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View Full Version : NEPlayers Tour a disgrace - Update



woody
12-14-2003, 03:54 PM
To those unaware of the NorthEast Players tour, it was the old Scruggs tour taken over by Leon Munroz. The tour consists of both Amatuer and Open tournaments. I have known Leon for many years and always believed he would leave a lasting impression on the billiard world. Well he did. After 43 weeks, point standings and a final Amatuer championship (November 8 & 9) promising a $20,000 payout, we are still crying "Show me the money". Yup you got it, we got post dated checks (dated Dec 1st), went to cash the checks, they were no good. Reason - there were checks missing from the check book and Leon needed to close the account. He would issue new checks by Dec 15. I still have not received one and haven't seen Leon since the championship. So beware if he comes to your town looking to run your tournaments. Go checkout the website neplayerstour.com and if you know any of the tour sponsors. Please inform them so they can decide if they want to be affiliated with this tour. I will repost and give an update if the money suddenly appears.

JimS
12-14-2003, 04:39 PM
Part of your post doesn't make sense to me. Please read it and claify/edit the part about the reason the checks were no good. It appears some typos and maybe a missing period or comma or something made impossible for me to understand. Thanks and pardon me if it's not your error but my inability to make sense of it.

woody_968
12-14-2003, 05:19 PM
What I got out of his post was that there were some missing checks, so the checking account was closed, which of course made the checks that he had written to the tournament players bad.

woody
12-14-2003, 05:24 PM
What I am trying to get at is the TD ran off with more than $20,000 and hasn't been seen since. I believe he either gambled it away or moved somewhere and may be trying the same stunt somewhere else. That is why I am warning everyone.

tateuts
12-14-2003, 05:49 PM
Well, you're dealing with a pretty clever individual. By accepting post-dated checks, the players have basically given up any chance to prove criminal fraud. That was a big mistake.

Your only hope now is to sue him. I would suspect that all of you working together could slap him with so many small claims suits, he might just find the money to pay you off.

Good luck.

Chris

Nostroke
12-14-2003, 05:59 PM
why does issuing bad post dated checks absolve you of criminal fraud? I know nothing about the situation but just wondering about that point.

tateuts
12-14-2003, 07:54 PM
My experience has been that criminal fraud can only be charged when the "intent" was to defraud. In other words, bouncing a check because of a mistake is not a crime. Likewise, not being able to pay your debts is not a crime.

When you accept a post dated check, however, it cannot be proven that there was an intent to defraud, because you accepted the check and the writer could not know if, on the future date, the check would be good or not - so there is no way to prove criminal intent to defraud. My understanding is that district attorneys will not prosecute on this basis.

Chris

Fightin
12-14-2003, 08:40 PM
I'd just like to put in my 2 cents here in defense of Leon. I usually don't post here because I don't want to get involved in a lot of the discussions or questions, but this time I feel it is warranted. I play in the open division and see Leon very often (I saw him just last Sunday at Parsippany) Your response says you have not seen him since the championship, but you do not mention that you tried to contact him with e-mail, phone etc... He has an email address listed on the site. You could call Boulevard Billiards in Allentown on Monday nights as he is usually there then. I know quite a few players that played in the amateur tourney and this is the first negative thing about the entire issue that I have heard. Is it possible that your check had a legitimate problem because he had to cancel some checks? Sure, but even if it is not, I would try to find out from a few others before you go slandering someone who is working VERY HARD to establish a tour for amateurs and semi pros. It does not seem plausible that Leon has taken your money since he has neither went anywhere or disappeared.

Just my thoughts.
Phil Sherman

P.s. his last name is spelled Mroz.

woody
12-14-2003, 09:00 PM
First things first, I had alot of respect for Leon and thought he had a good thing going. I shoot at Boulevard Billiards on a regular basis and haven't seen him and they say they haven't seen him either. His hard work is very much appreciated and recognized but when over 80 players from the amatuer championship can't cash their checks, it isn't just me. All I was looking for him to face the situation like a man, show up, make an announcement and how it would be handled. All the rumors and reports have been relayed through innocent people. It's a shame for Leon's sake that the damage to his reputation has been done. Please forgive me but I hope it doesn't happen to the open tour also. I am sorry for not spelling his name correct.

