Guardaley | Voltage

Why the FBI should investigate the Guardaley racket

Last week DieTrollDie published a letter from a Spokane attorney Christopher Lynch to a Guardaley’s copyright troll David Lowe. In that letter Mr. Lynch indicated that his client wouldn’t cave in to troll’s evidence-free demands and was prepared to fight and win. Surprisingly or not, the troll backed off and dropped the defendant (LHF Productions v Doe 1 et al, WAWD 16-cv-01017). This story was picked up by the tech media (TorrentFreak, Techdirt). So, given the coverage, I won’t elaborate on the obvious — that the trolls are cry-bullies, who tend to run away once they smell the trouble of a competent defense. However, I want to dig a bit deeper into one of the reasons behind the troll’s hasty retreat. Particularly, I’d like to elaborate on a mind-boggling fraud that the Guardaley network committed upon the US federal courts in 2012-13, an FBI-probe-worthy fraud that outdid the infamous Prenda’s forgery:

We will also seek discovery of the relationship of Messrs. Macek and Arheidt to the fictitious “Darren M. Griffin.” […]

We have a spreadsheet of over 600 federal cases where parties related to your client’s foreign representatives filed a declaration of “Darren M. Griffin.” Most of these declarations are verbatim copies of the 21 paragraph Macek and Arheidt declarations filed by your firm claiming the witness was “retained as a consultant” by Maverickeye or Crystal Bay Corporation “in its technical department.” Most of the 600+ Griffin declarations do not state any education or work experience sufficient to admit the typed-up charts of alleged infringement. But, interestingly, the 42 “Darren M. Griffin” declarations filed in the WD WA claim “Darren M. Griffin” has “a degree in computer science.” This is at odds with the APMC playbook I discovered where the apparent goal is to downplay the declarant’s credentials “hoping the judge won’t question his qualifications too much.” It was bold of your client’s foreign representatives to tell the Judges of our Western District of Washington in 42 declarations that a fictitious declarant has a college degree – just like it was bold to tell Judge Rice that “Darren M. Griffin” is a former investigator for Crystal Bay Corporation. If we go forward, we will expect cooperation on discovery of how LHF witnesses Messrs. Arheidt and Macek are connected to “Darren M. Griffin” and to Crystal Bay Corporation.

Where in the world is Darren Griffin?
Darren M. GriffinDarren Griffin

There are piles of evidence suggesting that Darren Griffin¹, a purported “expert” that signed more than 500 declarations, does not exist. I have no idea why the trolls decided to fool the judges on such a massive scale, jeopardizing their otherwise smooth extortion machine, but it is what it is: 30 federal district courts were most likely brazenly defrauded.

Those who follow copyright trolling cases know that it was Chris Lynch who first suspected that Darren Griffin is not a real person (Elf-Man v. Lamberson, WAED 13-cv-00395). This suspicion was reaffirmed when the troll, instead of simply supplying Darren Griffin in flesh, attempted to cut and run by dismissing the case. Fortunately, the defendant was compensated for his troubles: the court awarded $100K in fees. Unfortunately, the Griffin fraud was swept under the judicial carpet at that time.

Later, an Iowa defendant in Killer Joe Nevada v. Leaverton (IAND 13-cv-04036, appealed to CA8) also questioned Griffin’s existence. The accusations prompted a tap dance by one of the troll network coordinators — Keith Vogt (scroll down to read the emails): he did not contest the fact that Griffin was a fiction. Instead, he tried to imply that there was no “ethical concern,” since at the time of the filing the he did not know that Griffin was not a real person.

Even though the defendant technically won (the case was dismissed with prejudice), unlike in Lamberson the court denied attorney’s fees, and the Eighth Circuit affirmed this denial. And the Griffin fraud was swept under the rug. Again.

Although it is depressing that both the architects and the implementers of such an obvious massive fraud have not been held accountable, I hope that more defendants will press for discovery in the future, and maybe some judge will refer the crooks to the FBI/DOJ, like Judge Wright did, when he sent the Prenda train on the collision course with the wheels of justice.


