Saying that judges rarely use words “incarceration,” “fraud,” “automatic bench warrant” in an order to show cause would be an understatement. Nonetheless, Judge Otis Wright did just that in Ingenuity v. Jon Doe (CACD 12-cv-08333). Tired of apparent Prenda Law’s fraudulent activities, he ordered its counsel Brett Gibbs to explain his and his law firm’s behavior at a hearing set for March 11. Additionally, he allowed parties (Brett Gibbs and Morgan Pietz) to file briefs before February 19. A deposition of Prenda by Morgan Pietz was set to proceed on the same date.

Brett Gibbs tries to play a pity card, points finger at “Prenda senior people”

Copyright troll Brett Gibbs

A couple of hours before the deadline, Brett Gibbs filed his declaration through a newly hired law firm Waxler Carner Brodsky LLP, which has been “primarily defending lawyers in malpractice actions.” Although it was a relatively wise move (akin to an old lawyer’s saying that “a lawyer who represents himself in a court has a fool for a client”), the result was a pile of horse manure that does not pass a common sense scrutiny. The funny thing is that this spectacular failure does not characterize Gibbs’s defenders, it’s just too much lying to explain: no star attorney is capable of coming up with a credible story painting Gibbs an innocent kid deceived by evil grown-ups.

Regardless, the main huge news is that Brett has given up his stubborn loyalty and has started pointing his finger at Prenda’s “senior members” (Paul Hansmeier and John Steele):

I am and have never had an ownership interest in the copyrights involved in the Copyright Litigations. As discussed in greater detail below, I did not make strategic decisions like whether to file actions, who to sue, and whether to make a certain settlement demand or accept an offer of settlement in the Copyright Litigations. These types of decisions were made by the clients, after consulting with senior members of the law firms that employed me in an “of counsel” relationship.
[...]

I have never had a financial or fiduciary (i.e., ownership) interest in AF Holdings. AF Holdings was a client of S&H and then Prenda. The face-to-face and direct interactions between S&H and later Prenda with AF Holdings were handled by the senior members of the law firms and not me.
[...]

I have never met Alan Cooper, and do not know what the extent of Mr. Cooper’s role is in AF Holdings aside from seeing a signature from an “Alan Cooper” on the copyright assignments and pleadings.
[...]

I first became aware of a question regarding the identity of Alan Cooper when it was raised by Mr. Pietz.
[...]

I confirmed the existence of the client-executed verification either by seeing a copy of the signed verification, or at the very least, being informed by a representative of S&H or Prenda that a signed verification was in the possession of S & H or Prenda.

The explanation of the reason how Alan Copper’s fraudulent signature was verified by Gibbs and why he failed to present the original is simply stunning. Sure, it is a credible and sufficient reasoning that will clear Mr. Brett’s name so he will avoid sanctions:

In Case No. 84, Mr. Pietz first asked for a copy of Mr. Cooper’s verification to the petition to perpetuate testimony on or about December 2012, well after the petition had been discharged. Given the length of time since the case was discharged, I was informed and understand that S&H (and later Prenda) no longer has a copy of Mr. Cooper’s verification to the petition to perpetuate testimony.

Just a week earlier Steele and Hansmeier decided to delegate Gibbs’s responsibilities to Michael Dugas. After two and half years of collaboration, they have thrown Brett under the bus, so no surprise that his loyalty has evaporated quickly.

I’ll leave it to a reader to go through unconvincing excuses, which are not as entertaining as those that another troll’s mob mastermind, Keith Lipscomb, poured on Judge Baylson last fall.

 


Click to enlarge

[2/21/2013 update] It is not remotely funny anymore that Brett (to whom we already gave an honorable nickname “Pinocchio”) is lying without even thinking about the possibility of anyone doing some basic fact checking. Here is an example (thanks to a commenter for noticing):

From Gibbs’s declaration:

31. In addition, in order to rule out neighbors of the 1411 Paseo Jacaranda, Santa Maria, California 93458 location utilizing the internet connection, I performed a Google map search and obtained a satellite picture of the corner house located at 1411 Paseo Jacaranda, Santa Maria, California 93458. A further public search revealed that the house was approximately 1,200 sq. ft. which sat on a 6,534 sq. ft. lot. Considering the position of the house on the lot, and its position away from the neighboring houses, it seemed clear that, should the household have wireless internet, it would not have been accessible by the neighbors.

Alright. A typical wireless range is from 50 to 100 m. Look at the map: green circle’s radius is 50 m, and yellow — 100 m. So we are talking about 10-30 households capable of utilizing the wireless connection in question.

Can’t help noticing another funny argument in Gibbs’s declaration:

[...] the inconsistency did not prevent a prima facie showing of copyright ownership because the law only requires the assignment to he signed by the assignor. Given the court’s finding that the copyright assignment in Case No. 3335 was prima facie valid despite an issue regarding whether the assignee had properly executed the assignment. I had and have a good faith belief that the assignments in Case No. 6636 and 6669 are valid despite any alleged issue regarding the identity of Alan Cooper.

Or, as scruuball translated it to Twitter’s 140,

It doesn’t matter that we forged a signature, because we didn’t need it in the first place! Hah!

To our surprise, there is a certificate of AF Holdings’ incorporation, but the quality of the copy is poor, and I’m afraid that given St. Kitts’ secrecy laws, there is no way to validate that it is authentic. Even if it is real, this does not negate the fact that AF Holdings is a shell entity “owned” by Prenda. Note that nothing of this kind was presented for another fraudulent entity, Ingenuity 13.

The fact that Brett Gibbs has lawyered up has more significance: it will be easier for him to cut a deal with an Attorney General and (relatively) save his ass while allowing putting the major culprits behind the bars.

