Thursday, July 3, 2008

His reply...

"It was all different when you needed parts on lay away when you we broke and getting free parts, food, drinks, dynos, free go cart race lessons, even the both of you never won. A 750cc in a 1000cc when you thought you couldn't handle the 1000cc , and trips to Daytona and Vegas . I am surprised to see Chuck Moses (ccs77) jump on the ban wagon as I always put his bike first, with no money up front. Say what you want Chuck, but you know your wrong. By the way that number has been good from the start and still is. Good luck,Ernest at 1-480-275-0597"

I just left a msg for him to call me. To be continued...

How it all began...

In September or October of 2003, my friend Ernest Gresham offered to take my 1990 FZR1000 motorcycle to Arizona to try and sell it. This was a rare bike I had purchased from Ernest in the early Spring of 2002 through trade and cash equaling $4400. I also spent another $500 in repairs through Ernest. The total amount I spent for this bike was $4900. I told Ernest to try and sell the bike for $4400 and I would give him $200. Ernest told me that if he could not sell it, he would bring it back on another one of his trips back to Kansas.

Ernest was unable to sell the motorcycle in the following months and since it was winter here in Kansas, I allowed him more time to try and sell the bike. I told him he could now sell it for $4200 and still keep $200. I also felt Ernest would be the best salesman for the older bike since he spent a lot of time modifying and tuning the bike to near perfection.

January 21st through the 24th of 2004, I went to visit Ernest at his home in Arizona. I was told to bring my title because he thought he might have a buyer for the bike. He explained that a guy from Mexico comes up to buy older bikes because they cannot sell new 1000’s in Mexico. While I was there, Ernest was unable to reach this person. I decided to leave the title with Ernest in case a deal could be made after I left for home. At this time, I told Ernest the lowest I would take for the bike was $3800. He could have $200 if he sold it for $4000.

Ernest was unable to sell to his potential buyer, but he felt optimistic he could find another buyer.

In March of 2004, Ernest called me and said that he had sold the bike through his friend Ervin Kollek while visiting Bike Week in Daytona, FL. He said he did have some bad news and that he could only sell it for $2800. He told me he thought that is how low I said he could go. I assured him that I NEVER said that and I was 100% sure that $3800 was the lowest we discussed on my last visit. He reluctantly agreed $3800 was the amount he owed me.

In addition, Ernest said he was in an accident while he had the cash in his pocket. When he woke up at the hospital, the money was gone. He thought maybe a bystander or medical personnel could have taken it. Ernest also said that the guy who hit him was driving on a suspended license and did not want Ernest to press charges so they reached a settlement of $100,000. Ernest said he was to be paid monthly for the next few years so he should be able to pay me back soon.

I bought my first house in May of 2004 and for the next 4 months, I was too busy maintaining roommates to worry about getting my money. During this time I still trusted Ernest and he genuinely seemed willing to pay me back.

By August, Ernest told me he started getting the payments but he didn’t have the money yet because of all of the trips he had to take to Florida to resolve this in addition to medical bills. He also said that his old house in Wellsville, KS was finally sold but he didn’t have access to the money yet.

In October, Ernest asked for my address and said he was mailing me a check. It never arrived so Ernest said he cancelled the check and now did not trust my idea of Fed-Exing another check.

In November, Ernest said he would bring $1500 cash for me and that the rest wouldn’t take much longer. When we met at the car wash, he was only able to give me $1000. This is the only time he has given me money towards the $3800.

In early December 2004, Ernest wanted to do a bank transfer for the remaining $2800. He said it should go through instant or tomorrow at the latest. It never came through. A week later, it still did not show up.

Concerned Ernest would say he sent it without actually doing it and I was afraid he would consider a bank error my problem. Ernest said that the banker was new and did something wrong. Ernest said he was able to get his money back. I asked when I would get the remaining $2800 and he said around Christmas. That did not happen.

In the first few months of 2005, I realize that Ernest probably does not have much money and just about everything he says is not true-including his $100,000 settlement. From February to April, Ernest says he will pay me back as soon as he sells some of his bikes. He had a few deals fall through that would have allowed him to pay me back. He tries to make me a deal on jewelry or another motorcycle to lower his amount owed. I tell him I am not interested.

Before the second or third weekend of May, Ernest says he will be in town that weekend and should have another $1000 for me. He never shows up and calls me the following week saying he couldn’t make it. He calls again on May 25th or 26th saying is heading up for Memorial Day weekend. He never calls or shows up.

Around 7:30PM, May 31st, He calls me from his ex-girlfriends phone with a 785 area code and tells me he tried to get here for Memorial weekend but couldn’t make it because the truck he was borrowing from a friend had a fan belt break and then later down the road one of his tires got a flat. He said he was currently staying at a hotel near the Arizona/Texas border and should be here by this coming weekend.

Suspicious, I drove by his girlfriend’s house later that night and parked out front was a truck with an Arizona license plate. There was a small speed boat on a trailer too. It was gone the next morning. He calls a week later and he mentioned he was transporting a boat for someone and didn't have the time to come to Kansas.

In January of 2006 I finally got a call from Ernest and he tells me he will pay me back but he couldn't say when. It would not be anytime soon because he cannot get a real job because it would interfere with an injury settlement that was months away. Times were so tight for him that he had to keep his Corvette in storage.

For the rest of 2006 Ernest never called and any number I had for him was disconnected. Later that year I looked up his friend from Atlanta, Ervin Kollek, and got Ernest's phone number. I left messages to call me and that I would consider the diamond ring he had offered years ago since I was getting married at the end of the year. I never heard from him and soon that number was disconnected too. After that I tried not to think about it since there was nothing I could do but hope Ernest would man up and stand by his word.

Around September of 2007 I decided to look on the Yamaha forum EXUP brotherhood for Ernest and I found him. He was giving motor advice and selling parts from his inventory. I watched the forums for a couple months trying to think of a way to get paid back. I figure I should just settle for $1800 instead of the full $2800 since that's what he claims the bike sold for. I leave multiple messages for him to call me.

In early 2008 I tell my friend Chuck, who introduced me to Ernest, that I found him on the forum and that other people were getting the same runaround I was. He contacted the forum administrator about my experience and next thing you know Ernest calls Chuck and they talk about how long I have been waiting for my money.

Ernest calls me and we get caught up. He asks how much he owes me and I tell him $1800 since he sold it for $2800 and already paid me $1000. He tells me that the settlement from the 2004 Daytona accident is a week or two away. He says they have 4 months to pay it and wants my address. He asks if I want to wait for the full amount or start doing $500 payments. I choose the payments and text him my address. Knowing he gets new phone numbers often I tell him I am worried he will lose my contact info. He assures me he can get my number from calling my work. That is how he got a hold of Chuck. Sounds good.

May and June go by without a word from Ernest. It's been over four months and not one dime. Yesterday I post on one of his "for sale" threads that he promised to pay me back six months ago but I have not heard from him since. I have a kid on the way and could really use the $1800. Please call so we can get this resolved.