In the present report, events leading to a perpetrated fraud, grand-theft, threatening and extortion are spelled-out from two members of a LLC that used the proceeds resulting from a company asset for their own personal use against the LLC itself and two other members that did not benefit from 10 years of effort into building value into the company.
Events originated from the sale of Conceptual Speech, LLC main intellectual property assets for an amount of $415,000.00 to Intellectual Ventures while Mr. Paul J. Lagassey was the Manager of Conceptual Speech, LLC and he secretly maintained a bank account in the name of Conceptual Speech, LLC and directed the proceeds from such sale into that bank account. This resulted in making the proceeds from the sale unreachable to Conceptual Speech, LLC and its other partners and was used entirely at the discretion of Mr. Lagassey without regard to contractual agreements signed when he finally emptied the account to leave a balance of $21. [continued below]....
.....00 within the following months.
Mr. Frederick Hallas also participated in the theft by illegally receiving $38,162.41 that he did not contractually have the rights to, while Mr. Lagassey's participation was more significant by diverting $129,087.36 from Conceptual Speech, LLC to his own personal use. Other partners that were defrauded are Mr. Philippe Roy, the inventor of sold Intellectual Property, that did not receive any money from the sale and had contractual rights (through distributions) to $148,034.76 and right to debts that had to be repaid, and Mr. ********* that had contractual rights (through distributions) to $19,215.02 and also did not receive any proceeds resulting from the sale.
Furthermore, victims of the perpetrated fraud were denied access to key legal documentation that prevented them from monetizing remaining assets into the LLC, and some communications originating from Mr. Lagassey convey elements that can support extortion claims based on the fact that cooperation is offered based only on the signature from other partners of a release for an amount that is a fraction of what is contractually owed. Threats were also made by Mr. Lagaseey against Mr. Roy to convince him not to pursue legal actions and further argument to sign a release. Lastly, bank statements obtained confirm the fact that money still not under the control of Conceptual Speech, LLC from the sale of its main intellectual property portfolio is no longer into a Conceptual Speech, LLC owed account. This re-scopes the accusations from a fraud case to a theft case.
To summarize, it is believed that Mr. Paul Lagassey could be charged with the followings:
And, Mr. Frederick Hallas, with:
e-mail samples through time:
"An agreement was signed between Conceptual Speech, LLC and Mr. Frederick Hallas where he invested $15 000 as a loan, if requested a payment back within 1 year, or an automatic transformation into a 1% ownership otherwise. No other documentation from Mr. Hallas was submitted, hence a 1% ownership transformation is resulting."
"Attached is a spread sheet with a worse case scenario on a sale at $400k, and a resolution authorizing the sale of Conceptual IP in two portfolios (Conceptual Assets and SpeechVibe Assets), at $400k each." ... "Philippe's Share - 62.3% $127,834 Paul's Share - 28.2% $49,167 Jean's Share - 8.5% $19,667"
"Trying to get us top dollar - we've reachd the threshold and things are on track for a sale to IV - other potential buyers aren't excited, so I think we shoulld take the money and run. I am ready to sign the contract with IV but haven't been able to reach Steve for the past two days. I just need his rubber stamp on the contract."
"My personal instinct is that I've done the best I can to maximize our return. I advise we take the offer too. If not, we could end up with nothing, and have substantial costs going forward, which neither you or I want to pay. Also note we are getting grantback licenses, so we can continue to practice the art if we so desire."
"I'd agree to close the deal with IV for $415K. I appreciate the fact it is for Conceptual's portfolio exclusively. For my other PPA, I will wait for it to issue to put it for sale once again if IV cannot put at least 50K on the table for it right now."
"We'd all appreciate an update on the sale of the patent portfolio. Also, please include some details on how payment/distributions will be made including amounts. Thank you"
"The closing has happened, and there are several problems that we have to resolve." ... "Roy
$56,215 Ametrine $142,204 Champoux $9,263" ... "If you agree, then I will send you general
releases and assignment documents, and as soon as I get back signed copies Ill initiate a wire
transfer to you. Meanwhile I will proceed to negotiate with Steve and Fred."
"Further, you are put on notice that if you try to do anything that I perceive as potentially harmful to the minority members, I will use your resolution to go to court and seek an injunction to stop you. Of course this will be expensive and will further deplete the assets of the company. I would consider an attempt to remove me as manager to be such an act, as would an proposed action that would impact the right of a minority member without their consent.. And finally, you may think that if you'd handled the transfer of the money differently that the outcome would have been different. But let me assure you after your resolution opened my eyes, had you tried to do that I would have done whatever was necessary to stop you or stop the sale."
