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QWR: Bank Loan Printouts are Not Records; They are Summaries

Judgment as to amount in favor of the lender would be improper in the face of a denial by the debtors as to the amount sought.

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Capital City Developers, LLC v. Bank of North Georgia, 730 S.E.2d 99 (Ga. Ct. App. 2012)

JULY 5, 2012 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: MAY 29, 2021

The Bank of North Georgia (the “Bank”) sued borrowers Capital City Developers, LLC; Anderson Avenue Partners, LLC; Giles Properties, LP; and Benjamin Michael Giles, along with guarantors Benjamin J. Giles, Jr.; Harold T. Pounders; and Keith D. Kantor (collectively, “Appellants”) to collect money owed, alleging that Appellants had defaulted on 24 promissory notes and related guaranties.

The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the Bank and entered a final judgment against all Appellants in the total amount of $3,288,969.08 in principal, interest, and attorney fees.

On appeal, Appellants asserted that the trial court erred because:

1) their affirmative defense of estoppel precludes a grant of summary judgment in the Bank’s favor; and the Bank failed to establish the amounts owed through proper tendering of evidence into the record.

We affirm as to the first issue; as to the second issue, we affirm the judgment as to liability, but reverse the amount of damages and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

A grant of summary judgment is appropriate when there is no genuine issue of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. “On summary judgment, after the movant makes a prima facie showing of its entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, the burden then shifts to the respondent to come forward with rebuttal evidence.

To do so, the respondent must set forth specific facts showing the existence of a genuine issue of disputed fact.” On appeal from the grant or denial of a motion for summary judgment, we apply a de novo standard of review, viewing the evidence and all reasonable inferences and conclusions drawn from it in the light most favorable to Appellants as the non-moving parties.

1 .OCGA § 9–11–56(c).

2 (Footnote omitted.) Shropshire v. Alostar Bank of Commerce, 314 Ga.App. 310, 724 S.E.2d 33 (2012).

3 Jenkins v. Wachovia Bank, Nat. Assn., 309 Ga.App. 562, 711 S.E.2d 80 (2011).

So viewed, the evidence shows that Appellants began acquiring real estate for the purpose of constructing single-family dwellings. In early- through mid–2009, they obtained acquisition and construction loans from a predecessor-in-interest to the Bank. For each acquisition of real estate, one of the borrowers executed a promissory note secured by the real estate purchased, and a subset of one or more guarantors executed related guaranties.

In October 2009, the Bank issued notices of default and demanded payment, and later sued for recovery on breach of the notes and guaranties. Appellants answered, denying that they owed the debt.

The trial court, without holding a hearing, granted the Bank’s motion for summary judgment as to liability only.

The trial court then entered a final judgment, from which this appeal arises, setting forth the amounts awarded to the Bank under the notes.

4 In a deposition, one of the guarantors, Pounders, acknowledged that Capital City did not fully pay its loans.

1. As a threshold matter, we note that the Bank provided the authenticated loan and guaranty documents evincing a debt, and Appellants did not dispute their authenticity. A plaintiff suing on promissory notes establishes a prima facie right to judgment as a matter of law by producing the notes and showing they were executed, and the trial court found that the Bank had met this burden.

Appellants do not challenge the trial court’s finding of a prima facie case. Rather, “[t]heir argument goes to the issue of the amount of money owed, not to liability vel non.”

They contend that the trial court erred in granting the Bank’s motion for summary judgment because the Bank failed to establish the amounts owed under the notes with admissible evidence.

We agree.

5 Alexander v. Wachovia Bank, Nat. Assn., 305 Ga.App. 641, 642, 700 S.E.2d 640 (2010).

6 (Emphasis in original.) Shropshire, supra at 315(3), 724 S.E.2d 33.

“Admissibility of evidence on motion for summary judgment is governed by the rules relating to form and admissibility of evidence generally.” “A trial court’s decision to admit evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule will not be disturbed absent an abuse of discretion.”

7 (Citation and punctuation omitted.) Albertson v. City of Jesup, 312 Ga.App. 246, 251(2), n. 18, 718 S.E.2d 4 (2011).

8 (Footnote omitted.) Walter R. Thomas Assocs. v. Media Dynamite, Inc., 284 Ga.App. 413, 416(1), 643 S.E.2d 883 (2007).

