Legal Action & Fraud

SierraPilot

New Member
While I am happy to see KH Avation resuming operations soon, it has come to my attention that part of this deal was that Skip Everett made a deal with John yoon (New CEO of Sierra Academy) that Skip would keep our money in exchange for the new owners agreeing to honor our existing flight training agreements out of their own pocket. The catch to this is while those who wish to stay will still be able to continue flying, those of us who wish to leave are being refused a refund and have stated that this isnt their problem and that if we want our money back we will have to take legal action against the former owners.

I and a few others I know personally have since then obtained reputable legal counsel (former DA for contra costa county), and are planning to take legal action in an attempt to get our money returned, as well as reporting them to the local, state and federal authorities for fraud. Any other students who wish to participate in this legal action can PM me with your information.

I wish the best of luck to those who plan to stick around, and tuff it out. For those of us who are getting the shaft, go down fighting.

Ryan

Ryan
 

Phil2016

New Member
So was Sierra a pay-up-front school? Yet another reason to beware of Key Bank (if you went that route)...you never see the money, then some strangers get it and disappear leaving you with a huge debt and nothing to show for it. And no legal recourse for getting it back...at least none that we have found yet.

It has almost been a year since ATA shut its doors in Orlando and it kills me that there are more students out there getting the shaft yet again one year later. Something has got to change in this industry. The Jim Williams' and Skip Everett's of the world are getting rich at the expense of innocent pilots' dreams. Just plain sad.
 

Seven

New Member
I wouldn't be surprised if this Mr. Joon guy becomes a Skip Everett #2. The whole KS thing is a little bit fishy too. I was only able to locate KS through Stockton Jet Center. Took 3 transfer from the Jet center to get connected to KS. KS didn't want to disclose much. When I asked KS to give me a contact #, the guy told me that "we don't have a phone # yet."
 

flyguy

Well-Known Member
It does not just stop at not being able to get our accounts refunded in cash. Any new deposits will also not be able to be refunded in cash. Their reasoning is that they need cash flow and any money we deposit in our accounts will be spent immediately to pay off the extensive debt. Therefore, there will be no money to refund. It seems a little unreasonable to me that they expect the students to fund their investment.
 

SFLAX

Well-Known Member
Some of this is true and some is incorrect. Yes, if you leave you must get your money from Skip. So good luck with that, it will cost you more in legal bills to get your money. Second all new money is yours, if you bring in 5k, you can get your money. Also, KS will not be skip, hell the new planes are a sign they are not Skip. They have plans, and I do no care about there long term plans, I am out in less then 1 year, so they can screw over everyone latter, but as I am concerned they will be open for the next 2 years. Plus we need to thank these new people, we do not know how close we were to losing everything. Skip could of jumped out and we could all be sueing him, which would suck. As students we need to get pumped again that the planes are flying again.
 

need2AV8

New Member
All of us at Sierra are "gun shy" of dealing with flight school management and are very sensitive to anything that may not be the truth. All this with good reason. I think we would be wise to not carry this prejudice against management to the new ownership/managament. It is also wise to scrutinize as we watch the new mgmt. work for us all. Skip has destroyed all trust any of us could ever have for him. Personally, I think it best to ALLOW KSA to BUILD trust. KSA has made many committments to us, and with each committment filled is a step closer to a trusting relationship. It wouldn't be fair to KSA to carry all the old "baggage" from the days of Skip. I too, will be watching how KSA keeps to their verbal committments to us all.

Also, SierraPilot, I would like to hear how the info in your first post "came to your attention." It seems like gaining that kind of info would take some serious inside access, (copy of sale contract, working for the law firm that drew up the contract, etc) If you are able to divulge your sources, we all could benefit from hearing how this info is obtained and make our own determination as to its credibility. Please know I'm not trying to challenge you, just trying to learn what we can.

Skip has some of my money, too. Few things would be as satisfying as justice being served in this case. At the very least, he'll have to spend some of our loot for legal defense.
 

flyguy

Well-Known Member
SFLAX,

Weren't you at the meeting on Monday? Any new deposits will not be refunded in cash should we leave. If we put another 20K in our accounts, we will lose it all if we have to leave for unforseen reasons. This is the way it will be for the next 6-7 months.


need2AV8,

I agree that we should not carry over our mistrust, but putting aside the allegation that it was KSAs deal that Skip got the money from everyone's account, they are forcing the students to fund their investment. I find this to be unreasonable and unorthodox business practice. I also think it also flirts with fraud. They told us by their own admission that any money we put in our account will be used to pay off their debt. But educational loans are to be used for education purposes only, not to pay off debt.
 

need2AV8

New Member
I agree, do not put aside the allegations. My point exactly. Scrutinize, be skeptical, and remember each event, look for patterns of unfulfilled promises, etc. But until there is an established reputation to back that up, an objective judgement cannot be made. So far, everyone I've talked to that has dealt with KSA says they have a good reputation.

I don't pretend to know what had to take place in order for the deal to work between CEO & Skip. I am thankful that something DID work out versus no deal and, therefore, no Sierra.

As for new deposits, choices are: 1) don't make any new deposits and either postpone training, train elsewhere, or stop training for good. 2) continue making deposits as usual with no chance of refund and continue to train. 3) make only deposits as you fly and keep your balance at a minimum, and continue to train. I have always opted for #3. I went to student accounting weekly and made small deposits nearly equal my forecast expenditures for the upcoming week. I guess that answers the post from 'Seven' above, NOT a pay up front school. Many of us have just paid small amounts as we go.

