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☛ Avoiding pitfalls of cell-phone fraud 8-27-17

Posted by on Aug 27, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HEALTH AND WEALTH, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

AVOIDING THE PITFALLS OF CELL-PHONE FRAUD

 

By Rick Dennis
Aug. 27, 2017

INTERNET SALES AND FRAUD
As with any industry, bad actors seem to gravitate to the cell-phone industry, aspiring to make an easy buck off of unsuspecting buyers and sellers on the Internet. Such is the same in the cell-phone market. Recently, I decided to switch carriers and sell my Iphone 7 on the open market, via, Ebay. After registering with this Internet buying-and-selling giant for the first time, I acquired an ID number, listed my sale item and provided the Internet marketer with my PayPal code or PayPal.me/windrivercompanyllc.

 

Once I received my confirmation from Ebay, I started receiving a host of bids on my cell phone. Immediately recognizing a problem, I contacted Ebay customer service and informed them my cell phone wasn’t listed as a bidding item but instead was listed as a fixed-price item. When I went back into my account, I could clearly see my item was listed as a fixed-price item and not a bidding item. I again contacted Ebay and informed them of their computer error. For the record, Ebay assured me this malfunction would be immediately corrected. After a period of time, I decided to explore one of the bidder’s outrageous price offers to see what would happen.

 

My cell phone was listed for a fixed price and the bidder was offering me twice the fixed-price amount. In fact, the bidder’s price was more than the price of a new Iphone 7 of the same type and kind. The curious nature of the affair is that the bidder immediately asked me to “private message” her at a specific telephone number. Once contacted, the bidder requested me to provide her with my PayPal payment email address instead of using my direct link I previously provided to Ebay.

 

Finding this odd, I provided the bidder with my current PayPal email address that would link directly into my PayPal account. For the record, I use my PayPal account for a myriad of selling options to include, but not limited to, book sales, used horse training equipment sales, etc. Therefore, I’m perfectly familiar with the ins and outs of how PayPal operates, including transferring funds directly into my business bank account.

 

After providing this bidder with the payment information, I received an authentic-looking email from what I thought was Ebay/PayPal,, stating the bidder had actually deposited funds into my PayPal account, except the alleged email stated “a hold was on my funds until after receiving shipment confirmation.” The email even contained a link to contact the bidder and provide the tracking number of my Iphone.

 

As a professional Risk Analyst and Risk Manager, there are several factors in this saga which brought my suspicion to the point that this was a fraudulent sale, such as:

 

1)         The bidders offering price for the cell phone was more than I paid for it and more than the bidder could purchase a new one for.

 

2)         In all of the sales I performed through PayPal, I’ve never had any of my funds restricted.

 

3)         The “bidder/payee’s name” and “ship to/recipient’s name” were different, as well as being located in two different states.

 

4)         The payee’s shipping instructions were immediate or the same morning of the email contact.

 

To verify my suspicions, I contacted PayPal Corporate Security and informed them of the facts of the impending sale along with furnishing them a copy of the email, which contained the exact authentic information and logos PayPal uses. After a period of time, PayPal contacted me and informed me the email was bogus or a fraud and it had been generated from a fraudulent web site. PayPal thanked me for providing them with this information. Afterwards, I contacted Ebay and informed them of my findings; however, the customer service representative wasn’t as respectful or cooperative.

 Click for Pay Pal document>>

 

Essentially, after checking my Ebay page, she informed me that I would be responsible for the listed-price payout percentage as well as the percentage associated with the final value price of the item sold. In fact, the fraudulent bidder had marked my item “sold,” when in reality the item wasn’t sold. Afterwards, an exchange of philosophy transpired between Ebay and myself. For the record, I informed Ebay of the built-in flaws of their system in protecting unsuspecting sellers of this lurking fraud.

 

I also explained to Ebay that “in my opinion,” Ebay was subject to culpable liability in this matter simply due to the manner in which their system was set up, allowing buyer and seller to have mutual contact through the Ebay site; thereby, enabling an individual to perpetuate a fraud. Also, “in my opinion,” Ebay should have a system setup whereby the entire sale – from initiation and conclusion – should be controlled by Ebay. The irony of this entire situation is:

 

1)         I received an email from Ebay informing me my sale item was sold when in fact it wasn’t, including the price paid being beyond my asking price.

 

2)         After the fact, another email from Ebay informed me not to do business with a certain individual and my account may have been compromised.

 

3)         Still another email from Ebay, informed me the proposed buyer is suspect, hasn’t registered with Ebay and will no longer be allowed to buy items on Ebay. Imagine that.

 

To top it off, I received a computer-generated bill from Ebay detailing my costs for the sale of my Iphone – which never transpired. All in all, I never suspected I would be performing a Risk Analysis on Internet selling as well as the inherent risks involved in selling items on the Internet. Lesson learned: Again, “in my opinion,” the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation should open investigations on “Crimes Against Persons,” involving the massive fraud obviously inherent in Internet selling.