With its motion for summary judgment, the Bank submitted the affidavit of its vice president, David O’Rear, the custodian of the Bank’s business records related to claims and loans at issue.

In his affidavit, O’Rear averred that he was personally familiar with the Bank’s routine practice for maintaining those business records and calculating amounts owed; that the loan documents and records were made and kept in the ordinary course of business; and that it was the Bank’s routine practice to record payments and changes in amounts owed at or near the time the relevant events occurred.

His affidavit was accompanied by what appear to be computer printouts listing the current balance, daily interest charges, late charges, and other fees. He testified that the printouts are bank records reflecting current amounts owed.

Appellants contend that the printouts are “summaries” unaccompanied by the underlying business records on which they are based, and that as such, they are inadmissible hearsay evidence.

The documents at issue are accompanied by the relevant guaranty or guaranties, the original loan documents, and default letters from the Bank.

OCGA § 24–3–14(b) defines the type of writings admissible as a hearsay exception under the business records exception as follows:

[a]ny writing or record, whether in the form of an entry in a book or otherwise, made as a memorandum or record of any act, transaction, occurrence, or event shall be admissible in evidence in proof of the act, transaction, occurrence, or event, if the trial judge shall find that it was made in the regular course of any business and that it was the regular course of such business to make the memorandum or record at the time of the act, transaction, occurrence, or event or within a reasonable time thereafter.

These printouts are not such records; they are summaries of such records.

They were not made at or near the time of the transactions at issue. They were generated and printed between January 27 and February 4, 2011, yet they purportedly represent amounts owed on loans whose terms commenced between July 9, 2008, at the earliest and June 5, 2009, at the latest.

9 (Emphasis supplied.)

10 See Patterson v. Bennett Street Properties, 314 Ga.App. 896, 903(4), 726 S.E.2d 147 (2012).

“[A]lthough a summary prepared in support of a demand for payment may not qualify as a business record under OCGA § 24–3–14, … summarized statements of what records show are admissible if the records themselves are accessible to the court and the parties.”

Here, the Bank’s summaries were accompanied by some business records, but a search of the record reveals that crucial underlying business records related to fees and interest were not available to the this Court or Appellants.

11 (Citations omitted.) Morris v. Nat. Western Life Ins. Co., 208 Ga.App. 443, 444(1)(c), 430 S.E.2d 813 (1993).

Most of the summaries list “late charges,” but are unaccompanied by business records showing from what relevant dates and on what underlying amounts the late charges accrued. Some summaries list “other fees” that are not explained, and the Bank has pointed us to no supporting business records. Neither the Bank’s briefing nor O’Rear’s affidavit identifies any provision in the notes or guaranties obligating Appellants to pay the “other fees.” Additionally, all the summaries list “interest” charges and indicate the daily rate of accrual. The notes, however, provide that interest is variable based upon “Lender’s Prime” plus one percent prior to maturity, and a fixed rate after maturity. The summaries are unaccompanied by business records showing pre-maturity interest calculations and rate variations.

“[W]here, as in this case, such [documents] are neither introduced in evidence nor accounted for, it is erroneous to admit in evidence such summarized statement[s].” Absent evidence to establish a variable interest rate, judgment as to amount in favor of the lender would be improper in the face of a denial by the debtors as to the amount sought. Further, where business records do not adequately show a requirement to pay fees, the amount of damages has not been established.

12 Camp v. State, 31 Ga.App. 737, 740(6)(a), 122 S.E. 249 (1924); Patterson, supra. See also Walter R. Thomas Assocs., supra at 416–417(1)(b), 643 S.E.2d 883 (where summary lists fee but no supporting business records are presented, “that entry is hearsay and cannot be considered in determining the amount owed”) (footnote omitted).

13 See also Shropshire, supra at 314(2)(b), 724 S.E.2d 33. See Garrett v. Atlantic Bank & Trust Co., 157 Ga.App. 103–104(1), 276 S.E.2d 152 (1981) (fact issue remained where bank introduced no evidence establishing interest rates during life of loan based on bank’s prime rate and debtor denied liability).

