Posts Tagged ‘Ingenuity 13’


Mark Lutz

This guy harassed tens of thousands over the phone during the past two years. Mark Colins Lutz, Prenda’s paralegal, used to call victims telling them that they had broken the law — either the copyright law or the CFAA. Sometimes he used his real name, sometimes he did not identify himself, sometimes used a bogus name Jeff Schultz.

Note that, to put it politely, Mark is not exactly a person who has a moral right to lecture others about the law violations: prior to becoming a Prenda’s goon, Mark worked as an insurance salesman in Illinois and used to break the law there.

On 7/29/1997 Lutz was speeding under influence in Park Forest, IL, which resulted in his arrest. He was charged with four counts:

 

According to the documents linked above, the arrest warrant is still open.

Since this episode happened a long time ago, I believe Mark had another problems with the law more recently: his driving license was apparently revoked/suspended: on 11/27/2006 he was caught driving on revoked license. A warrant for this case is also active, according to the county website.

But that’s not all: Mark was apparently caught driving without license in Cook County, IL, as well, and the warrant, issued on 9/12/2007 (a nice 30th birthday gift!) is still active (according to the Will county circuit court website):

 

Other Mark’s shenanigans include:

  • 04/29/1997 — Milwaukee county, WI: open (according to the county site) arrest warrant for
    • Criminal damage to property;
    • Disorderly conduct;
    • Possession of controlled substance.
  • 08/05/1997 — Park Forest, IL: Resisting peace officer (warrant not extended, quashed on 9/13/01 – 25th birthday gift was more pleasant than the one mentioned above).
  • 05/07/2007 — DuPage County, IL: caught driving without license. This case is resolved — a judgment was issued, I don’t have any idea if the fee was paid.
  • 7/13/2008 — Zionsville, IN: Possession of marijuana (warrant status is unknown: waiting for information).
  • Early January 2013: troubles with law in Mexico.

 

So, to the best of my knowledge, at least four arrest warrants are still open (one Cook and two Will county warrants in IL and one in Milwaukee county, WI), which means that Mark Lutz is a wanted fugitive and may be arrested if he shows up in the counties that want him.

Currently, Mark Lutz resides in Miami Beach, Florida, and his last known address is here — even if he moved since then, authorities still can track and arrest him, but… according to a criminal lawyer I consulted with,

It is up to the state that wants him whether he has to come back. So Florida could detain him, call IL and they might say “not worth the $25K to extradite, cut him loose.”

…which is, alas, the most likely scenario. Things would be different if Mark was not a poor call center guy, but a wealthy person who could pay a bail — a CEO of a company that operates a nationwide business, for example, or a father of an offshore trust beneficiary.

Nonetheless, I hope this information will be remembered when Lutz is summoned to an Illinois Court. Not that I believe he will appear, but notifying US Marshals still makes sense.

The post below is a follow-up to the recent two articles:

 

This post is yet another community contribution, which makes me happy: this blog was never about me or my ego, and I’m always glad when more writers are involved.

Before I pass the pen to JoseDoe, I want to note that the missing exhibits to the bizarre troll Goodhue’s pleading (which is in the center of the ongoing discussion) have been finally filed today (see the docket, entry 59). The most interesting piece is John Steele’s sworn affidavit. In my opinion, John waived his 5th amendment rights by filing it. Someone has immediately noted that the notarized date is 5/28/2013, while Goodhue’s response to OSC was filed on 5/25/2013. Moreover, some quotes purportedly from this affidavit in the motion itself can’t be found in the affidavit (e.g., “cut down significant acreage of wood and unlawfully removed it from Steele’s property”). Indeed, it is hard to quote a document that does not exist yet.

 

 

By JoseDoe

I received a report from Aitken County on the land parcel that contains the former vacation home of John Steele, at 21251 220th St, Mc Grath, MN 56350 (Lat: 46.3329, Long: -93.2880). The parcel number is 25-0-008600, and the file is dated 12/12/2012, before the final sale of the property in February of 2013. The size of the parcel is 44.5 acres, according to Aitken County.

Who owned the land?