Nostroke
12-14-2003, 09:36 PM
I think if the checks are never made good, that is a pretty good indication of the intent to commit fraud and not a mistake. If the law is logical which it may not be, the date shouldnt mean anything.

If the tourn ends Sunday and the check is dated monday, is that a post dated check?

Anyway i hope everyone gets what they deserve.

JohnBarton
12-14-2003, 10:33 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> My experience has been that criminal fraud can only be charged when the "intent" was to defraud. In other words, bouncing a check because of a mistake is not a crime. Likewise, not being able to pay your debts is not a crime.

When you accept a post dated check, however, it cannot be proven that there was an intent to defraud, because you accepted the check and the writer could not know if, on the future date, the check would be good or not - so there is no way to prove criminal intent to defraud. My understanding is that district attorneys will not prosecute on this basis.

Chris <hr /></blockquote>

This isn't exactly true in check cases. In many states it is illegal to not pay off a bounced check. If the writer of a bunch of postdated check closes the account before the checks are dated then he clearly has intended to defraud the receivers of the checks.

John

cueball1950
12-14-2003, 10:35 PM
Makes you wonder why people don't trust promoters. i hope he corrects everything to everybodies satisfaction. ANYWAY,
about the post dated checks...i had a similar situation where someone purchased something from me(a real close friend) gave me 1/2 cash and 1/2 a post dated check. when i tried to do something about it legally i was told that it was not a bad check in the normal sense, it was classified as a promissory note. ie; i promise to pay on such and such a date. all i could do is sue to either get paid or reposess the item. Lucklily i was paid in full. The sad part is all he had to do was tell me what happened and the circumstances and i would have understood. As it turned out, he was man enough to apologize and tell me that he was very embarrased by the whole thing and said he was not man enough to face me. i give him alot of credit for telling me that..so maybe people can try to give the man a little break. maybe he feels the same way my friend did and is also embarrased by the whole situation...................................mike

ps. good luck in your situation

RailbirdJAM
12-15-2003, 04:39 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote woody:</font><hr> To those unaware of the NorthEast Players tour, it was the old Scruggs tour taken over by Leon Munroz.<hr /></blockquote>

Woody, who is the current sponsor of the Northeast Players Tour?

RailbirdJAM

Eric.
12-15-2003, 08:37 AM
Hey Jen,

I think the NE Tour has a few sponsors; Allen Hopkins Productions, Inside Pool, Tim Scruggs, and a few more.

I hope all this noise works out, it was turning into a nice addition to the other tours in the NE/Mid Atlantic.


Eric

12-15-2003, 11:05 AM

tateuts
12-15-2003, 06:51 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote whitewolf:</font><hr>
A legit check is PAYABLE UPON DEMAND, not subject to the performance of some task or future date. So technically, one could walk into a bank with a post dated check and demand payment the same day, allowing time for the check to clear of course. Now you may have some trouble convincing a bank to do this, as I have found that they could care less about banking rules it sometimes seems in this particular instance, or more probably that they are completely ignorant of the laws, but I can't imagine a District Attorney making ruling while ignoring the 'negotiability of checks' law. I would be curious however if you have concrete proof of this, not that I doubt what you say (as anything in this world is possible LOL), because I think you have brought up an interesting subject. Isn't it more likely that the date of a check would have no bearing on the intent to defraud in court?

Regards, WW <hr /></blockquote>

Hi Whitewolf,

The bank might accept a post-dated check but I don't know if they are required to (just as they don't have to accept a stale dated check).

Concerning the criminal aspect of bad check passing, over the years I have had business experience filing police reports and complaints for fraud including dishonored personal checks. You should see people pay up when they get a letter from the police department!

Our district attorney's office won't prosectute on a post dated check for the reasons I previously stated. Here's a link to their web site:

http://da.co.la.ca.us/badcheck.htm

Here's a quote from the web site on their collections program: <font color="blue">
Any person who receives a bad check is eligible to participate in the program if the following conditions are met:

It was received in Los Angeles County, deposited in a bank in exchange for goods or services, and presumed good at the time of acceptance. There are no minimum restrictions based on dollar amount.

A courtesy notice was sent to the check writer allowing 10 days to cover the check.

It was submitted to the program within 120 days from the date on the check.