14 See Aniebue v. Jaguar Credit Corp., 308 Ga.App. 1, 6(2), 708 S.E.2d 4 (2011).

We find that the trial court abused its discretion by considering these summaries in its determination of the amounts awarded. We affirm judgment as to liability, but reverse the award of damages and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

2. Appellants argue that because they tendered into the record facts supporting the affirmative defense of estoppel, the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to the Bank.

We disagree.

Summary judgment law does not require the movant to show that no issue of fact remains but only that no genuine issue of material fact remains; and, while there may be some shadowy semblance of an issue, the case may nevertheless be decided as a matter of law where the evidence shows clearly and palpably that the jury could reasonably draw but one conclusion.

15 (Citation and punctuation omitted.) Hendricks v. Enterprise Financial Corp., 199 Ga.App. 577, 581(4), 405 S.E.2d 566 (1991).

Appellants contend that when they could not keep up their loan payments, Pounders, a guarantor, spoke with O’Rear and his superior, Terence Lewis. Pounders deposed that Lewis and O’Rear agreed to accept offers from third-party buyers of $70,000 “per house” regardless of the amount owed.

The record shows that Appellants had found third-party buyers for three of the notes.

Pounders deposed that O’Rear told him the Bank had accepted the offer from the third-party buyers, but the Bank later reneged on the deal.

Invoking both the doctrines of equitable estoppel and promissory estoppel, Appellants argue that they were prejudiced by the Bank’s refusal to sell the notes because the potential third-party buyers of the three notes also were planning to buy the remaining loan portfolio for $70,000 per completed house.

Appellants further allege that both the Bank and the third-party buyers had agreed not to pursue Appellants for any deficiency.

The Bank denies agreeing to sell the notes and denies any agreement not to pursue Appellants for a deficiency.

“In order for equitable estoppel to arise, there must generally have been some intended deception in the conduct or declarations of the party to be estopped, or such gross negligence as to amount to constructive fraud, by which another has been misled to his injury.”

Appellants have pointed us to no portion of the record showing, nor have they made any argument, that the Bank, Lewis, or O’Rear “made the alleged representation with knowledge that a sale would not occur or intention that a sale would not be finalized.

Bare conclusions and contentions unsupported by an evidentiary basis in fact are insufficient to oppose a motion for summary judgment.”

Appellants have nowhere in their briefs addressed this requirement.

16 .OCGA § 24–4–27. Accord Medders v. Smith, 245 Ga.App. 323, 324(1), 537 S.E.2d 153 (2000) (party asserting estoppel must establish, inter alia, “conduct amounting to a false representation or concealment of material facts, or, at least, which is calculated to convey the impression that the facts are otherwise than, and inconsistent with, those which the party subsequently attempts to assert”). See also Fundus America (Atlanta) Ltd. Partnership v. RHOC Consolidation, 313 Ga.App. 118, 121(1)(a), n. 9, 720 S.E.2d 176 (2011) (party claiming equitable estoppel must prove it is free from fraud in the transaction, and must have acted in good faith and with reasonable diligence).

17 (Citation and punctuation omitted; emphasis supplied.) Griffin v. State Bank of Cochran, 312 Ga.App. 87, 91(1)(a), 718 S.E.2d 35 (2011).

A party asserting equitable estoppel also must show, among other things, that it changed its position prejudicially and justifiably relied to its detriment upon the representations at issue. A party asserting promissory estoppel must show reasonable reliance on the promise. Here, the affirmative defenses fail as a matter of law because Appellants could neither reasonably nor justifiably rely on what they allege were the Bank’s representations. The promissory notes specifically provide that “no modification of this agreement may be made without [the lender’s] express written consent.” The guaranties provide, “this guaranty may not be waived, modified, amended, terminated, released or otherwise changed except by a writing signed by the Undersigned and Lender.”

18 Medders, supra at 324–325(1), 537 S.E.2d 153.

19 State Farm Mut. Automobile Ins. Co. v. Penrow, 142 Ga.App. 463, 466(4), 236 S.E.2d 275 (1977).

20 Fidelity & Deposit Co., etc. v. West Point Constr. Co., 178 Ga.App. 578, 580(1), 344 S.E.2d 268 (1986).

Appellants have presented no evidence of the Bank’s written consent to any of the note sales, nor have they alleged that the Bank consented in writing.

