MAINE v. ERIC STEVENS MURPHY JR. was the 2009-10 Maine criminal prosecution which the Attorney General of Maine boasted as resulting in the "longest sentence in a state securities prosecution". This prosecution involved a Jehovah's Witness Elder named Eric S. Murphy, Jr. -- not to be confused with his father, Eric S. Murphy Sr., who is/was the Presiding Overseer, or COBE, at the same Ellsworth Maine Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. Notably, Eric Senior and Eric Junior are the Son and Grandson of William B. Murphy, arguably the greatest CEO/President of the CAMPBELL SOUP COMPANY, and a notable American Patriot (who is likely spinning in his grave every time his earnings are donated to the anti-American WatchTower Cult). Eric Murphy Sr. became acquainted with the Ellsworth Maine Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses while staying at the wealthy family's summer home at nearby Little Deer Isle, Maine. The WatchTower Society, the Ellsworth Maine Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, and several other nearby Congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses are all ANNUAL recipients of thousands of dollars from the Murphy Charitable Foundation, of which Eric S. Murphy, Sr., is a Director.
In June 2009, Eric S. Murphy Jr., age 47, who owned and operated MURPHY HOME LOANS, in Ellsworth, Maine, was indicted by the Hancock County Grand Jury on two counts of theft by deception, one count of security fraud, and one count of forgery, all relating to an alleged PONZI-LIKE SCHEME operated by Eric Murphy Jr. Maine's Attorney General alleged that Eric Murphy duped his investors by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of the investors’ money on personal and business expenses instead of using it to fund the specific mortgage loans for which the investments had been obtained. In March 2010, Murphy agreed to plead guilty in exchange for an 18 months prison sentence and paying $570,000.00 restitution to 6 victims. However, that plea agreement was rejected by the local Judge. In a July 2010 jury trial, Eric Murphy Jr. was convicted on all counts and ultimately sentenced to 5 years in prison. Eric Murphy was also ordered to pay restitution to 4 victims totaling $338,000.00.
IN RE ERIC MURPHY JR and MURPHY HOME LOANS. In March 2009, after receipt of a notice from Maine's Department of Professional and Financial Regulation of a pending Hearing regarding numerous complaints from customers and investors, Eric S. Murphy Jr. hoped to render the scheduled Hearing "moot" by voluntarily surrendering his Maine mortgage loan broker license. That did not end the matter.
In April 2009, the Hearing officer found that Eric S. Murphy Jr. and Murphy Home Loans had committed 11 separate violations of Maine’s Consumer Credit Code by misapplying, misspending, or losing track of investor funds. Eric S. Murphy Jr. and Murphy Home Loans were ruled to have 1) failed to meet the required licensing standard of financial responsibility, character and fitness; 2) failed to establish and properly utilize a trust account required of all loan brokers; 3) failed to exercise “good faith and fair dealings” with his customers; and 4) failed to properly safeguard the funds of clients. Eric S. Murphy Jr. was assessed $21,500.00 in penalties and costs and his broker's license was revoked for a minimum of 5 years.
At least two of Eric Murphy Jr.'s victims were fellow Jehovah's Witnesses who testifed against him at this Hearing. JW Elder Merritt F. Williams lost his investment of $150,000.00, plus earnings, while Anthony Belch's, and his wife Elizabeth Belch's, losses from repeated business dealings with Eric Murphy, totaling several hundreds of thousands of dollars, were partially recouped when the Breezy Maples Farm project went through foreclosure.
JUSTIN LIMEBURNER v. ERIC S. MURPHY SENIOR and ERIC S. MURPHY TRUST. See the linked Maine webpage for the business and employment dealing between Justin and Tina Limeburner and Murphy Home Loans and the Father-Son Murphys. Although this civil lawsuit was ultimately summarily dismissed due to untimely or insufficient evidence, we find it significant that the Limeburners alleged that Murphy SENIOR and his TRUST were legally responsible for the business activities of his son, Eric S. Murphy Junior.
JERRAD WILSON v. ERIC S. MURPHY SENIOR and ERIC S. MURPHY TRUST. See the linked Maine webpage for the business and employment dealing between the Murphys and Jerrad Wilson, who was Eric Murphy Jr's STEP-SON. Although this civil lawsuit was ultimately summarily dismissed due to untimely or insufficient evidence, we find it significant that Eric Murphy Jr's STEP-SON alleged that Eric Murphy SR and his TRUST were legally responsible for the business activities of his son, Eric S. Murphy Junior.
CATHERINE ARANDA MURPHY v. ERIC S. MURPHY JR. was the DIVORCE court case between Junior and the wife he had married around 1995, when he was living in California, where he also operated an investment business. The couple relocated to Ellsworth, Maine in 2004. The couple has one daughter of their own, and they initially separated in 2008.
In the mid 1990s, a Jehovah's Witness Minister, who owned a growing business which employed a number of other Jehovah's Witnesses, including Elders and Ministerial Servants, wanted to build a new commercial building to house his business's offices and warehouse. This JW Minister located a desirable tract of land in an affluent suburb, which had a light commercial zoning despite being surrounded by high-value residential properties. The JW Minister needed to obtain a zoning variance simply to qualify a warehouse for the tract. However, this JW's business operations generated too much traffic (including semi and other large trucks), which would have to travel through or adjacent to the surrounding residential areas. That, plus other now long forgotten issues, would have certainly disqualified this JW from obtaining the variance he needed from the local Zoning Board. What to do? JW Minister conspired to lie to the Zoning Board. After consulting with one real estate attorney in order to educate himself on everything needed to be done and said to obtain the variance, the JW business owner then employed a second attorney to represent him in his case to the Zoning Board. JW Minister was then able to provide all the "right answers" to second attorney. When the zoning hearing was scheduled, the second employed attorney was informed that he had to attend the hearing by himself, because JW business owner had a much more important out-of-town appointment which could not be re-scheduled!!!
MARIA P. STANDER v. LINDA SZABADOS was a 2010-13 real estate fraud court case involving two older sisters living in Jefferson City, Missouri, who both were (probably illegal) immigrants from Honduras. During her testimony in the trial, Szabados identified Stander as a supposedly trustworthy Jehovah's Witness. Although never specifically identified as such, Linda Szabados was in all likelihood also a Jehovah's Witness at some point in her life.
