is a matter for law enforcement.
Been there on the receiving end.

If it was done as you stated, I would simply contact local law like Bull said and they will tell ya how to proceed.

TIM

drbbq
10-15-2012, 08:40 PM
If you call KCBS tell them he was wearing a fake penis apron when he gave you the check and they'll be all over it. Otherwise I don't think they'll get involved. But in most states it's a pretty serious crime so I'd go that route.

Corky
10-15-2012, 09:03 PM
This contestant entered using a team name that is also used by another person with the same last name - I have been told by third parties that this other person is his father. Searches of BBQ websites show his father has placed in several IBCA and KCBS contests in the past as well, and many in the south would recognize his name if it I published it.

Here's what to do. Send a letter of collection to the father saying that the check for his team bounced. Make the letter out to the Team Leader of that team, so it will make sense that you would be contacting him. Play dumb about the son. Bet the dad will fix things.

Cgraue01
10-15-2012, 10:37 PM
It doesn't cost a ton to have an lawyer write a letter. Show him your serious

Chris Graue

chrisnjenn
10-15-2012, 10:40 PM
Call the authorities and press charges.

dmprantz
10-15-2012, 11:12 PM
I would also contact the father, if possible, and let him know that you intend to report their team to KCBS and IBCA, and that he might want to consider making good on his son's abuse of his team name.

No offense, but I would not take any action against the father unless you have reason to believe that he was complicit in this action. When I worked for an identity theft remediation company, I had a coworker who had to legally change his name to prevent his father from commiting fraud in his name. Some times family members really aren't responsible for the others.

As some one who recently had to suffer consequences for the actions of another, I can tell you that it sucks, and isn't fair. Is it worth it to you (any one?) to ruin some one else's BBQ career for something that he may or may not have done? I'd contact the man and tell him what is son is doing. See what kind of response you get. I'd contact KCBS and/or IBCA and tell them the name of the individual, and if needed, the the team, but I would not bring in the father without cause. I can't speak for IBCA, but from my understanding, KCBS has gone through a good deal to ensure that the team on a given day is identified by the person serving as the head cook on that day. If the father wasn't there, it's not the same team.

That's just me. I would definitely call the cops and give them his address. If he has a record, he could likely do hard time over this.

dmp

hawg
10-16-2012, 12:03 AM
Thanks for all opinions, that is why I posted the question. There are some very thoughtful responses here. Keep them coming if you have any further ones.

I am not concerned about the money so much as I am mad about the deliberate act, and the fact that this individual cheated some other teams out of recognition and money. We worked tirelessly for months to put on a first class event and did everything we could to cater to the teams, including paying out in cash instead of checks.

In the end, we will have to now revise our proceedures to protect ourselves. No entries will be accepted within two weeks of the event unless they are paid with cash or cashiers checks. That will cost us teams, but I cannot think of any other way.

landarc
10-16-2012, 12:10 AM
No offense, but I would not take any action against the father unless you have reason to believe that he was complicit in this action. When I worked for an identity theft remediation company, I had a coworker who had to legally change his name to prevent his father from commiting fraud in his name. Some times family members really aren't responsible for the others.

As some one who recently had to suffer consequences for the actions of another, I can tell you that it sucks, and isn't fair. Is it worth it to you (any one?) to ruin some one else's BBQ career for something that he may or may not have done? I'd contact the man and tell him what is son is doing. See what kind of response you get. I'd contact KCBS and/or IBCA and tell them the name of the individual, and if needed, the the team, but I would not bring in the father without cause. I can't speak for IBCA, but from my understanding, KCBS has gone through a good deal to ensure that the team on a given day is identified by the person serving as the head cook on that day. If the father wasn't there, it's not the same team.

That's just me. I would definitely call the cops and give them his address. If he has a record, he could likely do hard time over this.

dmp
What I was suggesting was exactly to talk to the father and let him know what is going on. But, yes, I will go ahead and tell a father that his son stole from me, and that I will be coming after him and he might want to try clearing out of the way. Getting ripped off for my fees, this has happened more than once to me, buy some very well-funded companies. So, I have little tolerance or patience.

landarc
10-16-2012, 12:11 AM
I would add, this is a good reason for cashing entry checks ASAP and for not paying in cash. Taking checks the day of, increases risk.

dmprantz
10-16-2012, 12:28 AM
What I was suggesting was exactly to talk to the father and let him know what is going on. But, yes, I will go ahead and tell a father that his son stole from me, and that I will be coming after him and he might want to try clearing out of the way.