Guardaley’s secretive operations aimed at shaking down hard-working Americans by abusing the court system has been always a deep rabbit hole to travel. If I start following the other leads provided by Mr. Lynch (conflicting declarations, non-existent evidence, legality of unlicensed investigations, etc.), I risk not to finish this post. That does not mean that I won’t explore other wrongdoings in the future. However, for today, I leave it here. I have reasons to believe that in building a criminal case against Prenda, the alphabet agencies extensively used my humble work as a reference, so I hope that this post will be equally useful.

One important note: while the racket’s senior players (Keith Vogt, Carl Crowell, Michael Hierl, Richard Fee et al) are undoubtedly aware of the Griffin situation, I’m sure that many of the attorneys listed below simply submitted whatever was sent to them by the troll masters. While it does not excuse those attorney’s lack of candor and the duty to verify what they file with the courts, their actions don’t raise to the level of a deliberate fraud.

The list of cases with forged declarations and attorneys who filed them
  • ALSD: 1:13-cv-00306. Attorney: James Hunter Adams
  • AZD: 2:13-cv-00595, 2:13-cv-00597, 2:13-cv-00299. Attorney: Michael E. Gerity
  • COD: 1:12-cv-00671, 1:13-cv-01778, 1:13-cv-00686, 1:13-cv-01292, 1:13-cv-01309, 1:13-cv-01340, 1:13-cv-00688, 1:13-cv-02911, 1:13-cv-02921, 1:13-cv-02974, 1:13-cv-02984, 1:13-cv-02998, 1:13-cv-03026, 1:13-cv-03056, 1:13-cv-03071, 1:13-cv-03079, 1:13-cv-03100, 1:13-cv-03203, 1:13-cv-02200, 1:13-cv-02214, 1:13-cv-02312, 1:13cv-2341, 1:13-cv-02380, 1:13-cv-02627, 1:13-cv-02635, 1:13-cv-02645, 1:13-cv-00413, 1:13-cv-00414, 1:13-cv-00431, 1:13-cv-00432, 1:13-cv-00433, 1:13-cv-01343, 1:13-cv-01461, 1:13-cv-01476, 1:13-cv-01630, 1:13-cv-01691, 1:13-cv-02950, 1:13-cv-03197, 1:13-cv-00687, 1:13-cv-00900, 1:13-cv-00902, 1:13-cv-00903, 1:13-cv-01121, 1:13-cv-01122, 1:13-cv-01123, 1:13-cv-00339, 1:13-cv-00342, 1:13-cv-00377, 1:13-cv-00378, 1:13-cv-00392, 1:13-cv-00395, 1:13-cv-00396. Attorneys: Scott Kannady, David J. Stephenson
  • DED: 1:13-cv-00487, 1:13-cv-00488, 1:13-cv-00489, 1:13-cv-00677, 1:13-cv-00679, 1:13-cv-00680, 1:13-cv-00681, 1:13-cv-00682, 1:13-cv-01223, 1:12-cv-01746, 1:13-cv-00091, 1:13-cv-00092. Attorney: Stamatious Stamoulis
