VIDEO: WIRELESS TOYZ FRAUD VERDICTS ARE IN — Jury Throws Out 8 Of 9 Counts in Lawsuit against Millionaire Wireless Toyz Founder
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. — The verdicts came in Friday in the first of several lawsuits brought by investors in the Wireless Toyz cellular phone store chain.
Eight of the nine charges brought against Wireless Toyz and founder Joe Barbat were thrown out. The one count that stuck was silent fraud.
Barbat founded Wireless Toyz and has made millions of dollars in its growth and expansion.
David Abbo of Colorado was one of several investors who claimed they were defrauded.
Robert Zawada is one of Abbo’s attorneys. He talked with Local 4 about the jury’s decision.
“There are people out there that have lost their life savings, their retirements, college savings for their children. It gives hope to a lot of the people that have been defrauded,” Zawada said.
Local 4 Defenders report Abbo was awarded six figures to by paid by Wireless Toyz. Joe Barbat was not ordered to pay any money personally.
Attorney Norman Yatooma also represents Abbo and other investors, who claim they were defrauded out of their investments by Barbat and the company.
“They didn’t much care what the franchisees were ultimately going to earn. What they cared about was getting their $100,000, their $150,000, their $200,000 down payment to open up that store or to reserve that territory. After that, what happened to the franchisee was their problem,” Yatooma said.
He said the investors were lied to when they were told they would make huge profits with their franchises.
“He’s made obscene millions off this Wireless Toyz scandal. He’s made millions upon millions upon millions,” Yatooma said.
Joe Barbat and Wireless Toyz are not formally responding to the verdict.
Local 4 Defenders report they planning an appeal.
This was just the first of several lawsuits filed by investors in Wireless Toyz.