Guardaley | X-Art

Malibu Media attorney Paul Nicoletti is criminally charged with bank fraud

 

Two weeks ago I wrote about a Malibu Media attorney from Colorado, Jason Aaron Kotzker, who was accused by the Federal Trade Commission of a payday loan fraud. While that lawsuit is a civil one (albeit filed by a federal agency), some attorneys privately told me that it is clear as day that a criminal indictment will follow, although it may take time.

NicolettiCopyright troll Paul Nicoletti

Apparently, the time is up for another member of Guardaley/Keith Lipscomb/Malibu Media Mafia — Paul Nicoletti, who is in charge of the porn copyright racket in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois (in Illinois he was lately formally replaced by Mary K. Schulz, but he still curates her most important cases). In addition, Nicoletti actively files Guardaley/Voltage non-porn lawsuits in Michigan.

Nicoletti was accused of participation in a mortgage fraud scheme as early as in 2006. In fact, a couple of lawsuits were filed in the Oakland County court by banks and mortgage companies (see the list below). A blog that tracks mortgage frauds described the allegations as follows¹:

The lawsuit describes a scheme in which one or more of the defendants (referred to as the facilitating parties) would identify a residential property or vacant lot in Birmingham or Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and would obtain an appraisal from one of the appraiser defendants that was far in excess of the actual fair market value of the property. The properties were purchased from the existing owner in a one or two step transaction in which the purchase or purchase and immediate resale resulted in a purchase price far in excess of the property’s value. The facilitators would utilize straw borrowers who were paid for their participation and the facilitators would submit false information to Fifth Third concerning the straw borrowers. The lawsuit further alleges that many closings on the fraudulent loans were arranged with the knowledge and participation of the title agency so the down payment was actually generated from the mortgage funds contributed by Fifth Third. Some of the transactions involved false HUD-1s that did not reflect the actual sources and recipients of funds from the closing proceeds.

It only took a decade to finally criminally charge the crook. Today I learned that on 6/28/2015 Paul Nicoletti was indicted by the Grand Jury on four counts: one count of “Bank fraud conspiracy” (18 U.S.C. § 1349), and three counts of “Bank fraud, aiding and abetting” (18 U.S.C. § 1344(2)).

The indictment was initially sealed, but was unsealed on 8/28/2015.

According to the indictment, Nicoletti’s role in the criminal conspiracy was significant:

Paul Nicoletti would knowingly facilitate the fraudulent real estate transactions by acting as the title agent, coordinating and conducting the real estate closings, preparing HUD-1 Settlement Statements, and disbursing the proceeds of the mortgage loans […]

And those disbursements were quite fat: the counts 2-4 specify:

  • $1,754,380 on the $2,660,000 loan
  • $1,385,959 on the $2,660,000 loan
  • $1,824,156 on the $3,570,000 loan

Now, Nicoletti and his bosses in the Miami Troll Center had guts to continue filing lawsuits in Michigan and Illinois after the indictment: in MIED Nicoletti filed 10 Malibu Media shakedown cases on 9/1, and 19 cases on the very day of the indictment — 6/23. Two cases were filed on behalf of Lipscomb’s patent trolling outfit, Hawk Technologies on 8/7. In addition, the scumbag filed numerous other Guardaley/Voltage-driven lawsuits (9 Clear Skies Nevada mass cases on 9/9, 17 Cobbler Nevada mass cases on 8/6).

I don’t know how long it will take for the feds to prosecute and (hopefully) incarcerate the crook, but I will pray for it to happen sooner rather than later: this parasite must be locked up ASAP to prevent further harm to people.

Two days ago I wrote about Lipscomb’s return to California with the help of a rookie attorney Brenna Erlbaum, who already filed over 30 extortion lawsuits in CAND over the last week. Here is a piece of advice to Ms. Erlbaum: if you lie down with dogs, you’ll wake up with fleas; you will be judged by the lowest denominator that was set by Kotzker and Nicoletti.