Although Pounders deposed that a broker helped Appellants find buyers who executed a promissory note purchase agreement for three of the properties, that agreement contains a number of blank spaces and never was signed by the Bank.

Appellants could not reasonably rely on the alleged oral promises of Bank officials to sell the notes. Given the language in the notes and guaranties, those

21 Griffin, supra at 95(2)(a), 718 S.E.2d 35 (no reasonable reliance on oral representations for sale of bank where note and guaranty contained integration clauses providing that those documents constituted the entire agreement of the parties).

clear and unambiguous provision[s] served to place [Appellants] on due notice that [they] could not thereafter reasonably rely upon any words or other course of dealing to [their] inducement, other than a modification agreement actually reduced to writing….

Likewise, in view of this provision [the Bank] could not reasonably expect that [its] particular conduct, even when such conduct is viewed in the light most favorable to [Appellants], would induce the asserted action or forbearance.

22 (Citations and punctuation omitted.) Gerdes v. Russell Rowe Communications, Inc., 232 Ga.App. 534, 536(2), 502 S.E.2d 352 (1998) (reliance on oral agreement not reasonable where contract provides only for written modification).

Accord OCGA § 13–3–44(a). See, e.g., Dukes v. Board of Trustees, etc., 280 Ga. 550, 553, 629 S.E.2d 240 (2006) (detrimental reliance, as an essential element of equitable estoppel, is not a factor where estoppel cannot be applied as a matter of law).

The trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to the Bank on Appellants’ estoppel claim.

Judgment affirmed in part and reversed in part, and case remanded.

MILLER and BLACKWELL, JJ., concur.

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Bankers

Mortgage Servicer PHH Ocwen: Scammin’ Homeowners Since 2008, with Government and Judicial Approval

The mortgage servicing industry constantly refuses, misallocates or has some other reason for not crediting customers mortgages with the payment to induce foreclosure.

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News 6, DEO save 72-year-old Titusville woman from foreclosure in home assistance glitch

‘This just made our Christmas,’ woman’s daughter says

DEC 13, 2022 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: DEC 14, 2022

This known scheme to defraud citizens of their home and put them into foreclosure prematurely has been endorsed by the judiciary and government to aid the theft of affordable housing for the benefit of Wall St.

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – A 72-year-old Titusville woman and her daughter found themselves on the brink of foreclosure after Homeowner Assistance Funds issued by the Department of Economic Opportunity went missing.

Nilda Molina and her daughter, Millie Aguirre, contacted News 6 and Make Ends Meet after their mortgage company, NewRez C/O PHH Mortgage Services, issued a foreclosure notice the day before Thanksgiving.

“Not a single payment has been received by the mortgage company,”

Aguirre told News 6.

“I’m nervous, I feel like I’m worse off now (than) before I entered the program.”

Molina has lived in her Titusville home for nearly 30 years, and according to documents obtained by News 6, was approved for mortgage and utility funds for 18 months on July 13, 2022.

Aguirre said the DEO indicated the payments had been issued, but according to the mortgage company, the funds were never deposited into Mrs. Molina’s account.

The DEO confirmation letter said the payments “will be made directly to your service provider and may process at different times.”

News 6 contacted the DEO and a representative got to work immediately.

The money, all 6 months of missing mortgage payments, were issued Monday.

In an email to News 6, her daughter wrote in part,

“We got results. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We could not have gotten this done without you. This just made our Christmas.”

During our interview, Aguirre said she and her mother felt News 6 would have the answer.

“The first thing we thought was we should come to Getting Results on Channel 6 and see if they could help us,”

Aguirre said.

“Here you are and I thank you so much for that.”

In a statement to News 6, DEO Press Secretary Leigh McGowan said in part,

“If homeowners are not seeing their awarded Florida HAF funds applied to their mortgage account, we encourage Florida HAF recipients to review their Florida HAF award letter. All award letters are emailed to Florida HAF recipients when they are initially awarded assistance.”

Each award letter states the name of the company to which the payment will be made.

If the name of the company in the award letter differs from the name of the company their mortgage payments are regularly sent to each month, the best course of action for Florida HAF recipients is to contact the Florida Homeowner Assistance Fund Customer Assistance Center for assistance at 833-987-8997, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

LIF Comment: More information about  homeowner assistance in states outside Florida (nationwide) is available on CFPB’s website.

