Anything New York

Stories

The Acquista Family

by on Feb.21, 2010, under Posts>Stories

Betsy is a member of Families For Freedom. Here is an excerpt of her story published on their website.

“The Acquista family is forced to make a terrible choice – lose their husband and father Sal from their lives, or leave behind their lives and loved ones in the United States in order to remain together with Sal when he is deported. Betsy, Sal’s wife of twenty years, has decided to keep the family intact. So when Sal is deported, she will have to uproot their three citizen children who were born and raised in New York, and separate them from their many relatives and friends, to move them to Italy, a country they have never seen.

Charles (17 years old), James (14), and Emily (12) Acquista have spent their lives in New York, and have never been outside of the United States. Their father Sal has not left the United States since coming to New York from Italy at age 9, nearly 40 years ago. The children have grown up in the Acquistas’ family home on a quiet street in Queens, attending local schools and participating in sports and other activities in the neighborhood. The Acquista children have enjoyed the company and support of Sal’s large extended family in New York. Their father Sal was very involved in their lives, teaching them sports, coaching their little league teams, and spending time with them at home. He also provided for them financially, as co-owner of a communications company that he helped build into a successful small business. Despite being a hard-working family man, Sal made one serious mistake – he was arrested and pled guilty to a marijuana distribution charge, and was sentenced to nearly five years in prison. This arrest was the only contact Sal ever had with the criminal justice system.”

Update: Sal has been deported to Italy. Betsy and her children remain in the US and have to travel to Italy to visit him.

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The Chinese Way of Cheating

by on Jul.08, 2007, under Posts>Stories

I have also been cheated by a Chinese individual and a Chinese company. So I think I should let you know too.

The Chinese individual cheated me by paying with a check and then stop the check before I tried to cash it.

He was paying for a used SONY computer and a used SONY LCD monitor. It took me one day to try to install both English and Chinese operating systems on the computer. Then I and my cousin and her boyfriend, who happened to be visiting from England, carried the computer and the monitor and keyboard and mouse, etc., to his home which was one hour and a half away. Then I had to help him get the Internet set up at his home because he did not know English and could not communicate with the cable guy.

And what I got for doing all of these for him was $10 fine for a bounced check.

When I tried to contact him, he did not answer my phone calls. Her landlady would not let me see him. Eventually, he moved and disappeared.

The Chinese company did the same thing. They charged me for filing for an immigration application on my behalf. But I later found out that the application was never paid for and so was never considered. When I looked for the company, they were not at their old address any more. They had simply disappeared.

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The Illusive Internet Startup Stock Options

by on Jul.08, 2007, under Posts>Stories

Most people can only dream of getting a job that would offer stock options at a very low price and being able to make a large sum of money after the company goes public.

So I took such a job, passing on a job offer by McGraw-Hill’s Standard and Poor’s ComStock.

However, when the company was going to go public, I was fired, together with some other early employees who had been promised stock options at very low prices. And the company kept me in the dark for one year before they told me that I had lost the stock options that I had earned during the time I worked for them. The reason was that I did not exercise my stock options in time.

But how would I have known what I needed to do with my stock options if they did not tell me.

In the end, I had to file a lawsuit against the company to get half of the money that I could have made with my stock options. The lawsuit dragged on for two years because the company kept lying that they did not have money to pay.

I don’t know why people who have such a great amount of wealth still find it necessary to take so small advantages of people who have near to nothing.

By the way, that company was an American company with a majority share owned by an American who immigrated from Australia when he was young.

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The Meanest American I’ve Ever Met

by on Jul.08, 2007, under Posts>Stories

She was a business associate who initially found me through a work associate. She asked me to let her use my eBay account to sell her wedding dresses, promising to pay me $50 commission for each dress sold through my eBay account. I agreed.

Because my eBay account automatically linked to my credit card, all eBay fees were charged to my credit card.