The last note: I was disgusted by this news, but hardly surprised²: in my opinion, those who knowingly abuse an imperfect copyright law to extract huge sums of money from citizens, ruining families and careers in the process, have already crossed the line, and revelations of another fraudulent conduct don’t really add anything new to the portraits of racketeers with law licenses.


(United States of America vs. D-1 Paul Nicoletti, MIED 15-cr-20382)

Searching the Oakland County court site results in a list of 12 lawsuits where Paul Nicoletti and/or Nicoletti & Associates were sued by individuals and institutions (Plaintiff/Case number):

  • LEVY HELEN (1996-515050-CK)
  • FABRIZIO & NICOLETTI (1997-545870-CZ)
  • APPOLLO FINANCIAL SERVICES INC (1999-017473-NZ)
  • DREILICH MARIE (2004-055703-NM) — Detroit Metro Times: Nightmare on Highbury Court (Parts 1 & 2)
  • CLD INC (2004-059677-CK)
  • FIFTH THIRD MORTGAGE MI (2005-070592-CZ)
  • FIDELITY NATIONAL TITLE INS CO (2008-092706-CK)
  • SUMMIT BLOOMFIELD (2010-108654-CK)
  • RASOR JAMES (2011-121762-NM)
  • EXACT TITLE INS AGENCY (2012-124262-NM)
  • AMERICAN EXPRESS CENTURION BANK (2014-144468-CK: Complaint)
  • PNC BANK (2015-148227-CB: Complaint)

10 cases were disposed, but the last two are still alive. American Express Centurion Bank and PNC Bank both accuse Nicoletti of refusing to pay business credit card debt: $41,106.83 and $35,929.04 respectively.

Coverage

Related

Updates

9/18/2015

The case was reassigned to District Judge Victoria A. Roberts and Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub. These judges handled many of Nicoletti’s porn and non-porn trolling cases.

Today Paul Nicoletti was arraigned, signed the acknowledgement of indictment, and pled not guilty. He will be represented by a court appointed attorney John R. Minock. Nicoletti was released on $10,000 bond. He was ordered to surrender his passport and concealed carry permit; he is barred from “possessing a firearm, destructive device, or other dangerous weapons” and leaving the continental US (I guess these are common release conditions).

All the defense’s pre-trial documents must be filed within 20 days from today, so I’ll post updates as anything noteworthy takes place.

9/24/2015

(Adjourned: see the 10/19/2016 update below)

Today Judge Roberts issued the scheduling order, setting the following deadlines:

  1. PLEA CUT-OFF: OCT. 23, 2015 (Call Court prior to the cut off to schedule a plea hearing)
  2. TRIAL DATE AND TIME: NOV. 23 2015 AT 9:00 AM
  3. PRETRIAL MOTIONS cannot be filed after: OCT. 9, 2015 without permission from the Court. RESPONSES due: per local rule. REPLY due: per local rule.
  4. MOTION HEARING DATE: N/A
  5. MOTIONS IN LIMINE cannot be filed after: NOV. 9, 2015 without permission from the Court. RESPONSES TO MOTIONS IN LIMINE due: NOV. 16, 2015
  6. PRETRIAL CONFERENCE & HEARING ON MOTIONS IN LIMINE (if necessary): to be set if necessary
  7. DEADLINE FOR WITNESS LISTS, PROPOSED VOIR DIRE, JURY INSTRUCTIONS, LIST OF EXHIBITS AND STIPULATION OF METHOD FOR REMOVING ALTERNATE JURORS: NOV. 5, 2015

 

9/27/2015

It appears that the feds tried to negotiate a plea with Nicoletti a year ago, before indicting him. A “miscellaneous” case 14-mc-51286 was filed in MIED on 9/9/2014. The docket lists only two documents, both dealing with the appointment of the federal defendant — the very same John Minock who defends Nicoletti in the present case.

9/28/2015

The audio of the 9/18 arraignment is now recapped. Holy shit! This guy is nuts: he asked the court to let him keep his CPL (concealed pistol license) because of “crazy online people” who made death threats and posted attorneys’ addresses.