 

In conclusion, an Internet-selling company found with inadequate security should be prosecuted and fined. One can only imagine the amount of property and funds that are stolen each year by individuals making a living trolling Internet selling sites, looking for quick deals from unsuspecting sellers. I would bet the amount of stolen property would mount in the millions of dollars. The fact is, it’s very easy for an individual operating in another country, or perhaps living in a tent in the desert, to initiate a scam operation.

 

Therefore, educate yourself before you engage in Internet selling. One noted fact is: “The safety and security of Internet selling begins with companies such as Ebay and Amazon, period.”

Click for Ebay response1>>

Click for Ebay scan 2>>

Click for Ebay scan 3>>

INTERNET SELLING PRECAUTIONS
If your intent is to sell items on the Internet, familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the Internet-selling provider. If an individual tries to isolate you off of the Internet selling site – don’t do it. And don’t provide any information to an individual who is not listed on the seller’s site. Check with seller. If an individual posing as a buyer attempts to isolate you and requests personal or other information, immediately contact the seller site’s customer service department.

 

In this matter, it ended on a somewhat happy note: I still have my Iphone; however, I did lose a sale due to an attempted fraudulent transaction. On a good note, I acquired enough information to hopefully enlighten and educate the reading audience of www.allaboutcutting.com, with information that will prevent an individual from being a victim and losing their property.

 

“Until Next Time, Keep ‘Em Between The Bridle!”

 

WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

Managing Member

Office/Mopbile: (985) 630-3500

Email: windrivercompany@gmail.com

Web Site: http://www.windrivercompanyllc.com

 

 

 

 

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☛ A cheaper way to talk 8-18-17

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HEALTH AND WEALTH, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 5 comments

A CHEAPER WAY TO TALK!

 

ALL CELL PHONES ARE NOT THE SAME

By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
August 18, 2017

As a businessman, the most important tools of my primary trade are: 1) my vehicle, 2) my computer and 3) my cell phone. The same goes for horse owners and trainers. Over time cell phone communication has evolved from objects that looked like bricks to the phones we use today, which are easily placed in our shirt pockets.

However, along with evolution also evolved the costs of these mobile devices as well as the cost for their service capability with a cell carrier’s ever-increasing costs. Cell phone bills have graduated over time to eliminate cost-per-minute values, roaming charges, including connection fees and opting instead for monthly charges comprised of packages or bundled costs.

Today, cell phones basically are either Android or Apple I-phones. These phones come in different sizes – from small to large – and have enough functions and storage to be considered a handheld computer that can talk. As the old adage goes, “There’s an app for that.”

Then there are the basic models that only allow texting and talking. However, the most advanced models can be used to type and send an email or a complete letter using the correct word processor app.

Whether your using the voice control to find directions to a local eating place or directions for an over-the-country trip, the modern cell phone will do it all.  However, along with modern advances also comes advances in pricing.  The cell phone industry has evolved into a comfortable multi-billion dollar industry.  Today, cell phones are used to talk on, take photographs and video, wake up to, remind us when to go to sleep, keep track of important meetings, conduct business with clients, count our steps, stay in touch with our families, contact emergency facilities in case we need them as well as ordering and purchasing items over the internet.

In fact, “do-it-all” cell phones have virtually replaced our land-line phones, our cameras, our video recorders and in some cases our computers. Technological engineering advances have produced cell phones with state-of-the-art video recording devices and photographic documentation that rivals the best-known cameras. Essentially, cell phones have become indispensable in our daily lives.

THE TECHNOLOGY:

Today, there are four main cell phone carriers operating in the United States: Verizon Wireless, AT&T Communications, Sprint and T-Mobile. The first three companies are American owned with T-Mobile being owned by Deutsche Telekom.

However, the leading cell phone systems in use today are: Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), a channel-access method used by various radio communications technologies.  CDMA is an example of multiple access, where several transmitters can send information simultaneously over a single communication channel. This allows several users to share a band of frequencies (bandwidth). To permit this without undue interference between the users, CDMA employs spread-spectrum technology and a special coding scheme, where each transmitter is assigned a code.  CDMA is used as the access method in many mobile phone standards.  IS95 also called “CDMAONE”, and its 3G evolution CDMA2000 are often referred to as CDMA, which is also used to control the speed of data transmission. Verizon Wireless and Sprint use the CDMA cell-phone technology.

Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) is the second technology in use today by cell phone carriers in the United States.  GSM is a digital mobile telephony system that is widely used in Europe and other parts of the world. GSM uses a variation of time division multiple access (TDMA) and is the most widely used of the three digital wireless telephony technologies (TDMA), (GSM), and (CDMA). AT&T and T-Mobile utilize this technology.

In my research I determined that unless you purchase an unlocked version of your favorite phone it will not work on a dual basis, e.g., each specific carrier has the cell phone manufacturer engineers design a phone that works on either the (CDMA) of (GSM) system.

