The story about a copyright troll Terik Hashmi who was caught practicing law without license in Florida was widely covered this week (DieTrollDie, EFF, ArsTechnica, TorrentFreak, Rob Cashman). As a result, the judge put his 27 mass bittorent cases on hold pending investigation.

Many knew that the website of a copyright bully, Copyright Enforcement Group, listed Terik Hashmi’s “Transnational Law Group, P.L.L.C.” as a partner:

CEG Partner List

If you visit this webpage today, you will not find “Transnational Law Group, P.L.L.C.” there anymore. Obviously, the settlement factory rushed to distance itself from an alleged felon (practicing without license in Florida is a 3rd degree felony, and carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and $5,000 fine.) No one in this “business” wants too much attention: trolls dwell in dark corners and are afraid of light (publicity).

The list of partners still includes the following members:

  • Law Offices of Ira Siegel. No introduction necessary. Ira was quiet recently, after judge Maria-Elena James became the last Northern California judge who finally had had enough of trolls and killed his two monstrous cases.
  • The Copyright Law Group, P.L.L.C. It’s also a wide-known troll (or rather a weretroll), Maik Meier. Meier and Hashmi know each other for a long time.
  • Carroll Law Firm. I don’t know anything about this firm. Let me know if you have any interesting information.
  • Law Offices of Marvin Cable. This is a puzzle. Marvin Cable is listed on the EFF Subpoena Defense page (Update 3/23/2012: not anymore), represents Randazza gang’s victims and does not file lawsuits against unnamed Internet users. While being related to a settlement factory does not add to an attorney’s reputation, I wouldn’t categorize him as a troll and leave it between him and his understanding of ethics. Update 3/23/2012: Although I tried to give a benefit of a doubt to the guy, the prospect of quick and easy cash has finally won over dignity. Confirmed: Marvin Cable is a troll.
  • Schulenberg & Schenk. This is a German lawfirm, Guardaley’s co-conspirators in multiple extortion schemes in Germany. A Berlin court found that Guardaley’s IP collection methods are flawed, however it did not prevent Guardaley from extending extortion business to US using various decoys (“IPP”, “Baseprotect” etc.)

CEG’ website was redesigned recently and now looks professional and creates an impression of a reputable company. Obviously, some good designers and marketers were hired using money shaken down from semi-random Internet users. It is still no more than a settlement factory that has automated already inhuman process of sending out hollow threats and scaring innocent (and not-so-innocent) ISP subscribers into paying.

And it all started…

A less known fact: Ira Siegel and his partner Owen Onouye started a trolling business “Hammer Law” back in April 2009. Then, Onouye became one of CEG’s founders and its registered agent. Prior to these events Mr. Onoye served 2.5 years in prison: police caught him with 48 pounds of marijuana and he was convicted in 2005. It took a while for the California Bar to catch up (did they ever hear about the trolls?), but finally Owen Onouye’s license was suspended in August 2011.

SUSPENDED!

The story of Mr. Onouyo’s moral downfall is an interesting read: Onouyo claims that he agreed to be involved in drug delivery because his financial situation was dire. As we know, Ira Siegel’s is in a similar predicament: he filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in 2010. Still… No matter how bad your finances look, improving the situation by turning to questionable methods, whether it is drug trafficking or copyright racket, is always a wrong answer. Karma police does not need court approval to watch inside everyone’s soul.

Update

04/04/2012

Terik Hashmi
Copyright troll Terik Hashmi

There were some events surrounding the consolidated case — all-in-one 27 cases fraudulently filed by Terik Hasmi in Florida: order to show cause why this case shouldn’t be dismissed, Hashmi’s tearful reply, and substitution of disgraced attorney by weretroll Mike Meier. On April 3 Judge Hinkle finally dismisses this case.

Rob Cashman covered this story, and EFF did.

Adult industry’s main news outlet, XBiz, also wrote about this event calling plaintiffs some of the top studios in the adult entertainment. I laughed wondering who are the bottom ones then, and what kinds of predatory assaults on the general public they are capable of (with the little help from some ethically challenged lawyers).