I guess I misunderstood your use of pronouns, and for that I am sorry. I would tell the father, yes, but I don't think I would ask the father to make good on his son's debts. I would probably be sensitive to this and avoid getting the father mixed up at all (mentioning team name to sanctioning bodies), unless I had reason to suspect complicity.

This brings up an interesting thought to me: First, be careful on your two week limit, because I think account holders have longer to stop payment on a check. Next, regardless, credit cards might be a better option overall. While cardholders can always dispute a charge, and disputes cost you money, if the authorization goes through, the association and the issuing bank have guarenteed to fund the transaction. It's up to them to go after deadbeats who don't pay. You'd probably lose any dispute for a team who didn't show up though unless they signed a contract agreeing no refunds. There was a poll here not to long ago and the idea of credit card payments got a lot of traction. Merchant accounts with Google, Amazon, etc, are not that hard to get if you don't mind paying relatively high interchange rates.

I'd stay away from PayPal though, at least non CC transactions. There's a fair amount of fraud on that system, and if you aren't careful, your PayPal account can get frozen because some one else payed you fraudulently.

dmp

landarc
10-16-2012, 12:39 AM
We used to shoot a lot of horse shows (with a camera!) and the deal was always that we had to shoot on weekends, and we never knew whether the checks we got were good or not. But, we never released final prints on day of show for check transactions. The woman I worked with, she would take the checks to each bank and cash them. This often meant 10 to 12 banks visits, but, once cashed, she had the money, no cancelled checks.

Best part of this story, one day, my sister-in-law comes up to me with an image I shot, with proof stamped on it. And she asks me to remove the proof stamp, so she can have the image enlarged. I told her no, that I don't get paid that way, you are ripping me off, she then yelled I charge too much.

dmprantz
10-16-2012, 12:52 AM
We may be drifting, and I'm just talking here, but cashing checks at the issuing bank carries a few "issues" in the modern day, in addition to the time ( == money) it takes:

Many banks these days will refuse to cash a check at the window for a non-account holder without a fee. I think it's crummy, but it's the way the world works:( Part of the reason is to make money, but the other part is to mitigate risk, since if you cash the check and walk away, they can't (easily) get it back from you if there is a stop payment.

Another issue is that you open yourself up to potential legal issues. I know of at least one case where some one who received a fraudulent check attempted to cash it at the issuing bank, and as a result was arrested for trying to cash a fraudulent check, even though he didn't draft it!

Of course the last bit, especially with a BBQ contest where teams travel to compete, if the check was drafted by a bank without branches close to you, you could have a long way to drive to pay a fee to cash a check.

Just talking here....

dmp

landarc
10-16-2012, 01:05 AM
Yeah, I thought it was nuts 10 years ago, but, when you are sleeping with the boss...eh...it took a lot of time.

dmprantz
10-16-2012, 01:12 AM
when you are sleeping with the boss...eh...it took a lot of time.

You're into Tantra? I'm sorry. I'll go to my room now.

dmp

landarc
10-16-2012, 01:17 AM
You're into Tantra? I'm sorry. I'll go to my room now.

dmp
Thanks :bow:

Outnumbered
10-16-2012, 10:32 AM
I believe every one of these options is the right way to go. It's fraud, so contact the local cops. Secondly, if I had a kid who was using my team name and writing bad checks, I'd sure want to know. Chances are the kid is a dope because his dad doesn't care and will bail him, or more likely he'll tell you that you're a jerk, etc., but you're in the right here. Take it to the dad as: I just want to let you know what's happening with your team name here.

Fat Freddy
10-16-2012, 10:55 AM
Thanks for all opinions, that is why I posted the question. There are some very thoughtful responses here. Keep them coming if you have any further ones.

I am not concerned about the money so much as I am mad about the deliberate act, and the fact that this individual cheated some other teams out of recognition and money. We worked tirelessly for months to put on a first class event and did everything we could to cater to the teams, including paying out in cash instead of checks.