Linda Szabados (born 1951) apparently was the first to settle in Jefferson City, while Maria Stander (born 1953) followed sometime thereafter. Szabados helped Stander find an apartment and a job, and helped her sister financially. The two very-close sisters discussed for some time the prospect of jointly purchasing a house together, and moving their families into the house together, which they did in February 2002. The two sisters verbally agreed to contribute equally to all expenses related to the purchase of the home, as well as to contribute equally to all future expenses related to the ownership of the home. Szabados believed that she and her sister had an "understanding" that the house would be owned equally by both sisters, even though only Stander's name was put on the mortgage and the deed due to the fact that Szabados was unemployed at the time of the mortgage application and the purchase. The house was purchased for $92,000.00, with a $20,000.00 down payment and a $72,000.00 loan. At some point, Szabados later used Stander's identity to refinance the house at a lower interest rate and shorter payoff period. Stander did not object to Szabados's mortgage fraud.
The legal problems between the sisters began in 2010, when the mortgage was paid off. Stander received a $1200.00 escrow refund, which she refused to split with Szabados. Szabados then demanded that Stander add Szabados's name to the deed, but Stander refused to re-title the property to reflect Szabados's one-half interest. In August 2010, without Stander's permission, Szabados again fraudulently used Stander's identity and executed a general warranty deed conveying the property from Stander to Szabados's daughter and Stander. When Stander discovered what Szabados had done, Stander filed this lawsuit against Szabados requesting that the trial court set aside the Deed because Szabados had forged Stander's name on the Deed, and award Stander damages based upon Szabados's fraud. Szabados counterclaimed, requesting that the trial court quiet title in the Property to Stander and Szabados as tenants in common, and partition the Property by sale, or alternatively, to award her damages resulting from Stander's fraud.
Amazingly, at trial, the "trusted" Jehovah's Witness, Maria P. Stander, testified that she never ever told her sister that she was part owner of the house, and that she never ever had any intention of putting Szabados's name on the deed. The "trusted" Jehovah's Witness further testified that her sister had never ever paid half of the mortgage or other ownership expenses, but had merely made some payments towards the water bill. However, the trial court expressly found the "trusted" Jehovah's Witness's testimony completely lacking in credibility. In contrast, the trial court found Linda Szabados was credible and truthful as to the agreement and performance of the terms of the agreement between the parties.
The Missouri trial court also found that each sister had defrauded the other, as related above. The deed created by Szabados was declared void. Stander and Szabados were found to be tenants in common, with each holding an undivided one-half interest in the Property. The trial court ordered the property partitioned by sale. On appeal by Stander, the Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's ruling.
UNITED STATES v. TAYA ROMANO was a 2010-11 New Jersey federal criminal prosecution of Taya Romano (adopted maiden name), a/k/a Taya Cavagna, a/k/a Taya Waldon, who purportedly was reared as a Jehovah's Witness and eventually married two JW husbands. Taya Romano also is believed to be a relative of one or more WATCHTOWER BETHELITES via her multiple JW connections. In 2007 and 2008, Taya Romano, of Ridgewood, New Jersey, and multiple indicted and unindicted CO-SCHEMERS (some who were very close relatives allegedly perpetrated a mortgage fraud scheme in which 12 distressed properties were purchase for low amounts and then sold to unqualified purchasers at inflated prices with the understanding that Romano would help the unqualified purchasers obtain "no down payment" loans. Instead, Romano would prepare appraisals, financial statements, loan applications, etc. -- all with false information, including doubly inflated selling prices sufficiently inflated to also cover the falsely claimed large downpayments. All properties, including three sold to her adoptive father, Frank Romano, of Paramus, NJ, eventually went into foreclosure. (Taya Romano's mother, Kathleen Romano, reportedly was involved in this scheme, but was never prosecuted.) Unbelievably, in January 2011, Taya Romano was permitted to plead guilty to merely a single count of mail fraud affecting a financial institution.
UNITED STATES v. ELIZABETH LaBRUNA (2010-11). In November 2010, Elizabeth Labruna, age 53, of Little Falls, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud for her role as a settlement agent at closing transactions in the larger Taya Romano real estate schemes. Sentence unknown.
UNITED STATES v. TAYA WALDON was a related 2010-13 New Jersey federal criminal prosecution. In 2008 and 2009, Taya Waldon and husband Ronnie Waldon Jr. (a JW), an unindicted co-conspirator, allegedly defrauded two sets of family friends (possibly fellow JWs) by soliciting investments of $1,032,750.00 and $890,000.00 from them for ownership interests in real estate developments located in Oklahoma. Little of the monies were actually used for the intended investments, and none was returned to the investors. In July 2012, Taya Waldon was permitted to plead guilty to merely a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
In February 2013, Taya Waldon, age 39, was unbelievably sentenced FOR EVERYTHING to only 4 years in prison, with 3 years of supervised release. Taya Waldon was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,700,000.00.
See also Oklahoma foreclosure case: BANK OF HYDRO v. TAYA ROMANO AND RONNIE JAMES WALDON ET AL
UNITED STATES v. MICHAEL SHENEMAN was a 2010-12 Indiana federal criminal prosecution. Michael P. Sheneman (age 59) and his son Jeremie Sheneman (age 32) engaged in an elaborate mortgage fraud scheme between 2003 and 2005 which convinced four unwitting buyers, including two illegal immigrants, to purchase 60 properties in South Bend, Indiana, and Mishawaka, Indiana, that they could neither afford nor rent out. As part of the scheme, mortgage lenders were duped into financing these ill-advised purchases through various misrepresentations about the buyers and their financial stability. Most of the homes were eventually foreclosed upon, and the buyers and lenders each suffered significant losses. Michael Sheneman was convicted of four counts of wire fraud and sentenced to 97 months in prison and three years supervised release thereafter. Michael Sheneman was also ordered to pay restitution to six different lenders totaling $269,967.50. Conviction was upheld on appeal in June 2012.
See also SHENEMAN v. SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE, a 2007 Indiana state slander lawsuit summarily dismissed by the local St. Joseph County Court. Michael Sheneman was also ordered to pay the newspaper's $47,000.00 legal bill. None of the multiple articles published by the South Bend Tribune from 2007-13 mentioned anything about Michael Sheneman's religion and his status therein, but the September 14, 2011 article reporting on the sentencing of Michael Sheneman was cutely entitled "ELDER SHENEMAN GETS EIGHT YEARS ... ."
