• Report: #891429
Complaint Review:

Platinum Tax Defenders

  • Submitted: Fri, June 01, 2012
  • Updated: Fri, June 01, 2012

  • Reported By: horses mouth — Simi Valley California United States of America
Platinum Tax Defenders
Simi Valley, California United States of America

Platinum Tax Defenders Sad Situation Simi Valley, California

*UPDATE Employee: Clarity re Platinum Tax Defenders

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I have sat back quietly and watched the ongoing drama unfold regarding the serious legal allegations against the owner of Platinum Tax Defenders, Sherri Gastelum. I know with absolute certainty that there is extremely bad blood between Ms. Gastelum and many of her former business associates due to certain actions that she took which have been categorized as being highly unethical. It is documented that she took many actions, all of which may not actually be criminal, but were certainly extremely unethical by a reasonable person's definition. I am not writing this to "crucify" Ms. Gastelum. The truth is absolute and unwavering. I am not writing this to sway public opinion either way. Instead, I am writing to give an objective and unbiased perspective into this matter.

I work in the legal profession and consequently tend to place my focus solely on FACTS. The following are FACTS that are indisputable and verifiable:

The fact is that to date, no felony charges have yet been filed against Ms. Gastelum. In our wonderful country, we are all innocent until proven guilty. So technically speaking, Ms. Gastelum, by legal definition, is still considered innocent of the allegations against her.

HOWEVER, upon investigation, it has been confirmed that Ms. Gastelum is, in fact, under formal investigation by the 3 separate local jurisdictions for alleged crimes including embezzlement, felony theft, and consumer fraud. It is further documented that there are at least 3 case numbers assigned to these allegations. One of the case numbers originates with the Houston Police Department in the "FINANCIAL CRIMES DIVISION" and has a case number assigned as the following: 065983412-S

A second report was filed in Bar Harbor Maine with one Detective Small at phone number: 207-667-2133. 

The cases are being reviewed by the US Attorney's office and have been forwarded to the local authorities in Ms. Gastelum's jurisdiction for further investigation and possible criminal indictment. The allegations are felonious and, if indicted, do in fact carry prison time.

Those are the FACTS. 

From an objective perspective, it is very difficult to believe that the allegations against Ms. Gastelum are without merit considering the extent and consistency of the allegations and the number of individuals who are apparently consistent with regard to the details of the allegations. There may, in fact, be someone out there with an "axe to grind" however, considering that I have over 20 years in the legal field, my learned intuition tells me that there may actually be substance to these allegations.

My hope is that there will be no more victims as a result of these alleged acts by Ms. Gastelum. It appears that many people have been severely harmed due to certain actual or perceived acts. If Ms. Gastelum is in fact innocent, then she will have her day in court to prove that. However, if she did, in fact, victimize unsuspecting individuals and defrauded them out of thousands of dollars as the allegations indicate, then my hope is that she be held accountable for those acts to the fullest extent of the law.

Time will tell.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/01/2012 04:31 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/platinum-tax-defenders/simi-valley-california-93065/platinum-tax-defenders-sad-situation-simi-valley-california-891429. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Clarity re Platinum Tax Defenders

AUTHOR: Attorney - (United States of America)

Today, June 1, 2012, I Dustin Wetton, the attorney for Sherri Gastelum and the General Counsel of Platinum Tax Defenders, came across this posting on Rip-off Report. 

I have seen, responded, and advised my client on how to react to similar multiple and common attacks upon her reputation and that of Platinum Tax on various sites such as rip-off report, pissed consumer, and trusted link.  Each of these attacks are not clients, nor prospective clients, and we have not once heard from any of them before filing these false complaints.  Also, none of the attacks have anything to do with the actual actions, services, or work of Platinum Tax Defenders and its employees. 

As her attorney, I have been in contact with the FBI for extortion, I have contacted the Ventura District Attorney for fraud and criminal harassment, and I have contacted the Houston District Attorney to report online bullying and defamation.  I have done this in order to protect my client as best as I can from these online attacks.  While I have done this, the attacks continue, and all of their language is the same:  some insider has information that Sherri Gastelum stole money and they are trying to protect the public from her future attacks.  This is the same language that
her ex-boyfriend and ex-business partner, Scott C., verbally has said to me and my client numerous times.

As part of my due diligence, I followed up with the four reported claims that this person wrote, a complaint I believe to be written by Scott C. or someone closely connected to Scott C..

1) The investigation at the Financial Crimes Unit of Houston, TX case number 065983412-S.  I called and spoke with a Sue who looked up the case for me.  This complaint was filed by Scott C. for theft and forgery.  The claim did not list my client anywhere on it, but instead had listed a Vanessa.  However, as the supposed crime occurred in California, the case has been closed and the offices are no longer looking into it.  Therefore, there is no investigation being done by the Financial Crimes Unit of Houston, TX.

2) The investigation by Bar Harbor Maines Detective Small, who actually is part of the Ellsworth Crime unit, was also looked into.  After speaking with the Detective, a complaint was filed by a Sophia Pod at the request of Scott C. according to the detective.  The claim was that the previous business that Ms. Gastelum and Scott C. owned together had taken her $10,000 without her approval over a year ago and that she just realized the money was gone.  Yet, as this supposed crime occurred in California, this investigation was closed and according to Detective Small, their offices are not investigating Ms. Gastelum whatsoever.

3) The U.S. Attorney office has no record of anything to do with Ms. Gastelum and does not have her name on record anywhere.

4) As far as local authorities go, I have already been in contact with the District Attorney of Ventura about this matter, and there are no records of any investigation by their team.  I called the Ventura County Sherriffs office to learn of any police reports filed or ongoing investigations; they searched for her name and found nothing as well.  I also left a message with the Ventura County East Valley Investigations Unit in regards to this matter explaining a requested call back as we believe there to be false accusations placed against my client as retaliation by Scott C.  Therefore, as of now, there are no records of any investigations being done by local authorities.

In summary, these complaints are the result of actions taken by Scott C. and those that care about him.  They are attempts to hurt my client and her business and hold no validity.  His axe to grind is because of the ending of the business with Ms. Gastelum, her involvement with his parole being revoked, and the end of their romantic relationship.  While there may be anger, emotion, and heartbreak, this is not a soap opera to be voiced online to the masses, but instead one meant for a smaller audience between Ms. Gastelum and Scott C.

Therefore, in closing, in no way are these complaints against Platinum Tax Defenders and Ms. Gastelum true, and the only clarity that they convey is that there is an issue between Ms. Gastelum and Scott C.

If anyone has any questions or comments about this or any of these complaints, please call me at 800-991-6247 to discuss.
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