Morgan Pietz replies to Judge Wright’s OSC. One word: “Wow”

Defendant’s attorney Morgan Pietz had just an hour to review Gibbs’s weaselspeak. Admittedly, Morgan wrote the bulk of his response in advance, but still he managed to add thorough debunking of Gibbs’s whining. It’s impossible to pull pieces from this document, it is a must read from the first line to the last. It has is all: a long history of Prenda’s crookery, calling out lies and contradictions in Gibbs’s declaration, examples of more identity theft, damning revelations during the deposition of Paul Hansmeier (who, like a “boss” in an action computer game, appeared in the last episode).

I only want to quote the beautiful conclusion (links supplied):

The conduct of Prenda and its “of counsel” Mr. Gibbs in these cases undermines the integrity of the courts and the public’s confidence in the justice system. Here, Prenda has shown is that it is willing to do just about anything to obtain grist for its national “settlement” mill. Repeatedly, in hundreds of actions filed in courts across the country, Prenda has resorted to misrepresentations, halftruths, and questionable tactics, if not outright fraud, forgery, and identity theft. Until now, Prenda has gotten away with quite a lot of these kinds of tactics because it simply abandons its lawsuits, via a voluntary dismissal, after obtaining subpoena returns, and some settlements. Indeed, as noted above, Mr. Gibbs is already at it again, now sending out demand letters on behalf of Guava, LLC, which is now purportedly owned by Livewire Holdings, LLC not a mystery trust. Exactly who is responsible for the worst of Prenda’s actions here may not yet be clear, but this is the archetypical type of case, where there is a pattern of bad action that is done in such a way to avoid scrutiny, where a major sanctions is appropriate as a deterrent. This Court is urged not to go easy on Mr. Gibbs or Prenda Law.

 

Many paragraphs in this brief deserve separate posts, and sure we will continue shedding the light on Prenda and its epic downfall until the fraudsters cease their criminal activity and are severely punished.

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Comments
  1. [...] Sinking ship “Prenda” is breaking with a loud sound. Rats are leaving the vessel [...]

  2. DieTrollDie says:

    My god. Did he really just tell the court “I was just following orders.” Brett, the only thing that can help you now and when the law suits start flying is by disclosing all you know and try to cut a deal. You are due no sympathy and I pity the legacy you will leave for your family. So much fraud and pain comes back to your soiled hands. Sad.

    DTD :)

  3. [...] the legal danger he’s in, Gibbs has hired attorney Andrew Waxler to represent him. As Fight Copyright Trolls notes, Waxler focuses “primarily defending lawyers in malpractice [...]

  4. [...] the legal danger he’s in, Gibbs has hired attorney Andrew Waxler to represent him. As Fight Copyright Trolls notes, Waxler focuses “primarily defending lawyers in malpractice [...]

  5. sausages says:

    With the whole brain cancer thing was this Gibbs trying to make a last haul akin to breaking bad or something?

    • Mysterious Anonymous says:

      I have wondered about that too. No doubt when he first become involved with Prenda his employment options were limited, he probably couldn’t find full time work due to being sick in the first place but also scheduling problems if he was undergoing time-consuming therapy or not consistently healthy enough to do a nine to five. I’m sure working from home basically as an independent contractor (whether that was the actual relationship or not) was just what he was looking for.

      It has also occurred to me that he may have felt it was worth the risk to set up his family in the event of his death, but I don’t believe he has children and he is just getting married soon. It could be that he is desperate to build up a stash in anticipation of future medical bills, or maybe his parents or someone else in his family is desperate and Brett may feel he has nothing to lose in the mid to long term.

  6. [...] Sinking ship “Prenda” is breaking with a loud sound. Rats are leaving the vessel [...]

  7. [...] the legal danger he’s in, Gibbs has hired attorney Andrew Waxler to represent him. As Fight Copyright Trolls notes, Waxler focuses “primarily defending lawyers in malpractice [...]

  8. Anonymous says:

    Am I the only one who caught this gem in Pietz’ response? (II.b.1 p.2)

    “… According to AF Holdings 30(b)(6) deponent Paul Hansemeier, AF Holdings’ sole manager and
    sole employee Mark Lutz directed John Steele (Mr. Lutz’s former boss at Steele Hanemeier PLLC) to obtain the signature, and Mr. Steele returned a signed document.”

    I’m not an expert by any means, but doesn’t that just make absolutely no sense? Lutz (As sole employee of “Alan Cooper”, asked an outside individual to get the signature told(not asked) Steele to get a signature from Lutz’ employer (“Alan Cooper”)?

    I don’t know about you but when I require a signature from the CEO of the a company I work for, I don’t contact an outside individual.

    • SJD says:

      Should be:

      “…According to AF Holdings 30(b)(6) deponent Paul Hansemeier, AF Holdings’ sole manager and sole employee Mark Lutz directed John Steele (Mr. Lutz’s former boss at Steele Hanemeier PLLC) to obtain the signature, providing pen and paper and Mr. Steele went to his office, locked the door and in a couple of minutes returned a signed document.”

    • Mysterious Anonymous says:

      Nope, IMO that had bombshell status. I’m assuming the reason Pietz didn’t hammer the point is because it speaks for itself. Part of the reason for this OSC is the issues surrounding the identity of the Alan Cooper who supposedly owns and runs AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13, but then the guy who shows up as their deponent says their sole employee is Mark Lutz? Say what!? In the first place, why was AF’s deponent one of Prenda/Steele’s associates and not someone from AF, which apparently could only be Lutz at this point, if they are giving up on the Alan Cooper fiction.

  9. [...] the legal danger he’s in, Gibbs has hired attorney Andrew Waxler to represent him. As Fight Copyright Trolls notes, Waxler focuses “primarily defending lawyers in malpractice [...]