 

I wanted to make a statement regarding these claims, but TAC’s comment didn’t leave anything to add:

I would be really interested to see evidence of these alleged death threats.
If someone actually attached to us is doing it, we’d run them out on a rail.
(You can hear the disbelief of the claims being true in my words)
That behavior is unacceptable and damages the work we do for Does.
We do not tolerate it, we do not advocate for it.

The other side of that coin is this is not the first (nor the last I bet) time we will have been accused of doing horrible things. Funny those things never actually pan out, mostly because I think the Copyright Trolls do not understand the ethics we adhere to. They have tried and failed to portray us a bad actors, yet they persist hoping someone will believe the hype.

As to information posted online, public information is public. Cry me a river.

While they do dislike what it is we do, we know where the lines are and don’t cross them. We do not advocate violence against them. We are beating them by being above board and not sinking to their level of intimidating people to get what we want.

They really should stop using their fear of us exposing them as deceitful, lying scum as a crutch to try and shift the balance to their favor.

10/16/2015

The pretrial motion deadline (October 9) passed without a single document filed, which indicates a high probability of a plea deal. The next deadline — plea cut-off — is October 23.

10/19/2015

The trial has been moved to June 7th, 2016:

The Court, having reviewed and considered the stipulation of the parties,
dated October 14, 2014, and it appearing that additional time is necessary to allow
counsel to review voluminous discovery material, explore potential pretrial
motions, and to engage in possible pretrial plea negotiations, and to adequately
prepare for trial should a trial be necessary.

The new dates are:

  • Pretrial motion cut-off: 4/12/2016
  • The plea cut-off: 5/3/2016
  • Motion in limine cut-off: 5/24/2016
  • Trial: 6/7/2016 at 9:00 AM
5/4/2016

Yesterday was a plea cut-off day. However, today the parties stipulated to move the trial date and the related deadlines by four months. The judge issued an order shortly after. The new new dates are:

  • Pretrial motion cut-off: 6/6/2016
  • The plea cut-off: 9/2/2016
  • Motion in limine cut-off: 9/23/2016
  • Witness lists, proposed voir dire, jury instructions, etc.: 10/13/2016
  • Trial: 10/17/2016 at 9:00 AM
9/12/2016

It looks like Nicoletti is trying to litigate by attrition — by requesting more and more documents from the government at the last moment. The government is fighting back, but Nicoletti’s tactics is working so far: the trial date was postponed again, for the third time.

  • The plea cut-off: 1/9/2017
  • Motion in limine cut-off: 2/20/2017
  • Trial: 3/21/2017 at 9:00 AM
3/6/2016

Frustrating: yet another adjournment (h/t Raul). The new schedule is:

  • Motion in limine cut-off: 3/3/2017
  • The plea cut-off: 4/18/2017
  • Trial: 6/12/2017 at 9:00 AM
4/28/2017

There is a small drama going on (thanks to Raul for the heads up): on 4/26/2017 Nicoletti’s counsel, a public defender John Minock, declared a breakdown of relationship and moved to withdraw:

Defendant is an attorney. Counsel and Defendant are completely at odds regarding how the case should be handled, including matters of trial strategy, such as what theory to pursue and whether certain critical evidence should be presented, including expert testimony.

In addition, Defendant has stated he does not believe that counsel has a sufficient understanding of the subject matter of the case, that counsel is not prepared and has not prepared properly, and that counsel should have requested the assistance of a second court appointed lawyer to represent Defendant.

The breakdown of the relationship is of such a strong nature that counsel cannot and should not represent Defendant.

Nicoletti filed a response, in which he conceded that he needs another defense lawyer to take over the case, but wants Minock to stay:

Defendant submits that even though Mr. Minock has engaged in malpractice and ethical violation, he should not be allowed to withdraw and force another lawyer to clean up the mess he has made. New Defense Counsel should be appointed but Mr. Minock should be ordered to assist new counsel in forming a competent Defense Team.

