Posts Tagged ‘Karma’


Aisha Sargeant

On 2/19/2013 Nicholas Ranallo and Morgan Pietz (from the defendant’s side), and Brett Gibbs (from the plaintiff’s), deposited a “witness”: Prenda’s senior (and, in mt opinion, mastermind) Paul Hansmeier, asking him questions about a shell company AF Holdings. Today the transcript is available as an exhibit to the Ingenuity v. Jon Doe — CACD 12-cv-08333.

I started reading it. It has 290 pages… So I decided to post it here and continue reading. I’m sure the discussion will be interesting.

[Embedding does not work: opaque highlights are rendered on top of the text on Scribd, totally covering it, which looks like redaction. You have no choice but to load the pdf]

Exhibits.

A visual layout

An amazing visual layout of the deposition made by John Henry. You’ll have to download it either from Scribd or here to navigate.

Media coverage
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.

Followup
Media coverage

A short (on the European scale) break

Posted: September 7, 2012 by SJD in Housekeeping
Tags:

I’m traveling for the next 2-3 weeks starting this Saturday and won’t be able to spend more than half an hour a day on this site. Nonetheless, I will be checking my email a couple of times a day (given the Internet availability — may be totally cut off the world during the next week) and will reply to urgent requests. If anyone is willing to write a post, I will be happy to proofread/format and publish it. DieTrollDie has keys from the site and will be able to help with urgent moderation of comments (e.g. if too much personal information is revealed).

Do not feed the trolls while I’m out!

Short break

Posted: September 25, 2011 by SJD in Housekeeping
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Sorry for not keeping up. I’m traveling now and will be back early next week. I read everything (Twitter, emails, blogs etc.) but I’m not used to typing long texts on a phone.

Hiking in the forest, looking at the centuries-old trees, mountains and waterfalls, I managed not to think about bad people for the most part of my journey, and I can’t explain how relieved, lighthearted and happy I am.

Yet during those short moments I remembered the legal criminals, copyright trolls, I acutely realized the extent of the harm they managed to inflict on this world. How many moments of peace did they trump during their assault on the younger generation? How many folks felt scared, desperate and depressed because of trolls’ unstoppable greed? This harm may very well be beyond repair for some, and I will not forget it.

I used to compare trolls to insects and worms, but seeing those tiny organisms living their lives, having their important little places in the universe, I’m embarrassed for being so mean to those insects and worms; it is unfair to compare these living, loving creatures to unnatural, greedy and sleazy ones – Sperlein, Steele, Siegel, Dunlap, Stone, Ford and scores of other trolls.

Last week all the Does except Doe #10 were dismissed from this case.

On August 11, 2011, the Court directed Plaintiff to decide whether to name S.P. as a Defendant and that, if it chose to do so, to amend its complaint within seven days of August 11, 2011. The Court warned Plaintiff that, if it failed to respond, its claims against Doe 10 would be dismissed for failure to prosecute.

G. Sperlein decided not to sue the remaining defendant at this time and let this case collapse by ignoring the deadline.

As time passes, and the public awareness and outrage are growing, it is becoming less and less likely that Sperlein would dare filing a new lawsuit against Doe #10. Although it is possible in theory (the dismissal was without prejudice), it is just does not make any sense:

  • It is hard to believe that a Doe who fought (and therefore is well informed) can be coerced to pay.
  • Winning such case is also impossible, especially in light of new discoveries about the “evidence” extortionists possess.

As I stated in the FAQ,

An outcome of a motion [to quash a subpoena] is uncertain – it is really depends on the judge, and since it costs virtually nothing to you, it is worth trying. Even if you don’t succeed, your effort is not in vain: judges’ awareness of this scam grows, and if the judge on your case receives many motions like yours, he may change his initial opinion on the matter. In addition, trolls normally write and file an opposition to every motion; therefore they spend their time. And more of a troll’s time is wasted, less time he has to inflict damage to the society.

On August 19th a motion based on Sy Ableman’s template was granted, and Steele’s case “Boy Racer v. Does 1-60” was dismissed without prejudice. Maybe it is a small victory, but during the times when case law regarding mass filesharing lawsuits is being created, any victory is significant.

Thumbs up to judge Illston. Thumbs up to the anonymous filer: just think about how many victims you saved from distress simply by not being lazy and submissive. I don’t necessarily believe in reincarnation, but it is difficult to dismiss a broad concept of Karma: I’m sure you’ve improved yours. As for trolls, they are doomed to be reborn as helminths, no doubt.

I updated the FAQ page. I want to distill and put together all the knowledge I collected during the last months. I will eventually slow down my activity: there are too many interesting things to do in this world, much more interesting than fighting with scumbags. This is not a final version of the FAQ, so your input is appreciated, as always.

Please note that I’m not a lawyer, therefore I can give you an advice, although of course it will never be a legal advice. One of the major treasuries every human being possesses is the ability to think critically. It is tempting to follow a recommendation without thinking twice, but I encourage you to use this site only as a single resource in the ocean of common sense. Think for yourself, do your research, never turn off your sense of humor, and always heed these words written in large friendly letters:

DO NOT PANIC

Intermission

Posted: August 3, 2011 by SJD in Not so serious
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