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• Help us promote our campaign through marketing, pr, advertising and reaching out to government, law firms and anyone that will listen and can assist.

Thank you for your trust, belief and support in our conviction to help Floridian residents and citizens nationwide take back their freedom. Your Donations and your Voice are so important.



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Editors Choice

A Message for Felon Francis Santa: We Cannot Be Bribed. Stop the Harassment

Once a person has been convicted of a felony, he or she can be considered a felon for life, according to the strict meaning of the word.

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Dear Santa…..

DEC. 12., 2022

We’ve set aside your plethora of harassing emails and bribes for many months. Indeed, we have never contacted the ex-wife below, who is desperate to provide more unfavorable information about you, Francis “Frank” Santa.

But now your emails are becoming both incessant and threatening, which means we have to publish all the information for our own safety.

You are a convicted felon Francis “Frank” Santa. Considering your stalking behavior, that makes you a very dangerous and untrustworthy person.

We are stating in this public forum: cease and desist from your writings, threats and stop tryin’ to bribe us with “donations”  – which are not donations as they are based on LIF and LIT removing an article about you, which is based on the real truth, no bull.

And remember Francis Santa, you are the one who came charging at us with a takedown request for the Ringel’s, indicted in NYC.

In return, all we did was google you and your business to find out who we were dealin’ with.

That’s when we discovered the information about your criminal past, which was recovered from publicly accessible information.

LIF and LIT didn’t ‘destroy’ you Frank, you did that all by yourself.

May 17, 2022

your-name

Francis Santa

your-email

fs.businessimagelift@gmail.com

your-subject

I am coming hat in hand to you for help.

your-message

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am sincerely and humbly asking you for help. I do not know who I upset to find myself being personally punished on your website but there my be a good reason for which an apology on my part may be need.

If I have wronged someone there I am deeply sorry.

I am a spiritual person and have worked very hard to get to where I am in my life after having my world destroyed 11 years ago.

I have changed and I take responsibility for all my past issues, but more important to me now in life is that if I have done something to someone to offended them even without knowing why, I apologize and more forward.

Please contact me back by email or phone (305)967-3168 so I can make amends.

I do know who has so much dislike for me and took the time to hurt my wife, children and grandchildren and me and but I must have hurt them deeply for the posting to be put up about me.

Last, please understand I am not asking for sympathy or asking you to remove it.

If I have harmed someone in the last 6 years and I am wrong for something I personal did then I deserve it but also if I did nothing I don’t.

Again, please contact me and tell me what I have to do to make things right and discuses this.

Very Respectfully,

Francis

Jun 9, 2022

your-name

Francis Santa

your-email

franksanta054@yahoo.com

your-subject

Need your help

your-message

Dear Sir/Madam,

I sent an email to info@lawsinflorida.com and did not receive a response.

I really need your help, please see attached.

Multi_Upload

https://lawsinflorida.com/wp-content/uploads/wp_dndcf7_uploads/wpcf7-files/Francis-Santa-lawsinflorida.pdf

Jul 22, 2022

your-name

GINA PELLICCIO

your-email

deadmom1960@gmail.com

your-subject

Francis Frank Santa

your-message

I read with great interest your article on my former spouse – what you don’t know is that Mr. Santa is currently in arrears for child support in the amount of $196,000.

I can provide documentation for proof.

I find it quite amusing that this man cries poor mouth, continues to hide assets, resides in a gated community in Boca Raton and has started this bogus foundation.

Leopards do not change their spots –

You do realize he also spent 5 of a 15 year bid in NYS prison for a credit repair scam in which he stole 2.5 MILLION; was prosecuted by DA Morgenthau’s office and was ultimately released to the state of Florida for his parole and probation.

Probation doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what he is doing.

Child Support enforcement doesn’t give a rats ass and good luck trying to get in touch with someone.

I will never see that money he owes – – I can’t even get a life insurance policy on him – something he was to provide for his FIRST born – not the other children he has – one of which is a convicted counterfeitter.

https://www.wpbf.com/article/santa-arrested-in-nordstrom-parking-garage/1311487#

https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/delray-beach-man-sentenced-making-and-possessing-counterfeit-currency

I encourage LIF to contact me.