One particular claim in Nicoletti’s opposition is simply crazy if true (Craig Weier is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who signed the indictment):

[…] Defense Counsel is trying to withdraw based upon Defendant’s legitimate concerns regarding the AUSA’s prosecutorial misconduct. The Defendant’s concerns stem from Nicholas Weier, Esq. (the son of Craig Weier that was living at home with Craig Weier) initiating contact with the Defendant via email, texting, and then appearing at Defendant’s Office for a job interview, three years prior to Defendant’s indictment in this matter. While Craig Weier claims it was all a coincidence, it is virtually impossible for it to be, especially since Nicholas Weier was applying for his first real job as a lawyer after passing the bar exam. Recent political events have demonstrated far more unusual events involving the government, the FBI, and others. The appearance of impropriety is astonishing and Defense Counsel has flat out refused for the duration of his appointment to shed light on what is claimed to be a coincidence.

8/3/2017

Looks like Nicoletti’s plan to delay the trial by creating the drama described in the previous update worked as planned: the trial date is delayed again (I lost the count of postponements), this time till 3/19/2018. That’s exactly 1,000 days since the 6/23/2016 indictment.

 


¹ This blog post was removed after this story was published (I replaced the link with a reference to an imperfect Wayback Machine’s snapshot).

² It is worth noting that a defense attorney Paul Overhouser mentioned Nicoletti’s other shenanigans in the past.

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Discussion

48 responses to ‘Malibu Media attorney Paul Nicoletti is criminally charged with bank fraud

  1. looking forward to this troll (above all others for me personally) getting his just dues and seeing karma come kick him in his ass.
    thank you for your continued diligence FCT & co.

  2. Perhaps it is time to start digging again.
    It appears to be a trend among active ‘lawyers’ for the Troll side, they will do anything to make a buck – screw the legality because the wheels of justice move slow and the money will be gone by the time the bill comes due.

  3. It takes a certain kind of “attorney” to succumb to copyright trolling and it is not surprising to see them engage in similar dishonest behavior, allegedly. I am amazed that this was well known as far back as 2006 and yet Lipscomb found it OK to use NIcoletti as a tool on behalf of X-Art. If I were X-Art I would be auditing all settlements out of MI. If after such an audit there are questions Lipscomb’s malpractice carrier might be well advised to be part of the conversation.

  4. Does his indictment affect his past cases? Much like if a police officer is found to be corrupt their cases are reviewed or thrown out. Does this happen with lawyers as well? Doesn’t this shed light on the extortion cases back to 2006? Can a lawyer committing crimes be legally allowed to file and prosecute suits?

  5. Dear Colette,

    We know you read this site, so here’s a little advice for you to consider in between your gnashing of teeth. Consider downsizing your operations. Maybe switch to the 15 million dollar mansion instead of 16. That way you’ll be able to afford lawyers that aren’t complete scum like this cheap bastard you’re so chummy with.

  6. OPEN OAKLAND COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT CASES: – post these also – Does anyone see a pattern?????

    Case Number
    2014-144468-CK
    AMERICAN EXPRESS CENTURION BAN vs. NICOLETTI PAUL

    Case Number
    2015-148227-CB
    PNC BANK vs. NICOLETTI & ASSOC

    There are at least 10 CLOSED cases with Nicoletti as a defendant

    GOOGLE THESE

    RIPOFFREPORT.COM
    (enter these numbers at the above web site)
    243046
    271761
    809182

    METROTIMES.COM
    “Nightmare on Highbury Court” part 1 & part 2

    • Thanks, I added the list of the local civil cases.

      Complaints are available for purchase (in the PNC case — for $8), but don’t feel like buying them. Maybe later.

    • Alas, he can. If he is convicted, the Michgan Bar will earlier or later disbar him, but it won’t happen soon. Naturally if he is jailed, he won’t be able to practice.

      • Hopefully you get this, if one case moved to quash a subpeona and plaintiff nicolleti dismissed that doe, do all does therefore get dismissed? As in the case? Or is it just the one doe?

