Wireless Toyz hopes it will not have to pay damages in fraud lawsuit

Attorneys for Wireless Toyz said they are aiming to have the judgments against the company and Simtob dismissed after post-trial motions are heard by Judge Steven N. Andrews. They also are seeking $400,000 in attorney fees to be paid by the plaintiffs.

http://www.mlive.com
March 8, 2010

Wireless Toyz hopes it will not have to pay damages in fraud lawsuit
Sheena Harrison

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The attorneys who represented Farmington Hills-based Wireless Toyz Inc. in a recent fraud case say they hope a judgment against the cell-phone retailer will be thrown out, according to a statement issued by the company's lawyers.

Wireless Toyz and its founder, Joe Barbat, were accused of violating Michigan franchise laws and falsifying information about profitability to franchisees. On Friday, a jury ordered Wireless Toyz to pay $180,600 to David Abbo, a Wireless Toyz franchisee from Colorado. Richard Simtob, a former senior vice president for Wireless Toyz, also was ordered to pay $20,000 to Abbo, according to the joint statement from Royal Oak-based Cohen, Lerner & Rabinovitz P.C. and Bloomfield Hills-based Hertz Schram P.C.

The letter notes that plaintiffs in the case, who were represented by Birmingham-based Norman Yatooma & Associates P.C., were seeking $7.2 million in damages.

Click On Detroit reported on Friday that eight out of nine fraud charges against Wireless Toyz and Barbat were thrown out, and that Barbat was not required to pay money out of his own pocket.

Attorneys for Wireless Toyz said they are aiming to have the judgments against the company and Simtob dismissed after post-trial motions are heard by Judge Steven N. Andrews. They also are seeking $400,000 in attorney fees to be paid by the plaintiffs.

"We are disappointed to learn that the Yatooma law firm has chosen to publicize a preliminary result in a case that is not complete and, in our opinion, will probably not result in a judgment against Wireless Toyz or any of its officers," the statement reads.

Crain's Detroit Business says that at least two more disgruntled franchisees have pending cases against Wireless Toyz and Barbat.

http://www.mlive.com/business/detroit/index.ssf/2010/03/wireless_toyz_responds_to_repo.html


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