The first thing to note is that John Steele did not own this land. An entity called, variously SRR Properties LLC or Snake River Ranch, LLC owns it. I do not believe that it is the more famous Snake River Ranch in Wyoming that is buying property in Minnesota, either.

A check of the Minnesota Secretary of State shows that Snake River Ranch, LLC is a Limited Liability Corporation owned by… John Steele, with a mailing address to his next door neighbor. Just like Saltmarsh, Mooney, and Cooper, Steele appears to have named one of his shell companies after something else more famous. The LLC was founded two months before the deeding of the property over to it.

But it does get better. See Property Sale below.

 

How big is the property?

The property was conveyed to SRR in June of 2004, from the Estate of John Steele Sr., our troll’s father, who passed away in July 2003. The property was conveyed to SRR as a “Trade, Gift, or Estate” for $151,827.00. The Aitkin County Detailed Parcel Report (embedded above) states the parcel size at 44.50 acres. I searched various real estate websites, such as Zillow and Trulia. The size given for the property on Zillow is 125 acres. Here is a map of the parcel on Trulia:

 

The logical question is: who is right? The mix-up can be explained by the fact that the original estate was broken into three parcels (25-0-008600, 25-0-008800 and 25-0-008700): presumably one for each sibling. John got the cabins, Jayme and Elizabeth — only land.

How Clear the Cutting?

One of the more scurrilous allegation is contained on page 8, lines 19-20:

In September 2012 […] [Alan Cooper] cut down significant acreage of wood and unlawfully removed it from Steele’s property…

There are two ways to refute this allegation: one is to compare before and after pictures, the second is to consider how something like that would be done.

Compare the ait-17-016 shot in 1998 with Google maps. I cannot guarantee that the satellite imagery is after February 2013, but the imagery is “copyright 2013.” Bing Maps shows similar imagery. In each case, there is no readily identifiable deforestation as alleged. The small trail that runs south to the river ford actually runs off the property lines in both the Trulia image as well as those general property lines formed by the tree lines. When John Steele allegedly went four-wheeling with Alan Cooper, he trespassed on his neighbor’s property.

Let us consider from where all these trees would have been cut. The ones lining 220th Street appear to be intact, as well as any other trees north of the river. This leaves south of the river. The trees there appear to be too small to harvest, especially when you look at photos 8 and 9 of the Trulia listing. But, for the sake of argument, let us say they were cut down. How were they removed? The only possible way is via the trail across the river ford. Certainly, dragging “significant acreage of wood” across the ford would have wreaked major destruction with the soft soil around the ford. None of this is evident in the aerial imagery.

I have not inquired as to where the trees would have gone, although if I were so moved, I would call a few of the licensed firewood vendors in the McGrath area and ask them if an Alan Cooper sold them live timber in September of last year.

Property Sale

According to Goodhue (Page 7, line 21), “In mid-2012, Steele listed his vacation property for sale by auction.” Well, this is curious. Because, Steele didn’t own the property, SRR did. But wait. According to the MN Secretary of State, Snake River Ranch, LLC was “Administratively Terminated” on 01/07/2008. It didn’t exist. It couldn’t sell anything. How can a terminated LLC convey good title to a plot of land?

But let’s examine the sale. On 8/19/2012, the property was first offered for sale for one dollar. It was listed under MLS# 4183515. On 10/02/2012, the price was pushed upward to $465,000. The property was sold on 2/28/2013 for $417,000.00. The listing was removed on 3/09/2013 at that same price. (all data from ReMAX Results) The agent appears to be Brent Berry. According to Realtor.com, both the buyer and seller used ReMAX Results as the property brokers. The current Zillow.com estimated price is just under $322,000 — the new owners are already $95,000 underwater, a loss of almost 23% in three months. The seller made out well. $417,000 – 6% realtor commission = 391,980 – 151,827 = $240,153 profit.

 

Taxes

Here’s where it gets interesting. If the LLC was administratively terminated, could it convey good title? What is the statute of limitations? What if John Steele signed as one of the officers of a defunct LLC, deeded the property over to the new owners, and just pocketed the check? He didn’t sell the property, the LLC did. But the LLC died five years previously. There’s also the wrinkle that this is a vacation home. I’ll have to research this some more, but it is possible that capital gains taxes may be due this year on the $240K profit Steele made on the sale of the property.