However, unlocked cell phones are generally designed to work on either system which negates having to purchase a new cell phone when you change a carrier for better pricing or reception requirements. A cell phone that I’ve used and is designed to work on either cellular concept, from inception, is Motorola. In fact the cell phone provider advertises their unlocked phones will work on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. I Interviewed representatives from AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile and determined there were two specific reasons major carries sold cell phones locked and specific to their carrier brand.

1) It provides the carrier with a market base that’s hard to get rid of unless the owner of the cell phone decides to take an enormous loss in trading in or selling their existing cell phone, which guarantees the carrier recurring revenue and 2) the carrier maintains control of the cell phone and its owner if the phone is financed by the carrier for a specific amount of time. Essentially, you’re being punished for moving your service. The main drawback to some cell phone users is: Unlocked cell phones require a cash purchase versus purchasing a cell phone from a major carrier using the locked-and financed-basis, which is essentially signing a contract with the carrier until the phone is paid off.

Recently, I ran into an issue with my cell carrier whom I’ve been with since cell phones were invented and marketed.  After a long debate, I decided to shop my existing phone on the open carrier market. To my surprise, my phone would only work on AT&T and perhaps T-Mobile and Straight Talk Wireless which is sold at Walmart.  I also learned my existing cell phone I purchased on December 4, 2016 for $769 from AT&T was only worth $375 in August 2017.

After counseling with several cell phone retailers and wholesalers, I learned the cell phone is one of the fastest depreciating electronic devices you can purchase.  My (I-Phone 7) 128 GB (gigabyte) phone actually depreciated $53 per month to date. Therefore, in order to leave my carrier I would take a huge loss on my cell phone and perhaps the coverages at T-Mobile and Straight Talk which is exclusive to Walmart and utilizes the TracFone System that wouldn’t provide me with adequate coverage since I’m a national and international traveler.

ON THE HUNT FOR A CHEAPER ALTERNATIVE

So off to Walmart I went in search of a cheaper alternative.  Upon arrival I was enlightened by the vast array of cell phones carried by this marketing giant.

In the electronics department was a vast assortment of cell phones, represented by a myriad of cell phone carriers.  One item in particular brought my attention.  Walmart has joined forces with Verizon in their pre-paid division. A pre-paid phone is one whereby the monthly bill is paid in advance using either a pre-paid card or a direct withdrawal from your bank account.

I needed some phones and services to experiment with so I purchased an I-Phone 5S 16 GB on the Walmart-Verizon Network and an LG Model on the Straight Talk Network. The curious nature of this affair is that I learned the Walmart Straight Talk System buys air time from all of the major carriers and sells it to the consumer at a reduced cost, along with matching phones.

A number of newer unlocked phones, such as the Moto G (4th Gen) are universal and; therefore, compatible with all major U.S. carriers in addition to most overseas carriers. You can choose almost any carrier or plan and all you need is a SIM card. Common U.S. carriers include: Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket Wireless, AT&T Go-Phone and TracFone

THE EXPERIMENT BEGINS

After arriving home, I began the process of installing each phone’s SIM (Subscriber Identity Module)  card and charging the phone. Once the phone was completely charged I followed the activation directions and acquired my telephone numbers. The I-Phone 5S cost me $49.95 and the LG Model cost $79.00.  Afterwards, I carried both cell phones in addition to my $769 I-Phone on the AT&T Network.

For the record, the I-Phone 5S was on the Verizon-Walmart circuit or the (CDMA) system and the LG was on the AT&T-Walmart System or the (GSM).  For three weeks now I’ve been carrying the phones to compare how well they functioned against each other. The following is the outcome of the cell phone trials.

1) The Verizon Walmart I-Phone 5S functioned flawlessly.  If my AT&T I-Phone 7 had one bar of coverage, my I-Phone 5S had three (3) to four (4) bars. The camera is excellent in this little phone. The video worked excellent. Reception was outstanding with no dead zones and data speeds were lighting fast.  If I kept this phone it would cost me $40 per month for a 3 + 1 GB of data, exclusively at Walmart.  In some cases this phone had service when the AT&T I-Phone didn’t.  All of the individuals I spoke with on this phone said the sound was excellent.

2) The Walmart LG Straight Talk phone functioned flawlessly.  It’s comparable to the AT&T I-Phone 7, except when the former didn’t have coverage the LG did.  This little phone’s camera and video functioned flawlessly and there were no dead zones during testing.  If I kept this phone my cell bill would be $45 per month for unlimited talk, text and data.

FINAL ANALYSIS

In the end, if you’re not looking for the latest cell phone, there are cheaper alternatives out there besides the ones mentioned in this article. If you’re like me and you use your cell phone for your business, one of these models may suit you perfectly. That way, if you break it or lose it, you won’t be out a month’s mortgage payment on your house.