See also JACK STILP ET AL v. MICHAEL SHENEMAN and JEREMIE SHENEMAN, a 2007 civil lawsuit in which four South Bend Police Officers who also had purchased investment properties from the Shenemans also sued the Shenemans for fraud. Outcome unknown.
See also OAK STREET MORTGAGE ET AL v. MICHAEL SHENEMAN and JEREMIE SHENEMAN ET AL, a 2007 federal civil lawsuit alleging mortgage fraud, which includes party names not found elsewhere. Outcome unknown.
UNITED STATES v. JEREMIE SHENEMAN was a 2010-13 Indiana federal criminal prosecution. Jeremie Sheneman, of both South Bend, Indiana and College Point, New York, was tried and convicted of participating in two separate wire-fraud schemes, and was sentenced to concurrent 10-year prison sentences and three years supervised release thereafter. Jeremie Sheneman was also ordered to pay restitution to six lenders totaling $269,967.50.
In the first scheme, Jeremie Sheneman collaborated with his father, Michael Sheneman, to broker the sale of 60 residential properties, lie to the four unsophisticated buyers about the property values, lie to the lenders about the purchaser's creditworthiness, and then pocket the profits from those sales. The properties, which the Shenemans' falsely touted as being reliable sources of rental income, were plagued with undisclosed problems, such as faulty plumbing, termite damage, leaky roofs, and no tenants. Jeremie Sheneman, a loan officer at Superior Mortgage Lending and Tri State Mortgage, both in South Bend, falsified the loan applications for the buyers by overstating their incomes, inflating the balances of their bank accounts, and forging the buyers' signatures. The majority of the loan proceeds, which totaled $3,100,000.00, went into Michael Sheneman's bank account, but $360,000.00 went directly to Jeremie Sheneman. Michael Sheneman also transferred another $646,000.00 to Jeremie Sheneman. The buyers could not make the mortgage payments on many of the dilapidated and untenable properties, so they went into foreclosure and were sold at a loss to both the buyers and the lenders.
The second scheme involved Sheneman’s grandmother, Phyllis Sheneman, of greater South Bend, Indiana. Jeremie Sheneman and his GrandMother agreed that, as partners, Jeremie Sheneman would purchase in her name real estate investment properties located in Chicago, California, and New York, which would also be titled and financed in her name using her credit history. However, Jeremie Sheneman submitted fraudulent loan applications on behalf of Phyllis Sheneman by falsifying information relative to her employment income, the nature and scope of the Consignment Shop she owns and operates in Granger, Indiana, the extent of her financial liabilities, the intended use of the purchased properties, and the source of the purchase price funds.
See also JEREMIE SHENEMAN V. NEWBY, LEWIS, KAMINSKI, JONES, LLP, which was a legal malpractice lawsuit summarily dismissed by the USDC in June 2014.
WATCHEN NELSON and ANDREW DASTINOT v. JAMES KAMARA is an EXTREMELY INTERESTING 2009 Delaware state court case, because this court case was a financial dispute between a Jehovah's Witness Female and an African-American Jehovah's Witness PRESIDING OVERSEER. Interestingly, the JW Female wound up taking the Presiding Overseer to public court ONLY after following the WatchTower Society's general rule that Jehovah's Witnesses NOT take fellow JWs to public court, but rather first try to resolve the issue between themselves, and if that fails, to take the matter to the local JW Congregation. Not only did the JW Female follow those directives, but the JW Female even took the matter directly to the WatchTower Society -- evidently, unsuccessfully.
Watchen Nelson loaned James M. Kamara, owner of Smyrna Real Estate LLC, $60,000.00 in 2005, and $113,830.34 in 2007. James M. Kamara did not make all of the contracted interest payments, nor did he repay the principal. After Nelson was forced to sue Kamara in public court, Kamara countersued Nelson for defamation. Nelson also accused Kamara of assaulting her at some point. Viewers can click on the PDF link to read the case in its entirety. Here are some interesting excerpts from the decision of the Delaware Superior Court (out of published order) :
The Court finds that defendant owes Watchen Nelson $193,697.50 on the August 24, 2005, agreement and $141,830.34 on the March 1, 2007, agreement, plus post-judgment interest and costs. The Court finds that the alleged defamatory statements are either true or substantially true, or are subject to absolute privilege. THEREFORE, the Court finds defendant liable to plaintiffs in the amount of $335,527.84, plus post-judgment interest and costs; and the Court finds plaintiffs not liable to defendant for defamation. ... ... ...
The Court also must consider Kamara's counterclaim for defamation. The party alleging defamation must establish: (1) a false and defamatory communication concerning plaintiff; (2) publication of the communication to a third party; (3) understanding of the defamatory nature of the communication by the third party; (4) fault on the part of the publisher; and (5) injury to plaintiff.
Kamara offered the testimony of his sister, mother and father to support his claim. He claimed three defamatory acts: a letter from Nelson to the Watchtower Society headquarters, statements by Nelson to friends, and statements to the Delaware Attorney General's office and police as part of an investigation. The Court will examine each alleged instance.
Watchtower Society Letter
The Court heard testimony about a letter from Nelson to the Watchtower Society headquarters in Brooklyn, NY. Nelson testified that she wrote the letter to address the problems she had in her business dealings with Kamara. Kamara was a presiding overseer in the local Jehovah's Witnesses congregation. Nelson sought redress for her problems with Kamara from the Watchtower Society, which is the church's national headquarters. The Court heard testimony regarding the church's official practice of requiring its members to attempt to resolve their differences through the intervention of other members.
Kamara did not offer the letter into evidence and Nelson vaguely described it during testimony. The "gist" or "sting" of the letter dealt with the fact that Kamara received money from Nelson and refused the pay it back.
"Under Delaware law there is no liability for defamation when a statement is determined to be substantially true." The Court finds that the letter to the Watchtower Society was substantially true and therefore not defamatory.
Statements to Friends
Kamara further alleges Nelson made defamatory statements about him to her friends and members of their congregation. Kamara's father testified Nelson told members of the congregation Kamara refused to pay back dollars. His mother also testified that Nelson made similar statements to family members and congregation members and that everyone knew about the problem. Kamara's sister added that at least 10 people know about the dispute. Again, this Court finds the statement -- that Kamara refuses to pay back Nelson -- as expressed during her conversations about the dispute to third parties, is substantially true and therefore not defamatory.
