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still without refund - legal actions?

I had hoped that my earlier post concerning Sarah Kanish's neglect to refund my money from a commission placed over a year ago would force her into confronting the issue. Wrong.

In fact, now Sarah (astra_valyesky) will neither reply to my e-mails or answer the multiple comments I have left in her LiveJournal. Is there any possible way to recover my money? She has stolen that money from me and I would like it returned (which she promised multiple times to do!).

The only contact information that I have for Sarah is either digital or incomplete. I know the town in which her mother still resides, and I know which school campus she is currently attending. Even if I were to attempt to send an authorized letter describing a magistrate's order to refund my money, I doubt the letter could ever reach her. I'm not even sure if my district magistrate would be able to help. I have considered just letting it go, but that would mean I somehow approved of her actions and nothing could be farther from the truth. If she has ripped off a customer once she will do it again and it needs to be haulted.

I still have all of our original e-mail conversations between us describing the commission-to-be, pricing, and expected time ranges to have the piece completed.


Any thoughts appreciated.
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Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
acrimonius
Jan. 19th, 2006 07:35 pm (UTC)
... Whoa.

A quick glance through her gallery also sends up a few warning flags. Her anatomical knowledge varies pretty widely from piece to piece; some of her pieces have this lovely sculptural quality with definitive planes and a solid structure, and then you get things like this. I think you may have been ripped off by a hack.

How did you send her the money? If it was through Paypal, you might be able to lodge a complaint with them.
mirsathia
Jan. 19th, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC)
Well, having met Astra before, I can say that she's definitely not a hack - at least, not in the arts department.

She's very unstable otherwise, though. :P I'm not surprised that she's decided to utterly blow off someone for the hell of it, even someone who used to be a close friend.
thaily
Jan. 19th, 2006 08:18 pm (UTC)
Maybe she just can't draw for -other- people, it happens.
growly
Jan. 19th, 2006 08:52 pm (UTC)
Then she should not be taking commissions.
thaily
Jan. 19th, 2006 09:23 pm (UTC)
True.

Though you don't find out until afterwards, or think that you'll do better this time etc.

But it's not acceptable no.
thornwolf
Jan. 19th, 2006 11:01 pm (UTC)
unfortunately that doesnt stop people =(
tentaclejen
Jan. 20th, 2006 03:38 am (UTC)
She had been a reliable source of commissions - I had paid her for pieces previously to this incident. The last time she talked to me about the money she merely said that she was crawling out of a hole of debts.

Supposedly she also owes at least two other people art/money, also.
tentaclejen
Jan. 20th, 2006 03:31 am (UTC)
I sent her a money order, unfortunately. I had done business with Sarah before and this sort of thing never happened.
ilea
Jan. 19th, 2006 07:46 pm (UTC)
well you can call the school she attended and or attends and see if they give you any of her contact info.

http://atlantisphotography.com/04KanishS.htm hell maybe these people have her contact info.

And yano what? there are only 5 or so people with the last name of kanish around where she says she's from... I'd call around looking for her and if her parents answer? talk to them. Nothing like mommy or daddy to send a teenager squirming.
ilea
Jan. 19th, 2006 07:54 pm (UTC)
she's from ford city pa btw.
tentaclejen
Jan. 20th, 2006 03:39 am (UTC)
I know. I also know where she is currently attending college.
thaily
Jan. 19th, 2006 08:02 pm (UTC)
I doubt a school will share a person's personal info with anyone, but if she has a rare last name it's worth a try calling them all.
Just be sure you know what to say.

I second the mommy and daddy idea.

ilea
Jan. 19th, 2006 08:05 pm (UTC)
sometimes they will if you explain to them what it is about and if she signed that share my info with other institutions thing
thaily
Jan. 19th, 2006 08:13 pm (UTC)
If they do it's very irrisponsible.

It could be a customer who just wants her/his art, could be a creepy stalker who wants to hit her over the head, roll her in a carpet and shove her out of the back of a van while doing 80 on a highway. They can't be sure either way.
xodiac
Jan. 19th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
Unlike lawyers, doctors, and banking institutions, I don't think most other businesses and institutions are legally required not to give out the information of its members/clients/customers. It's a bad idea to do so, but they can if they wish.

I think.
thaily
Jan. 19th, 2006 08:23 pm (UTC)
I'm not so sure, but we can agree that it'd be stupid if they did. And possibly very dangerous.
tentaclejen
Jan. 20th, 2006 03:40 am (UTC)
From what I understand she and her mother are not terribly close to begin with, I'm not sure whether or not a call to mummy would do any good.
tentaclejen
Jan. 20th, 2006 03:36 am (UTC)
Schools, as far as I know, are not permitted to release student information to anyone other than that student or the authorities.

Those are indeed her senior photographs, but I do not think that a professional business would hand out personal information about clients, either.
anjel_kitty
Jan. 19th, 2006 09:03 pm (UTC)
How much money are we talking about here...
mazz
Jan. 19th, 2006 09:09 pm (UTC)
her last post says $75
anjel_kitty
Jan. 19th, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC)
That is a good big of money. Pay Pal might be able to do something to help you with that. If you have what college she and what her name is try looking her up on Facebook, and see if you can gleam any other info on her that way.
tentaclejen
Jan. 20th, 2006 03:34 am (UTC)
I sent her the money via money order order, not Paypal.
anjel_kitty
Jan. 20th, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC)
Ouch. I'm sorry then hun.
Seems like there is little you can do. Did you try the face book idea?
larylich
Jan. 19th, 2006 11:23 pm (UTC)
What to do about getting your money back?

First off, don't threaten to sue. That can be considered a form of harassment, and can get YOU in trouble instead. Sad but true.

The school should never give out their student's info to private parties. Don't bother there.

If you've paid and nothing has come of it, you're the victim of fraud. Over a year with NOTHING back for your money is too long to wait. Period. It's criminal/juvenile behavior to accept money and then just run off with it. And if you've not gotten your money after all these "promises" then that's exactly what's happened.

Check here: https://www.usps.com/postalinspectors/fraud/MailFraudComplaint.htm to see if this applies to you- please read it carefully. Also, contact the Ford City police. There's a good chance you can talk to a detective about your plight. KEEP all you're e-mails as those are very important and the detective will want to see them. Always discuss things in neutral tones and try not to get heated over it.
tentaclejen
Jan. 20th, 2006 04:21 am (UTC)
Thank you for the link to mail fraud complaints. I had no idea that such a thing existed. I have filed a complaint and plan to contact the Ford City police tomorrow afternoon.

Thank you again for all of your help.
larylich
Jan. 20th, 2006 04:58 am (UTC)
Good luck! Please keep us posted!
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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