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Georgia business owner sued for fraud

A priest in Georgia has decided to take legal action against a storage company, citing fraud as the cause. This complicated case stems from a dispute over the contents of a storage container. Further complicating the matter is the lack of documentation regarding the storage unit, leaving little evidence other than the testimony of those involved in this fraud case.

The Georgia priest has collected many items to sell and raise money for his mission. The goods and large items that he collected were quite numerous and large, necessitating the use of an over-sized storage container. At the time the priest secured the unit, he supposedly had an agreement with the owner about the terms of the lease but now claims he is a victim of fraud.

The original owner of the storage facility agreed to let the priest use the unit, but eventually sold the property to a new owner. The fraud claims stems from the supposed sale of items from the unit, not approved by to the priest. The priest claims that he was not in violation of his agreement to store his unit in the facility.

It is not clear if the items that were supposedly removed from the unit have been restored to the priest or if the priest knows for certain what was taken. The legal representation of the priest originally considered including assault in their claim in addition to the fraud claim, based on the priest's testimony regarding his treatment at the facility. The owner of the facility claims that he is owed back rent and other fees.

There is a past court order originating from the original owner, however it is not clear if there is any other paperwork. It would be difficult to prove fraud without documentation. However, there are witnesses that have taken the stand for both sides. There is no indication of the court's ruling as of now, though the litigation underscores the point that those using business services would do well to ensure that have secured appropriate documentation to support any claims they may later wish to pursue.

Source: The Saint Albans Messenger, "Hearing held in priest's case," Jessie Forand, May 2, 2013

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