Good news from Georgia: Court has approved discovery aimed at uncovering more Prenda’s crookery

Over the previous week Prenda continued to broadcast its last season of the soap opera. In particular, two events have been covered by the media:

  • A batch of new filings in the famous Ingenuity 13 v John Doe (the “Star Trek” case — CACD 12-cv-8333), where four clowns (John Steele, Paul and Peter Hansmeiers, and Mark Lutz) filed motions complaining that they were not served properly, essentially (and, in the Lutz’s case, literally) accusing Morgan Pietz and Nick Ranallo of fraud (wow!).
  • At the same time but in another case, Nick Ranallo, whom John Steele once called “underemployed lawyer trolling for business,” moved for sanctions against John Steele and Paul Hansmeier personally — to preemptively deal with the problem of extracting fees from Prenda’s shell corporations, which are de-facto judgment-proof. Unlike the farcical movements in the Wright’s case, a must-read Ranallo’s motion is dead serious, it contains all the instances of Penda’s wrongdoings, and it is complemented by Brett Gibbs’s declaration in support of sanctions (wow #2!).

These two events in their ironical contrast were nicely covered by ArsTechnica and TechDirt, so I won’t waste time trying to re-tell quite obvious commentaries (don’t neglect the readers’ comments).

One significant Prenda-related episode has been left out: there was a hearing in the AF Holdings v. Patel (GAND 12-cv-00262), where Blair Chintella, one of the first original Doe defenders, has been firmly standing against Prenda, opposing its cowardly move to flee — to dismiss the case with prejudice on 3/18/2013 — after it became clear that this particular extortion attempt had failed. Instead of letting the villains go unpunished, Chintella filed a comprehensive motion for sanctions. Naturally, Steele/Hansmeier did not like it, and what followed made this case probably one of the most entertaining Prenda’s shows (to the extent you can separate the grief of the victims from the good, healing and disinfectant laugh). Prenda’s local — The Best Of Craigslist Attorney 2012 winner Jacque Nazaire — filed motions featuring all kinds of bizarre arguments ranging from equating EFF to a “terrorist organization” to arguing that Judge Wrghts’s order is irrelevant because California allows gay marriage and because Anonymous attacked PayPal. It was the case where Mark Lutz claimed under influence oath that “Salt Marsh” is not an individual but a trust that benefits Mark’s unborn children.

Below is Chintella’s press release regarding the July 3 hearing. It is pretty self-explanatory; I only want to stress two most important points (in my opinion):

  • Court granted discovery to the defendant, and that is huge. I hope Blair Chintella will use all his skills to pierce Prenda’s shell game down to its core. Prenda is not dead yet, and opening another discovery front for sure will be cheered by tens of thousands of Prenda’s extortion targets.
  • Prenda via Nazaire went to great (popcorn-laden) lengths to shield this Court from the bigger picture, yet Blair was firm and it paid off: initially reluctant to go beyond this case’s scope, Judge William C. O’Kelley has finally made a note of the nationwide scam and expressed serious concerns.


As indicated in the release, Andrew Norton was at the hearing ready to testify as an expert witness, but was not called. Here is his detailed report, somewhat long but worth your time.



Below is the corrected press release by Blair Chintella:


In other news

One more notable Prenda-related event from the last week: David Harris, a pro se defendant from Arizona, filed a nice motion for Equitable Estoppel and Show Cause Order.

For the aforementioned reasons Defendant request this Honorable Court to Order Plaintiff to Show Cause why this Court should not forward the information in this Motion to the United States Attorney for the District of Arizona for Criminal Prosecution of Plaintiff for the charge of Criminal Copyright Infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. §506(a) and 18 U.S.C. § 2319 a Federal Five Year Felony.

Many people welcomed Mr. Harris’s change of tone: previously he was criticized for rude language directed not only at the troll, but also at the judge, yet even the harsh critics agreed that in the essence Harris was always right. DieTrollDie has been following this case closely.

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22 responses to ‘Good news from Georgia: Court has approved discovery aimed at uncovering more Prenda’s crookery

  1. Re:Ingenuity 13 v John Doe (the “Star Trek” case — CACD 12-cv-8333); possibly one of the more interesting things are the Hansmeier signatures on their recent filings about not being served, particularly when compared to previous signatures that Peter had purportedly signed. There are two signatures each for Peter and Paul in their notices and notices of service. If someone has the time, might be interesting to compare those to previously filed docs in many cases.

  2. I’ve done just that with Peter & Paul’s previous documents, and they are extraordinarily similar, other than slight differences in their accessory dots in the signatures I’ve looked at. Haven’t done so with the most recent filings, but I believe others have (TAC maybe?).

    Equally interesting is how extremely dis-similar Alan Cooper’s real and purported AF Films signatures are.

    • Wasn’t me, I can’t read anything they file without falling out of my chair laughing. My ass is so bruised right now.

  3. Re: Alan Cooper signatures – at this point I do not think anyone believes the real Alan Cooper signed any of the Prenda docs: will be interesting to see if any of the other cases besides CACD 12-cv-8333 can actually bring this to a point where the Prenda folk have to defend alleged forgeries,

    • Unless I missed a big, big development, even Prenda and Steele have not explicitly claimed that Alan Cooper of MN signed those documents. They have only gone so far as to suggest that Cooper “cooperated” with and “helped” Steele with his businesses, but won’t say the signature is his. We got a bit of semi-anonymous bragging from Steele’s Twitter alter-egos about how Cooper would come to curse the iPhone’s record function, but that turned into a total bust with that sad text message transcript that had nothing to do with any of the porn trolling entities.