Statements to Law Enforcement
Kamara also contends that Nelson defamed him in statements to the Attorney General's office and police. Nelson made statements to the Attorney General's office and police as part of an investigation regarding an alleged assault by Kamara against Nelson. In the course of her testimony in that case and conversations with law enforcement, Nelson stated that Kamara "stole our money" and slammed a door in her face.
This Court need not determine if her statements were substantially true. "Absolute privilege" is an affirmative defense to defamation in Delaware. The long-recognized common law rule "protects from actions for defamation statements of judges, parties, witnesses and attorneys offered in the course of judicial proceedings" as long as they are relevant to the proceeding. The Court finds that "absolute privilege" applies to Nelson's statements.
UNITED STATES v. FREDERICK C. FORCELLINA, BANK v. FORCELLINA, and IN RE FORCELLINA were related 2000-02 Connecticut federal, state, and bankruptcy court cases which involved one of the most prominent Jehovah's Witness Elders in the state of Connecticut. Fred Forcellina first received media attention as a Jehovah's Witness in 1951, when at the age of 20, the drafted Forcellina refused to serve in the U.S. Military. During the 1960s and 1970s, there were numerous media articles reporting that Forcellina had conducted JW funerals, conducted JW weddings, and spoke and worked at various WatchTower Conventions, including one at Shea Stadium.
Fred Forcellina supported himself and his JW Wife as a Real Estate Agent and investor -- evidently quite successfully, given that, in 1998, Forcellina boasted to a reporter that he had traveled to NYC to see Frank Sinatra in concert "dozens of times". Forcellina also defended Sinatra's affection for mafia associations. Fred Forcellina's financial condition suffered unknown serious reversal around 2000, when he reportedly lost his entire $3,000,000.00 fortune. By 2001, Forcellina's home was in foreclosure, and he had filed for bankruptcy. In fact, a warrant was issued for Forcellina's arrest due to his failure to attend several bankruptcy proceeding.
On October 16, 2001, while on his way to those bankruptcy proceedings at the federal courthouse in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Fred Forcellina stopped at a payphone at a Fairfield shopping center and made a 9-1-1 call. Forcellina stated that the federal courthouse in Bridgeport, as well as the state courthouses in Norwalk and Stamford, had all been "dusted" -- implying anthrax. Forcellina also threatened that he and "his people" -- implying Al Qaeda -- were also going to "dust" railroad stations and schools. Fairfiled police caught him hanging up the phone, and questioned him, but allowed him to continue to the Bridgeport courthouse, where he was questioned by the F.B.I. Forcellina admitted making the call, and was subsequently arrested. In June 2002, Forcellina pleaded guilty to maliciously making false terrorist threats, and was eventually sentenced to six months in a federal halfway house -- reduced by the two months he had spent in jail. Son, Todd Forcellina, told the judge that his father, Frederick Forcellina, is a loving husband and father who is "always trying to take care of everybody else," and "he never really asked for help from anyone."
In the early 1990s, the JW Elderette Wife of a JW Elder at one of the two Owensboro, Kentucky Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, in Daviess County, Kentucky, worked as an independent Real Estate Agent. Over a period of nearly two years, multiple non-JW business associates of another, second Owensboro JW repeatedly brought it to that second Owensboro JW's attention that JW Elderette Real Estate Agent was not fully disclosing to interested parties all publicly known negatives about a commercial car wash owned by JW Elder and JW Elderette. One day, just coincidentally, second Owensboro JW was conducting business in the office of a non-JW business associate who had NOT previously mentioned JW Elderette's dishonest business practices, when business associate's secretary interrupted their business meeting, and asked her boss if he would take a telephone call from JW Elderette regarding the car wash. Business associate told his secretary to take a number and to tell JW Elderette that he would return her call --- until second Owensboro JW intervened, and asked if he could participate in the telephone call for reasons that he then went on to explain to business associate. Business associate agreed to help trap JW Elderette. Business associate took JW Elderette's telephone call, and asked her if it was okay if he put the call on speaker-phone so that one of his own associates could listen in on the negotiations. JW Elderette stupidly agreed without even asking the identity of that second person. JW Elderette was allowed to make her full pitch, and sure enough, JW Elderette failed to disclose the major negative about the car wash. Fellow Owensboro JW then proceeded to interrogate JW Elderette via questions written on a legal pad for business associate. JW Elderette - Real Estate Agent was given every opportunity to tell the complete truth, but she repeatedly failed to disclose the major negative about the car wash operation.
UNITED STATES v. MEYER was one or more 1993 Federal criminal and/or civil court cases in New York or Pennsylvania. Incomplete details. In 1983, a Long Island, New York, Jehovah's Witness Millionaire Real Estate Developer, named Robert J. Meyer, purchased and began restoring a historic 42 room, 22,500 square foot Mansion on a 158 acre estate located in Muttontown, New York. The mansion was then known as the George S. Brewster Mansion, but later was known as the Fox Run, and later as Fox Meadow, and even later as the Hoffman Center. The restoration project attracted media coverage which publicized the fact that Robert Meyer was using more than 100 of his fellow Jehovah's Witnesses to perform the restoration. Media articles included photos of Bob Meyer, a son named Micha Meyer, a daughter named Monica Meyer, a daughter named Bethany Meyer, and Meyer's other three children.
In 1990, Robert Meyer filed an insurance claim for $831,000.00 in water damage to the mansion -- a figure which the F.B.I. later labeled as a "grossly inflated" amount. The Insurance Company eventually issued three claims checks totalling $379,000.00 as partial payment on Bob Meyer's claim. The three claim checks were made out to both Robert Meyer and Hill Financial Savings Association, which was the Philadelphia S&L which financed the project for Meyer. At the time, Meyer's loan reportedly was in default. In April 1993, Robert J. Meyer, 48, was indicted in Pennsylvania on federal charges that he defrauded Hill Financial Savings Association of $1,000,000.00, and charges that Meyer submitted false financial statements to the S&L. According to the indictment, Meyer submitted three false financial statements to Hill in connection with approximately $13,000,000.00 in loans that Meyer obtained to acquire and develop the Muttontown property. The indictment charged that the financial statements overstated Meyer's assets and failed to disclose his substantial debts.The indictment also charged that beginning in March of 1984, Meyer developed a scheme to defraud Hill by causing Hill to issue checks to pay invoices submitted for subcontractors work. According to the indictment, many of the invoices were fraudulent because they were not prepared by the subcontractors and/or they did not represent work actually performed. Meyer allegedly obtained more than $1,000,000.00 through this scheme.The civil complaint charged that the Fox Meadow property represented proceeds from fraud and were, therefore, forfeitable to the government. The case against Meyer resulted from a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Secret Service. Robert J. Meyer reportedly pled guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
In May 1993, Robert Meyer was indicted in New York on federal charges of defrauding Hill Financial Savings Association of $379,000.00 by forging the S&L's signature on the three aforementioned insurance claim checks. Robert J. Meyer reportedly pled guilty and was sentenced to 21 months in prison.