What does it all mean? It’s another typical Steele operation. The receipt, ownership, and sale of the property are cloaked in ambiguity. Did Steele own it or not? Who pays taxes on the gain? The Goodhue story of the widespread tree cutting cannot be countenanced, for the trees are too small to be commercially salable and their supposed removal left no traces on the landscape, as seen in images from 1998 and 2013.

But it’s a fair bet their neighbors can’t pick up their WiFi signal.

Another reader, who wished to remain anonymous, made a couple of notes independently. Here are the points that have not been addressed above:

  • I noticed that the property was sold in February, 2013 for full value. If the property was indeed damaged by a chainsaw there should have been a reduction in price or there would have been repair work done on the property. Another local realtor would know if the property was damaged or the price was reduced.
  • I would LOVE to know who the buyer was – and if they were told anything about cut timber or chainsaw damage. It’s a log cabin, after all. It would be pretty obvious if a repair had to be done. it’s not as simple as replacing some sheet rock.
Update

5/29/2013

The latest tax documents on the three parcels that were sold in February: all three now have the same owner:

5/30/2013

A Techdirt post explores yet another blooper in Steele’s declaration: John Steele’s Claims About Alan Cooper Contradicted By History by Mike Masnick.

By Dragon

Yesterday we took a look at the newest filing from AF Holding’s v David Harris (AZD 2:12-cv-02144) where Prenda’s lackey Steven Goodhue attempts to dismiss the fact that Cooper’s identity was stolen and downplay the events in Honorable Judge Wright’s courtroom. Hopefully, I was not alone in immediately identifying several “holes” in the story he presented related to Cooper’s now alleged involvement at the outset of this debacle. Here’s a more in depth look at the Response as well as the inconsistencies presented.

Goodhue starts with the same song and dance that we have seen since the start of Coopergate, namely it doesn’t matter who signed the assignment, AF Holdings still has standing to file suit against infringers. This argument didn’t work before, however I’m not surprised that it is still an integral part of their defensive strategy. It will be interesting to see how the Honorable Judge responds to this…

Next, Goodhue embarks on an extensive explanation into Cooper’s involvement in the copyright scheme. He leads through a heartwarming tale of Cooper and Steele being best of friends after they entered into their arrangement with Cooper as live-in caretaker of Steel’s property:

Steele visited his vacation property regularly between 2005 and mid-2011 and became close friends with Cooper. Steele and Cooper spent substantial time together, including, for example, boating on Lake Mille Lacs, riding all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiling, and attending estate auctions. Steele and Cooper would regularly collaborate on various handyman projects, including building a porch addition to and reroofing the guest cabin. Cooper and Steele regularly attended county fairs and other Northern Minnesota social events together, including the White Pine Logging and Thrashing show, Howie’s Mud Bog, the Aitkin County July 4th fair, and the Kanabec County fair. Cooper’s relationship extended to Steele’s family. Conservatively speaking, Cooper joined Steele’s family for dinner over 100 times. On several occasions he babysat Steele’s daughter. The two were such good friends that Cooper remarked on several occasions that Steele was the brother he never had.

But Cooper had a small problem, he was broke. So Mr. Steele, being the charitable man he is, introduced Cooper to Mark Lutz (CEO for AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13) as the answer to his financial woes. Cooper was involved in two copyright assignments as a “corporate representative”, even though he knew nothing about the adult industry, but soon this created too many issues with his second wife, so he soon withdrew from this status. Finally, Goodhue ends this saga with Cooper’s downhill slide, that started with his divorce coupled with Steele putting his property up for sale (which would end Cooper’s “free” residence) and ultimately drove him to a mental state where he was attacking guests, vandalizing Steels property and pilfering everything that wasn’t nailed down:

[…]Cooper used a chainsaw to remove large portions of load-bearing walls in Steele’s guest cabin, tore down nearly every interior wall in the guest cabin, stole 4 rifles, 1 shotgun and 5 pistols Steele stored on his property, threatened prospective buyers of Steele’s property, cut down significant acreage of wood and unlawfully removed it from Steele’s property, and stole hundreds of items, including tools, equipment, lumber, and virtually every item that was not bolted down in Steele’s kitchen. Cooper even stole a large trailer of Steele’s that Cooper used to haul away entire rooms of furniture from Steele’s cabin.