  • FLMD: 8:13-cv-00905, 8:13-cv-00906, 6:13-cv-00595, 6:13-cv-00594, 2:13-cv-00279, 8:13-cv-01154, 8:13-cv-01155, 8:13-cv-01156, 2:13-cv-00331, 2:13-cv-00332, 8:12-cv-02436, 8:12-cv-02435, 8:13-cv-02209, 8:13-cv-02210, 8:13-cv-02211, 8:13-cv-02212, 8:13-cv-02213, 6:13-cv-01343, 6:13-cv-01344, 6:13-cv-01345, 6:13-cv-01346, 6:13-cv-01347, 6:13-cv-01348, 5:13-cv-00425, 2:13-cv-00643, 8:13-cv-01103, 8:13-cv-01104, 8:13-cv-00872, 8:13-cv-00873, 8:13-cv-00874, 6:13-cv-00567, 6:13-cv-00568, 6:13-cv-00569, 5:13-cv-00172. Attorneys: Catherine Yant, Richard Fee
  • GAND: 1:13-cv-00882, 1:13-cv-00883, 1:13-cv-00886, 1:13-cv-00888, 1:13-cv-00890, 1:13-cv-01076, 1:13-cv-01078, 1:13-cv-01082, 1:13-cv-01086, 1:13-cv-01087, 1:13-cv-01088, 1:13-cv-01098, 1:13-cv-01100, 1:13-cv-01101, 1:13-cv-01102, 1:13-cv-01103, 1:13-cv-01450, 1:13-cv-01492, 1:13-cv-01508, 1:13-cv-01511, 1:13-cv-01513, 1:13-cv-01514, 1:13-cv-01515, 1:13-cv-01516, 1:13-cv-01517, 1:13-cv-01525, 1:13-cv-01527, 1:13-cv-01529, 1:13-cv-00892, 1:13-cv-00893, 1:13-cv-00894, 1:13-cv-00895, 1:13-cv-00896, 1:13-cv-00897. Attorney: Alan Kan
  • GASD: 4:13-cv-00038, 4:13-cv-00015, 4:12-cv-00281, 4:12-cv-00282, 4:12-cv-00283, 4:12-cv-00284, 4:13-cv-00018, 4:13-cv-00020, 4:13-cv-00037, 4:13-cv-00038, 4:13-cv-00016. Attorney: Nathan C. Belzer
  • IAND: 5:13-cv-04036, 2:13-cv-01018, 2:13-cv-01019, 2:13-cv-01020, 3:13-cv-00060, 4:13-cv-00192, 3:13-cv-00060. Attorney: Jay R. Hamilton
  • IASD:3:13-cv-00077, 3:13-cv-00074. Attorney: Jay R. Hamilton
  • ILCD: 4:13-cv-04041, 4:13-cv-04042, 2:13-cv-02100, 3:13-cv-03124, 3:13-cv-03125, 3:13-cv-03127, 4:13-cv-04081, 13-cv-04081. Attorney: Keith A. Vogt
  • ILND: 1:13-cv-04710, 1:13-cv-04711, 1:13-cv-04712, 1:13-cv-04714, 13-cv-02368, 1:13-cv-03884, 1:13-cv-02362, 1:13-cv-04293, 1:13-cv-04901, 1:12-cv-05810, 1:12-cv-05817, 1:12-cv-05821, 1:12-cv-05822, 1:12-cv-05823, 1:12-cv-05825, 1:12-cv-05827, 1:12-cv-05828, 1:12-cv-09036, 1:12-cv-09039, 1:12-cv-09041, 1:12-cv-09043, 1:12-cv-09043, 1:13-cv-02364, 1:13-cv-03823, 1:13-cv-03824, 1:13-cv-03825, 1:13-cv-03826, 1:13-cv-03827, 1:13-cv-03828, 1:13-cv-03829, 1:13-cv-03833, 1:13-cv-03834, 1:13-cv-03837, 1:13-cv-03839, 1:13-cv-03840, 1:13-cv-03841, 1:13-cv-03842, 1:13-cv-03844, 1:13-cv-03845, 1:13-cv-06646, 1:13-cv-06650, 1:13-cv-06654, 1:13-cv-06657, 1:13-cv-06660, 1:13-cv-06663, 1:13-cv-06667, 1:13-cv-06671, 1:13-cv-06727, 1:13-cv-06728, 1:13-cv-06729, 1:13-cv-06770, 1:13-cv-67729, 1:13-cv-06965, 1:13-cv-07074, 1:13-cv-02368, 1:13-cv-00064, 1:13-cv-00065, 1:13-cv-00066, 1:13-cv-00067, 1:13-cv-00068, 1:13-cv-00071, 1:13-cv-01321, 1:13-cv-01323, 1:13-cv-01724, 1:13-cv-01741, 1:13-cv-01742, 1:13-cv-01743, 1:13-cv-01744, 1:13-cv-01745, 1:13-cv-01746, 1:13-cv-01747, 1:13-cv-01748, 1:13-cv-01749. Attorneys: Keith A. Vogt, Michael A. Hierl