R.T.C. v. MEYER. In 1995, the Mansion and surrounding 158 acre estate was sold by the Resolution Trust Corp as an asset of Hill Financial Savings Association, after the S&L went under in 1989, and after a civil forfeiture lawsuit between Meyer and the RTC.
I.R.S. v. MEYER. In 1996, Robert Meyer's wife, Rosemarie Meyer, was ordered to pay $59,718.00 federal income tax on the couple's income in 1989 from one of their corporations, which had not been reported, plus $7258.00 in additional tax, plus $11,944.00 penalty.
In 1990, Robert J. Meyer was awarded an approximately ONE BILLION DOLLAR contract by the National Park Service to renovate Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York. Multiple 1992 media article mention that the project had been put on hold because of a probe into whether the highest-ranking African-American NPS official had "steered" the contract to Bob Meyer. Reportedly, that official had previously done personal business with one of Meyer's companies. Outcome unknown after NPS official cried racial discrimination. One media article also quotes a federal prosecutor who alleged that Bob Meyer had submitted fraudulent financial statements to the Interior Department in connection with his bid on the Floyd Bennett Field contract. It is not known whether there was an indictment or prosecution with regard to such bid documents.
Some of Meyer's corporations were East Coast Investors, Ltd., Grand-Perridine Development Corp., Union Street Consultants, Inc., American Express Development Corp., and American Express National Development Corp.
GLOVER v. WILLIAM KLINGLESMITH and IN RE WILLIAM ALLEN KLINGLESMITH were related 2009 and 2010-11 Florida civil and bankruptcy court cases. Curiously, googling the various business entities mentioned in the bankruptcy case indicates that William Klinglesmith's middle name is "Edward", which is also William Klingesmith's father's first name, rather than "Allen".
William Edward Klinglesmith, owner of Landmark Realty Associates Inc, Outlaw Trading LLC, Island Towers Development LLC, and Landmark Capital Funding Corporation is amongst other things a Florida Real Estate broker and developer. In 2009, Klinglesmith's three business partners in two other real estate development projects, Harbor Gardens, LLC and Diamonte Sands, LLC, filed a civil lawsuit to collect outstanding capital call contributions. They received a judgment against Klinglesmith in the amount of $438,205.00, in August 2009.
Sometime thereafter, Bill Klinglesmith filed Chapter Seven Bankruptcy. In that proceeding, the bankruptcy trustee objected to Klinglesmith's homestead exemption claim of $109,000.00 -- alleging that Klinglesmith had "laundered" non-exempt cash into the exempt homestead during a December 2007 real estate exchange with his wealthy Jehovah's Witness Parents, Ed and Sharon Klinglesmith, in anticipation of a possible later bankruptcy filing. The bankruptcy court ruled in Klinglesmith's favor.
Readers are encouraged to read the entire linked decision. There are some interesting tidbits scattered throughout, including the court's note that it found it "troubling" that Klinglesmith could not account for the $356,250.00 cash that he received from his JW Parents in the aforementioned real estate exchange. In fact, the bankruptcy trustee presented evidence of "numerous transfers and transactions the debtor could not explain", including a $250,000.00 transfer between Klinglesmith, his JW Mother, and Landmark Realty in June 2008. Other tidbits include divorce, drinking, and time spent out of the country, in the Philippines, in 2008.
One especially interesting tidbit was a $130,000.00 donation that William E. Klinglesmith made "to the Jehovah's Witness church" in December 2007. Did the court really mean the "WatchTower Society"? Or, was the donation made to the Kingdom Hall which William Klinglesmith attended? Or, was the donation made to the Melbourne Florida Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, where his father, Edward Klinglesmith, is an Elder?
Googling "William Edward Klinglesmith" yields an arrest in February 2004, marriage to a 26 year-old female in March 2004, and another arrest in July 2004. Was this really the first marriage for this 38 year-old wealthy real estate developer, as the bankruptcy decision states?
EDWARD TELKAMP and HAROLD TELKAMP v. SOUTH DAKOTA STATE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION was a 1991-94 Supreme Court of South Dakota case originated by the complaint of two "patriarches" from the large, extended Jehovah's Witness TELKAMP family of South Dakota. At one point in time, these two TELKAMPS had owned MORE than 160 acres of local real estate -- most or all of which was inside the city limits of Spearfish, South Dakota. However, by January 1991, Harold Telkamp had left only 4 acres, while Edward Telkamp had left 88 acres. Over previous years, most of the two TELKAMPS' real estate had been sold for commercial development. WAL-MART, for example, had been sold 9.6 acres for $207,000.00 ($21,562.00 per acre).
For YEARS prior to the updated 1991 tax assessment, the TELKAMPS had maintained their property as "agricultural" land, and the taxable value of the TELKAMPS' property had been assessed at less than $400.00 per acre. Finally, in 1991, local tax officials had properly assessed the TELKAMPS' property in line with its actual commercial value. The Board assessed Harold Telkamp's 4 remaining acres at an average of $3,285.00 per acre, and assessed Edward Telkamp's 88 acres at an average value of $2,875.00 per acre. Three guesses as to what happened next.
Instead of simply being "thankful" for having received ridiculously low local real estate tax bills for YEARS, the TELKAMPS challenged the finally-updated tax assessments. On appeal to the South Dakota State Board of Equalization, it upheld the assessment calculations of the local Board of Equalization. Although acknowledging that they would never, ever sell their property for its low value as "agricultural" land, the TELKAMPS then filed this lawsuit in state court, where they WON at the local Circuit Court level. However, the State Board of Equalization then appealed that local decision to the Supreme Court of South Dakota, which overturned the Circuit Court decision, and reinstated the State Board's decision.
