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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I’m a former client who entered an agreement to build a custom defender in 2017 with Carel Van Helsdingen and Alex Zeeman of Tophat Classics, who have offices in Holland and Tempe AZ, USA. After several years and $107,000.00 of down payments, the completed vehicle was never produced and a Tophat Classics scam had taken place. I have made contact with another former client who has suffered losses of nearly $200,000.00. We’ve retained council and wish to move forward as a class action fraud complaint/lawsuit, which significantly enhances our legal resources. If you’re a former or current client/victim of a Tophat Classics scam and wish to join our efforts, I’d love to chat over the phone. Please be in touch via DM or e-mail.

P.S.

Alex Zeeman is still in operation in Tempe, AZ USA doing business as Zeeman Automotive. Carel Van Helsdingen is still accepting and attempting to scam new clients out of his Holland shop located at Industrieweg 16-B 1231 KH Loosdrecht, The Netherlands.


J. Carman
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Please spread the word of Tophat Classics scams and fraudulent practices. If you are a current client, unfortunately your vehicle likely does not actually exist. Tophat Classics scams work by suppling clients with old images, other clients vehicle images, stock images etc... to falsely demonstrate 'progress on your build' and to solicit additional funds.
 

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I spoke to them briefly a few years back when I did my LS swap. They quoted $30K for an LS3, 6L80, Top Hat brakes(rebadged I want to say Alcon), top hat radiator(Ron Davis), top hat suspension(don't remember) and a bunch of other stuff labor included for $30K. If it was legit it would have been the best deal ever. I viewed it as too good to be true. When I told them I was in Vegas, they seemed to lose interest since they probably feared I was close enough for a pop in. Wish there weren't so many scam artists like this.
 

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Sorry to hear you were caught up in fraudulent business practices. I have a friend who’s contemplating similar actions against a well known builder on the east coast. They were offered a substantial discount for pre-paying and have been dually punished for doing so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Wish you luck and hope the lawyers are working on a success fee basis. After folks like the Top Hats of the world are the lawyers that will attach to anything if there's blood running through it.
Right, litigation fees are always a concern, but with the collaboration of several plaintiffs agains defendants, Tophat Classics, there is an economy of scale that is favorable for a successful judgment against Tophat Classics Inc, Carel Van Helsdingen and Alex Zeeman here in the US.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Sorry to hear you were caught up in fraudulent business practices. I have a friend who’s contemplating similar actions against a well known builder on the east coast. They were offered a substantial discount for pre-paying and have been dually punished for doing so.
That is unfortunate. I wish them success in collecting restitution. We have now filed our civil fraud lawsuit in Arizona against Tophat Classics, Alex Zeeman and Carel Van Helsdingen and will be filing a similar civil fraud lawsuit in Holland against the same defendants and Tophat Classics main shop located at Industrieweg 16-B 1231 KH Loosdrecht, The Netherlands.

We will keep you guys informed of our efforts. Thanks for the support!!!
 
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