  10. Nlbstr says:

    As one of the does in the Guava LLC v Comcast in St. Clair County, IL, reading this declaration made me smile from ear to ear.

    What’s really weird is that the signature on my “settlement offer” for Brett Gibbs doesn’t match the one in the court document… At all.

  11. that anonymous coward says:

    I has a sad… with all of this happening I’m getting sick of the popcorn… what can we move onto?

  12. anonymouseavenger says:

    There is so much to digest here. Just looking at Morgan’s wonderful timeline of events is breathtaking. It’s really interesting to hear about the behind the scenes stuff, too:

    “Undersigned counsel and Mr. Duffy mutually agreed to have a meet and confer telephone conference about this case (as well as about a few other matters) set for 11:30 a.m. on February 8, 2013. Mr. Duffy did not answer the phone when undersigned counsel attempted to call him, as mutually agreed, at 11:30 a.m. on February 8. Instead, starting on the afternoon on February 8, 2013, Mr. Duffy began dismissing the final cases left, mainly in the Northern District of California, which Prenda had filed on behalf of AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13.”

    • Mysterious Anonymous says:

      Yep. This was Brett’s one chance to avoid martyrdom, and he blew it. I guess he really is as stupid as his pattern of sad failure in CA courts would suggest. He needed something, anything, that would give Judge Wright a reason to be merciful. He put in the usual Prenda “nothing to see here” response, and then Pietz piled it on, and on, and on, and on, and on. There is just such a pattern of fraud and deception laid bare in Pietz response, I don’t see how Brett can recover.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Salt Marsh, Alan Cooper, Alan Money, Jeff Scultz…all of John Steele’s fetches are catching up to him and finally being seen. One can only hope that the myth holds up.

    DISCLAIMER: I mean that figuratively.

    • Anonymous says:

      With Pietz’ investigative work, showing that Marsh, Mony, Cooper, etc. all seem to be extensions of Steele himself, one can make the leap that they are his doppelgangers.

      In Irish folklore, a fetch is essentially a doppelganger. Except, the appearance of a fetch is an omen, usually for impending death.

      So here’s hoping that the appearance of Steele’s fetches are signifying the death of Prenda and their unethical siege of the courts.

  14. JD says:

    Beautiful. SJD! thanks for keeping us updated. you are a godsend.

  15. 89 Year Old Defender says:

    Before today, I didn’t know anything about Allan Mony or Money or Moay, or whatever his name is. Had I known, could have done some digging.

    As for Waxler, boring online legal activity record so far. Not much in the Federal Courts recently except for a few caes in 2011 – everything else goes back a ways. Partner Brodsky has been busy, but nothing so far has surfaced to suggest any criminal defense. I’ll keep looking for anything newsworthy, but for the moment, it looks like a typical professional malpractice firm with a little odds and ends in the way of other cases. No records of discipline for Waxler with the State Bar.

    With all of these recent admissions, and with the outcome of the pending hearing on the 11th, one would have to wonder if past Gibbs’ victims could all band together and file a joint action of some kind against him. Not a class action – just some kind of a multi-plaintiff action.

    Just thinking out loud.

    • anonymouseavenger says:

      I say dig anyway. See if there are any other false names in connection with Prenda. There’s bound to be more.

    • Mysterious Anonymous says:

      I would love a piece. Like the vast majority of Does I have no legal experience, so in spite of giving myself a crash course in certain aspects of the law I really don’t understand what recourse I may have. I was targeted in one of Gibbs’ earlier cases where the work was not registered at the time of the alleged infringements, not until months after the lawsuit was filed, in spite of the complaint stating that the work was pending registration (registrations are back dated to the time the application was made, so this was simply a lie). So that case was also a fraud upon the court, but of a different sort than we see with the AF/Ingenuity shenanigans. In any case, as a legal professional Gibbs had no excuses for not reading 17 USC and understanding the registration requirement for bringing a copyright action and asking for statutory damages. Once may have been a mistake, but this guy has gone out of his way to establish a pattern of irresponsible behavior.

      I would think, at minimum, these recent allegations would give anyone who has been targeted by a Brett Gibbs sham lawsuit material for a nice Bar complaint (for all the good that ever seems to do).

      • 89 Year Old Defender says:

        The State Bar investigates complaints about clients who have been victimized by lawyers. If you’re planning on filing a complaint, expect a rejection around 18 months later. If you REALLY want to obtain your own justice, wait until after the hearing on March 11, obtain a transcript (which will most likely be available here in this forum somewhere) and then file a small claims action against him, alleging fraud.

        Don’t overlook the power you possess when you have the facts. I’d like to see a forum set up for nothing else but the actual victims who PAID Gibbs, so that all can strategize and work towards trying to get their money back.

  16. anonymouseavenger says:

    I’m confused by the end of page 16. It ends midsentence and doesn’t seem to carry on with page 17. Are we missing a page of Morgan’s response?

  17. [...] the legal danger he’s in, Gibbs has hired attorney Andrew Waxler to represent him. As Fight Copyright Trolls notes, Waxler focuses “primarily defending lawyers in malpractice [...]

  18. Mysterious Anonymous says:

    Excellent new investigative work from Pietz and Ranallo. I saw the bits and pieces about the Salt Marsh/Ms. Steele AZ property on Twitter but SJD/Raul/etc. had not given away the whole picture.

    Really an amazing compare and contrast between what Gibbs considers an “investigation” and what Nick and Morgan have put together. Gibbs response to the OSC regarding their “investigation” is absolutely pathetic. Suffice to say, Brett and his attorney were not prepared to be completely laid to waste with all this fresh info piecing together the puzzle of Steele’s family of shell companies. It was just more of the usual Prenda denials and omissions that they drag out when they don’t expect anyone is paying attention.