In the end, we will have to now revise our proceedures to protect ourselves. No entries will be accepted within two weeks of the event unless they are paid with cash or cashiers checks. That will cost us teams, but I cannot think of any other way.

Might I make a suggestion. I know many teams wait until the last minute to enter and some of those are out of town or what not so they would probably prefer to pay by check. My suggestion is to take online entries. I am not sure how hard or easy it would be but if you have it set up to take Paypal or credit card or something as well as check(by a deadline) then you could still get the last minute entries.

columbia1
10-16-2012, 11:19 AM
Up here in PNWBA land, most entries are done on-line with Paypal. I love this method because it is so easy, as far as problems with Paypal, I have used them for my own business for years, thousands of transactions a year and if I every have a problem with an account Paypal has been VERY quick to resolve the issues. You can get a person on the phone in less then a minute with a business account.

hawg
10-18-2012, 08:34 PM
Thank you to everyone for your input. I am taking the matter to the Chamber BOD to see how they want to proceed, but I am pretty sure they will turn the bounced check over to the Prosecuting Attorney, who happens to be the dad of my co-chairman. I am expecting this particular "bad check" to receive direct and full attention from the PA!!!

Smokin' Hicks
10-18-2012, 09:02 PM
I am not an organizer, have no interest in being one, and do not know everything an organizer goes through for an event other than i am certain that it is a ton of work...this seems like a simple fix, it would only cost teams a couple dollars more if you said payment is only excepted via money order or cashiers check....another GREAT option that our team used once for a comp. this season was the web site set up for organizers and their events that allows the team to pay via pay pal or credit card....i don't understand why all events would not do their registration in this manner it is so simple and instantaneous as far as the payment goes the teams also get to see that their payment went through and know for sure they are entered into the event instead of waiting and wondering if the rep received your check. I know this would cost a couple dollars more for the teams but would give the team instant piece of mind that they are good to go as far as payment and entry into said event ....like i said i am dumb when it comes to organizing an event but this online payment option was the greatest thing invented since aluminum foil, IMO

42BBQ
10-18-2012, 09:16 PM
As a Police Officer, I know that in my Commonwealth, knowingly passing a bad check is a felony. I would not only report it to local authorities, I would out his a$$ too. Sorry, felons don't get common courtesy. Take it as far as you need to. And no, you don't need AJ attorney, he does, your county should ultimately prosecute this on your behalf.

Bunny
10-19-2012, 10:05 AM
At least report the team and names to KCBS so other organizers can be alerted on this matter.

Porcine Perfection
10-19-2012, 11:28 AM
As a Police Officer, I know that in my Commonwealth, knowingly passing a bad check is a felony. I would not only report it to local authorities, I would out his a$$ too. Sorry, felons don't get common courtesy. Take it as far as you need to. And no, you don't need AJ attorney, he does, your county should ultimately prosecute this on your behalf.

^^^^^^^^ X2 ^^^^^^^

This wasn't a case of a simple mistake. If the account was closed they meant to screw you. I would take it personal and do what it took to get my money AND the prize money back. After I got my money back I would turn it over to the prosecutor as they meant to deceive you.

GMDGeek
10-19-2012, 11:44 AM
In Photography - having been burned only once; I only take cash, credit card, paypal. I do not do checks. I'd contact law enforcement, get them involved and also drop a note to the kids dad and tell him what's up. Even if the dad tries to make good there will already be a case against his son.

Candy Sue
10-19-2012, 11:51 AM
Okay -- this was not a KCBS event, so KCBS wouldn't be involved in this matter! Definitely let the folks at IBCA know though.

Sad for contests in my local area (and I do consider Sheridan as part of my stomping ground). Even sadder is going to the results I know who the perp is and shame on him for not making his check good with the cash won.

Rich Parker
10-19-2012, 12:15 PM
Thanks for all opinions, that is why I posted the question. There are some very thoughtful responses here. Keep them coming if you have any further ones.

I am not concerned about the money so much as I am mad about the deliberate act, and the fact that this individual cheated some other teams out of recognition and money. We worked tirelessly for months to put on a first class event and did everything we could to cater to the teams, including paying out in cash instead of checks.

In the end, we will have to now revise our proceedures to protect ourselves. No entries will be accepted within two weeks of the event unless they are paid with cash or cashiers checks. That will cost us teams, but I cannot think of any other way.