  • INND: 2:13-cv-00320, 2:13-cv-00459, 2:13-cv-00460, 2:13-cv-00461, 2:13-cv-00462, 2:13-cv-00463, 2:13-cv-00464, 2:13-cv-00465, 2:13-cv-00466, 2:13-cv-00467, 2:13-cv-00468, 2:13-cv-00469, 2:13-cv-00470, 2:13-cv-00471, 2:13-cv-00472, 2:13-cv-00473, 2:13-cv-00474, 2:13-cv-00475, 2:13-cv-00476, 1:13-cv-00296. Attorney: Keith A. Vogt
  • INSD: 1:13-cv-01629. Attorney: Keith A. Vogt
  • LAED: 2:13-cv-05310, 2:13-cv-05006, 2:13-cv-05320, 2:13-cv-03064. Attorney: Alexa Stabler-Adams
  • LAND: 5:13-cv-04059. Attorney: Alexa Stabler-Adams
  • LASD: 3:13-cv-00060, 4:13-cv-00271. Attorney: Alexa Stabler-Adams
  • MIED: 2:13-cv-14322. Attorney: Paul Nicoletti
  • MND: 0:13-cv-01727, 0:13-cv-02779. Attorneys: Keith A. Vogt, Mark Anfinson
  • MOED: 13-cv-00577, 4:12-cv-02020, 4:13-cv-00388, 4:13-cv-00576, 4:13-cv-00832, 4:12-cv-02022, 4:13-cv-00285, 4:12-cv-01741, 4:12-cv-01742, 4:12-cv-01743, 4:12-cv-01754, 4:13-cv-00430, 4:12-cv-02019, 4:13-cv-00020, 4:13-cv-00290. Attorney: Nelson Nolte, Joel R. Samuels, Joann M. Swartz
  • NJD: 1:12-cv-06539, 1:12-cv-06611, 1:12-cv-06633, 1:13-cv-00482, 1:13-cv-00483, 1:13-cv-00484, 1:13-cv-00485, 1:13-cv-00486, 1:13-cv-00487, 1:12-cv-06885. Attorney: Stamatious Stamoulis
  • OHND 1:13-cv-00800, 1:13-cv-00801, 1:13-cv-00802, 1:13-cv-00803, 1:13-cv-00804, 1:13-cv-00805, 1:13-cv-00806, 1:13-cv-00807, 1:13-cv-00808, 1:13-cv-00461, 1:13-cv-00727, 1:13-cv-01037, 1:13-cv-01038, 1:13-cv-01039, 1:13-cv-01040, 1:13-cv-01041, 1:13-cv-00459, 1:13-cv-00396, 1:13-cv-00397, 1:13-cv-00460, 1:12-cv-02822, 1:12-cv-02832, 1:12-cv-02895, 1:12-cv-02919, 1:12-cv-02920, 1:12-cv-02929, 1:12-cv-02951, 1:12-cv-02812, 1:12-cv-02820, 1:12-cv-02831, 1:13-cv-00595, 1:12-cv-02812, 1:12-cv-02820, 1:12-cv-02831, 1:12-cv-02894, 1:13-cv-00463, 1:13-cv-00464, 1:13-cv-00465. Attorneys: Yousef Faroniya, Butler, Douglas Riddell
  • OHSD: 2:13-cv-00040, 2:13-cv-00042, 2:13-cv-00389, 2:13-cv-00390, 2:13-cv-00391, 2:13-cv-00392, 2:13-cv-00393, 2:13-cv-00394, 2:13-cv-00395, 2:13-cv-00396, 2:13-cv-00849, 2:13-cv-00194, 2:13-cv-00439, 2:13-cv-00440, 2:13-cv-00441, 2:13-cv-00442, 2:13-cv-00848, 2:13-cv-00182, 2:13-cv-00183, 2:13-cv-00839, 2:13-cv-00193, 2:12-cv-01112, 2:12-cv-01113, 2:12-cv-01115, 2:12-cv-01116, 2:12-cv-01117, 2:12-cv-01120, 2:12-cv-01136, 2:12-cv-01137, 2:12-cv-01138, 2:12-cv-01139, 2:13-cv-00043, 2:13-cv-00044, 2:13-cv-00045, 2:13-cv-00046, 2:13-cv-00252, 2:12-cv-01090, 2:12-cv-01102, 2:12-cv-01110, 