SALVATORE PICCOLO v. RICHARD C. WHITE, ROCCO DIBENEDETTO, and ROSS OSMUN was a 1995-2002 Ontario, Canada civil court case involving only one of several loans made by a Jehovah's Witness Plaintiff to one or more defendants who also were Jehovah's Witnesses. Ross Osmun was an Attorney involved in both the transaction in this lawsuit and other transactions between the JW Plaintiff and the other two defendants. Osmun's legal representation was an issue in this decision. Osmun was found to have also represented Piccolo, as well as his initial clients DiBenedetto and White, and was found to have breached legal duties owing to Piccolo. Osmun was ordered to pay Piccolo the remaining $75,000.00 still owed on this single loan.
Salvatore Piccolo had immigrated from Italy to Ontario in 1963, at the age of 32. Piccolo had only attended schoool to the fifth grade. His English language abilities were allegedly limited. Piccolo was employed as a school janitor in Windsor from 1970 until his retirement in 1996. Piccolo was a married Jehovah's Witness, who had a disabled child who lived at home. In mid 1983, Piccolo decided to renovate his home to accommodate the needs of his physically disabled child. Fellow Jehovah's Witnesses recommended another fellow Jehovah's Witness Contractor, who was also Italian, who was a member of the Amherstburg Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, named Rocco DiBenedetto. Over multiple meetings regarding the proposed renovations, the two Italian Jehovah's Witnesses became friends, and at some point while discussing the financing of the renovations, Piccolo disclosed to Rocco DiBenedetto that he had managed to accumulate substantial savings over the years, which he maintained in bank Guaranteed Investment Certificates.
Fellow Jehovah's Witness Rocco DiBenedetto then began to persuade Piccolo that Piccolo should be investing his savings in higher yielding investments rather than allowing such to sit in the bank on interest. DiBenedetto told Piccolo that he would help Piccolo find suitable investments for Piccolo's savings. Beginning in late 1983, DiBenedetto convinced Piccolo to make an unknown number of UNSECURED loans, and invest in one high-risk mortgage, all of which apparently went to "projects" or entities connected to Rocco DiBenedetto and/or his brother-in-law Richard C. White (possibly also a Jehovah's Witness, and brother of Lee White DiBenedetto).
By the mid 1990s, Piccolo was apparently forced to seek legal representation to help recover some of the unpaid loans made to Rocco DiBenedetto and Richard C. White. It is believed that Piccolo may have been mostly unsuccessful due to lack of written documentation. This court case opinion, from which the additional sketchy and incomplete info is extracted, relates to only one of those transactions. However, the very first "loan", as described in this court opinion, may be illustrative of the "irregularities" which may have went on with the subsequent loans.
By December 1983, DiBenedetto convinced Piccolo to become a "partner" with DiBenedetto and Richard White in a $95,000.00 apartment building purchase. In reality, DiBenedetto and White invested none of their own money. Unbeknownst to Piccolo, his "investment" of $26,000.00 was secured by a "third mortgage", after a first mortgage securing a $53,183.79 loan, and a second mortgage securing a $28,243.74 loan. Only $17,283.17 of Piccolo's money went toward the purchase of the apartment building and related legal fees. At least $6000.00 went to a corporation allegedly owned by DiBenedetto and White. Interestingly, DiBenedetto had convinced Piccolo to take that money out of a GIC yielding 11.5% interest, to earn 12% from a risky "third mortgage". Fortunately, according to this court case opinion, "It is appropriate however to note that ... for reasons peculiar to [Rocco DiBenedetto's] involvement and needed guarantee in other property, resulted in [Piccolo's third] mortgage being paid in full."
This opinion mentions that DiBenedetto moved at some point during all this mess, and that Piccolo lost communication with him. This opinion also mentions "default judgements" against both DiBenedetto and White. This opinion also mentions that Richard C. White filed bankruptcy at some point, and that Piccolo was listed as a creditor, thus discharging his obligations to Piccolo. No clue as to the total amount of loans made by Piccolo, nor other amounts he ultimately recovered.
There is so much additional internet info available on Rocco DiBenedetto that we do not wish to take the time to summarize such unless we have confirmation that Rocco is still a Jehovah's Witness, or is doing business with Jehovah's Witnesses. For those readers who are interested, here is a LINK which contains a lengthy summary of multiple later schemes, including names of co-conspirators and victims, some of whom may be Jehovah's Witnesses. Please let us know if you can identify such.
For several weeks in August-September 2014, British Jehovah's Witness Parents of six children, Brett King and Nagmeh King (aka Naghme King, aka Naghmeh King), were the subjects of international media attention after an international manhunt was began for the King Family after they removed their cancer-stricken five-year-old son, Ashya King, out of a British hospital without obtaining the hospital's consent. Interestingly, this is NOT the first time that this JEHOVAH'S WITNESS FAMILY has been the subject of international media attention. In 2009, the Kings were involved in a real estate boundary line dispute which garnered international media attention due to the "circus-like antics" of Naghmeh King.
In 2004, the King's residence was located adjacent to the Grove Independent School -- a small private school located in Loughton. When the school chopped down a large hedge located on its side of the property line, but which provided "privacy" for the King residence, the Kings protested claiming that the hedge was on their property, and thus belonged to them. The 2009 media coverage did not report what all must have occurred legally and otherwise between 2004 and 2009, but at some point the Kings constructed a privacy fence. However, the school also had the fence removed because the fence was on the school's property.
Thereafter, the Kings, who defined themselves as Jehovah's Witness "missionaries" to the media, reportedly began to harass the school and its staff by a variety of nuisance actions. The Kings reportedly directed loud Salsa music toward the school during school hours. School officials accused the Kings of erecting a clothesline on or near the adjoining property line onto which was placed unsightly clothing and/or bags of rubbish. The school also accused the Kings of dumping rotting rubbish on the disputed boundary line.
In March 2009, this five year-old real estate dispute finally garnered media attention after Nagmeh King began picketing outside the school for an hour every morning when parents were dropping off their children. When Naghmeh King's placards did not garner sufficient public attention, Naghme King began to dress in a manner guaranteed to garner the desire attention. Nagmeh King reportedly began to wear bizarre clothing, and eventually what most observers labeled as a "witches hat".