Hungry for revenge, Cooper was conveniently “recruited” through text by Godfread to file a lawsuit against Steele. Of course the EFF was involved, essentially asserting that they along with Cooper and Godfread collaborated together to “launch collateral attacks on Plantiff’s copyright infringements lawsuits.”


“Cooper used a chainsaw to remove large portions of load-bearing walls in Steele’s guest cabin.”

 

I can’t help but think of one of my favorite lines from Ace Ventura, “well fiction IS fun, but I prefer the story where”… Goodhue must have selective memory. Let’s go back to the very beginning of Coopergate and follow the events leading up to the pivotal ruling in the CACD and the recent Goodhue Response. Way back in November, when Cooper initially retained Godfread, his goal was clearly stated, “My client would like certainty that his identity is not being used without his knowledge and against his will as the would be CEO of AF Holdings, LLC or as a manager of Ingenuity 13, LLC.” It wasn’t until several months later, after Prenda and Duffy dodged their question, including flat out stating that they refused to answer, that Cooper was forced to file suit (January 22nd to be precise).

During this same time, Attorney Morgan Pietz, defending Does in California, engaged in several emails requesting that Prenda’s Brett Gibbs answer two simple questions. First, identify if there was another Alan Cooper that was being held out as the Principal of AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13. There was a mess of childish behavior including the now famous line, “I’m sure there are hundreds of other Alan Coopers in this world”. Secondly, when Gibbs purportedly had to ask his client for the original assignment, Pietz requested to know who “the client” was. As events unfolded, Gibbs threw “tantrum” after “tantrum” to avoid answering these two simple questions. Shortly thereafter, Nick Ranallo and Morgan Pietz asked Judge Wright to allow discovery on these two issues and a few more pointed questions to get to the heart of the Alan Cooper issue. And they got it. Gibbs response? “I think I’ll try to disqualify the Honorable Judge Wright for abhoring Plantiffs who try to protect their pornography copyrights.” When that didn’t work, Gibbs tried the cut and run, dismissing the case. Duffy substituted in for all the Gibbs cases and then stated dismissing them one by one.

 

All of this history begs the answer to a couple of questions relating back to Goodhue’s response. If Alan Cooper was truly involved in from the beginning as “a Corporate Representative” for AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13 and signed the original copyright assignment, why would Gibbs et al go through such great lengths to avoid answering that Alan Cooper from Minnesota signed it? When asked to provide the identity of his “client”, why would he not simply identify Mark Lutz as the client? Mr. Goodhue, the facts clearly show that Cooper’s intent was not to file suit as was stated, but to clear his name. When this failed, he had no option but to file a lawsuit. Further, Mark Lutz was not identified as the CEO of the off-shore companies until the February Deposition of Paul Hansmeier, which is why Gibbs was unable to identify him before that date. But Goodhue doesn’t bother to mention any of these discrepancies.

Goodhue also attempts to incorrectly reference the transcript of the March 11th hearing to prove that Godfread sent a text message to Cooper to recruit him to his cause. However, Cooper never stated under oath that it was Godfread that sent him the text, simply that someone alerted him to the situation and told him to contact Godfread. He also conveniently skips the part where Cooper, still under oath, states that it was not his signature on the documents in question, that he uses a middle initial in his signature. And let’s not forget that the fairy tale woven by Goodhue comes from the Affidavit of John Steele, who was not under oath. Should we trust the words of a man who “suffers from a form of moral turpitude unbecoming of an officer of the court?” Let’s hope that the Honorable Judge does his research and is able to quickly dismiss Goodhue’s Fable.

(The illustration above does not show the actual John Steele cabin.)
Followup
Update

5/28/2013
Yesterday, 5/27/2013, defendant David Harris filed his response.