What would be really cool is if those seeking legal action get something out of Skip, all the while taking KSA up on their offer to honor former balance in flight expenditures. If that could work, you'd come out ahead. (Yeah, I realize that's a big "IF")
 

flyguy

Well-Known Member
Option #3 is definatley smart and is the most fail-proof, however we don't have control of our loan money from Key Bank. It comes in scheduled disbursements and once it comes in it is automatically put into our account. Sierra will not allow the loan to be paid directly to us. Also, Kevin said they are most likely going to change the minimum account ballance to $5,000 which is still more than most of us would be willing to loose.
 

need2AV8

New Member
Yes, Kevin did say he wants the minimum balance to be $5000. He also said he is not changing the $1000 minimum and keeping that the way it is. Perhaps those in the meeting recall his response to this topic, "We're going to keep that the way it is. I think the less change the better."

KSA has encouraged open communication. I think it would be great if students voiced their opinions on minimum balance increase, alleged deal between CEO/Skip, change no refund policy ASAP, etc. They know students and word of mouth are very effective. If enough students communicate these things to them, we stand a good chance of their decisions reflecting our concerns. Basically, let them know that if they want us to recommend them to others, we'd like to see ________, _______, and ________. Let them know that if they want to rebuild the reputation, they'll need to do more to alleviate your concerns. If you handle yourself professionally, and approach them as though you are talking with them in order to help them understand, versus meet your personal agenda, I think you'd be doing all a great service.
 

SFLAX

Well-Known Member
If you read in the other topics in this forum you will note that Skip took all the money. It was not like the money was sitting in some special account. Yes, Skip screwed us, I agree, but we should have no reason to assume KSA wants to. They have invested and will invest more then they can possible get out of Sierra over the next few years. KSA wants to do well in this business. They could of just let in go Bankrupt and then started it over from nothing, and we would have no money. I for one plan on flying off my remaining money and then getting hired and then going to an airline. I do not care about anything else. I have voiced my opinion alot in these issues and KSA has been open. But remember this is not a state school or a private college, it is a business our well being is up there right after making money. But there is a balance for management. And I hope KSA can find it.
 

flyguy

Well-Known Member
I agree that we should not assume that KSA wants to screw us. It was Skip's fault the money is gone.

But, they are asking the students to fund the investment. In a way we are forced into buying into the buisiness, yet we get no ownership. We are the ones taking the risk. If KSA runs the school into the ground and goes bankrupt, we are the ones who will lose the money. I have no problem with the fact that they will not give refunds on the money that Skip took, and in fact I commend their willingness to give us what we paid for out of their pocket. However, it is extreemely unreasonable that they will give the same no refund policy on the money that we bring in and deposit. We are doing them a huge favor by depositing money into our accounts because its the only way they can get cash flow, but in return they offer no assurance that we will get a return on our investment. Why would a student intentionally take out a $50,000 + loan, and not have intentions of finnishing their training? They are not trusting us to stick around, so they force us to do so. What if we lose our medical? We lose our money. What if the school is destoryed by earthquake? We lose our money. Waht if we decide we don't want to fly for a living? We lose our money. I'm sure none of us would develop a premeditated plan to take out a huge loan, deposit the money into our account, then leave before we can spend it. But the fact is that there are any number of situations taht may cause a student to withdraw, that they cannot predict ahead of time. If they don't trust the students enoungh to stick around, why should we trust them? I would feel much more comfortable if I had assurance that I would not be in debt for 20 years if I had to leave Sierra for some unforseeable reasons. Furthermore it is extreemely poor accounting practice to place unearned revenue into cash assets, which is the reason they can offer no refunds. So how can we be sure that they know how to run a business if they have such an unorthidox accounting practice?

I'm trying very hard not to cary my mistrust onto the new management. As need2AV8 siad, we should let them earn our trust. However, if they want to earn my trust, they are not off to a good start.
 

SierraPilot

New Member
First off.. Yeah skip took our money, but I think you guys are forgetting that KSA took part in this agreement. While it may not be KSA's fault the money is gone.. they are if nothing more.. guilty of allowing this to be part of the deal to buy out Sierra Academy. They very well could of had their lawyers make sure the money was handed over as part of this agreement to buy out the school. The fact they allowed skip to make such an agreement to take our money does not instill trust in me.

The fact that KSA is honoring and willing to fund what money we put into Sierra already is honorable but KSA can not just buy a school and not assume its debts and liabilities including the liability of our funds regardless of what KSA says.

Ryan
 

llrush

New Member
I have notified Key Loan fraud department of the situation at Sierra Academy. My son withdrew from Sierra Academy on Dec 8 and we were told it would take 30 days to refund the balance in the account. I have been unsuccessful in contacting anyone by phone at Sierra Academy. Would appreciate a point of contact for the new owner(s). I would think that we may have a possibility of getting our money refunded if we can prevent new major sources of income (Key Bank) from granted loans.
 

llrush

New Member
Would be interested in finding out more about legal actions you're taking against Sierra Academy. My son withdrew from the program on Dec 8 and had a substantial balance in his account. I've notified Key Loan fraud department of the situation. Would like to prevent this outfit of accessing new sources of revenue (Key Bank) until they refund our money.
 

SierraPilot

New Member
Kevin Lee is the new source of contact for Sierra Academy. If you want his number. PM me and I'll give you his extension.. its just the Sierra Academy Main number.. if you have that you can just ask for him as well.

If you interested in joining a lawsuit you can PM me with your information. I can tell you right now.. the more people we have the better our chances of winning.

Ryan
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
Something tells me Doug is not a happy camper. I am not so sure that this gentleman's phone number should have been published like so. I can see this person calling Doug and saying the same...WTF ! Or maybe I am reading it wrong and Doug's WTF? is in regards to what is going on at Sierra. If that is the case, I apoligize in advance.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
I think if Doug felt strongly about the phone number being in the post...that post would be gone.
 
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