At some point, after parents began to complain that Naghmeh King was scaring their children, the local police were contacted. Locals allege that it was then that the "protest slogans" on Naghme King's placards were switched to Bible verses, and allegedly that Naghme King began to attempt to handout WATCHTOWER literature -- all of which some locals speculated was Naghme King's legal strategy to prevent local law enforcement from interfering with her legal right to "freedom of religious speech". Nagmeh King told one reporter that, "I’m not protesting – I’m just spreading the word as a Jehovah’s Witness should."
By March 2009, Naghmeh King was SIX MONTHS PREGNANT with son, Ashya King. In yet another attempt to garner further public attention, the six months pregnant, 39 year-old, mother of five, Nagmeh King began to wear a bikini during her morning protests. In fact, local observers accused Nagmeh King of first wearing "old underwear" before then switching to the "bikini". (Do readers around the world know how COLD it is in England in March?) In response to complaints about her bikini, Nagmeh King simply told a reporter that, "It’s not shameful or wrong to wear a bikini when you’re pregnant."
Readers who have real estate disputes, or any other type disputes for that matter, with "Jehovah's Witnesses", who ALL believe that they are "Jehovah's" duly appointed "earthly representatives", should be prepared to contend with similar attitudes, if not similar antics, from their own adversaries.
To read about another RIDICULOUS British Jehovah's Witness public protest held in March 2014, click here and go to another court case in this same "HONESTY-DISHONESTY" case section: "BOROUGH OF REDBRIDGE v. JEHOVAH'S WITNESS ELDER CARE PROVIDERS". These ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT JWs should have been in HIDING in fear of being criminally charged rather than out protesting in public. Non-JWs should take a lesson from this protest as to the REAL SECRET "WE ARE OUTSIDE OF THE LAW" ATTITUDE of Jehovah's Witnesses.
FLORIDA v. PROMISE TOBY is an ongoing 2014 Florida criminal court case. In June 2006, Promise Toby Jr., son of African-American Jehovah's Witness Elder, Promise Toby Sr., of Ocala, Florida, was selected as an example of an exemplary Jehovah's Witness teenager by the WatchTower Society public relations department for presentation to the news media covering the summer 2006 WatchTower District Convention held at the University of Florida. The GAINESVILLE SUN published:
Promise Toby, 13, of the Ocala Central Congregation, attended the convention all three days and said the drama was his favorite part. "Normally, I enjoy the drama the best because of the example it shows. The drama shows you exactly what your parents try to tell you," said Promise, who plans to attend Forest High School next school year. "Deliverance is for everyone. We do have a chance, and we shouldn't try to do everything the world does today," he said. Promise said conventions are a good way to meet people who share the same values. He said he made two friends at a Jacksonville convention whom he e-mails about school and spiritual subjects.
In March 2014, Promise Toby Jr., age 21, an Investment Analyst with Commercial Real Estate investment firm Marcus & Millichap in Tampa, Florida, was arrested and charged with five counts relating to the theft of property. Bond was set at $70,000.00 Outcome unknown.
PAUL CRUDEN v. ROGER HANDISIDES was a 2010-11 New Zealand REAL ESTATE AGENTS DISCIPLINARY TRIBUNAL administrative appellate case. Roger Handisides is a Jehovah's Witness Minister, and at the time of this "incident", Handisides was employed as a "Salesperson" with Golden Bay First National Real Estate under the supervision of a licensed Real Estate Agent at their Nelson office. In August 2009, Roger Handisides sold to Paul and Karen Cruden a 40 hectares tract of wilderness property located adjacent to a National Park near Takaka. In 2010, the Crudens filed a complaint with the Real Estate Agents Authority, and its Complaints Assessment Committee issued a ruling against Roger Handisides in November 2010. Handisides appealed that decision to this Tribunal, which also ruled against Handisides in November 2011. However, because of a quirk in NZ law, because Handisides was merely a "Salesperson" and not a licensed Real Estate Agent, the Tribunal did not have the authority to order that "damages" be paid to the Crudens.
Although the Crudens had purchased the property with the intent to construct a home, and although Roger Handisides was aware that the boundaries of this tract near the property's only structure were questionable or even unknown, Handisides went ahead and publicly advertised and showed the property as including a hunter's cabin with two adjoining acres of flat land suitable for construction of other improvements. After the sale, and after the Crudens had spent $15,000.00 on home site preparations on that adjoining two acres, a construction permit survey disclosed that the cabin and home site were not even located on the Cruden's property. In fact, the only place on the tract suitable for construction of a home was a 1/4 acre plot located elsewhere on the tract where access would require construction of a bridge across a river.
Notably, the Tribunal also found much of Roger Handisides' testimony regarding his various interactions and conversations with the Crudens to be unbelievable. After the appellate decision, a reporter asked Roger Handisides if he or his employer would voluntary compensate the Crudens for their loss on their also "over-priced" purchase. Handisides indicated that he would not be doing so given that the Tribunal did not order such. Handisides' employer indicated that they "might" turn a claim into their insurance company. Outcome unknown.
NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS v. ROUX PROPERTY FUND and NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS v. MAJESTIC SILVER TRADING 275 are/were two separate 2011-13 South African court cases in which the South African government watchdog agency sought to have two longterm leases for a Pretoria police station building and a Pretoria government office building declared null and void after the details of those leases became highly publicized in the SA media. SA media also reported that more leases with similar terms in other SA cities were being planned. The public notoriety eventually led to the dismissal/demotion of several of the involved government officials.
The leased Pretoria police station building was alleged to be poorly suited as a police station, and the Pretoria office building was much larger than needed. Both buildings supposedly could have been purchased or even built for much less than the lease payment, which yielded the lessor a healthy monthly profit from the start of the lease, and accelerated thereafter. These lawsuits asserted that the lease agreements were entered into without observance of statutory and administrative procurement procedures that constituted conditions precedent for the lawful conclusion of such agreements, and that the government officials who concluded the lease agreements were not authorized to do so.
The building lessor is a black African named Roux Shabangu. Although only in his late 30s, Roux Shabangu is regularly labeled by South African media as a "billionaire" property developer. Roux Shabangu is also a friend or acquaintance of South African President Jacob Zuma. Roux Shabangu has allegedly used that relationship to develop relationships with others in the SA government, and with powerful people in the SA business and banking communities. Interestingly, SA media has also labeled Roux Shabangu as a "staunch" JEHOVAH'S WITNESS MINISTER.