"Please be advised that Paul Lagassey was removed as the Manager of Conceptual Speech, LLC, effective as of 1:43 AM on 12/23/2011. The official communication sent to him this morning is attached to this e-mail."
"You are no longer the Manager of Conceptual Speech, LLC and do not have the authority to make any decision or bank transfers. Fred was made aware of that fact, and moving ahead with this is unlawful on your end as well as on Fred's end."
"I will force the dissolution option if that is necessary. There is no question that I am going to get
my capital out of this deal and get out."
"There is no dissolution nor splitting entities considered. There is only one consideration to be made, it is to respect the contractual agreements that have always been in place all along. There is no 'settlement negotiation'. The negotiations were done over time and every decision was logged. You had put some capital in return of ownership, and that is what you're gonna have. You cannot, and will not have it both ways. In the meantime, as far as I can tell, no-one has access to money and if you touch any Conceptual Speech, LLC money, you're gonna burn your fingers.
I have sent you a key communication that was prepared by you in July as a reminder of your commitments and distributions in the event of a $400K sale which is pretty close to the actual scenario. As far as I can tell, the negotiation is just a matter of plugging the right numbers with minor adjustments that a high-school student could do. I do not care and will not deal with the psychological drama and distortion of reality that you are subject to."
"Ametrine and I are judgement proof."
"If you don't want to settle, that's fine too. It means more money for Ametrine. Ametrine islegitimately entitled to more money than what it has received. If we don't settle this today it means Ametrine will get the rest of its money. I would almost prefer that scenario."
"I am certain that my actions will withstand the scrutiny of a judge and/or an arbitration panel. I made sure of this before taking a position. The same goes for the payment to Fred."
"The only benefit of doing this is to get this over with. If Ametrine doesn't get that benefit today, it is going to keep its money."
"I really don't care that you want a second bite at the apple. I am only interested in Ametrine getting its money back and getting a return on its investment."
"If you want $50k by Friday and to take your best shot at getting a second bite at the apple, then you can choose to do that today. If you want both entities, then you can have them, but it will cost you. If you don't accept one of these options today, then the $50k is off the table and a judge will settle the matter sometime down the road. But it will not end in criminal action as you think. And it will not end with $50k in your pocket and potential to make another deal down the road."
"But allegations that you misappropriated conceptual technology to nuance and a court order to seize your computer are within the realm of probability in a civil action - ask Gary Crain. Some ivr systems out there now act suspiciously like conceptual - keep messing with me & one day you may come to work & find a pink slip in place of your computer."
"If you really think I'm stupid enough to take a position that won't withstand the scrutiny of a Judge, then go ahead and try me. But after today you're never going to see $50,000 from this deal again, nor a chance for a second bite at the apple. Is your lawyer and whomever else is advising you going to pay you $50k when you find out I'm right? In two years you'll look back on today and realize what a stupid mistake you made. I've said all I can say on the subject - I guess our discussions are over."
"So be on notice that any threats against my person or unwelcome entry into my home or office will be met with a call to 911 (if time and circumstances allow) and the appropriate force needed (including deadly force if necessary) to deter the attack pending the arrival of the sheriff or the police."
Modus operandi of Paul J. Lagassey:
1) Enter into a partnership with someone that knows its trade.
2) Invest a little at the beginning.
3) Run huge bills and force the other party to settle for a fraction of the amount.
4) Let other partners work to build some value into the partnership.
5) At the right time, when the value has reached its maximum value, sell assets.
6) He will potentially use his Manager title to secretly open a bank account in the name of the partnership.
7) Sell the assets and have the secretly opened bank account receive the funds.
8) He will then point to any small disagreement to gather the entire amount to its own personal use.
9) He will invite you to sue him and use the partnership money for his own personal use.
10) At some point, he may offer you to settle for a fraction of the amount in exchange of a release document (clear extortion).
Note: If you have experienced similar dealing with Paul J. Laggassey or any LLC he controls or he is a member of, report it to the FBI. They are building a case against him and as he reproduces the same pattern, he is working his way towards a threshold they need in the amount of stollen amount of money in order to prosecute him.