        • As I understand, you are talking about Voltage-related multi-doe cases. Motion to Quash if granted does just this: quashes the subpoena for a particular Doe, not everyone. These motions are granted extremely rarely. However, motions to sever are granted more often if a defendant successfully challenges trolls’ cockamamie joinder argument. A lawsuit where Does are severed is usually dead: sometimes trolls pursue the remaining Doe, but almost never re-file naming the others.

        • Alas, as of today, yes. Preferably with a lawyer (and there are good ones around — at very least it makes sense to call them, the majority will talk for free). One can go pro se and be a real pain in the troll’s ass, and there are examples of success on this path, yet it requires dedication.

          In any case, sitting it out after the service will only make things worse. In mass cases it may make sense to wait and see up to a certain point, but after one is served, he must answer, otherwise a default judgement is a grave possibility.

  7. Are you sure John Minock is court appointed? It looks to me like when he was indicted Federal Defender Services appointed but later replaced by John Minock. I wouldn’t think Nicoletti would be qualified for a free lawyer.

    • I’m a bit confused too: I never dealt with the criminal courts. The checkbox on the appearance notice clearly shows “CJA.” Maybe there are more than two gradations between “court appointed” and “retained,” and “court appointed” may be not the best term to describe the situation here. I hope that criminal defense attorneys chime in and clarify.

      Also, I’m going to recap and listen to the audio of the indictment tonight: maybe this topic was touched by the judge.

  8. I would be really interested to see evidence of these alleged death threats.
    If someone actually attached to us is doing it, we’d run them out on a rail.
    (You can hear the disbelief of the claims being true in my words)
    That behavior is unacceptable and damages the work we do for Does.
    We do not tolerate it, we do not advocate for it.

    The other side of that coin is this is not the first (nor the last I bet) time we will have been accused of doing horrible things. Funny those things never actually pan out, mostly because I think the Copyright Trolls do not understand the ethics we adhere to. They have tried and failed to portray us a bad actors, yet they persist hoping someone will believe the hype.

    As to information posted online, public information is public. Cry me a river.

    While they do dislike what it is we do, we know where the lines are and don’t cross them. We do not advocate violence against them. We are beating them by being above board and not sinking to their level of intimidating people to get what we want.

    They really should stop using their fear of us exposing them as deceitful, lying scum as a crutch to try and shift the balance to their favor.

  9. RE: the audio arraignment linked:

    Since DEFENDANT Nicoletti’s attorney, John R. Minock did not present any evidence to the court regarding online comments about Nicoletti, his family, address, threats, etc. and I have found NONE maybe these were misrepresentations to the COURT.

    I do have saved pdf’s of Nicoletti’s online comments about his clients. their employer, residence as well as defamatory and blasphemous comments. If the U.S. Attorneys’ office wants copies just post here and we will get them to either Barbara McQuade or our contacts at DOJ in DC.

    In fact, in a legal abuse defamation case without proof, the culprit appears to be Mr. Nicoletti as this was NEVER disputed in MSC 147607, COA 312785, and Macomb Circuit 10-3135-CZ.

    Nicoletti is depressed, what about all the damage he caused his clients like keeping their $25,000 Frankenmuth insurance check by depositing it in his account in the same 5/3 Bank which is the subject of this Federal Criminal case, or cooking a deal with the builder’s insurance company so the case would not go to trial and Nicoletti and the judge could pay off mortgages within the same 21 days after his client was put in a room with Judge Rudy Nichols who exclaimed “ANARCHY” and “don’t let a 3rd party (a jury) determine your fate.”

    Will Nicoletti be considered the FATA of the legal profession?

    • FYI: Mr. Minock: Personal info of a legal asst. in another state is irrelevant to Mr. Nicoletti’s indictment and arraignment. Where is the proof of the postings about Nicoletti and/or his family?

      Mr. Nicoletti has admitted carrying a gun. On a now defunct blog, Courthouseforum, numerous photos were uploaded of dead squirrels which were put on my property as well as bullet holes in my home and car. These were met with disparaging comments allegedly by Mr. Nicoletti, it now appears that he and/or his posse were the culprits.