Background (which is not really relevant): DieTrollDie wrote in a recent post that on 5/17/2013 Judge Murray Snow stayed AF Holdings LLC v. Harris (AZD 2:12-cv-02144) due to concerns based on the sanctions laid down in Judge Otis Wright’s order:

IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff show cause within seven (7) days of the date of this Order why this Court should not dismiss this case. To the extent that Plaintiff asserts a right in the continuation of this case, Plaintiff is ordered to identify: (1) the persons who signed Exhibit B in the names of Raymond Rogers and Alan Cooper; (2) all persons who hold any interest in Plaintiff; and (3) if Exhibit B to the Complaint is in fact not signed by Alan Cooper and/or Raymond Rogers why Plaintiff and/or counsel should not be sanctioned pursuant to the Court’s inherent power and Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 for filing a fraudulent document with this Court. In the interim, this action is stayed until further Order of this Court.

Why did I say that the background is not really relevant? Well, the following story could be injected by Prenda into any lawsuit where a judge questioned Alan Cooper’s signature. When after 6 months of struggling with writer’s block, Steele and Hansmeier came up with a story that “plausibly” connects the dots in what we call Coopergate, the judge’s order directing troll Steven Goodhue to confirm the validity of the copyright assignment signatures was a convenient moment. Emboldened by recent relative victories, the gang is gambling on judge’s gullibility, yet with Aaron Kelly’s firm involvement in this case, I wouldn’t bet a single penny on Prenda’s “red” (herring).

Yes, it took six months of inventive evasion, attempts to remove a judge from a case, lies, invoking the Fifth Amendment to finally come up with a crafty plot that for the first time explicitly accuses Steele’s caretaker Alan Cooper of willfully participating in Prenda’s “business.” Furthermore, the trolls accused Cooper of changing his story with a goal of extorting Steele & Co.!

While this is no more than one in a series of delaying tactics, it is really sad that the crooks continue bringing hell to a simple man’s life. Sad, but inevitable: you cannot expect anything but a blank stare from these heartless creatures when they witness suffering.

(Note than none of the supporting documents referred in the Goodhue’s reply was filed. Update: all the exhibits were finally filed on 5/29/2013.)

Followups
Update

5/28/2013
Yesterday, 5/27/2013, defendant David Harris filed his response to the fable:

Media coverage
There is a case lingering in the ILND, Ingenuity 13 v Bradley Hellyer (12-cv-06131). The defendant represents himself, and he answered the complaint, even included some counterclaims. I believe that Prenda would be happy to get rid of this lawsuit, but it can’t do it easily since the complaint has been answered. Just last week the plaintiff managed to get the counterclaims dismissed; dismissing the entire lawsuit is much easier now.

After the March 11 hearing in Judge Wright’s chambers, Prenda filed many “notices of allegations” in AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13 cases. Duffy explained that the reason for these filings was his wide known candor and honesty. Nonetheless, note that no notice was filed in this case. In my opinion, the judge on this case, Judge Joan Lefkof, is lenient to trolls, but I can be wrong, just a gut feeling. The dismissal of counterclaims has nothing to do with this, though: those counterclaims were indeed weak: the plaintiff’s motion to dismiss was well written (if one wouldn’t know the circumstances).

Therefore, in light of the damning Judge Wright’s Order, the likelihood of winning legal fees is rather high, so I believe this is a great opportunity for an Illinois-licensed attorney to chime in and represent Bradley pro bono. Even if collecting potential fee awards is arguably problematic, there is a certain value in having a favorable judgment in a lawyer’s portfolio. This is not only my opinion, an attorney thinks the same way:

 

To be clear, defendant never contacted me or anyone I know, it was not his initiative.

We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Congratulations to everyone involved, especially Morgan and Nick.

Media coverage
If you have been following Theatre of Absurd “Prenda” for a while, you’ll smile, chuckle, giggle, and laugh out loud more than once. Enjoy.

 

 

I’ve been thinking about one of the charades in Hansmeier’s deposition, and although I know little about the corporate law (especially international), I risked to do some research and share my findings.

On page 39 of the transcript we read:

Q. So in my experience most trusts name at least one beneficial owner, but I believe you testified earlier today that the trust that owns AF Holdings has no beneficial owners; is that correct?

A. The trust that owns AF Holdings is an undefined beneficiary trust. I would suggest that your experience is not complete when it comes to trusts.

