Lucas-Van Zenten -- gem scam - Linda Stocker Cecil Starkman
Page 7 of 10

Author:  Gemster [ Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:06 pm ]
Post subject: 

Last week I received a check in the mail likewise, with likewise paperwork seeming to indicate that there will be future checks. The check I received is approximately 39% of what I had hitherto lost. It is now deposited and locked in my savings account.

God willing, I and everyone else will receive the balance of the money we had hitherto lost. In the impact statement letter I wrote to the judge, "I want my $_____ back with interest. I have a future to build with it."

I know I've learned an important lesson from this.

Author:  emdee [ Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:00 am ]
Post subject:  To Gemster

Gemster, I'm so proud that we all have received what we have so far. I wonder why everyone else is reporting a 60-something-percent check and yours is 39%? I certainly hope you receive more since you got back a lower percentage. But, of course, I hope we all receive more! What we've gotten so far, though, is more than I ever thought. I expected to receive nothing back, actually. I credit Mr. Cinnamo with that. Out of everyone we contacted, HE took the ball and ran with it while the others just filed us away (it seems).

Like you - I think I've learned a valuable lesson as well.

My only regret is that "Linda Stocker" and "Cecil Starkman" and the "names" rest of you dealt with are still running loose. But, I'll take my learned lesson and move on.

I'm proud of all of us, actually. We contacted everyone we knew about these thieves and did what we could to protect others. The agency I'm most disappointed in is the BBB. I will never use their endorsement as a positive incentive ever again.


Author:  Gemster [ Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: To Gemster

emdee wrote:
I will never use their endorsement as a positive incentive ever again.

In fairness, the BBB does ot endorse any particular business, if you read their site, and they also acknowledge that a BBB seal of approval does not indicate a sure-fire good entity.

Author:  sizzle5u [ Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Updates?

Wondering if anyone has received further compensation?

Also still curious about tax liabilities as pertains to this kind of restitution? The laws are grey and seem to lean favorably to only certain cases. Any good CPA out there that can shed some light?

Author:  Gemster [ Sat Nov 10, 2007 1:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: To Gemster

Gemster wrote:
In fairness, the BBB does ot endorse any particular business, if you read their site, and they also acknowledge that a BBB seal of approval does not indicate a sure-fire good entity.

Typographical error. The "ot" above should be "not".

Author:  spake [ Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Another check arrived!

My relative received a second reimbursement check today! It was for several hundred dollars, or roughly 10 percent of the unreimbursed remainder. Very pleased and hope others have similar news in the days to come.

Author:  prospector [ Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:27 am ]
Post subject: 

To my great surprise I received a second reinbursement check yesterday. Thanks again to Mr. Cinnamo and all involved. :o :shock: :D :!: :!: :!:

Author:  sizzle5u [ Sat Nov 24, 2007 10:46 am ]
Post subject:  Another Check!

Just received another check today! Looks to be 10.4% of the remaining loss. Thank you again! :)

Author:  Gemster [ Sun Nov 25, 2007 12:55 am ]
Post subject: 

Received a check today for 2.4% of the total amount lost. It's money, but I feel that I should call or write them to verify that they have my accurate total loss on file. Not that that would guarantee anything, but I'd feel better.

Author:  scottiegee [ Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:10 am ]
Post subject: 

Got a check for approx 4% of my losses this weekend. Gemster, I think the amounts from now on may not be apples to apples.

Thanks again to everyone here. Maybe someday we'll get it all back.

Author:  oldjeepguy [ Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:02 pm ]
Post subject: 

I too have received a second check as of today. This is great news. This second check covers about 6% of my total loss so perhaps we will get all of our lost monies back. I hope so but to be honest, I was ecstatic to receive the first check.

Author:  scottiegee [ Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

Not to be a bummer, but I doubt we'll see many more checks if any at all. The first wave of checks was probably funded by Mr. Eisenberg's bank accounts, the second by the liquidation of his assets. I would guess that he is now for all purposes flat broke and has no more money to offer restitution-wise. But we can always hope otherwise.

On another note, has anyone tried to sell any of these stones? Are we legally allowed to now? (They're not considered evidence are they?) Obviously we'd only be talking tens of dollars instead of the tens of thousands we were promised but I'd still rather have $25 in cash than three random green stones sitting in my desk drawer.

Author:  oldjeepguy [ Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Scottiegee, I asked Mr. Cinnamo the same question about whether we could sell the stones and he didn't have a definitive answer. One thing he did mention is that if we don't hear otherwise, we should be able to sell them. However, we need to get them reappraised and NOT use the original certification that came with them when we originally purchased them. He also told me to document the sale and keep a copy of this documentation just in case. Hope this helps

Author:  emdee [ Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:24 pm ]
Post subject:  I got a 2nd one too

I received a 2nd check too. Thanks to Mr. Cinnamo again!!

As far as selling the piece, I won't try to. Personally, I don't want to pass it off to someone else if it is worthless. Maybe it will make a pretty necklace! LOL

I feel so much better having received some compensation but I still wish that "Linda Stocker" and "Cecil Starkman" could be found and charged.

Thanks to all of you who contributed with information and status reports!! Maybe we won't need this site again but I sure am glad it's here!! Thanks to those who run this site for allowing our scam to be made public.

edited to add: It looks like the LVZ website has been taken down.


Author:  znoEvel [ Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Tax liability & lawsuit

I'm new to this forum, but I also got swindled by Lucas Van Zenten. I have also received a couple of restitution checks. I was too embarassed to look for other people taken in by this scam, until a google search found this forum.

User sizzle5u asked about tax liability. I'm no expert, but the bottom line is, court-ordered restitution is NOT income. It's exactly what it says: Someone is paying you back for a loss. In lawsuits, when someone is found liable for damages, and ordered to pay the plaintiff, the judgement is not subject to income tax. I don't think it would be any different in a criminal case. Of course, when you deposit the restitution checks, the bank is going to report this to the IRS (if like me, they are several thousand dollars). The IRS may want to know where this money came from, so you need to keep your documents related to this case, like the letter attached to the 1st check. But they can't call it income. Also, you didn't make any profit from this, you are only recovering what you spent for the emeralds in the first place. And I don't think anyone on this forum has said they have recovered all their money yet, so you are still in the loss column.

If you are going to try to declare a loss on your income tax form due to theft, then I'm not sure how it impacts what I just said. And if you are in Canada, the laws are probably different there.

I haven't read all the posts here, but I was wondering if anyone knew the status of Lucas Van Zenten as a company, and if there is a lawsuit (especially a class-action) that has been filed against them.

Page 7 of 10 All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group