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invested in a privately run hospital, need legal help with getting our money back

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arcane929


Arresto Menor
Hello! I'm new here and I've been trying to look for legal advice and I hope someone here has any experience or knowledge that would help my family in getting our money back.

Our issue is that my mom was approached by her friend who was operating a small private hospital and was coerced into investing her money to the said hospital. She was told that it was a safe investment and that if she ever needed her money back, she wouldn't have any problems getting it and that while it's invested in his hospital, it will be earning "dividends".

My mom was unemployed and had her money from the property that we sold while my dad was bed ridden due to stroke. She was taking care of him 24/7 and she thought that investing in a hospital would be a good idea since it was "safe" and that the owner was my dad's doctor. Since being unemployed and being my father's full-time caregiver, her resources started to run out due to hospital admissions, check ups and medication.

The owner had promised my mom that she will be receiving dividends but when the promised date came, there was always an excuse why he cannot give anything. Whether it was because the hospital hasn't received money from Philhealth or that he was still paying for the operating costs of the hospitals. It's been years since then and my dad passed away early 2016. My mom had tried to talk to the owner in getting her investment back from the hospital but she was given the runaround. Whether she needs to sell the stocks to other share holders (to which she wasn't given any assistance into how she needs to do that or any information as to who the other share holders are so she can approach them), or she was completely ignored.

My mom has already gone to SEC and found out that her name wasn't even on the list of share holders of the company. We had already asked for legal assistance from a lawyer, however, my mom is barely getting by through her day to day and we are completely out of money.

I was hoping for any legal advise or any assistance from the good people of this forum. If anyone can point us to even a pro-bono lawyer who would be able to help our situation since we're out of money and cannot pay any legal fees at the moment.

Thank you for taking time in reading this and thank you in advance for any help.

Regards,
Tony

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Lunkan


Reclusion Perpetua
Are there any contract, pamflet or something telling about the deal?
I mean more than your mother have shares.

Which RESULTS has the company reported to SEC and to your mother during the years your mother has owned shares in that hospital?
NOTE! Normaly there are dividend payouts only when it's a good profit. If the results are bad, then it's was IMMORAL to make your mother to invest, but big risk it's NOT a (provable) crime.

(I suppouse your mother is NOT counted as the "public" as investor. Do you know if the hospital has tried to get investments from the public?
If so they need SPECIAL permit. If they fail to have that, they are some in trouble.)

"My mom has already gone to SEC and found out that her name wasn't even on the list of share holders of the company. "
Did they let her see the list? If so she can see the names of other registered owners to ask if they want to buy her shares.
Or if they are disapointed too, perhaps file a case TOGETHER. OR sometimes it can be better to THREAT the opponent you will file a case if he don't do as you want, BUT that's when the case is strong.
If many enough shareholders want it, they can sometimes demand the company to end and by that get some of the money back.

There are some lawyers, who don't demand any normal pay, BUT they demand a part of the payout if a case is wonn.

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arcane929


Arresto Menor
Hello Lunkan! Thank you for your reply.

She was given a certificate showing that she owns a certain number of shares and a letter saying how much money they received from her. Other than that, it was some certificate of incorporation for the company and the statement of Financial Position as of Dec. 2014.

Unfortunately, my mom did take a big risk since she's not really well versed with these things. I'm not sure what "results" the company reported to the SEC as my mom's pretty much in the dark with what's going on with the hospital. It took her a while and a lot of nagging to even be able to be invited to one of their "shareholder's meeting" a couple of years ago but according to her, it was all for show and not even their accountant was there to present any numbers about their investments.

I don't think the person she spoke to at the SEC showed her the list of the shareholders. Unfortunately, she's not well versed in these things so it was easy for her to be coerced in investing. She doesn't know what questions to ask or what to look out for. She trusted the owner since he was my dad's doctor.

What would constitute being considered as a "public investor"? How could we determine if she was counted as a public investor vs a private investor?

From what my mom has told me, another shareholder has spoken to her a while back but advised her against taking action since they too had invested a lot of money from the company. Besides, other investors too may think the hospital isn't doing well and would refrain from putting in more money so it would be difficult to sell the shares my mom owns.