I was talking to an organizer recently that had something similar happen although the team was also a vendor that was paid a lot of money vending. The organizer tried multiple times to contact the individual with no success, so he sent a certified letter explaining that he would be taking the individual to court. In this case it was enough for the person to pay. Good luck!

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
10-19-2012, 12:25 PM
1st off, have you attempted to resubmit the check? The teller may have mis-keyed in the number. If you have BURN them if the account is actually closed.

2nd since they didnt pay an entry fee they arent intitled to any winnings, correct? sounds like a case of theft by deception and you SHOULD press charges and persue them to the fullest.

3rd ( maybe legal maybe not) I would (if legal) out them so it would be harder for them to do it to an other event.

TailGateJoecom
10-21-2012, 12:09 AM
I really see no shame in publicly stating the name of the team and the head cook, they illegally wrote you a bad check with the intention of stealing from you. If he did this at your event, he will do it at another event as well. Forget this business about the father, the fact of the matter is this guy signed up under this team name.

Balls Casten
10-21-2012, 08:28 AM
Are we after revenge or the money?
Turn the check over to the authorities and continue to promote your contest for the great event that it is. TRY not to let the actions of one individual dictate the rule/regulations of your contest.

Alexa RnQ
10-21-2012, 01:56 PM
The problem with "just turning toward the positivie" is that it does not protect our community of cookers. Scammers like this rely on the good nature of BBQers and organizers to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, move past difficulty etc. so they can then go on and scam somebody else because it was kept quiet to make nice.

Everyone should know when we have a snake in our midst.

porkingINpublic
10-21-2012, 04:23 PM
As a guy who finished on the bubble in this comp. I'd just like to see them DQ'd and bump everyone up. As a young BBQ team we care more about place than $..... But as for your end, HANG EM UP HIGH AND LET EM SWING TILL THE SUN GOES DOWN!!!! Ok maybe that's a little over the top....:shocked:

Q-Dat
10-22-2012, 01:59 AM
If he did this at a convenience store and got caught, his picture would be by the counter on a sign that says "Do not accept checks from this person." for all the world to see. IMHO we don't make examples of tools like this nearly enough.

Iamarealbigdog
10-22-2012, 03:49 PM
You are all making some serious assumptions and in a highly litigious society, "outing somebody" without facts can come back at you fairly quickly. Even if the person has a record or previous transactions, making public accusations may not be the best approach (while it can be fun it's not always smart). A closed account is not a slam dunk to obtain a conviction for fraud, you need to prove intent.

1) send a letter to the person who paid the cheque with a copy to the owner of the team advising the NSF cheque and you would like prompt settlement of the debenture or you will take further action if it is not paid in 30 days.

2) send a second letter, by registered mail advising that the past due bill was not received and that you are proceeding to collections avenues in 15 days along with a referral to the appropriate authorities. Furthermore as a non paid competitor they were not entitled to the prize award and you now want the cash award returned.

3) hire a solicitor or collection company, many work for a % and will do the same 1-2 letters but on their letterhead. Consider providing the information to your local police if your think there was malice or intent to fraud.

4) Follow through with small claims court, (this is not real cost effective either)

5) Do not accept the team back next year, adopt changes in your process for next year so that this is not a systemic issue.

Being a organizer has its really sucky days and not all teams are nice people. Just as some events are not all team friendly and are more concerned with making a profit...


Nonetheless, good luck and don't sweat it

Divemaster
10-23-2012, 01:52 PM
I too would warn you not to ‘Out’ either this person or the team name. While I have little doubt that it happened as you say, this is not a court of law and this person has not been found guilty. With the current status as I understand it, if you ‘Out’ them, there is a very good chance that they would have the evidence to take you to court.

I would attempt to resubmit the check. If it comes back as a closed account again, I would do submit the problem to the police. It is what we all are paying our taxes for. If you feel so inclined, you could also write to the father as a heads up.

This kind of thing needs to be stopped, but stopped in the right way, using the correct resources. It is not your job to try and collect on a closed account. It is fraud. Fraud is against the law. Let the law handle it.

(As a side note, I am not an attorney, have never played one on TV, and have not stayed in a Holiday Inn Express for a long time.)