My best end client in Jail?
Thread poster: Eman Riesh

Eman Riesh  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:10
Member (2010)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Jan 6, 2009

Hi all,
I feel dazed, confused and even plotted, and I need your help. I'm going to tell you what it is all about, and I need you to think it over with me.
I face this situation with one of my BEST end clients; I can even say he was the best end client along 3 years. I've done many jobs for him, started with a big project of 400 pages. He lives abroad. He contacted me, 3 years ago, through my profile at a freelancers' website. Though we had many projects together, we hardly knew each other personally. I mean I only knew his mobile phone, email address and the city he lives in, and so did he. I thought that was enough for me as nothing happened to stir up my suspicions. I figured out that he was a kind of a businessman and had some factories. Things were moving smoothly for almost 3 years (I deliver work on time and get paid in full and timely without any problem).
6 months ago, he contacted me, as usual, for some works. For the first time, this project contained some DTP works that I had to outsource. One of my colleagues did this part and I paid him at once.
My dues for that project (which was one of our average projects) reached around US$3000. He phoned me to sum up and send him an email with my dues. I did; but this was 10 days later after his call.
That's it. I mean that was the last time I heard from him. He hasn't answered my emails or calls for 2 months, then his mobile suddenly went as (temporarily out of service) for the next 4 months and till now.
Then I started to contact some of my acquaintances who live in his city to know what happened to him. I noticed that they were willing to help me at first, and then they returned to me empty-handed. Finally, one of them told me that he has been jailed!!!
Why? And for how long? Does he have an office, partners, family or whatever person to contact? All these questions were too difficult to answer. No one, I guess, would like to be immersed in such situation.
I'm so sorry for the long post, but I feel much better to share this with you.
What would you do if you were in my shoes? I can't just go there as this is very complicated at the country he lives in. Would you just let it go?
All your thoughts and insights are needed and appreciated.
Thank you for your time.

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Arnaud HERVE  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:10
English to French
+ ...
Maybe Jan 7, 2009

Ask the justice department where he lives.

I suppose if he's in jail he can still receive letters.

Or his embassy in your country.

If he is really in jail it's better than disappeared, from the mail point of view. Because there are official records of his existence somewhere.

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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:10
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Change in the status from a number of red flags Jan 7, 2009

I met with some non-paying agencies.
In the situation like yours, the agency [client] can have changes in their business status. My aniticipations inlude:
1. Wrong-going business (e,g. bad debts, reduction in income, global economic crisis etc.)
2. Personal ill practice e.g. use of company fund for stock investment and lost.
3. Personal reasons e.g. use of company fund for family member's medical treatment.
4. Change in business policy e.g. switching from you to another low cost translator and dishonestly avoid payment to you [it is unlikely in your case].
You use the correct way to contact your agency's acquaintances. I also got payment in such the conditions [the agency intended to continue the business honestly.]


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:10
Spanish to English
You don't say which country your client is in Jan 7, 2009

In some countries people can go to jail for traffic offences and in some countries the jails are full of innocent people.

He could have a two month sentence or a twenty year sentence or, if it is a country with a legal system like Mexico's, he could be there awaiting trial.

Arnaud's advice is good, get in touch with the department of Justice or his country's embassy.

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Dina Abdo  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:10
Member (2005)
+ ...
Contact his country's embassy in your country Jan 7, 2009

I've been through that before. Embassies can do A LOT in similar situations; especially if his financial records are being invistigated. Doing that as soon as possible will give you a good chance adding your bill to the list of his due payments to others while the government is arranging for that - which is usually a process that runs as soon as such persons - talking ones who have businesses running - are sentenced.

No matter what country he lives in, embassies are the ones you can adress directly and quickly on similar situations. And if they didn't respond properly to your request, then you can just address that to your local authorities either personally or through an attorney and they would address the matter to the embassy which usually takes somewhat longer but still sound more effective to the employees at the embassy.

Hope you'll work it out soon


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:10
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
Maybe the client is not in jail? Jan 7, 2009

Maybe he simply went bankrupt? Also - having in mind that he paid to you earlier without any problems?

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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 15:10
English to Croatian
+ ...
Creative mind Jan 7, 2009

I just wanna remark that Marius has a very creative mind.

I'd never think of that, although it is very realistic and possible !

On topic : have you signed a contract with this client, or do you have any document by which you can pursue your legal rights ?

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