Along with this analysis, I also performed an analysis of my insurance for my phone through AT&T.  I was very unhappy to discover the replacement cost would be a $225 out-of-pocket deductible expense.  For that amount I can buy 5 I-Phone 5S’s from Walmart.  As with all I-Phones, this little model comes with fully functioning I-Cloud storage.  The same picture storage is available for either phone free of charge from Google Photos.

In my final analysis, I learned that cell coverage is predicated on cell-tower availability. I also learned the main cause of malfunctions with cell carriers is horrible customer service.

So if you’re in the horse business and you constantly are in need of a replaced, broken or wore-out phone, there are cheaper alternatives out there that function fine.

Since then I have returned to Walmart and purchased their Verizon-Walmart I-Phone 32 GB SE to use as a spare phone until I can sell my AT&T I-Phone 7.  Porting your existing cell number is easy – except if your phone is locked due to owing the carrier money.

“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle”

WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

Managing Member

 

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☛ Nutrition Conference Announced 2-8-17

Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 in EQUI-VOICE, HEALTH AND WEALTH, HORSE HEALTH, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

ANNUAL MID-ATLANTIC NUTRITION CONFERENCE ANNOUNCED

Press release
Feb. 8, 2017

The 2017 Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference, the region’s premier animal nutrition conference, will be held April 5-6, 2017 at the Hunt Valley Wyndam Grand in Hunt Valley, MD. Two days of expert speakers have been lined up with the Equine Session held on the second day featuring morning seminars devoted to the aged horse, allergies, and how to boost the equine immune system. The afternoon will be devoted to the equine gut microbiome and related supplements. Veterinarians, students, horse trainers, horse breeders, and horse owners should not miss this opportunity to learn about exciting new discoveries related to their equine health and nutrition. All attendees will receive lunch and the opportunity to ask questions of all of the experts. Pre- registrations are encouraged and can be done online at: https://ansc.umd.edu/extension/mid- atlantic-nutrition-conference/registration-information

2017 Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference – Equine Session Schedule Thursday, April 6, 2017

8:00am Physiology of Aging in Horses
Dr. Karyn Malinowski, Rutgers University

8:50am Feeding Management of the Endocrine Challenged Horse Dr. Lisa Tadros, Michigan State University

10:20am Exploring Seasonal Allergies in Horses
Dr. Katherine Williamson, Purina Animal Nutrition

11:10am Can Nutrition Be Used to Boost the Immune System? Dr. Lori Warren, University of Florida

1:30pm Gut Microbiome Overview
Dr. Amy Biddle, University of Delaware

Sorting Out Common Ingredients In Equine Supplements

Dr. Melyni Worth, Foxden Equine

2:20pm Probiotics and Prebiotics in Horse Feed: What’s the Difference? Dr. Marty Adams, Southern States

Panel Discussion: Digestive Feed Supplements and the Gut Microbiome

The conference is hosted by the Maryland Feed Industry Council, University of Maryland, Pennsylvania State University, University of Delaware, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Rutgers University, American Feed Industry Association, and the United States Department of Agriculture.

For more information on the entire conference, please visit our website at https://ansc.umd.edu/extension/mid-atlantic-nutrition-conference.

For information on sponsoring this event, please contact Jennifer Reynolds at 301-405-1547.

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☛ Is Tax Court biased in favor of IRS? 2-6-17

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HEALTH AND WEALTH, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RODEO & BULLRIDING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

IS THE TAX COURT BIASED IN FAVOR OF THE IRS?

 

By John Alan Cohan, Attorney at Law
Feb. 6, 2017

The U.S. Tax Court is a critically important institution.  It is the the most common forum in which taxpayers litigate federal tax disputes.  The court frequently decides IRS assertions that the taxpayer understated the correct tax liability, resulting in a tax “deficiency.”

Many commentators argue that Tax Court judges are biased in favor of the IRS.  Judges hear cases alone, without a jury.  Many Tax Court judges have worked in the IRS Chief Counsel’s office or in the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.  The Tax Court does not assign judges randomly to cases.  The procedures are extremely burdensome.  The burden of proof is “preponderance of the evidence,” which is a loose standard of evidence, and highly subjective.  It means the the IRS could win if 51% of its evidence is more convincing to the judge than the taxpayer’s.

The Tax Court makes budget requests to Congress’s tax-writing committees.  In justifying its budget requests, the Tax Court invariably explains to congressional committees how well it is enforcing the tax laws.

A Tax Court judge, Diane L. Kroupa, was indicted on tax evasion, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction charges, raising questions about whether any of her rulings could be vulnerable to challenge as a result.  (Judge Kroupa abruptly resigned prior to the indictment without explanation.  Her husband, now divorced, was also indicted.)  As a Tax Court judge, Kroupa heard and decided a wide range of cases, including some that came down against taxpayers in the horse and cattle industries.  In October, 2016, she pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the IRS and other crimes.  When sentenced at a later date, she is likely to serve a significant prison term.

Another judge, L. Paige Marvel, has also been harsh with respect to the horse industry.  In a recent case, Carmody v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2016-225, Judge Marvel came down hard on a taxpayer’s efforts to run his horse racing venture profitably.