From what I know, my mom has spoken to a lawyer and had already sent out a "demand letter" to the hospital. I just don't know what the next step would be after that... I'm not sure a demand letter would do anything. She really just wants her money back from them.

Thank you again for your reply.

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Lunkan


Reclusion Perpetua
Didn't your mom get any info in WRITING BEFORE she invested?

"What would constitute being considered as a "public investor"? How could we determine if she was counted as a public investor vs a private investor? "
The hospital HAVE TO
/send info to SEC every year.
/and to BIR
/(and I suppouse to let shareholders know too.

DEMAND in writing from the company result and ballance sheet for every year from the year before she became share holder until the last. (I don't know if deadline has passed yet for 2016 for them.)
If they refuse, then report them to SEC and demand the info from them, as well as shareholders list.

Well. I don't know how a court would count your mother, but I guess NOT as public. Public is when inviting ANYONE to invest for instance through internet. This was more private person to person.

"From what my mom has told me, another shareholder has spoken to her a while back but advised her against taking action since they too had invested a lot of money from the company. "
That's an odd advice. Perhaps they wanted to take action BEFORE your mother... Smile
How did she find that other shareholder?
When is next shareholders meeting? I guess within a few months. Then she go there and ask for contact info so they can make a case together if they decide so.

"Besides, other investors too may think the hospital isn't doing well and would refrain from putting in more money so it would be difficult to sell the shares my mom owns. "
Corect, but this seem to be bad handled, so I believe small chance to get sold. But can aim at
/liquidation (or what it's called in Phils when quiting the business and sell out the assets). Then it's normal to get less, but something.
/IF find something PROVABLE criminal, then can compensation be demanded from the guilty if they agree to avoid court, or if court find them guilty.

"From what I know, my mom has spoken to a lawyer and had already sent out a "demand letter" to the hospital. I just don't know what the next step would be after that... I'm not sure a demand letter would do anything."
Well. Sometimes such help.
How much money is it?
Up to 100 000 (200 000?) can be handled in small claims court,
BUT there she don't get compensation for lawyer costs.

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arcane929


Arresto Menor
"Didn't your mom get any info in WRITING BEFORE she invested?"

Unfortunately my mom didn't really do her homework before she invested in the hospital. She just invested all because she knew the owner and thought that he wouldn't do this to her. banghead

"How did she find that other shareholder?"

She met some of them at the first and only shareholder's meeting she attended last year (i think).

"When is next shareholders meeting?"

We don't know when the next shareholders meeting is. The owner had stopped replying to her attempts to contact him a few months ago.

"How much money is it?"

Let's just say it's in the low 7 figures. banghead

Thank you again Lunkan


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Lunkan


Reclusion Perpetua
"We don't know when the next shareholders meeting is. The owner had stopped replying to her attempts to contact him a few months ago."
Write him a letter, demanding the info, and TELL it will become a case, if he don't answer FAST (Write a specific last date a few weeks ahead.)
Ask SEC for the info anyway to judge how strong/weak case you have.

Then you can decide if tell SEC about possible crime,
or make private case yourself or not.
The fraudalant (?) sell of shares, can often be hard to prove, that's why I asked if your mother had any info from before she bought shares.
It is NOT a crime to be bad at business...
Dividents are normaly only paid if the result is GOOD.
But it seem to be a crime concerning missing information, BUT risk such wouldn't give any/litle money to your mother.

"Let's just say it's in the low 7 figures."
Oh that much. Then it's to much to suit small claims court.

There are much scams in the Philippines. Some victims have managed to get compensation by THREATEN to file a criminal case IF the scamer didn't compensate. (I don't know if the scamer in the case I know realy was a scamer, or only a bad businessman not thinking of what happen after year 6, not thinking of the investors had been promised to much from year 6, no chance for the scamer to fullfil. The victims got the whole business plus paid additional what the guilty can... In exchange the criminal case was skiped. That was a GROUP case the victims doing it together.

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