A photo identification such as drivers license, military I.D., or state identification card was recorded at the time of the transaction.

INELIGIBLE BAD CHECKS

It is post-dated.

Both parties knew there were insufficient funds at the time of transaction.

It is an out-of-state, two party, rent, government, or payroll check.

The identity of the check writer is unknown.

No amount, date, or signature on the check.

If not processed through your bank.

The check involves an extension of credit or payment on an account.


Is the date on the check accurate? A postdated check may be a defense under California law.

Does the word amount match the number amount?

Does the name of the payee appear to be changed?

Is the check imprinted? Does the signature match?

Always insist on identification. Write information on the front of the check. Bank stamps may cover up valuable information written on the back of checks. Write the initials of the check-receiver on the front of the check.

</font color>

It may be a California law. It's possible though that if enough bad checks were written and enough people complained, a district attorney might prosecute this guy anyway.

The bad check passer's out here know about the post-dated check thing. If you get a post-dated check, it's a big red flag and nobody should accept it if avoidable.

Chris

KBuck
12-16-2003, 01:23 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr>
INELIGIBLE BAD CHECKS

It is post-dated.
<hr /></blockquote>

Once the date on the check has passed how does the D.A. know that it was post-dated?

The quote could be read as the check is currently post-dated (i.e. going to the collections program on Nov. 29th for a cheque dated Dec. 1)

CarolNYC
12-16-2003, 04:20 AM
Hey Phil,
This has nothing to do with this thread-Im just saying "Hi!"
Great playing!
Carol /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Steve Lipsky
12-16-2003, 08:37 AM
Great point, KBuck.

Thanks,
Steve --&gt; upset at himself for not catching this on his own

Fightin
12-16-2003, 10:29 AM
Hi Carol,
Just saw your response and appreciate the complement. Hope all has been going great for you. Read a post a while back about a great win for you in one of your tourney's. School and work on Sat. has kept me from playing in any Joss events up your way, so you'll have to let me know when you'll be around next. Tell Jimmy I said hi and I look forward to seeing you soon. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
Phil

tateuts
12-16-2003, 11:36 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote KBuck:</font><hr>
Once the date on the check has passed how does the D.A. know that it was post-dated?

The quote could be read as the check is currently post-dated (i.e. going to the collections program on Nov. 29th for a cheque dated Dec. 1)
<hr /></blockquote>
If you want to press charges, you sign a statement under penalty of perjury that the check was not post dated when you accepted the check. As I said before, the fraud is commited based on intent. You cannot convict someone without proving that they intended to defraud the victim. If you knowingly accept a check that does not have sufficient funds with a promise to "make good" or the check is post dated, the law views this as a promissary note. It is not a criminal offense to default on a promissary note.

The bad check passers know this an use it to their advantage. There are lot of tricks these people can use, this is just one of them. I could go on and on about various scams I have encountered.

Chris

Nostroke
12-16-2003, 03:21 PM
Ok thanks for the info- Very interesting- Wonder if it's the same here in NY. Anyone know? And id like to hear some of the scams you havent mentioned.Can't have too much info when it comes to that.

I once knew a guy (pool room character of course)who would buy items from a department store with a phony check and then return the items for cash somehow a day or 2 later. He did it most everyday and at the end was traveling 70-80 miles out of town because his picture was in the security rooms everywhere else. Nicest criminal i ever met. He would get "stuck" with the goods sometime though for whatever reason and give them to homeless people.

He also did something with American Express Travelers Checks and when they went after him, he was irate and actually thought that they were dead out of line- after all they were making millions and he was only stealing a couple of thousand now and then!He actually had people sympathizing with him too. Too funny-only in the pool world!

woody
12-16-2003, 07:33 PM
Update - Leon was to show up at Boulevard Billiards last night and start paying off players. Someone was able to get him on the phone and he said he needed one more week. That only proves one thing to me, the money isn't there. Thanks to all.

JimS
12-16-2003, 07:48 PM
I generally believe in a fairly hardnosed approach but IF he's accepting his responsibility in this thing then maybe he's a decent guy that screwed up and honestly wants to make it right.....MAYBE.

So he deserves the chance to make it right. I wouldn't recommend giving him the keys to the safe next time though. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif It would be hard to not "use" some of that perfectly good $$$$$$ that's just laying around and I'll put it back right away.

