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Friday, September 29, 2006

LAWYERS, GUNS, AND MONEY

Two months ago, Smoke and Mirrors moved to a new facility in Williamsburg. Chris and I were very excited, we spend a lot of money building out our new space, and new horizons were beckoning.

Then the shit hit the fan.

We didn't do our due diligence. We moved in without a lease into a space we hadn't researched. Had we spent a little more time looking into it we would have found that there were eviction proceedings against our 'landlord'.

We should have smelled a rat when the 'landlord' refused to give us a receipt for the cash deposit he demanded.

We should have been convinced of some funny business from the get-go, but we were excited, and yes, naive.

Six weeks into our new arrangement, the federal marshal showed up and sealed the building, delivering it, and all our gear, into the hands of the buildings owner.

Our 'landlord' hadn't been paying his rent.

Our 'landlord' had made a deal with a gentleman who is currently serving an eleven year sentence.

We stepped in some serious shit.

Two weeks later, after retaining a lawyer, a deal seems to have been worked out that will allow us to enter the building and take our gear.

Then it's time for another move.

Yay!

Comments:
Again, I'm sorry you guys have got to go through all this crap. i hope the rescue mission goes well and all of your gear is returned to you in good shape.
 
I think someone is in need of a serious ASS-kicking. The "landlord" needs to be drawn & quartered.
 
I concur.

As a side note, it wasn't a federal marshal, just a marshal, but she didn't look much like Wyatt Earp.
 
Man oh man I think we need to kick some A$$… on the real tip I know that you and Chris will prevail, the life and business lessons you have learned through this experience will become great tools for you both in all future endeavors…hey have you ever had the opportunity to work with Mariah Carey? heheheheheheh
 
I experienced a very similar situation in NYC (Hell's Kitchen)in 2000. The business I was involved with was renting from an owner that wasn't paying the mortgage on the building we shared. Of course, we didn't know that at the time. One day our neighbor/landlord, locked up his side of the building and pinked slipped his workers. Never said a thing to us, never saw him again.

Within a week we were getting inquiries about the landlord and the truth became known. I suggested to my partner (I use the term very loosely) that we halt rent payments and bank them.
F*ck back when getting f*cked. The process took a several months to play out.

Luckily, we also had some good space in Williamsburg to move our operation to. Unfortunately, my partner didn't bank the withheld rent like I had suggested. Things got ugly and I decided to pick up my other career in WDC. My time in NYC was fun, I learned a lot and I don't regret a thing.
 
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