The Atlanta ticket broker at the center of the recent fiasco surrounding Vancouver Olympics tickets has reached out to the companies that were allegedly bilked in an effort to avoid more lawsuits.
In an email sent late last week – which TicketNews obtained from one of the creditors – Gene Hammett explained that he is continuing his efforts to retrieve the money he claims he paid to Joseph and David Bunevacz, the California father/son connection who were allegedly supposed to supply thousands of Olympics tickets.
Hammett claims he paid the men about $3 million for the tickets, money which Hammett received from orders from several brokers. He is reportedly in negotiations with the pair, but they have not settled on an amount or a payment arrangement, according to the email.
The blown deal virtually wiped out Hammett, so he asked the creditors hold off suing him so that he can continue to pursue the money. He has already been sued by eSeats and RazorGator, but more lawsuits would send him into bankruptcy, which would further delay, or possibly eliminate his chance to retrieve the money.
He has also been sued by David Bunevacz, however, and Hammett intends to countersue him, but he hopes to still reach an agreement. He is being represented by Houston attorney Jim Moriarty, who has become an expert on Olympics tickets fraud cases.
Reached today, Hammett said he was wrapped up in preparing the lawsuit, and though he declined to comment specifically on the email, he said he believes he has a strong case.
“They’ve taken the money and didn’t provide the tickets. It’s one or the other, you don’t get to do both,” he said.
The situation has been extremely difficult for him, but he hopes to make things right. “I’ve lost all ability to list tickets, to process credit cards, everything. I’m unable to work, and frankly I’ve lost interest in the business. The whole thing has been awful.”
Below is the text of the email Hammett sent to creditors:
To all Creditors of Action Seating, Inc:
I wanted to provide everyone with a status update on the Olympic ticket ordeal. But let me start with another apology for involving each of you in this issue. I want you to know that I am still working to get to the “bottom” of this money trail.
And I want to thank each of you that have not filed a law suit yet (only 2 suits filed so far). This allows me to continue with the plan to get to the bottom of this issue and collect money from Bunevacz. Each of you will be able to file suit against me at a later time, but for now it is in everyone’s best interest to give me a little time to reach a settlement with Bunevacz. Or you will each have a claim in bankruptcy, but I have very little in assets within the company or personally since all the money went to secure the Olympic tickets. If anyone needs a statement from my attorney on my insolvency, I can provide that at anytime. Should I be forced go into bankruptcy, we will have to give up the law suit against Bunevacz and at that time the Trustee of the Bankruptcy will have complete control over the settlement of all funds, law suits, etc. including if they will pursue Bunevacz.
I am still working directly with Jim Moriarty to file a law suit against the Bunevaczs and Pegazus. For those who don’t know, Jim is the attorney that spearheaded the Beijing Ticket Scam with the UK brokers where eventually all parties involved were found guilty of FRAUD. They were ordered by the court to repay the monies. Read more at Jim’s website: http://www.moriarty.com/olympicticketscam/).
Also let me highlight that for the time being Jim Moriarty is working on OUR behalf “Pro Bono”. I am doing what I can to pay the direct expenses (including hiring council in California) of filing suit in California, but without Jim’s work I would not have enough money to continue forward without Bankruptcy. If your attorneys have any questions related to the case or would like to help in any way possible, you can contact Jim directly. Please be mindful that he may not have time to respond to each of you but I do intend to keep sending updates to each of you on a regular basis.
After the law suit is filed (I will send you a copy) we will move quickly to Discovery and Depositions. Their banking records should be a very telling story on where the money went to. Our hope is that we can reach a settlement offer with them during this process. As many of you know, Bunevacz has made offers to settle through his attorneys; however, no offer has been provided in writing, most offers have been for less than the amount paid and included a structured payment plan. Jim and I agree that any settlement they offer must be paid in a LUMP sum instead of through payment plans.
If there is something I am leaving out, let me know.
P.S. Please forward this statement to your attorneys so that they can be updated as well.