CarolNYC
12-17-2003, 04:27 AM
Hey Phil,
Doors been open:):):)
PMing you!
Carol~glad your still in school! /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

12-17-2003, 11:58 AM

woody
12-25-2003, 09:15 AM
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. Well my Christmas promise didn't come true. We were all promised to be paid in cash by Christmas - NOT!!!! Hey Phil S. I do have a solution. Since you are the #1 point leader in the open, why don't I show up at the Tacony Palmyra tour stop on Jan. 4th and what ever money you make, you can hand over to me, till I am paid off, and you can wait for the money. Sounds logical to me, Leon will have all that money and I'm owed money longer than you so now you can wait. Is it a deal????? Let me guess the answer in NO!!

woody
12-31-2003, 11:17 PM
Last and final update: Leon hasturned himself in, all the money is gone, and we are all to turn in our check to the detectives. They don't know how to handle it yet due to the numerous jurisdictions he commited a criminal act in (multiple states and counties). Thanks to all who replied and/or checked out this thread. Happy New Year to all.

SUPERSTAR
01-02-2004, 12:10 PM
Ok...i've been following this from the start. I know a few people that participated in the invitational championship that Leon held.
My question is as follows.
If Leon turned himself in, how is one to contact the detectives in charge. Did they give you a number to reach them at, or are THEY going to contact the participants who were defrauded?
Just saves everyone the trouble of calling Allentown trying to find out all the info.

dmgwalsh
01-02-2004, 01:45 PM
I guess we may find out whether or not he has comitted a crime with the post dated check when someone talks ot the detectives.

Fightin
01-02-2004, 10:24 PM
Wow, Raphael just im'd me the new link as I just got home from work. First, I'll say my apology for thinking people were being too hasty in judging Leon for the check problem. The fact that I didn't get any further good and extra info is why I didn't post anymore on the topic. I still hope that these things get straightened out.

More importantly though, for those of us in the open tour...A) will there be a tourney Sunday at Tacony run by one of the other operators? B) Will there be the other championship events (hmmm hate to say anything about the added money collected throughout the year)? c) The tour actually owes me a Tim Scruggs cue for player of the year honors (all I have (had) to do is show up for the last tourneys. Didn't have to win another game and Pat wouldn't be able to catch me with all 4 tournament wins) Will that be given to me still? I did just send an email to Tim Scruggs and await his response. Hopefully he did not give the cue to Leon if this is all true. If anybody on the tour or anyone has any answers to these questions or advice, I would be all ears.

Hope this is all either resolved or with solution for the sake of our sport.
Phil Sherman

billiards_89
01-02-2004, 10:34 PM
Hey Phil, What's up without saying my name u know who this is. The guy at Drexeline who loves the game and the guy who Leon owes over 500 bucks too..I am curious to see if he will be there on Sunday. If so call my cell phone. Nice seeing ya out here. and PS U got the 7 ball..Just Kidding

billiards_89
01-02-2004, 10:56 PM
Woody, Thanks for updating us. What have your heard about Leon turning himself in ? Is that true or false ? Please let me know. Thanks

Fightin
01-02-2004, 11:08 PM
p.s. Not a good sign, but the N.E. players tour web site is down as well.

RailbirdJAM
01-03-2004, 06:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote woody:</font><hr> To those unaware of the NorthEast Players tour, it was the old Scruggs tour taken over by Leon Munroz. The tour consists of both Amatuer and Open tournaments.<hr /></blockquote>

Did the Scruggs Tour conclude, and this tour was then picked up by Leon M.?

This really is a dark day for pool in general (IMO). What is a DISGRACE is the conduct of those in charge.

Good sponsors, such as veteran cue-maker Tim Scruggs, contribute to the sport, investing their time and money, not to mention GOOD NAME, and this happens.

I attended a Scruggs Tour tournament in Lancaster, PA, and Baltimore, MD. At that time, Cobey Atkins (sp) of Diamond Billiards was the TD. Is this the reincarnation of THAT tour?

