To: Whom it May Concern
From: Fabio Brunazzi
Date: May 27, 2012
Re: Withheld Wages of Fabio Brunazzi by Andiamo Ventures Inc.
The purpose of the memo is to summarize the terms of employment and facts preceding the withholding of $8,648.00 in wages for my work aboard the SV Andiamo, owned by Andiamo Ventures Inc. owned by Anthony Santos and Pedro Jose Camposeco Longo.
Terms of Employment
I was offered the job on the boat Andiamo (Official number 1124709) US Flagged recreational endorsed sailyacht by her managing owner Anthony O Santos, US Citizen, via web contact in June 2011. The job was to be the skipper of the boat and run trips with paying guests in the San Blas area of Panama.
Santos never offered me a contract but the terms of employment were described in an email exchange and after a quick meeting in Italy. The deal is documented on the email (Attachment 1) and my wages were to be 150$ per trip night. These wages were to be paid every two weeks.
Change in Payment Method
The wages were paid to my Paypal account with regularity until November 2011 when Santos communicated to me that the payment on Paypal was not possible anymore and since then I started to be paid in cash (Attachment 2). This arrangement was not discussed with me, and safely holding and handling this cash payment while working in a remote area offshore was an immediate problem.
Mitzy Camposeco Longo, Guatemalan citizen, working in Panama City for Santos as Manager of Operations of Andiamos business, accepted the responsibility of holding my wages, assuring me they would be kept it in a safe in Panama City, and I would be able to retrieve them whenever I wanted. Since I spent the majority of my time on the boat, it seemed a workable short-term solution to leave my wages in the possession of Andiamo staff, with the assurance that it would be held separately from the companys finances.
Problems Retrieving Wages
On 3rd March 2012 Mitzy was asked to give $1500.00 of my wages to my parents during a visit to Panama, but she never went to the meeting, and they had to leave without retrieving the funds before their flight back to Italy.
As of 8th March 2012 Andiamo was in possession of $4250.00 of my wages, corresponding to 33 nights of trips, minus expenses. On 2nd May 2012 Mitzy gave me a check and also told me she would have been able to do a direct transfer to my Italian bank account for that amount. I kept the check (see attachment 3) but preferred the latter solution and told her to proceed.
On 14th May 2012 Mitzy wrote that the wire transfer was sent and attached a receipt (Attachment 4). On Friday 18th May 2012, I checked with my bank to find that the transfer did not go through.
Misplaced Wages and Fraud
I investigated the transfer, using the receipt that Mitzy had sent me, and discovered it was a fraud. Rolando Garcia de Paredes, an employee of the Fraud Department at Best Safety Boxes, the that was intended to use for the transfer, explained that somebody had in fact used a similarly-named web-based service and counterfeit the name of an employee and that was actually a scam (Attachment 5).
I then brought this information to Mitzy who said that she had actually delegated the task of doing the transfer to yet another person, Jorge Diaz Fuentes. My last stressful days in Panama were spent trying to meet with this Mr. Fuentes, being promised a cash payment from Mitzy, and finally being provided a credit card that I was told would be credited the amount I was owed. None of these efforts came to fruition and I was forced to leave Panama without these wages. The credit card resulted not working or not having funds when I tried it in two different ATMs in New York City on 23rd May 2012.
Additional Wages Withheld
A second and final payment of $4498.00 was to be made at some point after the first payment was complete and after I had trained the new captain (Attachment 6). Santos refused to give me any additional information about that payment when repeatedly asked.
Finally, after leaving Panama, Santos sent an unverified list of alleged damages I was responsible for, indicating that he would be withholding his own estimated value for these alleged damages out of my wages. It was never indicated that wages would be held as a deposit, for that purpose both parties (Santos as boat owner and myself as skipper) were insured.
During his most recent survey of the boat in March, Santos did not indicate any intention to seek compensation for problems with the boat condition.
Before that Survey I communicated the decision to terminate my employment with Andiamo to pursue another job. In the communication I agreed to leave Santos 2 months time to find a successful resolution of the transition. Santos expressed dismay at my departure and negotiated that I stay on a little longer and tasked me with training the next incoming captain, Robert Van De Ven, which I did.
I believe this liability claim to be an attempt to recoup losses from companys or personal finance.
According to Santoss statement he intends to withhold a total of 3400$ in liabilities. In addition he is disputing 2 paid trips wages saying I miscalculated my trips and reducing the agreed travel reimbursement of 50% even if the agreement was to have it payed after six months of work, which I did. In summary, Santos intends to pay me $500.00 instead of the $4498.00 anticipated from this second payment.
At this time, Andiamo Ventures Inc. is withholding a total of $8698.00 in wages.
Updates 14th June 2012
On date 12th June 2012 Pedro Jose Camposeco Longo payed an amount of 2500$ of the delayed wages.
Updates July 2012
Pedro Camposeco Long payed an amount of 500$. He offered to pay 500$ weekly till the coverage of the total amount but after the first payment, nothing happened beside my requests.