The taxpayer, Jerald Carmody, has owned race horses for more than 20 years, mainly as co-owner with others, and worked full-time as a sales representative for a helicopter company.

He owned lower priced horses which were actively raced in Washington State.  Professional trainers were employed.  He spent time every day on his horse racing activity, researched horses that would be in competition, and searched for other horses to purchase.

He purchased and improved a five-acre property with a 4,000 square-foot barn, horse stalls, a 5,000-square-foot arena, indoor horse shelters, and nine pastures.  He personally cleaned stalls and pastures.

Some of the horses won several races each, and one was the alltime race winner at Emerald Downs with 21 wins.  Mr. Carmody was named owner of the year at Emerald Downs.  The races entered ranged in purses from $8,000 to $50,000.

During a 10-year period, the taxpayer’s losses were from $16,064 to $81,345, with no profit year.  But there was income in each year, ranging from $17,917 to $128,068.

When horses were retired from racing, they were sold or given away.  Of 36 horses sold, there was a net gain on only eight of those sales.

Mr. Carmody had a horse racing bank account, but paid for expenses out of his personal account as well as the racing account.

Mr. Carmody kept a folder for each horse with various receipts and documents related to that horse.

Judge Marvel said that Mr. Carmody did not use any of his records to reduce losses or to achieve profitability.  The court noted that Mr. Carmody had no written business plan, no budgets and no economic forecasts.  “In fact, the record is devoid of any credible evidence that petitioner engaged in any meaningful financial management with respect to his horse racing activity.”

The court said, “While a taxpayer need not maintain a sophisticated cost accounting system, the taxpayer should keep records that enable the taxpayer to cut expenses, generate or increase profits, or evaluate the overall performance of the operation.”

The court also faulted Mr. Carmody for commingling his personal and horse racing finances.  “This commingling of personal and horse racing activity funds is not indicative of a businesslike practice.”

The court also noted that Mr. Carmody realized no profits in a 20-year period, and that “he contends that he suffered losses because he reinvested his gross receipts back into the horse racing activity and that he used his gross receipts to improve his barns, arena, and other horse racing activity property.  Petitioner’s contentions are woefully insufficient to justify or even explain an unbroken string of over 20 years of substantial losses.”

The court concluded that the petitioner did not engage in his horse racing activity with the predominant, primary, or principal objective of making a profit.

The only silver lining in this case is that the judge rejected the IRS’ accuracy-related penalties because the taxpayer had reasonably relied on his accountant’s advice in taking the deductions.

One of the important lessons in this case is that taxpayers need to somehow review records so as to reduce expenses or enhance the possibility of generating income.  It is important to keep track of expenses on a per-animal basis.  And it is important to prepare financial statements, profit and loss projections, budgets, breakeven analyses, or marketing surveys, as the IRS considers these to be significant financial tools to aid in evaluating the overall performance of an operation.

[John Alan Cohan is an attorney representing people in federal and state tax disputes, IRS appeals, and Tax Court litigation, and is a long-standing author of a legal advice column published in numerous sporting magazines.  In addition, he advises organizations on compliance with newly enacted laws and regulations.  John is also author of the book, Turn Your Hobby Into A Business — The Right Way.  He can be reached at:  (310) 278-0203, or email at johnalancohan@aol.com.  His website is JohnAlanCohan.com.]

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☛ Lawsuit against stallion owners, vet regarding HERDA 8-4-16

Posted by on Aug 4, 2016 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, HEALTH AND WEALTH, HORSE LAWSUITS, INDUSTRY NEWS, LAWSUITS & INDICTMENTS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST STALLION OWNERS AND VET REGARDING HERDA

 

SHAWN, LISA AND LAUREN MINSHALL SUE FOR FRAUD REGARDING HERDA DESIGNATION OF AUSPICIOUS CAT

 

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Aug. 4, 2016

THE LAWSUIT:

Federal Court filings in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, lists a lawsuit entitled Shawn, and Lisa Victoria Minshall, and Lauren Victoria Minshall  vs. Ed Dufurrena, Ed Durfurrena Cutting Horses, Anthony And Dufurrena, Hartman Equine Reproduction Center (HERC), and Dos Cats Partners dated Oct. 30, 2015.

 

The filed public court records allege the Plaintiffs suffered specific damages arising from the material fact that the Plaintiffs bred their mare to Auspicious Cat, a stallion owned by the Defendants, and the produced foal owned by the Plaintiffs suffers from HERDA. The court filings continue to state the Defendants specifically misrepresented the HERDA designation on Auspicious Cat in an advertisement, prior to the breeding, stating the sire was HERDA negative or HERDA N/N.

 

Shawn and Lisa Victoria Minshall reside in Hillsburgh, Ontario, Canada, and Lauren Victoria Minshall resides in Pine Grove, Ky. Ed Dufurrena and Ed Dufurrena Cutting Horses are in Gainesville, Texas, and according to their website, Hartman Equine Reproduction Center (HERC) have two locations in Whitesboro, Texas and Marietta, Okla.