October 13, 2022

your-name

Francis Santa

your-email

f.michael@businessimagelift.com

your-subject

Need your help ( https://lawsinflorida.com/where-is-he-now-fraudster-francis-santa-was-sentenced-to-88-months-for-conspiracy/ )

your-message

I sent you an email many months ago.

I have put my life back together.

The past 11 years I have paid dearly for what happen.

My family has suffered the most because of the issue.

As for myself I feel that what I went threw changed me and made me a better person and took me off a bad path.

I am trying so hard to move on.

Your article about me is destroying my family.

Please contact me back to see if you can help me in some way to remove or de-index this.

I do understand that you spent a tremendous in research and time posting this.

I have no problem paying and administrative fees that you need.

I am coming to you with hat in hand for your help

Where Is He Now? Fraudster Francis Santa Was Sentenced to 88 Months for Conspiracy

Respectfully,

Francis

December 1, 2022

Donor Comment: I wanted to donate more and will each month when I have extra money.

December 1, 2022

Donor Comment: I would like to also advertise with you.

December 8, 2022

Subject:

francis santa where is he now

From:

the former mrs santa <deadmom1960@gmail.com>

Submitted on: Dec 8, 2022 at 20:26

your-name

the former mrs santa

your-email

deadmom1960@gmail.com

your-subject

francis santa where is he now

your-message

Homepage

ha ha now he is offering a scholarship???

lol scam people into giving money to his “foundation” that isn’t a 501c3 – so he can give it to “other” charities. Why don’t I just donate to them myself and get the tax write off?

are people that stupid?

December 8, 2022

your-name

FORMER MRS SANTA

your-email

DEADMOM1960@GMAIL.COM

your-subject

FRANCIS SANTA – WHERE ARE THEY NOW

your-message

YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN KNOWING THAT IN ADDITIONAL TO THE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE MR SANTA HAS SCAMMED – HE CURRENTLY OWES OVER 195000 IN BACK CHILD SUPPORT WHILST LIVING LARGE IN BOCA – HE HAS MADE HIMSELF UNTOUCHABLE SINCE NO ASSETS ARE IN HIS NAME.

ARE YOU ALSO AWARE THAT HE SERVED 5-15 IN NYS PRISON FOR A DEBT RELIEF SCAM?

December 12, 2022

 I am waiting patiently to talk to you regarding your posting on LIF.  I am being as respectful as I can at this time.

 I know you own the site along with LIT and you are responsible for the posting.

You have turned my life upside down for no reason.  The internet can be very cruel.

I have suffered enough with my family and you have put my life in danger.

I could understand if I did something wrong but that is not the case.

Please remove the posting or de-index it from the search engines.  I am not the only person you did this to for no reason.

 What I find interesting is that you are a media company helping people and you are also a company that destroys people.

Do your clients know this?

All I want is for you to remove the posting.

You have hurt me for more than 9 months.

I think that you made your point (whatever it was)

Donor Comment: Thank you

Boca man pleads guilty to conspiring to bribe bankers and fake financial documents

AUG 9, 2011 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: APR 22, 2022

WEST PALM BEACH — The owner of a Boca Raton company pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to bribe local bankers and falsify financial documents to secure more than $1.5 million in fraudulent small business loans and lines of credit.

Francis Santa admitted orchestrating what federal prosecutors have described as an unique form of fraud: enlisting corrupt bankers to approve business loans for clients with poor credit histories. Santa and his employees at Palm Beach Business Consultants attempted to push through more than $10 million in bogus loans and lines of credit since the firm opened in 2003, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

After federal authorities caught on to Santa’s scheme, he began working with them and agreed to introduce an undercover FBI agent to the bankers. The sting culminated in January with the arrests of 15 people, including Santa, a Broward Schools assistant principal, a former Broward Sheriff’s investigative aide and seven Broward and Palm Beach bankers.

YOUR DONATION(S) WILL HELP US:

• Continue to provide this website, content, resources, community and help center for free to the many homeowners, residents, Texans and as we’ve expanded, people nationwide who need access without a paywall or subscription.

• Help us promote our campaign through marketing, pr, advertising and reaching out to government, law firms and anyone that will listen and can assist.

Thank you for your trust, belief and support in our conviction to help Floridian residents and citizens nationwide take back their freedom. Your Donations and your Voice are so important.