    I love Gibb’s detective skills—basically, if the subscriber denies it and someone else lives in the house, the other person gets named. Or, if the subscriber denies it and someone else in the house has a Facebook account or plays computer games, they get named because obviously that means the person has awesome advanced computer hacking skills. Plus their claims about Wi-Fi range and corner lots, etc. are plausible but as usual they provide exactly zero data on what Wi-Fi network range is under various conditions and why based on that data they can assume it was not a neighbor. They simply make a claim.

    Gibbs reasoning for naming one subscribers son is particularly pathetic. He did a public records search and found that their son has lived in the house since 1999. But tellingly, he did not do any further investigation, i.e. using a PI or even confronting the subscriber with this infrormation. He just has one potentially 14 year out of date piece of information and he’s good to go.

    This is looking like the perfect storm that may indeed sink Prenda’s ship. We have a judge who has done his homework and basically gave Brett one chance to show he doesn’t deserve hellfire. Then we have a couple of dedicated Doe defenders who have been working doubletime behind the scenes to feed Judge Wright everything he needs to go thermonuclear on Gibbs. Far from slithering away from trouble, the contrast between Gibbs’ denials and evasions and Pietz’ massive escalation of evidence of Prenda’s fraud is likely to make the judge much, much more upset.

    For people in the LA area, the March 11 hearing looks like it is shaping up to be one for the history books. At this point, the way Pietz has laid out Prenda’s conspiracy for the judge, I’ll be a little bit surprised if Brett doesn’t end up in jail before the hearing date, there is just too much here for a concerned and involved judge to ignore.

    Buckle up Brett!

  19. The Tod says:

    Hehehehe….Thats about a 8.0 on the Richter Scale! And it is only the beginning. Alot more Dominos to fall.

    It’s time to play Lets Make A Deal! Who is going to be the first contestant. A Mr. Brett Gibbs come on down!!!

      • The Tod says:

        Hey SJD,

        I guess they did not throw Gibbs under the bus fast enough. They should have paid him to take his licks and walk away.

        According to this document Alan Cooper and John Steele have the same email address. johnlsteele@gmail.com. What an amazing coincidence. It make since to have less email addresses at a company, that way people wont get confused at who is in charge.

  20. Anonymous says:

    How is this gonna effect the Comcast case in St Clair i saw he mentioned that case? And something about Guava being purportedly own by Livewire LLC?

  21. manfred says:

    Is the Prenda Sinking Ship part of the CARNIVAL CRUISE FLEET????……LOL

  22. SJD says:

    An excellent comment from ArsTechnica:


    Cuy

    DanNeely wrote:
    At this point I think the only major factual question is if Gibbs was a willing partner to the fraud or just a patsy.

    There is no question.

    Gibbs has been at this for over two years. He was one of Prenda’s first franchise operators, back when it was The Steel Law Firm and then Steel | Hansmeier. Any claim that he is not partner in the scheme may be technically true, but only for the sake of plausible deniability. He has filed enough of their cases and committed enough fraud and perjury that he is far past the point of ignorance. Back in the day, before courts started asking questions about these cases, he used to file lawsuits where the infringed works were not even registered with the copyright office, but he would lie and say they were, and without registration there is no eligibility for the $150,000 statutory penalties they hold over everyone’s head. In many jurisdictions a copyright infringement case is not even supposed to be filed without a valid registration. If Gibbs cared even the slightest bit about respecting the law he would have done his fiduciary duty and made sure the paperwork was in order before filing those fraudulent cases. I’m not a lawyer and I was able to read 17 USC and understand clearly that registration was a prerequisite for bringing those lawsuits and requesting that relief; as a legal professional Brett had no excuses.

    Beyond that, Gibbs has been acting as what in Mafia terms would be called a capo. His contact information is provided to Does in other cases in other states that are supposedly being handled by lower-rank Prenda contractors, in lieu of the actual plaintiff’s attorney’s contact information (states where Gibbs is not actually licensed to practice law). So, far from being the independent contractor guy just following orders from HQ, Gibbs has been actively managing Prenda’s network of trolls nationwide.

    Beyond that, even if he was being fed a line of BS by John Steele and Prenda’s other principals (and I don’t have trouble believing he was misled regarding the depth and breadth of the Alan Cooper fraud and Steele’s other outright criminal machinations), there has been plenty of press and blog coverage of the shady tactics these guys use and ethical concerns about copyright troll behavior, but Gibbs has been an enthusiastic persecutor of the innocent all along. He has even, on occasion, appealed (very unsuccessfully) to judges for sympathy by citing “threats” and “conspiracy theories” put forth by “anti-copyright” or “pro-piracy” blogs. So Brett certainly knows there is another side of the story and if he was the least bit curious or concerned for his future he knew where look for more information about his employers’ shenanigans and how they might ultimately lead to his ruin.

  23. Anonymous says:

    What does these mean for the Comcast case i read what Pietz wrote and saw he mentioned that case and something about Guava LLC being purportedly owned by Livewire Holdings, LLC

  24. Nlbstr says:

    The weird thing is that I don’t see anyone in the Guava v Comcast suit bringing up the fact that the case filed said people “hacked their system” and they filed their subpoena on those grounds, then they turn around and start settlement harassing people for torrenting, which doesn’t look, smell, taste, or sound like hacking a system.

    I, like most of the does, do not have legal experience, but to me that sort of bait-and-switch constitutes blatant fraud.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah that’s how I feel the original letter I got from Comcast say downloading and uploading a video without their permission or some crap and then the settlement says hacking and torrenting which doesn’t even name what was stolen or downloaded/shared

      • Nlbstr says:

        Yeah, it’s cute how they expect us to fork over $4,000 for allegedly “stealing” something (I for one believe stealing doesn’t involve making a copy of something), but they don’t indicate anywhere WHAT that is.