      • FYI: not only it is irrelevant, it is also false. I never posted home addresses of attorneys: all the addresses/phones listed on this site are publicly available business ones.

        As for the death threats, maybe: when a scumbag threatens livelihoods of thousands, it is statistically inevitable that he encounters a person who is even lower on the ethical scale. E.g., if Mr. Nicoletti has lower ethics than 99.9% of population, the probability that at least one out of 1000 is below him on that scale is ~62%. Pure math.

        Hence, is it probable that Mr. Nicoletti received threats? Yes. Was it anyone from our community? Hell, no: TAC addressed this concern above.

  10. “Defendant submits that even though Mr. Minock has engaged in malpractice and ethical violation, he should not be allowed to withdraw and force another lawyer to clean up the mess he has made. New Defense Counsel should be appointed but Mr. Minock should be ordered to assist new counsel in forming a competent Defense Team.”

    LMAO The audacity of Nicoletti’s ego is going to be his downfall. much like Hans and Steele’s ego’s were there downfall and their bravado and chest thumping towards anyone who dared to go against them I see Nicoletti going down that very path that ended up with Steele and Hans looking at years behind bars.

    We all remember how Hans BK lawyer withdrew as counsel because of where Hans BK was heading and Hans wanted to be in charge and tell her how the case should be done and it seems history is repeating itself as Hans seems to want to run his criminal litigation as well judging by the 62 page filing recently made.

    Nicoletti seems to be taking a page out of the book of Hans here and seems to think that he ought to be telling his court appointed lawyers how to run the case. The filing on the AUSA and his son just points to the Prenda style mantra and really is the epitome of desperation and the definition of a hail mary, one can only imagine the Judge will be having a WTF moment when they have read that passage of Nicoletti’s filing.

    Honestly this really smacks of desperation and I have to wonder if Nicoleeti is advancing these theories in case he is convicted to use as an avenue for appeal, it really wouldn’t surprise me if this isnt part of Nicoletti’s strategy.

    If I was in Nicoletti’s shoes hanging the man assigned to defend you from having to spend years in prison and then running roughshod over him publicly in court documents isnt the best of strategies in my opinion not to mention trying to use the AUSA son’s attempt at applying for jobs with law firms including his some 3 years ago as partt as some secret mole or agent theory is so far out in left field it just makes you think WTF and smack of a throw it at the wall and hope something sticks play it isnt even funny.

    Maybe the pressure of this case and the prospect of going to jail for years is really weighing on Nicoletti’s something terrible cause these filing are sure does make one wonder

    • If you have to be told by Nicoletti that you are unethical, one must wonder if you’ve actually done something right.

      With every passing day the outraged protests of Colette about how they’re “not like Prenda” sound more hilarious.

    • There does seem to be some commonality with the Prenda attorneys.

      They seemed to have the idea that an attorney would never lose a case. Even when they were clearly wrong or caught in a lie, they could just put up obstacles. When cases were going badly, they would delay. When they lost, they would just appeal. In almost every case, the opposing side would run out of money or simply give up in frustration.

  11. Does this mean the trial date will be postponed again? How many times can you postpone a trial? What torcher for his victims.

  12. It’s a reasonable question to be asking if the AUSA’s son applying for a job might have some causal relationship to Nicoletti’s prosecution…but…there’s an innocent enough explanation: “Dad, I didn’t take that job because Nicoletti seemed, well, *CROOKED*”. “Dad, Nicoletti was asking me to do something illegal — falsify loan applications”.

    AUSA doesn’t have to hear it straight from the victim to start an investigation. It just needs to be a credible source.

    • Raul checks the case weekly. The last document I’m aware of was about resetting the case management conference to 7/13. For how long Nicoletti will be able to play the delay game? I don’t know, but it won’t last forever.

  13. I like to check this site from time to time to see where the case is at. Hopefully justice will be served for all of the parties affected by any wrong doings that he may been associated with.

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