Also because my eBay account was automatically linked to my PayPal account, the money paid by the customers was collected by my PayPal account. For this reason, she insisted that she had to be able to login to my PayPal account to see how much money the buyers paid to my account. I let her log in to my PayPal account. She then made payment to other people from my PayPal account

In the end, I did not make any money but lost a little money.

But what is a lot more worse is that she never sent the dresses, which were sold from $800 to $1000 each, to the customers. When the customers asked her for the dresses, she directed them to me, telling them that I had the dresses and the money. Some customers threatened to sue me for this.

She is an Italian American born and raised in New York.

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My Ordeal with My Cell Phone

by on Jul.05, 2007, under Posts>Stories

My ordeal with my cell phone does not seem to have an end.

I lost my cell phone when I fell asleep on the subway. I tried to call my phone but no one answered. So I never got it back.

Then I bought a used cell phone on eBay. It turned out to be too old to take a SIM card or to be used as a prepaid phone. I contacted the seller and was told that she would charge 20% restocking fee if I was to return it. None of these was made clear on her ad. So I complained to buySafe, the company that had guaranteed safe shopping for the customers of this seller. All I got was a skillful rebuke from buySafe on behalf of this seller. And I felt like being insult by the person at buySafe who answered my phone call.

I decided to resell this phone instead of returning it because I would not get any money back after shipping cost and restocking fee. Of course I made it clear on my ad that this phone could not take a SIM card or be used as a prepaid phone.

The guy who responded to my ad offered to give a a memory stick and some “old coins” in exchange for the phone. I took the offer and took the subway to deliver it to him.

It was dark where I met with him. So I did not see that the “old coins” were just some very dirty foreign coins, and the memory stick was broken. When I got home, I found out that the memory stick did not work. The only good thing is that he is still responding to my email. He told me how to make the memory stick work. And it did work sometimes.

I have bought a new cell phone from T-mobile web site. It is OK except that I keep hitting keys on the cell phone keypad when I am carrying it because it has no cover. I did not have such a problem with three other cell phones that I have had. So it is little annoying to me.

By the way, I do not know the identity of the eBay seller except that she used Anna as her first name. The guy who bartered the memory stick for the used phone was Hispanic, but sounded like a very decent American on the phone. I can tell from his English that his was raised here and was probably born here as well.

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A British Business Consultant

by on Jun.13, 2007, under Posts>Stories

He charged me $1500 a month for two days of his service plus $35 a month for cell phone usage. At first he tried to work as many hours as he could and kept track of how many hours he had worked for me. But I thought it was more important that he was able to accomplish something than to just spend time with me. So I did not try to keep track of how many hours he had worked for me. So eventually he did not work at all. And he never made any phone call to anybody on my behalf to justify the charge for cell phone usage either.

After our three months contract ended, I did not want to hire him any more. He said that I needed to give him 30 days notice. By the end of the fourth month, he tried to keep the job by promising to get me a part time consulting job that would pay me $4000 a month. So I continued hiring him. But because I had run out of cash, I paid with a credit card. According to our contract, he was supposed to get paid every two weeks after he had offered me two days of service a month. But he charged me $3000 on my credit card for two months of service at once.

He used that money to set up a new office space for himself and his partners. Then he told me that I should rent his office so that I would be able to get the consulting job. I rented his office at a high price. He did not give me any furniture other than a round table which was not suitable for office. And he had me to build my own file cabinet.

He got a lot of opportunities to help my business. But he did little to help me even though he got paid over $9000 for consultation. He did not write a business plan or a contract or a patent.

If I told him that I wanted him to talk to someone on my behalf, he would ask for a free meal in a good restaurant paid by that person.

He never got me the consulting job that he promised even after he became the CEO of that company.

After our relationship had ended, he went to other clients and told them about my business secret and helped them to email me threats of law suits against my business.

Can you come up with a word or a phrase to describe such a person?

By the way, I am an Asian woman. And he had two Southern girlfriends and several Southern business partners. I wonder if the British and the Southerners are racist against Asians.

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