 

Dos Cats Partners is a general partnership and includes the following current members and/or former members, identified by Defendants as being involved at all material times: Ed Dufurrena, Shona Dufurrena, Karen Claycomb, Tom Donaghe, Linda Donaghe, Gary Craighead, Barbra Hanselman, Michael Nolan, Tracy A. Agrall, Butch Redish and Blair Vissar.

 

Specifically, in the Plaintiff’s Third Amended Complaint, dated April 7, 2016, the Defendants represented to the Plaintiffs that their stallion Auspicious Cat (sired by High Brow Cat who is out of Smart Little Kitty by Smart Little Lena) and out of the mare Lenas O Lady, whose dam Doc O Lady was by Doc O’Lena) – meaning the stallion was double-bred Doc O’Lena) was free of the HERDA gene and not a carrier of the disease.

Click for Third Amended Complaint>>

 

EXPLANATION OF HERDA:

HERDA is a genetic skin disease that surfaces usually in the second year after an afflicted horse begins training and results in large painful lesions over large areas of the horse’s body, as well as hyperextensible skin and scarring. There is no cure and the majority of diagnosed horses have to be euthanized. HERDA has an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance, which means it could pop up in future generations. HERDA carriers is critical for the selection of mating pairs as breedings of carrier horses (those with at lease one recessive HERDA gene have a 25 percent chance of producing an affected foal.

 

However, nestled in the court documents, was a copy of a web page ad with Dufurrena riding Auspicious Cat, noting he stood at Pinnacle Equine Veterinary services, with Chelsea Makloski-Cohorn as Principal, with a $2,500 stud fee and marked HERDA N/N – meaning he didn’t have the HERDA gene.

Click for Auspicious cat ad in court papers>>

 

The Minshalls bred their mare, Miss Tassa Lena, to Auspicious Cat, with the resulting foal, Dr. Ozz, coming up positive for HERDA disease after the Plaintiffs incurred significant costs and expenses based on the Defendant’s misrepresentations and other wrongful conduct by Defendants, for which they are now seeking damages allowed by law.

 

Miss Tassa Lena was sired by Smart Little Lena by Doc O’Lena and out of Duntay Pistolena, whose dam also went back to Doc O’Lena. This made Dr. Ozz’s pedigree going to Doc O’Lena FOUR TIMES.

 

According to court documents, Dos Cats Partners is, upon information and belief, a general partnership with its principal place of business in Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas. Ed Dufurrena’s wife, Shona Dufurrena, Gainesville, Texas, is also mentioned “as an individual who may be served also – wherever she may be found.”

 

WHO IS SHAWN MINSHALL?

Minshall is the owner of a top-class Thoroughbred racing operation, which is ranked and held out as one of the top Canadian breeding and training operations for cutting horses.

Click for article on Minshall family>>

Click for Equine sport finds cutting edge>>

 

COURT DOCUMENTS:

Court documents involve Dr. David Hartman of Hartman Equine Reproduction Center. During a deposition of Dr. Hartman on April 6, 2016, it was learned that Dr. Justin Voge and Dr Hartman performed the extraction of semen from Auspicious Cat for use in artificial insemination and he was responsible for handling the logistics of inseminating the mare with Auspicious Cat’s semen. They Plaintiffs claim that Hartman knew that there was a high likelihood that Auspicious Cat was a HERDA carrier while Auspicious Cat was stationed at his vet clinic. He testified that “most good sons of High Brow Cat were HERDA carriers” and he told Dufurrena such in an effort to encourage him to be responsible and test Auspicious Cat for HERDA in 2011.

 

The case is being held in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, because the Defendants reside in the Eastern District of Texas. Also, the Stallion Service Contract provided by the Defendants, purports to fix venue in Grayson County Texas, because “all of the terms and provisions of (The Agreement) are performable in Grayson County.

 

DR. HARTMAN’S RESPONSE:

Hartman’s response to the Third Amended Original Complaint filed by the Minshalls, filed April 20, 2016, denied that he engaged in any material misrepresentations and false advertising that resulted in injuries and damages to the plaintiffs related to Auspicious Cat. He denied representing that Auspicious Cat was free of the HERDA gene. He stated he did not have sufficient knowledge of most of the other allegations and although he admitted he was a Texas professional association, he denied that his principal place of business was in Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas.

Click for Dr. Hartman’s response>>

 

DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE:

In the middle of the case, Edward L. Dufurrena, Edward Dufurrena Cutting Horses LLC, Anthony and Dufurrena, Inc. and Dos Cats Partners, settled with the Minshalls. Therefore on April 28, an Order Of Dismissal with Prejudice was granted by United States District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, dismissing all parties in the suit except for Defendants Hartman Equine Reproduction  Center, P.A. and Shona Dufurrena. Dismissal with prejudice, means the plaintiff is barred from filing another case on the same claim.