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Florida

August 2022 List of Thievin’ and Lyin’ Attorneys In the State of Florida

The consistent theme for August 2022, and indeed most months, is Florida lawyers theft of client funds and settlement funds.

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August 1, 2022 Disciplinary Actions

AUG 1, 2022 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: NOV 15, 2022

The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined six attorneys, suspending three and disbarring three.

And LIF’s highlighted a few of these rogue attorneys before.

Timmy W. Cox, Sr., 7401 S.W. 16th St., Plantation,

suspended effective immediately following a July 13 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2014)

Cox failed to respond to official Bar inquiries.

The Bar filed its Petition for Contempt and Order to Show Cause on April 29.

The Florida Supreme Court ordered Cox to show cause by May 18. Cox failed to file a response to the court’s Order to Show Cause.

(Case No: SC22-598)

James F. Feuerstein III, 22724 Stallion Dr., Sorrento,

disbarred effective immediately per a July 21 court order as Feuerstein is currently suspended for 91 days (by court order dated April 21).

(Admitted to practice: 1987)

Feuerstein failed to respond to official Bar inquiries in three separate Bar matters and failed to file a response to the Court’s Order to Show Cause.

(Case No: SC22-618)

Thievin’ from Your Own Mamma’s Estate

John Hadsall, 18198 3rd St. E., Redington Shores,

disbarred, effective 30 days following a July 7 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 1980)

Hadsall was found to have improperly transferred assets from the estate of his mother for personal use.

He failed to show by clear, satisfactory, and convincing evidence that he acted in good faith throughout the transactions and failed to show that his mother acted freely, intelligently, and voluntarily in gifting him funds from her accounts.

Hadsall subsequently attempted to render himself judgment proof to thwart the estate’s attempt to recoup the funds.

(Case No: SC21-1444)

Melanie L. Johnson, 4790 Longbow Dr., Titusville,

disbarred effective immediately following a July 14 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2004)

Johnson misappropriated client funds.

In response to the Bar’s request for records needed to perform a compliance audit of her law office trust account, Johnson reconstructed her records and submitted records to the Bar that contained false and misleading information.

(Case No: SC21-1675)

Thievin’ from Clients, and Received a PPP Loan

Bradley Nephase Laurent, 8615 Commodity Circle, Suite 6, Orlando,

emergency suspended effective 30 days following a July 14 court order but to cease accepting new clients as of July 14.

(Admitted to practice: 2005)

Laurent misappropriated client funds from his law office trust account, some of which he repaid from the proceeds of a Paycheck Protection Program loan he obtained on behalf of his law firm for COVID-19 relief.

(Case No: SC22-851)

Thievin’ from Clients, and Lyin’ to the Bar

James Santos Wilkie, 1333 S. Ocean Blvd., Suite 1323, Pompano Beach,

emergency suspended effective immediately following a July 19 court order.

(Admitted to practice: 2013)

Wilkie misappropriated client settlement funds and made misrepresentations to the Bar during their investigation.

(Case No: SC22-911)

Meet James S. Wilkie – Managing Partner

James was originally born in North Miami Beach; however, due to his father being a United States Marine Corps Officer (Col. James R. Wilkie Ret.), he lived in dozens of places across the continental United States. James graduated from Collierville High School in Collierville, Tennessee, where he elected to remain and receive his Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Memphis. While attending the U of M, he joined the prestigious fraternity Pi Kappa Phi. Furthermore, Mr. Wilkie went on to make the Dean and Presidents list through his undergraduate education. He was accepted to Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing Michigan, where he placed in the top 4% of his class.

Wanting to be closer to his family in South Florida, he transferred to Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, where he graduated with his Doctorate of Juris Prudence in 2011. Mr. Wilkie attended the Nova Southeastern University Family Law Clinic, where he worked with both The Thomas Family Law Firm in Memphis Tennessee, and Legal Aid of Palm Beach County Florida. During law school, his concentration was Personal Injury, Criminal Defense, Family Law, Civil Litigation, and Dependency. He accepted a position with Katz & Katz, P.A. where he practiced a wide variety of law, including but not limited too; Plaintiff Personal Injury Protection Litigation, Personal Injury Plaintiff, Contract Actions, and Criminal Defense. Eventually in 2013, Mr. Wilkie opened the doors to The Wilkie Law Firm, P.A. practicing mainly Plaintiff Personal Injury and complex negligence cases. He remained the managing partner of The Wilkie Law Firm until his assentation to of counsel with Salpeter Gitkin, LLP through his now conjoined practice in 2018.

