Herb Chambers Jaguar Land Rover in Allston has sued a Rhode Island man it claims tried to wrangle a 2022 Range Rover Sport for free by filing bogus liens with the state that are now not only wasting its time but casting a cloud on its financing work.
In a lawsuit filed in US District Court in Boston, the dealership alleges that Deric Marcell Thompson of Woonsocket initially agreed online with a dealership salesman to purchase the vehicle for $147,497.40 in January.
But after Thompson failed to transfer the money to a dealership account, he began demanding the car anyway, filing a variety of demands and requests that included e-mailing a copy of an alleged certificate of deposit backed by "THREE QUINTILLION, FIVE HUNDRED QUADRILLION" dollars in debts against Chambers, which he signed and thumbprinted. The alleged certificate is part of a long letter, to which he affixed to each page a 2-cent 1945 stamp showing FDR and his winter retreat in Warm Springs. Thompson allegedly claimed that Chambers's mere acceptance of his initial query meant the company had agreed to "a Common Law-contract between us under the Postal rule" to give him the SUV.
The complaint continues that:
The ... Letter concludes with the threat of creating a "Claim of Lien" against each of Chambers' sales associates addressed in the letter heading and Chambers "and file a financing statement against you each, supporting my lien as I deem necessary." The letter states that Chambers had "no right of action or recourse in any action at law, action in equity or Admiralty or any other law herein written or implied against me or my filings."
The letter included a rambling discourse on the Uniform Commercial Code.
On Feb. 2, Herb Chambers says, Thompson filed a UCC-1 form with the Massachusetts Secretary of State's office, claiming ownership of 27 cars in the dealership inventory, worth roughly $2.7 million. He told the dealership it would be worth its while to just give him the Land Rover he wanted in exchange for releasing the "debt," the complaint continues.
The dealership filed its own UCC form with Massachusetts, stating that Thompson's UCC form was bogus. When it sent a letter to Thompson demanding he tell Massachusetts he had no such lien, he responded he'd filed a 1099 form with the IRS stating he was signing over $1.4 million to Herb Chambers - money that, were it actually paid, the dealership would have to pay taxes on. He also threatened to take the dealership to US Tax Court.
Thompson then demanded Herb Chambers pay him $1 million in actual money for copyright and trademark violations - he claimed he had copyrighted and trademarked his name, that the going rate was $500,000 per use and Chambers had used his name twice in its letter demanding he knock all the nonsense off.
He later upped his demand to $1.5 million after Chambers' lawyers wrote him to give him one last chance to fix what he'd done or they'd see him in court.
In its lawsuit, the dealership is asking a judge to declare that all of his claims are bogus and to order Thompson to reimburse it for all of the legal trouble it's had to go through to get him to leave it alone.
Defendant's antics amount to a form of paper terrorism that imperils Chambers' inventory financing which is provided by a legitimate lender with valid and enforceable liens. Chambers' financing arrangement requires that Chambers not use or allow its inventory to secure any other financing instruments. Defendant's false UCC-1 filing creates the appearance of a breach of that obligation and clouds Chambers' title to its inventory.
A judge set a May 5 hearing on the dealership's request for a preliminary injunction to make Thompson stop what he's doing while the case is proceeding.