2:12-cv-01111, 2:13-cv-00525, 2:13-cv-00534, 2:13-cv-00535, 2:13-cv-00536, 2:13-cv-00539, 2:13-cv-00540, 2:13-cv-00688, 2:13-cv-00690, 2:13-cv-00691, 2:13-cv-00842, 2:13-cv-00843, 13-cv-02368, 3:13-cv-00855, 3:13-cv-00856, 3:13-cv-00857, 3:13-cv-00858, 2:12-cv-01090, 2:12-cv-01102, 2:12-cv-01111, 2:12-cv-01112, 2:13-cv-00196, 2:13-cv-00197, 2:13-cv-00198, 2:13-cv-00201, 2:13-cv-00202, 2:13-cv-00203, Attorneys: Leon Bass, David Butler, Douglas Riddell
  • TNED: 3:13-cv-00129, 3:13-cv-00075, 3:13-cv-00076, 3:13-cv-00077, 3:12-cv-00602, 3:12-cv-00603, 3:12-cv-00597, 3:13-cv-00184, 3:13-cv-00185, 3:13-cv-00186, 3:13-cv-00187, 3:13-cv-00217, 3:13-cv-00218, 3:13-cv-00219, 3:13-cv-00220, 3:13-cv-00221, 3:13-cv-00222, 3:13-cv-00223, 3:13-cv-00224, 3:13-cv-00225, 3:13-cv-00226, 3:13-cv-00227, 3:13-cv-00228, 3:13-cv-00037, 3:13-cv-00263, 3:13-cv-00262, 3:12-cv-00601, 3:13-cv-00599, 3:13-cv-00251, 3:13-cv-00252, 3:13-cv-00253, 3:13-cv-00254, 3:13-cv-00255, 3:13-cv-00256, 3:13-cv-00257, 3:13-cv-00258, 3:13-cv-00259, 3:13-cv-00260, 3:13-cv-00261, 3:12-cv-00642, 3:12-cv-00643, 3:12-cv-00644, 3:13-cv-00128, 3:13-cv-00058, 3:13-cv-00043. Attorney: Van R. Irion
  • TNMD: 3:13-132, 3:12-cv-01124, 3:13-cv-00159, 3:12-cv-01123, 3:12-cv-01247, 3:13-cv-00132, 3:13-cv-00133, 3:13-cv-00134, 3:13-cv-00135, 3:13-cv-00136. Attorney: Klinton W. Alexander
  • TNWD: 2:13-cv-02528, 2:13-cv-02529, 2:13-cv-02530, 2:13-cv-02531, 2:13-cv-02532, 2:13-cv-02550, 2:13-cv-02551, 2:13-cv-02552, 2:13-cv-02553. Attorney: Van R. Irion
  • TXND: 3:13-cv-03927. Attorney: Keith A. Vogt
  • TXSD: 4:13-cv-03082. Attorney: Keith A. Vogt
  • WAWD: 2:13-cv-00228, 2:13-cv-00063, 13-cv-00328, 2:13-cv-00194, 2:13-cv-00255, 2:13-cv-00256, 2:13-cv-00277, 2:13-cv-00278, 2:13-cv-00287, 2:13-cv-00288, 2:13-cv-00289, 2:13-cv-00455, 2:13-cv-00457, 2:13-cv-00458, 2:13-cv-00459, 2:13-cv-00460, 2:13-cv-00461, 2:13-cv-00462, 2:13-cv-00307, 2:13-cv-00308, 2:13-cv-00309, 2:13-cv-00310, 2:13-cv-00311, 2:13-cv-00312, 2:13-cv-00313, 2:13-cv-00314, 2:13-cv-00315, 2:13-cv-00316, 2:13-cv-00317, 2:13-cv-00318, 2:13-cv-00319, 2:13-cv-00050, 2:13-cv-00051, 2:13-cv-00052, 2:13-cv-00053, 2:13-cv-00054, 2:13-cv-00055, 2:13-cv-00056, 2:13-cv-00057, 2:13-cv-00456. Attorney: Richard J. Symmes
  • WIED: 2:13-cv-00666, 2:13-cv-00667, 2:13-cv-00539, 2:13-cv-00554, 2:13-cv-01022, 13-cv-01022. Attorney: Keith A. Vogt
  • WIWD: 3:13-cv-00275, 3:13-cv-00276, 3:13-cv-00279, 3:13-cv-00280, 3:13-cv-00277, 3:13-cv-00295, 3:13-cv-00296, 3:13-cv-00297, 3:13-cv-00298, 3:13-cv-00299, 3:13-cv-00300, 3:13-cv-00281, 3:13-cv-00282, 3:13-cv-00283, 3:13-cv-00634. Attorney: Keith A. Vogt