Click for Dismissal With Prejudice>>

 

PRESS RELEASE FROM PLAINTIFFS’ LAWYER:

Following the dismissal of the case, the Plaintiffs’ lawyer, Aaron J. Burke of Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer LLP, Dallas, Texas, put out a press release on July 11, 2016, regarding the settlement of the case, stating “the owners of a nationally ranked stallion have paid $60,000 to settle claims that they made false and material misrepresentations and failed to disclose the status of their stallion as a carrier of HERDA.”

 

Burke said that he learned through discovery that the defendants’ stallion had indeed tested positive for HERDA years before and those results had never been revealed. He also said that “sometimes stallion owners, incentivized by large breeding fees, have been known to intentionally misrepresent a stallion’s status, claiming the stallion is not a carrier of HERDA or hiding test results.”

 

He also claimed his clients “had offered to settle prior to litigation for the approximate cost of raising and training the foal to that point, the defendants rejected the offer and the mare owners had no choice but to seek the court’s help in adjudicating their claims.”

Click for Attorney Aaron J Burke’s press release>>

 

AUSPICIOUS CAT OFFSPRING:

According to AQHA, Auspicious Cat has 138 foals, with 2 foaled in 2010, 10 in 2011, 12 in 2012, 45 in 2013, 45 in 2014, and 24 in 2015. He has sired 10 performing foals in 2016. A total of 14 of his foals have been performers.

 

CAUSES OF ACTION:

Causes of Action in the lawsuit include 1) Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act against all Defendants state they indirectly engaged in false, misleading and deceptive acts and practices declared to be unlawful to the DTPA, Tex. Bus & Comm. Code 17.46(a) and (b); 2) Breach of Contract against all defendants for breaching contract dated April 15, 2012; 3) Negligent Misrepresentation and Negligence against all defendants by representing that Auspicious Cat was not a carrier of the HERDA gene; 4) Fraud against all defendants; 5) Fraudulent Concealment/Fraud by Nondisclosure against all defendants; 6) Joint Enterprise against defendants, Mr. Dufurrena, Dos Cats and HERC for obtaining profits from marketing, sales and promotion of Auspicious Cat’s semen by breed it with mares; 7)Civil Conspiracy against Defendants, Mr. Dufurrena, Dos Cats and HERC, incorporating all the previous allegations and 8) Aiding and Abetting Liability (against HERC), for assisting, encouraging and participation in Mr. Dufurrena’s negligent, tortuous and/or fraudulent conduct.

 

WHAT PLAINTIFFS ARE ASKING FOR:

The Plaintiffs are asking for 1) a trial by jury on all issues triable to a jury; 2) an award of up to three times Plaintiffs’ actual damages and mental-anguish damages, based on Defendants’ willful and intentional violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, 3) Plaintiffs’ actual damages and benefit-of-the-bargain damages; 4) an award of exemplary damages based on Plaintiffs’ fraud by nondisclosure claim based on a showing by clear and convincing evidence; 5) Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees, pursuant to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code, Texas Business and Commerce Code and other provisions of the law; 6) an award of court costs, prejudgment interest and post judgment interest and 7) any and all additional relief to which Plaintiffs show themselves to be entitled.

 

The Plaintiffs are demanding a jury trial which is currently tentatively set for sometime in January.

 

MEDIATION:

The latest item on the case in the court docket is that a Mediation Session was held on July 28, 2016 by John B. Shipp, the assigned mediator; however, the mediation did not result in a settlement.  “I will continue to work with the parties to try to bring this matter to resolution,” said Shipp in the Mediator’s Report.

7-Mediation report

 

 

 

 

 

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☛ Keeping your finances secure when paying horse training facilities 7-11-16

Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HEALTH AND WEALTH, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 15 comments

HAVE HORSES IN TRAINING?

 

HOW TO KEEP YOUR FINANCES SECURE

 

By Rick Dennis
July 11, 2016

Rick Dennis

Over the years, I’ve worked on a myriad of Risk Management cases involving either the theft or embezzlement of funds from a client’s bank account or credit cards.  However, the conclusion or “Root-Cause-Analysis” allowing this theft to occur is generally the same. Inadequate or non-existent banking security practices, inadequate accounting practices along with misguided trust, on behalf of the client, is usually the culprit. More and more we’re seeing these types of thefts occurring in the horse industry emanating from horse-training facilities.

 

For the record, these types of criminal infractions aren’t relegated to one particular part of the horse industry but seemingly encompasses the industry “across-the-board.” Training facilities should be aware of the fact that if the proper security is not in place and maintained for a protection of client assets and a theft generates from an individual working at the facility acquiring the bank account and routing number off of a client-issued check for training or other purposes, or a credit card number, it’s quite possible the training facility can have culpable liability issues in the matter.