        Presumably we will find out when they file lawsuits. I wouldn’t risk calling to find out because they’d know you got the letters.

        I’m of the belief that they won’t even file the St. Clair County cases.

  25. Anonymous says:

    To be fair, as one of the St. Clair does, i was contacted by phone now just two weeks’ ago, just before this really became a firestorm. I think someone up above or in the other thread summed it up perfectly when they said that they have far more important things to deal with, than that case.

    • Nlbstr says:

      Yeah, I have one of the famous voicemails from a couple of weeks ago too.

      I certainly hope this just drops off the face of the planet once Prenda gets knee-deep in litigating their own freedom.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I hope he’s enjoying the fear/terror/worry that each an every one of his victims has felt.

    • 89 Year Old Defender says:

      Amen to that!

      I have to tell you, I read, and then re-read, Gibbs’ response and the followup response from Pietz, and this man’s goose is so thoroughly cooked, I do not know how in the world he can ever reverse the damage. Gibbs’ response is awkward, disjointed, incoherent and basically a pleading for mercy. Pietz has delivered a hammerhead the size of New Jersey and slammed it down on Wright’s desk – with some of the most exacting precision I’ve ever seen. Pietz needs to be commended.

      He’s basically taking the Colonel Klink approach, claiming he knows nothing, never did know anything, and still knows nothing to this day. Wright is too smart for that.

      • FraudHater says:

        “He’s basically taking the Colonel Klink approach, claiming he knows nothing, never did know anything, and still knows nothing to this day. Wright is too smart for that.

        Yeah, I think Pietz’s monumental take down shows that Gibbs has been instrumental from the very start. And I think the claim of who owns AF Holdings in his filing to the court verses the contradictory claim the same day at the depo where he represented AF Holdings will destroy any potential benefit of the doubt the judge might have granted Gibbs.

  27. Duke says:

    A quick read through Brett’s response reveals a bit of sloppiness. Paragraphs 32 and 39 describe how Brett sent letters and otherwise contacted those who were being sued, indicating that the contacts were in November of 2013. Or, perhaps the dates are correct and Brett time travels.

  28. FraudHater says:

    The judge has to decide this based on limited factors that he can hold Gibbs to in the cases before him, but I expect this is really going to make the judge upset:

    “The first thing that should be pointed out about Mr. Gibbs OSC response isthat somebody is mistaken (or lying) about who owns AF Holdings. On the same day that Mr. Gibbs special counsel filed a pleading stating that AF Holdings was recently sold to Livewire Holdings, LLC, an AF Holdings 30(b)(6) witness sat in a deposition and testified that AF Holdings sole owner is a Nevis trust. Mr. Hansemeier testified at the deposition that AF Holdings is not sure who formed this trust (other than the paid incorporator), where it is organized, whether there are any trust documents, what the name of the trust is, who might have a beneficial ownership interest in the trust, or who would have authority to terminate the trust. Mr. Hansemeier sat there and testified to all this with Mr. Gibbs (who, according to his own special counsel, at ECF No. 49. p.1, became general counsel of the company that acquired AF Holdings, Livewire Holdings, LLC back in January) right there at his side, as counsel of record for AF Holdings. In short, the story his evening is that AF Holdings was sold several weeks ago to Livewire Holdings (Mr. Gibbs new employer). But the story this afternoon was that AF Holdings is owned by a mystery trust. Clearly, someone is wrong.”

  29. Skruuball says:

    Sweet Jesus, I enjoyed reading that. Gibbs keeps bringing a knife to a gun fight.

  30. 89 Year Old Defender says:

    Brett Gibbs reads this blog and DTD. He follows all of the anti-enforcement entries and blog posts across the internet. For him, at this late date, to even pretend not to know that Alan Cooper was a ghost is a blatant lie. This isn’t just “he knew, or should have known” but instead it is “he always knew.”

    That takes care of what he knew, now for when he knew it. Always and forever, since the beginning of his work with Prenda. There is no way he could not have known. I have no sympathy, whatsoever, for the lying stealing pig that he is, and that is what he always will be. Nothing more. Nothing less.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Anyone have the address for Gibbs? I have a case of Vaseline I wanna send him. I’m being optimistic of course, but I figure it’s better to be prepared. Now, where did I put that bag of sand…

  32. Dragon29 says:

    Without a doubt reading Pietzs’ response, it very clearly summed up much of the investigative work SJD, Raul and DTD and all the other supporters have been posting on this blog, twitter and other forums. Your hard work is starting to pay off as it is now getting into the hands of a judge who is going to take a stand for justice. I for one appreciate it and know there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other does out there who do equally as well. Kudos!!

  33. Mysterious Anonymous says:

    http://ia601508.us.archive.org/28/items/gov.uscourts.cacd.543744/gov.uscourts.cacd.543744.docket.html

    More documents showing up on PACER today. Statements by Huffman, other ISP employees, public records regarding the Salt Marsh/Cooper/Steele’s sister shenanigans, Alan Cooper’s complaint, printouts of email exchanges and various Prenda employees (or not, depending on whether it is convenient for them to say they are with Prenda or not) social networking profiles that point out when they are BSing.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this is just the start of an avalanche, anyone in the USA who wants a piece of Prenda will be piling on filings for the next three weeks in the hope of taking advantage of their opportunity to turn the screws. With the stakes this high I assume we will have some sample of Steele/Lutz/Duffy/Hansmeier show up to bring the “heavy artillery” like they did in Scriven’s court in FL (ROFL). Maybe there is a chance we will even enjoy Judge Wright’s requested appearance of Alan Cooper, this could be a huge opportunity to advance his case with the judge ready to grill these stooges.