Q. Perhaps you can enlighten me. What is a undefined beneficiary trust? Allow me to be more specific. Can you explain to me what is the undefined beneficiary trust that owns AF Holdings?

Hansmeier evaded answering this question. And this is not an easy question, and Morgan Pietz did not deserve an arrogant remark that his “experience is not complete when it comes to trusts.” Information about trusts without beneficiaries is sparse on the Internet, yet we managed to find one document written by a Nevis’ law firm Liburd and Dash. This essay explains what this beast — a trust without beneficiaries — is about.

Nevis

Such trusts are also called “Purpose trusts” because despite the lack of defined beneficiaries, the trust’s purpose must be clearly defined. This is common around the world if the purpose is charitable, but non-charitable trusts with no defined beneficiaries are widely considered non-kosher even in notorious tax havens, but are perfectly legal in Nevis.

A Purpose Trust established under the laws of Nevis can be a valuable tool in the fields of Estate Administration, Tax Planning and Commercial Transactions. It is a vehicle which ensures that its assets have no beneficial ownership and can achieve a level of anonymity, by removing beneficial ownership and insulating the Source of Funds. However it should have a specific defined purpose and should periodically distribute funds to fulfill that goal. Periodic distributions would prevent any allegation that the Settlor or Source of Funds had no donative intent, and that the Trust is one which was not established for genuine reasons, but is a “sham”. This would allow a Purpose Trust established under the laws of Nevis to enjoy international recognition.

The document is not an easy read for us laymen and laywomen. Yet it may draw the attention of IRS. If anyone from this organization has stumbled upon this post and finds this document interesting (especially in light of Hansmeier’s statements quoted below), do not hesitate to contact me: I’ll connect you with people who possess more information on the subject.

Q. How about tax records. Has AF Holdings ever filed a tax return?

A. I don’t not believe they have filed a tax return in Nevis. I believe there’s an exception that if you’re not recognizing revenue, to filing a tax return, so I don’t not believe they have filed a tax return in Nevis.

Q. Has AF Holdings ever filed a tax return in the United States?

A. I’d have to think about that. I’m not aware of any tax returns that AF Holdings has filed in the United States.

 

Interesting links

Recent mega-leak of offshore business records:


If the last Prenda hearing was a tornado, this one was an earthquake.
Abrupt, powerful, and leaving unclear casualties.

Adam Steinbaugh

 

Basically, the title says it all. I was not there (looking back — fortunately: the travel would be too expensive given the length of the show). I could filter the bits of information from the Twitter feed, but it does not make much sense: Ken White‘s analysis is by far the most read-worthy:

However well grounded in the individual rights of Steele, Hansmeier, and Duffy, the invocation eviscerates their credibility as lawyers and the credibility of Prenda Law as an enterprise in every court across the country. I expect that defense attorneys will file notice of if in every state and federal case Prenda Law has brought, through whatever guise or cutout. The message will be stark: the attorneys directing this litigation just took the Fifth rather than answer another judge’s questions about their conduct in this litigation campaign. I expect federal and state judges across the country will take notice and begin their own inquiries.

The consequences for the individuals behind Prenda Law may arrive slowly — particularly by the standards of Twitter and anxious blogs. But they will come — and they may come from many directions at once.

Prenda Law may still be standing. But it’s dead.

I want to make sure that one particular tidbit is not lost: according to an earlier Dark Moe’s tweet, “IRS Agent from L.A. Anti-Money Laundering Unit will be in the audience.”

As in the case of the previous hearing, I’ll try to collect links to all the stories about this short, but “an extinction-level event for Prenda.” Needless to say, this post will be updated as I become aware of new coverage.

Transcript
Featured comment by a witness

Anonymous wrote:

Well there wasn’t really enough drama to do a full narrative writeup. Popehat and Ars have it covered, and Ken’s background provides more insight than I can given there were no new revelations.

But there are a few things I thought were interesting that I don’t think were highlighted in the other coverage:

Steele now has his own attorneys.
Paul Hansmeier has his own attorneys.
Duffy, Van Den Hemel, and Prenda are still represented by Rosing.

Peter Hansmeier and Lutz did not have representation.