 

The two methods used to facilitate the thefts are:

 

1.         The clients bank account, and

 

2.         The clients credit card.

 

THE CLIENTS BANK ACCOUNT

 

Using No. 1 as an example, I just completed analyzing a case involving the theft of over $500,000 during a four-year period, using the client’s bank account and routing numbers as the extraction vehicle. The thefts emanated from a horse-training facility. While I’m not at liberty to discuss the specifics of the case due to an on-going criminal investigation, my “Root-Cause-Analysis” identified over-trust on the client’s behalf as well as non-secure banking practices, inadequate record keeping, i.e, usual and customary personal accounting practices, and the absence of an established and integrated Risk Management Program as the culprit.

 

However, by designing, implementing and integrating an active Risk Management Program, the clients are able to prevent future thefts of this type along with a possible recovery of assets. Upon discovery of the theft, the client filed criminal charges, the alleged perpetrator was arrested, criminally indicted afterwards and is awaiting trial.

 

Dakotah Lindsey Harrell (Defendant) is identified as a former assistant trainer at Merritt Wilson Cutting Horses. The thefts occurred while Harrell was employed at this location according to clients.  For additional information please click on the following link:

 

Click for Dakotah Harrell’s arrest warrant>>

Click for Dakotah Harrell’s booking>>

Click for Dakotah Harrell’s Facebook page>>

Click for Dakotah Harrell’s Indictment article>>

 

CLIENTS CREDIT CARD

Using No. 2 as an example, an ever-increasing and growing problem inundating the horse industry is the unauthorized use of, or misappropriation of, client’s assets using the clients credit card as the extraction vehicle. Generally, thefts of this type occur when an unsuspecting client provides a training facility with his or her credit card number for an incidental purchase of some type. Thereafter, the client discovers ongoing unauthorized purchases by the perpetrator, but the damage is already done and possibly significant. Afterwards, an arrest and prosecution usually follows. Again, as a Risk Analyst/Threat Assessment Manager, I can hypothetically surmise the “root-cause-analysis” as:

 

1.         Over trusting the recipient of this information on the client’s behalf,

 

2.         Inadequate accounting and monitoring practices on the clients behalf, and

3.         the absence of an active and integrated secure Risk Management Program within the confines of the client’s financial practices.

 

The following is an article published in Ratemyhorsepro.com regarding a Brock, Texas, trainer stealing money from a client’s credit card. She had previously been indicted in Alabama for the same offense.

 

Click for Ratemyhorsepro.com article>> 

 

RECOVERY OF ASSETS PURSUANT TO A THEFT

 Generally speaking, it’s very difficult to recover one’s assets after a theft. In the case of cyber-security breaches or thefts “over-the-internet,” the chances of recovery are almost nil simply due to the fact that the perpetrator is located in another country. In the case of domestic thefts, the probable chances of asset recovery is low simply due to the fact the accused has already spent your money and it’s gone and legal litigation for an attempted recover is an expensive proposition with no guarantees of success.

 

The two most used methods for a recovery of assets is by judicial restitution after the arrest and conviction of the violator, or filing a complaint with the IC3 Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the event of credit card theft. For the record, credit card thefts are usually performed by the Secret Service. My best advice to prevent the theft or unauthorized use of a credit card is to prevent it before it occurs by instituting sound financial practices in your life style.

 

COMMON-SENSE BANKING PRACTICES

 When I’m providing a general security consulting service, designing and implementing a Risk Management Program after a review, or compiling and formulating a Risk Management report after a review, I always advise the client to use common-sense banking practices to safe guard his or her valuable assets. (e.g.)

 

1.         Never blindly trust an individual with your personal banking information,

 

2.         ALWAYS safeguard your financial institution information whether this information is your internet banking passwords, bank account routing and account numbers for checking accounts or credit card type and numbers,

 

3.         NEVER blindly provide this information to anyone,

 

4.         NEVER allow your computer to save your login information, (e.g.) user name and password, When using the internet to pay your bills, always make sure you’re on a secure network,

 

5.         When disposing of financial information, always use a shredder or completely burn this information,

 

6.         ALWAYS set up an auxiliary bank account with a limited amount of funds for use in conjunction with a trust or holding account. Never pay bills directly from a trust or holding account. In the event of a breach of security, the thief will only have a limited amount of assets to steal – not your entire bank account,

 

7.         ALWAYS monitor your bank account activity multiple times a week, if not on a daily basis, to apprise yourself of any suspicious activity on your bank account. In today’s high-tech banking industry, an app can be downloaded on your smart phone enabling this secure process and

 

8.         INVEST in a credit-monitoring service to alert you of any changes in your credit report or suspicious activity.

 

There are plenty of resources available to seek advice from to protect your assets and provide additional information on the subject matter. Knowledge and common sense are the keys to success and prevention.  Be proactive, not reactive!

 

“Until Next Time, Keep ‘Em Between The Bridle!

 

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis (CPP)

Email: windrivercompany.rd@yahoo.com

Web Site: http://www.windrivercompanyllc.com

 

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