8/7/2012

CEG changed its name to CEG TEK, probably to commemorate TEriK Hashmi.

It was brought to my attention that Mike Meier was sanctioned in the amount of $37,415.00 under 28 U.S.C. § 1927 on 9/20/2011.

Schulenberg & Schenk is not listed as a partner anymore. Matlock Law Group appears instead. Anne-Leith Matlock, a layer from this firm has already started filing mass bittorent cases.

Comments
  1. anonymous says:

    If you visit Mr. Hashmi’s website you will be greeted with the following message:

    “Due to system upgrade we are currently down for maintenance.
    We apologize for the inconvenience …”

  2. Anonymous says:

    He only re-did the front page of his website. You can still access the rest of it by going straight to any of the other pages (FAQ, contact, intellectual property law.). Here is a link that will still get you in.

    http://transnationallawgroup.com/intellectual-property-law

    Also Google cache still has the sub pages if someone ;) wants to perserve them.

    • anonymous says:

      That page might be available. But, his home page is gone….

      Also, how in the hell does an Attorney that has been convicted for possession with intent to sell/distribute, only receive a suspension? You would think that would be reason for disbarment.

  3. Troll Hunter says:

    Noobs left the image on the web server:

    Now Coralized:

    • CTVic says:

      Pull the pngs from temp and post somewhere – I’d like to see them. Noobs must be watching here pretty closely, because links are 404′d as of now.

  4. Anonymous says:

    SJD, thank you for your persistent work.

    Indeed, an interesting read about Mr. Onouyo. Great work pointing out his associations within the troll racket. The term Moral Turpitude caught my interest, I do think it must apply to the trolls, as extortion and fraud and conspiracy and are among the list of recognized crimes involving moral turpitude: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_turpitude

    The more the dots are connected, the relationships revealed, the more it feels like RICO must come to play a part in the inevitable demise of the trolls.

    • Sloop John D says:

      Funny you bring up RICO, I was thinking the same thing. Perhaps we keep connecting these guys together like this and peeling the layers back we’ll have something to take to the US Attny’s Office.

      • anonymous says:

        I think one reason why trolls do not pursue real judgements is that some of the rotten layers will be peeled back. As if the poor merits of their cases, distortion of legal process, and bad conduct weren’t enough…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Schulenberg and Schenk are Guardaley trolls in Germany, they have been at the center of this porn troll phenomenon for years there and may even be the originators of it all. One of their clients is Berlin Media Art JT. Trolls are a global problem.

  6. CTVic says:

    Nice work, SJD. It’s always interesting what some enterprising journalism and a little crowdsourcing can turn up. There’s more than a few eyebrow-raising tidbits in there.
    Screenshot suggestion: Pop over to a new window, possibly in a different browser than you normally use, before taking a screenie of a website. May not always want to publicize your personal preferences, or titles of tabs in the background.

    Anyhow – I still find it interesting that my good twitter-pal, Marvin Cable, has links to his site alongside other such fine and upstanding people. I should clean off my poking stick one of these days.

    Also interesting is that our more dim-witted friend, Mike Meier, is maintaining his link on CEG’s partner’s site – and that his URL is *still* http://copyrightdefenselawyer.com. I got such a kick out of seeing his trolling documents filed in courts with the email address that hints at him being on the non-extortionist side of the fence. C’mon Mike – if you’re going to gut your conscience and go for the easy cash, at LEAST drop the $2 for a new domain registration to godaddy.

    • Thanks. And “crowdsourcing” is the key: almost every bit of information was hinted by readers, either in comments or in personal emails. I just dag in the directions pointed to me. If any of the tabs reveal anything that I did not want to be revealed, of course I would cut or obscure them.

      • anonymous says:

        How does an attorney that was convicted, spent time in prison, only receive a suspension? You would think something like this would lead to disbarment.

  7. meh. says:

    CEG will be at SXSW

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9209526.htm

    Seems ironic they would attend where geeks/nerds can easily call them out.

  8. Here is Terik Hashmi’s Response to the Court’s Show Cause Order:

    • anonymous says:

      Interesting that Mr. Hashmi doesn’t even mention the Cease and Desist Affidavit that was submitted to the Florida State Bar in 2010.