RailbirdJAM

woody
01-03-2004, 10:08 AM
All I was told was they were gathering info, and we were to turn in our checks to the Allentown detectives office. I did, they took some info, and nobody has contacted me yet.

woody
01-03-2004, 10:21 AM
Hi Phil, I wanted to congradulate you on Player of the year honors, Something well earned and deserved. I also wanted to say I am truly sadend by this whole thing, It was a wonderful thing. Thanks for all your imput, You may of thought this but I have nothing against you, I may have come across that way. Sorry &amp; congradulations!!!!!

Fightin
01-05-2004, 12:03 AM
Thanks woody for the complement, but now I am here to post an update as to what I know about the current issues.

I was called back by one of the sponsors/operators on Sunday in regards to the tour, the upcoming event and championships, etc etc... Apparently, our tournament on Sunday at Tacony was cancelled as well as the tour championships. (which obviously stinks). Now, I understand that evryone from the amateur handicapped division is owed their money from their year end tourney, but if that money is gone (i.e. taken by Leon) then so is our open contributions from every player from all tourneys towards the year end championships. That probably adds up to a tidy sum as well. Leon also seems to have been given extra cues by Jose Borges (JAB cues) which were not given out to the amateur tour or recovered as well. I think it will take some days to sort out any issues from the police (assuming everything posted by everyone else is true) and to get any info to be disseminated to involved players. If someone does get contact info or additional tour information, it would probably be appreciated if they would post it.

I did actually send Tim scruggs two emails a) to find out if he had given a cue to Leon and b) to keep him abreast of the situation since his name is still posted/associated with the tour. I have yet to hear back from him, but hope he is not negatively affected as well and in hopes that I will not get deprived of my cue as well as everyone else with their money.

I do not know if it is yet possible for someone to salvage something for this tour for the year, but have heard tidbits here and there to offer our area players something to participate in and if this is passed on to me, I will let people know. If Jose is involved in any way, I will support him (as he and his company have an excellent reputation) in any way I can.

Until more info.
Phil

Fightin
01-05-2004, 01:21 PM
Last update - Just a note for those of you who have the checks from the amateur tour - I was sent info earlier stating (secondhand, so take it for what it is worth) that Leon had talked to the police but it not in jail, because no one has filed actual charges against him. That is obviously up to those of you with the bad checks. The open player's money for the championships is obviously back burner since no crime has been committed yet since the tourneys have not been held.

On a much brighter note, I would like to offer my thanks to Tim Scruggs, who in his usual upstanding and professional manner, did respond and agree to make me the points leader cue that he had originally donated in spite of this TD fiasco. Tim is a wonderful sponsor and exceptional cuemaker and truly deserves appreciation for his support of our sport. It is only a shame that more people like Tim are not around to help pool grow in a positive image.
Phil

tateuts
01-05-2004, 03:46 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fightin:</font><hr> Last update - Just a note for those of you who have the checks from the amateur tour - I was sent info earlier stating (secondhand, so take it for what it is worth) that Leon had talked to the police but it not in jail, because no one has filed actual charges against him. That is obviously up to those of you with the bad checks. The open player's money for the championships is obviously back burner since no crime has been committed yet since the tourneys have not been held.

On a much brighter note, I would like to offer my thanks to Tim Scruggs, who in his usual upstanding and professional manner, did respond and agree to make me the points leader cue that he had originally donated in spite of this TD fiasco. Tim is a wonderful sponsor and exceptional cuemaker and truly deserves appreciation for his support of our sport. It is only a shame that more people like Tim are not around to help pool grow in a positive image.
Phil <hr /></blockquote>

First of all, I would encourage all players who received bad checks or were otherwise unpaid to file complaints with the police or district attorney's office as soon as possible to prevent this person from pulling this again elsewhere.

Secondly, I think Tim Scruggs ought to be publicly commended. I am a big fan of his outstanding cues and I now know why he has such a great reputation.

Here's to you, Mr. Scruggs!

Chris

Fightin
01-08-2004, 12:34 PM
I just want to post this to personally thank Tim again. I talked with Tim on the phone the morning after he received my email. He actually already had a cue made like I wanted. He shipped it out Tues, and I received it Wednesday. It is a truly beautiful cue that everyone was impressed with. I played with it for 2 hours and the hit was exceptional as well.

Thanks again to Tim Scruggs for his continued support in the wake of our tour disaster.
Phil