    Let’s get ready to ruuuuuUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUuuuummmbbblllllle!!!

    • 89 Year Old Defender says:

      Email exchanges between Prenda and AT&T, signed by an Angela Van Den Hemel. Only one in the United States – lives at 16 E. 19th St #301, Minneapolis MN 55403, phones 605-425-2966 & Cell 612-270-7629. The 7629 number was confirmed by someone else, and the report I got was that it appears to be good.

      She’s 29 and seems to have had a connection with The College of Saint Benedict in Saint Joseph, MN at 37 College Ave South, #1745 in Stearns County MN. She may have also been connected with the Benedicta Arts Center – Phone 320-363-5777, but no confirmation on that yet. My source will get back to me later on that.

      None of this places Van Den Hemel in Chicago, unless she commutes or works out of her home.

      Related to David (32), Thomas (55) and Martha (54). Email either previously or currently used is angelavandenhemel@hotmail.com.

      • SJD says:

        That email is invalid: I tried to send a friendly warning to her…bounced.

        • 89 Year Old Defender says:

          Didn’t know whether it was valid or not. It’s what came back from the source. She either previously used it ir currently uses it – but hadn’t checked before I posted it. My source says that the cell phone number (the SECOND number), though, has an outgoing message identifying her.

      • 89 Year Old Defender says:

        Wouldn’t it be something if her identity was also stolen?

  34. Doesomethingaboutit says:

    You know, at some point I wondered if Brett was going to completely lose his shit and throw a completely childish tantrum at the judge, whining that he was being bullied by everyone – with tightly balled fists, wildly flailing legs and everything.

    This isn’t as entertaining as watching him fall to pieces, but I’m hoping that this latest move pisses off the judge a lot. “Damn it, Gibbs! I don’t care who the hell did it; Alan Cooper stands in front of me right here, right now, or the whole lot of you are in big trouble!”

    • lkj says:

      He would have thrown a tantrum if he hadn’t hired outside counsel. As it is, that isn’t Gibbs’ signature on his declaration.

  35. JoseDoe says:

    Oddly, I haven’t heard anyone comment in this space on Gibb’s transparent attempt to get sympathy by bringing up his brain cancer in his OSC response. Now, I know that Pietz had about a nanosecond to wade through the snot and tear-streaked kleenex Gibbs filed with the court. Too bad he can’t lob a supplemental.

    Another thing that Pietz didn’t get to touch on are the incredible allegations that Gibbsie and Hansmeier were able to ascertain that the Does had downloaded complete files. Just saying so doesn’t make it so.

    Or about the faux indignation that a defendant could be less than truthful. Imagine!

    About that son….Sure, he was around 14 years ago. What about now? What if he’s on the road, driving trucks, and only comes home a dozen times a year?

    Last point: Sure, it is possible that the other houses were out of range of the WiFi router. Ever hear of a booster? Remember the ‘antenna in a Pringles can’? If someone’s going to steal WiFi, a one time purchase of $60 for a booster beats paying for Internet.

    That sudden pain you feel, Gibbsie isn’t cancer. It’s the rear duals on the bus as it rolls over you, backs up, and does it again.

    • Raul says:

      Other thing no one has mentioned yet; I can find no evidence anywhere in the USA that Guava LLC or its “parent” company Livewire Holdings, Inc., is legally incorporated.

    • anonymouseavenger says:

      Last point: Sure, it is possible that the other houses were out of range of the WiFi router. Ever hear of a booster? Remember the ‘antenna in a Pringles can’? If someone’s going to steal WiFi, a one time purchase of $60 for a booster beats paying for Internet.

      I think another thing that gets glossed over is that you can spoof an IP address. Yes, even while torrenting. I never see anyone putting that bit in their defense, and I actually think it’s key. When these trolls apply for subpoenas based on IP addresses alone, ISP’s ought to point out that it’s possible that addresses can be forged. If you want more info on that feel free to read this wiki article on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_address_spoofing

      Another thing that a person can do is to infect a computer with malware and then use that computer as a sort of “hub” that they funnel data through, without the owner of the computer knowing. For example, in the late 90′s (and early 2000′s), there was a program called Sub7 that I tried. It was so easy to use, it required no technological skills. You just downloaded Sub7. Then there was an IP address search utility. It would just check every IP address until it found a computer infected with Sub7. Then you connected to that computer and BOOM, you were now in control of that computer. The victim would not even know you were mirroring their computer. You could use every aspect of that computer. Download files behind the scenes, then download that file once completed from the victim. It would only look like the victim grabbed the file and that would be the end of the transaction as far as anyone was concerned (except you.)

      Sub7 got revived in 2010 after many years of dormancy – not to mention the fact that there are HUNDREDS of trojan horse programs that do exactly what I explained above. People picture a person writing hours of code and working hard to break into your system. The reality is that a coder creates a trojan horse, loads of computers get infected when people open an infected e-mail attachment, then any 12 year old kid who has the client program that can search for infected computers can take full control of your computer and IP address. They don’t even need to know a thing about “hacking.”

      I had to have a crash course in understanding this when I noticed my internet was always slow. Finally installed an anti-virus program (Microsoft Security Essential – it’s free!) that detected the trojan horse. Just think, all that time and someone could have been rifling through all of my files, reading all my e-mails, knowing all my passwords… hell, these things can turn on your webcam without you ever knowing. Those people could potentially just watch you.

      This feels like I’m digressing here, but I wanted to fully illustrate just how in control someone could be of your computer. The “stealing a candy bar” analogy gets thrown around quite often – but there is no comparable analogy to what I described above… unless you say it’s possible for someone to completely control your mind, have you walk into a candy shop, steal a candy bar, walk outside, hand it over to the person controlling your mind, they leave and you snap out of the trance without ever remembering you had been in a trance to begin with.