The list of plaintiffs
  • Battle Force LLC (2)
  • Bicycle Peddler LLC (7)
  • BKGTH Productions LLC (8)
  • Bleiberg Entertainment LLC (5)
  • Breaking Glass Pictures LLC (34)
  • D3 Productions LLC (3)
  • Dead Season LLC (2)
  • Dimentional Dead Productions LLC (2)
  • Dragon Quest Productions LLC (2)
  • Elf-Man LLC (8)
  • Flypaper Distribution LLC (1)
  • Georgia Film Fund Four LLC (19)
  • Killer Joe Nevada LLC (50)
  • Ledge Distribution LLC (3)
  • Lynn Peak Productions Inc (11)
  • Maxcon Productions Inc (2)
  • NGN Prima Productions Inc (1)
  • Night of the Templar LLC (6)
  • Osiris Entertainment LLC (1)
  • Pounds Pictures Inc (2)
  • Power of Few LLC (11)
  • Private Lenders Group Inc (6)
  • R&D Film 1 LLC (62)
  • Riding Films Inc (17)
  • RynoRyder Productions Inc. (3)
  • Safety Point Productions LLC (8)
  • Sibling The Movie LLC (4)
  • SoJo Productions Incorporated (1)
  • TCYK LLC (128)
  • Thompsons Film LLC (7)
  • TriCoast Smitty LLC (1)
  • Vision Films Inc. (17)
  • Voltage Pictures LLC (81)
  • Zambezia Film Ltd (44)
How many differences can you spot?

Followup

 


¹ Maybe it is a mere coincidence, maybe not: it pays to remind that “Griffin” was the surname of Herbert Wells’s Invisible Man.

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Discussion

18 responses to ‘Why the FBI should investigate the Guardaley racket

  1. One would think the legal system wouldn’t need an ‘Internet Hate Group’ to show them the emperor is naked & is furiously pleasuring himself on the bench.

  2. Since the DOJ and FBI are frequent readers of FCT, lets hope they will find this post interesting and start crawling the archives and the related cases and looking at old Darren Griffin’s signature and comparing affdavits

  3. While this seeming fraud on the the federal judiciary has been known I thought it was small time. The insane spread of this bullshit with the attendant waste of judicial resources and large scale extortion deserves a formal federal investigation.

  4. > a purported “expert” that signed more than 500 declarations, does not exist. I have no idea why the trolls decided to fool the judges on such a massive scale,

    They’re criminals and that’s what criminals do. Plus if they had a real “expert” they’d have to pay them, much cheaper to go with nobody. Remember greed is what drives this whole deal.

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