Mr. Wilkie has recovered millions of dollars for his clients and boasts a wide variety of trial experience in multiple areas of law. Mr. Wilkie values himself as a well versed civil litigation attorney utilizing his knowledge and extended experience to provide his clients with the most advantageous outcome. Having successfully co-counselled cases in Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi, Mr. Wilkie’s wide variety of experience and aggressive nature continues to achieve leaps and bounds for his clients.

James is a long time Florida resident and enjoys golf, softball, basketball, fishing and spending time with his wife Crystal and his two daughters Amilia and Anessa.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Injuries

If you have been struck by a motor vehicle while riding your bike or walking then it may be necessary to seek financial compensation for your injuries. Medical bills, lost wages from time off work, and other considerations can create serious complications for your life beyond the pain and suffering associated with your injuries.

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Car Accidents

If you have been hurt in a car accident, do not accept any settlement that is offered by an insurance company without first reviewing it with a skilled and experienced attorney who can advise you more thoroughly about your legal rights and options.

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Motorcycle Accidents

If you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another party’s negligence or recklessness, then you may be able to file a civil lawsuit seeking financial compensation for damages rather than simply relying upon an insurance claim to meet your needs.

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Truck Accidents

If you have been hurt in an automobile wreck involving a commercial truck then we can help you to explore the possible merits of legal action and to determine whether the driver, trucking company, truck manufacturer, or another third-party may be liable.

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Catastrophic Injuries

If you have suffered life-complicating injuries and would like to know more about the possible advantages of filing a civil lawsuit then you should consult with a skilled and experienced attorney about your case.

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Cruise Ship & Boating Accidents

If you have been hurt in an accident involving another person’s failure to properly operate, design, or maintain a watercraft then you might wish to consider filing a civil lawsuit seeking financial compensation for your injuries. You may be able to recover the resources that you need to address medical bills, boat repair costs, and other appropriate damages.

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Premises Liability

Premises Liability If you or your loved one has been hurt in an accident that occurred on another party’s property then you may be able to pursue financial compensation through a civil lawsuit. Medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages may be recoverable.

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Medical Malpractice

If you or your loved one has been the victim of a medical mistake and has experienced adverse health effects as a result, then you may wish to investigate the possibility of pursuing a medical malpractice claim. A successful lawsuit can gain you the resources that you need for present and future care and may also help you obtain financial compensation for other relevant damages.

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Products Liability

If you have been sickened or hurt by a dangerous product then you may be able to file a civil lawsuit seeking financial compensation for your injuries. A successful legal action might help you cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, and other considerations appropriate to the specific details of your case.

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Personal Injury

If you have been hurt in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness and are looking for a compassionate and committed legal representative, then we can help you fight to hold them accountable for the harm that you have suffered.

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Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

If you have been in an automobile accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist then it may be possible to pursue additional financial compensation through a civil lawsuit. A successful legal action might gain you the resources necessary to make up the gap between the policy maximum and the damages you have experienced.

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Wrongful Death

While prevailing in a wrongful death lawsuit against the person or entity responsible for your loved one’s death may seem like a hollow victory, the reality is that it may be the best or only way to ensure that you have the financial resources that you need to cope with the painful adjustments you must make.

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The Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar and its Department of Lawyer Regulation are charged with administering a statewide disciplinary system to enforce Supreme Court rules of professional conduct for the more than 110,000 members of The Florida Bar. Key discipline case files that are public record are posted to attorneys’ individual online Florida Bar profiles. To view discipline documents, follow these steps. Information on the discipline system and how to file a complaint are available at www.floridabar.org/attorneydiscipline.
Court orders are not final until time expires to file a rehearing motion and, if filed, determined. The filing of such a motion does not alter the effective date of the discipline. Disbarred lawyers may not re-apply for admission for five years. They are required to go through an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the Bar exam. Attorneys suspended for periods of 91 days and longer must undergo a rigorous process to regain their law licenses including proving rehabilitation. Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment.

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