      • Nlbstr says:

        Yes. It takes about 30 seconds to clone a MAC address on a surfboard cable modem. When you show up on the cable network with a MAC that’s registered to another valid Comcast user, it treats your modem as if it’s connected to their account.

        In reality, I could be sitting in Chicago using someone from Detroit’s MAC address, and as long as the two MAC’s aren’t on the same cable node, both of them will receive addresses registered to the legitimate account. The theory on Comcast’s end is that MAC addresses are supposed to be guaranteed to be unique per device. This is actually a flaw in the DOCSIS standard.

        Anyone with digital cable television service has Internet already coming in on their line. The question is who a hacker wants to be when they start illegally using that service.

  36. WhereistheFBI? says:

    You know your in deep shit when you have to say “but judge I have brain cancer”

    • anonymouseavenger says:

      I’m waiting for a judge to say: “Prove it.” Then Gibbs bringing in a doctors note saying he has it. The name of his primary care physician? Why, Dr. Cooper Mony Saltmarsh, of course.

  37. SupermanDoe says:

    Hey Raul what do Exhibit V potentially mean for the Comcast case? and are all those ips listed the ones involved in that case?

  38. lkj says:

    BTW awesome job by attorney Morgan Pietz, who in all probability will never get paid for all that hard work.

    • SJD says:

      Well, by Prenda — most likely no. Yet this work was a tremendous reputation boost, which is very valuable in the current situation in the legal field…

  39. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a pretty funny little detail. In item 31 of his declaration, Gibbs states:

    “I performed a Google map search and obtained a satellite picture of the corner house located at 1411 Paseo Jacaranda, Santa Maria, California 93458. … Considering the position of the house on the lot, and its position away from the neighboring houses, it seemed clear that, should the household have wireless internet, it would not have been accessible by the neighbors.”

    The Google satellite photo shows that the house next door is about 10 feet away. :)

    • Doesomethingaboutit says:

      “Must be all that brain cancer, yer Honor!”

    • Raul says:

      Funny indeed, nice catch!

    • Notme says:

      Found that to be odd as well. I live in a far less dense neighborhood than that satellite photo reveals and I can see about six of my neighbors’ wifi signals at any time. The position of that house on the lot actually makes it MORE likely that the neighboring houses could leech the wifi. Just more BS.

      • 89 Year Old Defender says:

        Last night, in my very own home, my grandson took me into our game room and turned on his Xbox. In less than a minute, he was able to determine there were at least 8 locations near our home that had open Wifi that could be leeched from. Eight!

        First, the thought of leeching wifi that easily had never crossed my mind before. Second, people in their responses to these crap lawsuits frequently brought up the possibility of having their wifi leeched, and frankly I couldn’t see how it could be done. Now that I see how incredibly easy it could be for someone to do it, it stands to reason that (among many other reasons) none of these lawsuits could ever hold water.

        I know what you may be thinking: “You never knew that?” Well, honestly, I didn’t. And that would be one more reason for most of the people who are sued by these clowns to fight aggressively. It’s because as hard as this may be to believe, most of the Does don’t steal.

        • pissed Off Doe says:

          89 Year Old Defender, even if you have a secure connection, it can be cracked with ease. Wep can be cracked within 10 mins, wpa may take hours depending on your setup. Lookup backtrack 5 wifi crack on youtube for tutorial. You don’t need tobe an expect hacker for that.

        • That Anonymous Dude says:

          My phone can find 15 wireless networks, 3 open ones, half of the ones secured with WEP, the rest I could easily crack with reaver since most people use WPS or just brute force it since I have a massive wordlist.

    • anonymouseavenger says:

      Boy, you weren’t kidding: http://goo.gl/u0n6X

      10 feet away is being generous towards Gibbs. I don’t think I could even lay down between the houses.

    • SJD says:

      Thank you, nice catch indeed, I updated the post above.

    • Mysterious Anonymous says:

      Yes, very nice catch.

      When I read through that pile of excuse-making my primary reaction was simply how weak the arguments were. It never occurred to me that weak as they were, even then they might be completely made up. Based on Gibbs’ testimony I would have assumed that this was like a house built back in the corner of a flag lot on a weird cul de sac, or a very low density residential neighborhood. Now we see it is just a house packed into a housing track with a neighboring house like 10′ away. It just goes to show how little shame these guys have, and how nothing they claim can be taken for granted. Even after two years of watching Brett’s antics this slipped by me.

      Really lazy Brett. You were given too long a leash by too many judges and got sloppy. But this time we can be sure Pietz will send the judge a response with a giant blown up satellite photo and on March 11 there will be hell to pay.

      Also worth mentioning again that Gibbs provided no evidence to support his assertions regarding Wi-Fi range and signal strength, etc. This is a complex topic and while his statements sound plausible, of course he provides no documentation regarding expected range and throughput of various flavors of wireless networking under residential conditions. People have been building these networks for years, and the protocols and equipment have specs, so if he were not completely lazy and dishonest he could attempt to provide something concrete to back up his statements, although as we are seeing that probable wouldn’t help his case and that’s probably why he never has facts.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes indeed — I didn’t post this before, but also take a look at Marvin Denton’s “very large [1300 sq ft !] estate consisting of a gate for entry and multiple separate houses/structures on the property” and see if you think Gibbs’ description matches the reality. :)

        • Mysterious Anonymous says:

          So much going on these days that it’s easy to miss pieces that fit together, but I took another look at Wright’s OSC and it specifically admonishes Gibbs for not staking out subscriber’s homes once they have the subscriber PID. Wright specifically suggests that “Plaintiff can find the subscriber’s home address and determine (by driving up ands canning the airwaves) whether the subscriber, (1) has Wi-Fi, and (2) has password- protected his Wi-Fi access, thereby reducing the likelihood that an unauthorized user outside the subscriber’s home is the infringer.” But Wright goes on to speculate that “this type of investigation requires time and effort, something that would destroy Plaintiff’s business model.”