      “The affidavit stated Hashmi was not licensed to practice law in Florida and would not conduct legal actions until he was licensed by the state.”

      Yet, he closes his Response to show cause with this gem?

      “Counsel deeply regrets that his error has led to the instant situation, and formallyapologizes to the Honorable Court and all impacted parties. Counsel, immediately uponlearning of the error via issuance of the Show Cause Order of February 16, 2012, took every available measure to protect the interests of Plaintiffs as well as to comply with the Order of theCourt. Counsel immediately contacted and secured substitute Counsel on the same day, whoshortly thereafter entered his appearance, and Counsel immediately ceased all related activities.Furthermore, Counsel was retained solely on a success-based basis, and thus has received no feein relation to any prior representation of any interested Plaintiff. Counsel is extremely sorry for the error made in relation hereto, and is willing to admit publicly to such and fully acceptscomplete responsibility.”

      He is either lying through his teeth, or incredibly stupid and unprofessional.

  9. anonymous says:

    Marvin Cable – It is confirmed, he is a troll.

    http://www.rfcexpress.com/lawsuits/copyright-lawsuits/massachusetts-district-court/92475/digital-sin-inc-v-does-1-44/summary/

    http://www.rfcexpress.com/lawsuits/copyright-lawsuits/massachusetts-district-court/92474/patrick-collins-inc-v-does-1-45/summary/

    Should be interesting to see how his cases turn out. He could hardly utter an intelligible sentence on his appearance on TWiL.

  10. anonymous says:

    As posted on DTD’s site.

    “Judge Hinkle just entered an order dismissing all 27 of the consolidated cases (over 3,500 defendants) filed by Terik Hashmi in the Northern District of Florida. The order states that plaintiff’s response to show cause failed, having relied only on state law. The order also states that, “under these circumstances, requiring the plaintiff’s to start over and do it right is not too harsh a sanction.” A key point in why the court dismissed the consolidated cases was that federal law, not state law governs the issue of whether a federal lawsuit should be dismissed based on the plaintiff’s attorney’s lack of authority to file the case. I raised this point of law on behalf of my client, Doe 34, in Doe 34′s Motion to Dismiss and Memorandum [Doc. 40]. I will post a copy of the court order on my firm’s Web site before the day is up.”

    Attorney, William R. Wohlsifer, Esq.

    http://infringement-attorney.com/home.html

    http://dietrolldie.com/2012/02/17/16-feb-12-show-cause-court-order-27-terik-hashmi-cases-are-on-hold-411-cv-00570-third-degree-films-inc-v-does-1-259/#comment-1718

    • Raul says:

      Poor Mikey, another judicial bitch slap. They just keep on coming like a bad porn flick. Right Mikey?

  11. [...] Copyright Enforcement Group distances itself from Terik Hashmi (fightcopyrighttrolls.com) [...]

  12. [...] you may remember, as it was widely reported in the news, recently a copyright troll associated with Copyright Enforcement Group, Terik Hashmi, was caught practicing law in Florida without license after he signed the exactly [...]

  13. [...] some of the Trolls that are part of this organization – Ira Siegel, Mike Meiers, Marvin Cable, Carroll Law, and the now-disavowed Terik Hashmi.  Here are three articles on CEG.  #1  [...]

  14. SJD says:

    It came to my attention that Mike Meier was sanctioned in the amount of $37,415.00 under 28 U.S.C. § 1927 on 9/20/2011.

  15. [...] Tammy Vo, while talking about a mother of two Jenny Phan, an apparently innocent victim of a local CEG-affiliated troll Wayne Carroll, did an excellent job presenting to the general audience the ongoing [...]

  16. […] only other US company that adopted this kind of parasitic business model is Ira Siegel’s CEG-TEK, but unlike the latter, Rightscorp is public (NASDAQ: RIHT), yet with capitalization of just a […]

  17. […] one can spot the picture of Meier’s longtime colleague Terik Hashmi, a disgraced troll who was caught practicing law in Florida without license (which is a felony in FL) two years […]

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