Is Luis Alberto Veras of Tabacalera San Luis CixA, Piantini, Santo Domingo, D.N. bad
Is Luis Alberto Veras of Tabacalera San Luis CixA, Piantini, Santo Domingo, D.N. bad businessman or a thief and con man? We are a cigar company Winston Brothers, Inc. from San Francisco, California. We were interested in importing cigars directly from manufacturers in the Dominican Republic and in that context we made contact with the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Washington, D.C. The embassy provided us with a list of manufacturers who were interested in marketing their products in the United States. We made contact with a number of them including San Luis. From those we felt best suited us we asked for and paid for samples of their products.
After receiving our ATF license from the United States government we emailed San Luis an order for 6,000 short filler cigars. We then received by email an authorization form from San Luis that we were advised to sign and fax back to them. Rather than do that and because we had other manufacturers to see in the Dominican Republic we informed Luis Veras and San Luis that we would be in Santo Domingo in early May and that we would bring the document with us. We further informed that we wanted them to develop a label for the product. Once I arrived here I telephoned Luis Veras to setup a meeting at his office. I was informed that his office had been burgled the night before and that police were still taking fingerprints and other duties at that location and we therefore agreed to meet at my hotel. We had no knowledge of police practice in the Dominican Republic and in a word his explanation seemed reasonable. We meet Luis at our hotel gave him the authorization and shipping instructions to use our UPS account to ship the product to us once it was ready. We also furnished them the artwork for our label. We were told that the finished label art would be emailed to us for approval and that the cigars would be shipped by the end of the month. We further agreed that Tabacalera San Luis CxA would draw 60% of their money in advance and the balance when the cigars were shipped. We use a debit card account for shipment of less than $50,000. In mid May were emailed San Luis and Veras concerning the artwork for the label and we were told that the printer had a backlog but that the artwork and shipment would be done on schedule. On about the 30th day of May we emailed San Luis to confirm shipment of the product but the email bounced back. We then tired to reach San Luis and Veras by telephone; both the office and factory telephones were disconnected.
We went to our bank and had them pull a cutoff statement on the order account and we found that a company or organization called “Canvas Artists” in Florida had drawn money from our account. We had no business with “Canvas Artists and in fact did not know who they were. Our first notion was that San Luis’s system had been hacked and the information compromised. We were wrong as you will see later on; San Luis was hacked not by some outsider but by Luis Veras from inside. We ordered our bank to close the order account and cancel the debit card for that account as of June 4, 2007. From that day nothing went into or came out of that account.
We informed a local attorney who was working on other matters for us of the problem with Tabacalera San Luis CxA and asked that he look into the matter. In mid June 2007 I returned to Santo Domingo and with the local attorney went to the office of San Luis in Piantini. The office was locked and from the looks of the property no one had used the office in some time. In talking to other people in the office complex we learned that San Luis had been closed for more than six months. At that point we knew we had been scammed but by whom. The attorney made contact with the mother of Luis Veras who claimed among other things that there was illness in the family but that our money would be refunded to us by July 15, 2007. We made arrangements with another manufacturer to produce the products for us and returned to California leaving instructions with our local attorney to collect the money or begin litigation and call in the police.
On or about July 20 we were informed that San Luis had not paid our local attorney and we ordered him to call in the police and file suit at once. He did not and was fired. Beginning late July we sent our research people to look into the business of San Luis and determine if there was a relationship between San Luis and Canvas Artists. The fax number we were asked to fax the authorization to was in Florida, a jurisdiction that requires filing of fictitious names. From the office of the Secretary of State for the State of Florida we found that “Canvas Artists” was a sole proprietorship owned by Veras USA, Inc. (a Florida corporation) and that Veras USA, Inc. was owned by Luis Alberto Veras and Luis Antonio Veras. We are not aware that Luis Antonio Veras had any knowledge of Canvas Artists because only Luis Alberto Veras signed the fictitious name statement and in other publications from Canvas Artists he is listed as Chief Executive Officer of Canvas Artists. This being, said Canvas Artists the company in whose account or money was diverted is a sole proprietorship hidden in Veras USA, Inc.
This was not the first mention of Canvas Artists and Luis Veras. In the search for Canvas Artists, our researches lead us to a website rippoff.com which disclosed that Canvas Artists had scammed several citizens of the United States. It seems that Canvas Artists had received a number of checks for services and payments by credit cards and simply disappeared. When the Canvas Artists website dropped we located the web service firm that they used and found that it was dropped for cause.
The common thread in the disappearance of the deposit of Winston Brothers, Inc. was Luis Alberto Veras. In conversation with Luis Veras to resolve this matter with court or police intervention he claimed that his system was hacked and that he was robbed. In addition he contends that my “credit card” was charged back in the amount of the deposit. First and foremost it was a “debit” or check card and that as soon as the thief was discovered that account was closed. We went to suggest to him that if he could supply a copy of the cashiers check in the company name that proves we were reimbursed we would forget this matter. His response was that his bank had closed his account in Florida and that they had all the records; but that had a “chargeback” slip that he was sent upon the closing of that account. However that chargeback never mentions Winston Brothers, Inc.. Banks in the United States to support chargeback to accounts send chargeback tickets to the account holder even it there are no funds in the account. They charge the account back and close it with its negative balance charged to uncollectible debt. Therefore a chargeback is of no value. If there was money in the account the bank would have taken it and paid each customer of Canvas Artists who had been billed. In our case they would have paid my bank and we would have been advised. We have been a customer of that bank for more than twenty years without a problem of blemish on our records. In five years as a retail store we have had only one chargeback and that was a refund and that chargeback appeared on our statement naming the customer and enough of his card number so it would be clear to us that the customers account had been made whole.
Is Luis Alberto Veras a bad businessman who was hacked or do you believe that Luis Alberto Veras is a common thief and conman.
Very truly yours,
i would say:
'hang that bitch'.
in case of 'bad businessmen aso,
i would name you and your company not the most int.. ones leaving access to that amount of money to somebody you nearly didn't know, never checked him as a company or person.
by the reading of the above post i still ask myself:
do you have written proofs/papers aso who show that he took money from you/your company/account?
if yes i would assume he is in jail for that.
if no, yeap, somebody been not that good of a businessman.
Sorry about your loss and wasted time.
There's a gentleman in the forum who goes by the handle Hillbilly whom I believe is or was at one time involved with Cigar production. At a minimum he could point you in the right direction of good honest people to do business with. I think everyone in here can vouch for his credentials.
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