          In the case of these homes, Gibbs could have had a PI park on the curb in front of the house and see whether or not any Wi-Fi networks were available to neighbors. And in the case of the couple that supposedly has a son living with them, a PI could have also verified whether or not the defendant actually lives at the address.

          So contrasting the OSC with Gibbs’ response, Wright had basically asked Gibbs why the hell he relied on a bunch of Google-searched garbage instead of doing an on the ground investigation, and Gibbs response is basically “herp derp, I did a bunch of Google searching your honor!”

          We all knew Gibbs was making pathetic excuses, but I didn’t realize until just now that he has completely failed to address the specific concerns raised in Wright’s OSC.

  40. [...] the legal danger he’s in, Gibbs has hired attorney Andrew Waxler to represent him. As Fight Copyright Trolls notes, Waxler’s focus is on “primarily defending lawyers in malpractice [...]

  41. 89 Year Old Defender says:

    I know someone else probably brought this up, but the certificate for AF Holdings isn’t connected to the Ingenuity 13 case at issue. 12-08333 is an Ingenuity Case, so I can’t see what possible good it would be to produce a certificate for a company that is not the plaintiff in the case.

    Am I missing something here?

    • Singular Doe says:

      While 8333 itself is an Ingenuity 13 case, the original case, 2:12-cv-05709, was an AF Holdings case that headed up the docket. 8333 became the lead case as that was the case that Pietz represented. Pietz brought a Motion to Relate Cases that gathered the Ingenuity 13 cases under the umbrella of the AF Holdings cases as Ingenuity 13 and AF Holdings are effectively the same company. Both are based out of the same address in St, Kitts, Alan Cooper is manager/CEO of both, etc.

  42. I loved this little bit of evidence of Prenda’s fraud: In Guava case in St Claire County Illinois, Prenda filed a verified petition claiming, “[V]enue is proper because at least one of the Doe defendants resides in St. Clair County, Illinois. Further, Comcast transacts business in St. Clair County, Illinois.” However, “[N]ot a single one of the 330 IP addresses at issue were actually linked to St. Clair County. This is because Comcast does not do business there; Charter is the local franchised cable operator.” Does anybody need more proof that these jack-wagons are forum shopping? I think Palm-face was created just for Prenda.

  43. Nlbstr says:

    A signature comparison for you guys… You be the judges. To me, it looks like someone looked at his signature, figured out how the “B” is drawn, and sort of fudged the rest.

    • That Anonymous Dude says:

      The one on the right (Guava letter) is a forgery, plain and simple. I don’t need to be a handwriting expert to state that either. They didn’t even try very hard to forge his signature either.

  44. WhereistheFBI? says:

    Brett, I think it’s time to visit a good Hollywood makeup artist and have them put a huge black lump on the side of your head and beg the judge for a good old fashion plea bargain. I’m thinking 5 years in a good “don’t drop the soap” local prison in exchange for testimony on the principles at Pretenda would be a good start. All the people here who had to put a lawyer on retainer even though we were completely innocent would be glad to offer all the advice we can.

    As Bill Maher says “The legal system is not a toy for rich idiots to play with”

  45. Anonymous says:

    Am I missing in the response where he says he is broke? From the write up SJD did: “Regardless, the main huge news is that Brett is broke . . . “. How did someone reach this conclusion?

    • SJD says:

      Actually… thanks. It’s not a secret that English is not my first language and I mistakenly used “broke” to describe that Gibbs is defeated, gave up his stubborn “loyalty”… Did not mean he is penniless.

      Suggest an appropriate replacement, I will appreciate.

    • WhereistheFBI? says:

      It would show just how shallow he really is if he is broke while being involved with such a risky scheme of lying and fraud. The way his last letter to the court was written confirms to me that he is not very bright. I would like to have left out the word rich when using Bill Maher’s quote but then it wouldn’t have been a quote. My point is just that the justice system isn’t a “game”

  46. George says:

    He also says “I am and have never had an ownership interest in the copyrights involved in the Copyright Litigations”

    He never said he doesn’t have any ownership interest in Prenda Law, or that new Anti-Piracy group. Neither he said his compensation doesn’t depend on the settlements.

    • That Anonymous Dude says:

      He receives a contingency fee. So, he may not have any equity interest in Prenda but he sure as shit has a financial interest in the lawsuits themselves. If he doesn’t collect settlements, he doesn’t get paid. Peter Hansmeier also is compensated on a contingent basis or so I’ve read. An expert witness who has been retained by plaintiff’s counsel and who is compensated based on cash inflows (settlements) is an incentive to incriminate as many people as possible. They wouldn’t let one of these cases go anywhere near a jury for just those reasons, plus much more. Hansmeier wouldn’t even be able to be certified as an expert witness since he has zero expertise (no degree, no certifications, it’s basically just a hobby).

  47. [...] for Mr. Harris, but the case is far from over.  AF Holdings/Prenda Law still has to get past the 11 March 2013 hearing in Judge Otis Wright’s CA courtroom.  Plus we have the real Alan Cooper suing John Steele in a [...]

  48. [...] Sinking ship “Prenda” is breaking with a loud sound. Rats are leaving the vessel [...]

  49. Anonymous says:

    Just looked through the “register of actions” of the spencer merkel case via the minnesota district court search, and it seems like the case was settled yesterday after judge tanya bransford issued a “stipulation” order on the case and set an “order to show cause hearing” for next month. Any one have a copy of judge bransford’s orders? Wonder if she went judge wright on prenda…

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