I live in Orange County, CA
I signed an agreement and 'invested' $5,000 in a friends new business. Now I discover it was a Ponzi scheme, as he also got money from other guys on my softball team, an umpire and numerous people at his church. The $5,000 was due October 1, 2015. He has fed me line after line of BS about how and when he is going to pay, but it has all been lies, just like he tells the others. I understand small claims in Orange County is $5000. Is this something I can win in court showing the agreement we both signed and copies of text messages and emails of broken promises?
2 Answers from Attorneys
If you invested as an individual, and not as a corporation or LLC, the small claims limit is $10,000 ($5,000 if you invested as a corporation or LLC.) If your written agreement is clear as to the amount and when you should have been repaid, you should be able to win the case. Collecting from the individual or the business after you get a judgment may prove more difficult, but your judgment would be good for at least 10 years unless the individual or business files for bankruptcy.
In addition, E-mails and text messages can be used as evidence in court.
Best of luck to you.