      The biggest hint that Steele forged those documents is the fact that Klinedinst PC has not made that claim in their defense of Prenda in CACD, and basically gave up on that line of attack. They had their abortive attempt at cross examination when Cooper was on the stand, then filed that affidavit of Steele’s realtor, but it wasn’t the least bit convincing or damning, hardly a smoking gun, and it’s been months with no follow up attempts to explain the forgeries. Since Rosing and her crew are by far the most competent attorneys to ever work on Prenda’s behalf, if they did not feel comfortable claiming Cooper did the signing, there must be a good reason.

      • I have a feeling that Klinedinst was sold a bill of goods when they signed on: This is just some stupid lawyers trying to distract from the serious issues of these people having violated the law.

        And as things started coming out and the scope started to become clear they were glad they only signed on to deal with 1 thing. The problem is they are trapped representing them, despite their ‘client’ forgetting to mention all of these other things that have come out. They tried to limit their representation, made a good faith effort to represent the client, and now have hit that moment where they figured out their client might have left out some ‘minor’ details that would have kept them from taking the case in the first place.

        • I agree TAC. I’m sure Rosing and the rest of the Klinedinst staff wish they had used Google proactively, especially now that Prenda is probably not paying their bills and has no motivation to find new attorneys so Klinedinst can withdraw.

          My point is, as attorneys they benefit from the litigation privilege so they can lie, slander, libel, say anything they want about Cooper with impunity. But they chose not to go further, because they probably know exactly how crooked Prenda and Friends are, and when they have to put up or shut up, if anyone from Prenda signs their name to a statement that Cooper signed those documents, or testifies to that fact under oath, it will expose them to perjury charges.

          • Or they are in abject fear of getting their asses handed to them by the courts for getting caught up in this warp core breach.
            HA like its the first time perjury has happened… IMHO.

  4. I am glad to see this in front of Judge Chen again, I was always of the opinion that Judge Chen didnt really believe the Salt Marsh signature fiasco as with the story that Mark Lutz signed everything as Salt Marsh. (While Judge Chen accepted the argument, I don’t believe he personally thinks it is true)

    The fact that Rannalo is bring this forward for costs and supplementing Judge Wrights order and Prenda gang all taking the 5th in with the documents along with brining up the Florida Sunlust vs Nguyen case as back round on Mark Lutz claiming to be a corporate representative is all good in my books.

    I think Rannalo will get his costs award, the real question will be what does Judge Chen do with the rest of the information about the prenda gang and the entities, the copy right assignement and what not.

    I wonder if Judge Chen will want to probe that information further much like Judge Wright did and Judge Snow is doing in the Harris case.

    Hansmeier pretty much painted chisel into a corner in that deposition with his vague answers and his other affadavits claiming to not have anything to do with Prenda and Ingenuity 13 and AF Holdings. Steele is in the same boat with that declaration that only he knows the real Alan Cooper and neitehr confirming or denying anything about Alan Cooper, but yet all this back round info ties the supposed Alan Cooper to these entities but yet have points that lead back to Steele ( like that VPR International and the registration address to Steele’s sisters address)

    Speak of Mr Harris and DTD, does anyone know what happened with the Questions that were put to troll Goodhue about who he was getting his orders from and what not from Judge Snow? I thought that Goodhue had to have the answer to them to Judge Snow by the 26th of June???

    I have been waiting to see what happened there ( we all know Prenda is squirming about how to anwser them and Goodhue is probably sitting in the corner rocking back and forth in the fetal position waiting for Steele to make it all go away) I am sure they are trying to avoid Judge Snow going the route of Judge Wright and sanctioning them and adding any additional monetary penalties against them.

    Also does anyone know what is happening on the 235K bond that Prenda and the gang had to post? We are getting close to the time they had to post it or they face additional sanction and penalties I would think…

    It’s nice to see Gibbs is starting to realize that Steele, Duffy and Hansmeier are using him as a scapegoat and he is their fall guy so to speak. I would bet that Steele, Hansmeier and Duffy must be sweating wondering if Gibbs will turn witness if a Grand Jury starts to look at RICO for the Prenda gang.

    Then there is the IRS Criminal Division investigation that I suspect is on the go. Diffy stating that Prenda was winding down operations means they must have moved all that settlement cash around, but the real kicker I think the Prenda gang is going to have is the past disbursements of that money (we all know every dime of it isn’t sitting in their company account) so how did it get distributed and to who?

    Especially with Hansmeier claiming no one got paid a dime and the money was sitting in their account for future litigation, I dont see how he is going to get out of that statement when the IRS come looking for the funds and the banking trail of where they went.

  5. This show just gets better all the time.

    There is now such a strong and damning paper chain on these guys and they just dont quit. I pray for more and more big sanctions but i pray more for some of the “investigations” that have been suggested start to show some action.

    Everyone wants to see Steele do the perp walk

  6. lol “somewhat long” – yeah, I have a habit of it. That’s why I’m the researcher for TorrentFreak, and not one of the writers. Just look at the Killer Joe piece, that i did the backend work for, and see how it’s twice as long, for a short ‘bits’ piece, as a regular piece.
    Or look at this comment, it’s rambling on without any sign of stopping. All I can say is, the book on this whole thing will certainly be weighty! 🙂

  7. While I am certainly hopeful that discovery will uncover some useful things, Prenda in the past has been pretty good at dodging giving any real answers to anything. Think the Paul Hansmeier deposition, 290 pages of testimony, not one straight answer.

    • I’m pretty sure that discovery will force them to provide some answers to questions they don’t want to provide answers to. Sure they can be as torturous as Paul Hansmeier’s deposition, but every question they have to answer is another claim written in the record, and another statement for them to keep track of. That deposition is already something of a drag on Prenda, now add another one or two like it.

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