Hansmeier and Steele were sitting next to each other and chatting, so they still appear to be buddies.

Duffy entered separately, looked beet red.

Peter Hansmeier looked like he was about to cry at one point.

Paul Hansmeier looks like he has been eating all the settlement money, or maybe he is a stress eater and the last month or so has been particularly rough.

Lutz looks much older than I expected, maybe 40’s. I assumed from his being such a fool, and the antics like showing up to court in flip-flops, that he would look like a 20-something college dropout. He decided to wear a suit this time and looked like someone I would take seriously if I didn’t know better.

I believe Van Den Hemel entered and sat with Lutz, Steele and the Hansmeiers, but not sure if I caught it all, I didn’t know who she was or that she was there yet.

So it looks like factional lines are being drawn.

Nobody took credit for being Alan Cooper, Wright made a particular point of asking if there was an Alan Cooper; I’m sure this is key to whatever he has in mind.

Gibbs was present but basically ignored, the only acknowledgment of him or his lawyer I recall was when Wright thanked Waxler for successfully serving the rest.

Pietz and Ranallo were present and armed to the teeth with boxes of stuff, but I think they only spoke to identify themselves when the hearing began.

Except for Rosing, who seemed like she is at least trying to do her job and put up some fight, the other guys’ attorneys got steamrolled by Wright, they barely even tried. They literally ended up hunched over the table, arms splayed out, mouths hanging open looking like “WTF is happening to us?’

I wanted to get pics of the crew, especially Lutz since he has been the Prenda Mystery Man, but no electronics in the courtroom and they didn’t leave with the crowd, probably slithered out the side doors long after everyone else left.

I will also predict that, with Prenda simply pleading the 5th regarding everything they do, the defamation suit counterclaims will be disastrous for them. Not sure what they can do at this point if they simply won’t answer questions or produce discovery, but at the rate they are going they may be forced to let them go to default judgements.

By the same token, it seems like anyone involved in a Prenda case that hasn’t been dismissed yet has a golden opportunity. Get a counterclaim in, and if they are are simply unwilling to speak about any of their cases, how will they defend it?

A bit anticlimactic, a lot less theater than last time, but it looks like they are seriously screwed.

Featured cartoon

JohnGenryLawyer created a splendid cartoon relevant to the theme of this post. To those who started following Prenda cases only recently: text on the left is from the April 2 hearing transcript, which is embedded above; text on the right is from another famous transcript — of the hearing that took place in Judge Scriven’s courtroom in Tampa in November.

Media coverage

Graham Syfert (a Jacksonville attorney, who does not need an introduction) posted an interesting investigative piece today. I found it extremely important and encourage everyone to read it. But before you start, I want to point out to one coincidence that Graham did not mention (probably he did not know): a person who we strongly believe was John Steele had been commenting on this blog via Mullvad VPN (links at the bottom). Although it does not prove anything per se — a single exit IP address is shared by many VPN users — the fact that Mullvad VPN was allegedly used to seed certain pornographic movies is interesting.

sharkmp4: The Prenda Law Honeypot

By Graham Syfert

Many know of the problems encountered by Prenda Law in the case of Sunlust v. Nguyen, a copyright infringement case that resulted in the Sunlust v. Nguyen hearing transcript. Many also know of the cases of Steele, Prenda, and Duffy v. Paul Godfread, Alan Cooper, and The Internet.

And everyone who is reading this probably knows that there has been a problem in California, where a federal judge is quite concerned regarding the client and firm merging together in cases titled in the Plaintiff’s name of AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13.

Recently, the question came to be asked: Has anyone ever seen these movies they’re suing on available anywhere but bittorrent? I do not have any current AF Holdings or Ingenuity 13 cases, I have never looked at the works, or even focused on Ingenuity 13 any more than hunting Alan Cooper or Salt Marsh. But I decided to try and help. Oh, and I guess the Prenda Law client VPR Internationale, also comes into play. Probably others.

Knowing that Steele likes to sue the internet, for making false statements, I will simply present the facts.

Continue reading on the Graham Syfert’s blog…

Comments from Mullvad VPN addresses — (strongly suspected) made by John Steele
Media coverage