Sunday, May 3, 2009

Another Victim's Story - Part IV

Click here for The Sting – Part I
Click here for Name That ... Paralegal? – Part II
Click here for Will the Defendant Please Rise – Part III

In Will The Defendant Please Rise – Part III, Gemini’s case specifically addressed the incompetence and substandard document preparation services that were provided by Ted Ross.* Bo's story concerns additional allegations of fraud and violations, including, but not limited to forgery and the unlawful practice of law, and is set forth below, in his own words as provided to ALDAP. Bo's complaint arose from services he hired Ross to perform under his latest corporate incarnation, PPC, Inc., which was incorporated right around the time Gemini filed suit against River Springs Legal Services, Inc.

I, Bo Mahoney, declare:

  1. On or about November 2008, I searched the Internet for a paralegal to perform document preparation tasks related to an appeal I wished to file. I located PPC, Inc.
  2. I traveled to the offices of PPC, Inc. I met with a gentleman who introduced himself to me as Ted Ross.
  3. I discussed with Ross my intention to appeal . Ross listened to my rendition of the facts of my case and assured me that I had a good case and that he could help me. He explained that he had handled 16 cases last year and that he had won 15. He further advised that he was an attorney having graduated from law school, but that he “chose to be a paralegal.” He said that “we shouldn’t have a problem [with my case]." I then signed a contract and some blank forms for his use in preparing my documents. I paid him the sum $1,500.00 and signed the agreement for paralegal services, leaving behind multiple boxes and envelopes containing the pleadings and documents of my case file.
  4. During the first months of 2009 I received three notices of default from the court clerk, all concerning my case. I then attempted to contact Ross to inquire as to why I was in default and what that meant. I did not receive any response to my many telephone messages. I traveled to his office and finding him present, told him that I was concerned that I had received not one but three separate default notices from the court. I also explained to him that I had called the court clerk to inquire as to why I was receiving these notices. He, at that point, became angry and began to curse at me. He said “Why did you call the court? You are not to call the court. I am the one who is handling the case. You are not supposed to call the court.” He continued on to state that my case was not any good from the start.
  5. It was at this juncture that I began to feel uncomfortable with his services. I was surprised because he had been so eager to help me with my case during our initial consultation. His availability and enthusiasm waned soon after he received my payment of $1,500.00. I continued to check with the court clerk on a daily basis to confirm that I had not missed any deadlines with my filings as I distrusted Ross to perform as promised.
  6. It was during this time that I located Ms. Suzanne Ervine, a legal document assistant who referred me to Kathleen Mountjoy, a legal document assistant, and President of the Alliance of Legal Document Assistants (ALDAP). During my initial telephone conversations with Ms. Mountjoy, it became apparent to me that Ross of PPC, Inc. was not a legitimate legal document preparer. Ms. Mountjoy urged me to demand return of the fees I paid him. At that point, I was out $1,500.00 but did not wish to pursue him as he was in possession of my entire case file. In lieu of his recent behavior, I was concerned that my file might “disappear.”
  7. During the first week of March 2009, I arrived at the offices of PPC, Inc. with two of my workers to pick up the boxes of files previously left with him. I brought my workers to carry the boxes and to act as witnesses if necessary. Such was my level of distrust. Ross appeared surprised, but reasonably handed over boxes containing my case file. He had also included a box that did not belong to me and which I did not notice until I returned home with my files. When I did realize that I had indeed taken somebody else’s box of paperwork, I called Ross and identified the case name. He offered that I could return the box to his office “the next time you come up.” The documents contained in the strange box appeared to be documents related to appeal of a murder conviction.
  8. On the morning of March 9, 2009, I met with Suzanne Ervine and Kathleen Mountjoy. We discussed at length the events leading up to our meeting and my experiences with PPC, Inc and Ted Ross. It was at that meeting that Ms. Mountjoy requested I submit a complaint to the District Attorney’s Office. I did not wish to engage in further matters concerning Ross, but believed that I should work with Ms. Mountjoy and Ms. Ervine in their effort to protect others who may suffer similar experiences with PPC, Inc.
  9. Ms. Mountjoy had agreed to assist me with completion of my legal documents. Ms. Mountjoy, Ms. Ervine and I set about retrieving documents from the court’s original file. We made copies of several documents, including but not limited to documents prepared by Ross on my behalf. The specific documents were as follows:
    a. Declaration of Bo Mahoney in Support of Ex Parte Motion for and Order Allowing the Substitution of Plaintiff’s Attorney – Executed by Bo Mahoney and wife. Signatures authentic. (No accompanying documents found in court’s file).
    b. Notice of Appeal - Executed by Bo Mahoney and wife; attached proof of service executed by Ross.**
    c. Appellate’s Notice Designating Record On Appeal - Signature line indicates execution by Bo Mahoney. I did not sign this document. Proof of Service signed by Ross.
    d. Corrected Appellate’s Notice Designating Record On Appeal – Signature line indicates execution by Bo Mahoney. I did not sign this document. No proof of service found in court’s file.
    e. Corrected Appellate’s Notice Designating Record On Appeal – Signature line indicates execution by Bo Mahoney and wife. I did not sign this document. The signature of my wife is not authentic.
  10. I have not had any further contact with PPC, Inc. or Ted Ross.

Stay tuned to Scribe for more intrigue featuring…The Rogue.

* This is a true story. Content and identifiers have been changed to maintain confidentiality of the innocent, and the integrity of the official investigation.

** Mention of signatures is relevant as the forged signatures are almost identical and match the signatures contained on the proofs of service.

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