Even before this government leasing scandal occurred, the SA media linked Roux Shabangu and Jabu Shabangu with South African companies African Dune Investments 123, Golden Dividend 36, and Westside Trading 570, and their alleged involvement in a 2007 SA government Land Bank loan scandal.
Interestingly, although extensively investigated, and although several associated SA government officials have either been dismissed or demoted as a result of such investigations, black African Jehovah's Witness Minister Roux Shabangu has never even been criminally charged.
Google names and keyterms for many more interesting details to these lawsuits and other Roux Shabangu investments and business operations.
YOUNG v. YOUNG was a 1990 British Columbia Court of Appeal "divorce" case decision which included consideration of the fact that the Jehovah's Witness Husband's, named James Kam Chen Young, who worked as a REAL ESTATE AGENT, had "attempted to mislead the [trial] court on various applications involving maintenance payments by failing to disclose several very important financial matters". The trial court further listed a number of examples and concluded "this type of non-disclosure was ever present". The BC Court of Appeal declared:
These findings, critical of Mr. Young, are amply supported on the evidence.
On the motions respecting interim maintenance which were dealt with in July and August of 1988, Mr. Young failed to advise the court of the fact that he had received the sum of $40,000.00 from his mother in June, 1988. Worse still, he swore that his mother had not helped him since April, 1987. In addition, he failed to disclose real estate commissions of over $38,000.00 that he was to receive within days of swearing his affidavit.
In February, 1989 Mr. Young was substantially in arrears of the payment of interim maintenance which had been ordered by Mr. Justice Finch on August 4, 1988. He applied for an order cancelling the arrears and reducing the maintenance, swearing an affidavit that he was unable to comply with the interim order to pay $3,500.00 per month to Mrs. Young. However, in his affidavit Mr. Young failed to disclose a gift of over $3,200.00 which he had received just prior to swearing it, and failed to disclose an existing bank balance of $12,000.00 standing to his credit. Prior to the hearing of this application Mr. Young received two real estate commissions totalling approximately $11,000.00 and this was not disclosed. He also failed to disclose the fact that, although he was in arrears and was asserting his inability to comply with the order for interim maintenance, he had invested $7,500.00 in an R.R.S.P. At trial Mr. Young stated that he did not consider it necessary to advise the court of the receipt of such funds and he admitted under cross-examination that he elected to pay expenses and certain debts and to purchase an R.R.S.P. ahead of making maintenance payments.
Again, in July, 1989 Mr. Young applied for orders cancelling the arrears of maintenance and reducing his monthly maintenance payments and, in support of his application, he swore an affidavit stating that he would make no real estate sales for the months of July, August or September and would receive no further income from the date of his affidavit, sworn July 13, 1989, until the trial date set for September 25. On these motions Mr. Young again failed to advise the court that he had received gifts from friends of over $3,200.00 in February of 1989, a further $9,700.00 in May of 1989, and a further $2,150.00 from his family in May and June of that year. In addition, he failed to disclose the fact that he expected an income tax refund of almost $10,000.00, his tax return having been prepared and signed on April 30, 1989.
Counsel [W. Glen How] for Mr. Young made the point that notwithstanding these significant non-disclosures, the order for maintenance was sustained and the application for the sale of the matrimonial home and the cancellation of his arrears was dismissed. Such a consideration cannot provide any excuse for the lack of candour Mr. Young displayed.
Mr. Young had sold property pursuant to an interim agreement dated June 12 which would provide him a commission income, payable in the month of October, in excess of $16,000.00 but he did not disclose this to the court in July. It was not until his commission earnings were garnisheed in October that this source of income came to light.
The seriousness of such a lack of candour can hardly be overstated. The conduct of litigation, and particularly matrimonial litigation, is difficult enough at the best of times; when it is rendered more so by such deliberate non-disclosure as has been exhibited in this case such misconduct ought not to be ignored. It seems clear that Mr. Young's attempts to mislead the court in this case were such as to prolong the trial, to complicate the issues and to make it necessary for Mrs. Young and her solicitors to take steps in the course of the proceedings which would have been unnecessary had it not been for those attempts and the false and misleading statements made by him. The court should properly mark its disapproval of the appellant's conduct, which crosses the bounds set in Stiles, by making an appropriate award respecting costs.
"LARGEST BANKRUPTCY IN SOUTH CAROLINA HISTORY"
Sheppard was originally indicted on 11 charges found in a 39 page indictment -- Securities Fraud (3), Bank Fraud , Insurance Fraud (4), Theft, Perjury, and Breach of Trust -- but Sheppard was only tried on the fraud charges. The court dismissed the perjury charge. It is not known whether the State will pursue the remaining 7 charges, but Sheppard will likely be paroled when he is eligible in Spring 2012.
Ronald Sheppard was a multi-millionaire, and a prominent Jehovah's Witness known throughout much of the United States. Sheppard reportedly credited his huge financial success to his being a Jehovah's Witness. Sheppard reportedly showed his appreciation by donating the land and the money to construct the West Columbia Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. Given Sheppard's status, it is most probable that he was an "Elder" in the organization. Sheppard's wife, Dana Sheppard, who was supported by several weeping friends and family, spoke at his sentencing and asked the judge to consider her husband's charity and kindness when issuing his sentence. Dana Sheppard said that if her husband was guilty of anything, "he is guilty of being generous to a fault."
With regard to the settlement in the separate bankruptcy case, in which investors recouped only about 18c on the dollar, Dana Sheppard attempted to gain the judge's sympathy by proclaiming, "We paid millions of dollars in a civil suit. ... Nearly everything he got from the company he paid back." The "millions of dollars" to which Dana Sheppard was referring as having been repaid was most likely the $5,000,000.00 which the Sheppards had borrowed from Carolina Investors in the Fall of 2002 to start EMMCO, another subprime mortgage lender, which they founded after Ronald Sheppard left HomeGold. It is doubtful that the Sheppards were required to repay any of the money they received when they sold their interest in HomeSense to HomeGold in 2000, and it is doubtful that it included any of the millions (possibly approaching $10,000,000.00) that Ronald Sheppard received in compensation while President and CEO of HomeGold.
There are a number of affiliated corporations involved in this case in one way or another. Here are some of the names which popped up in the indictment: HomeGold, HomeSense, Carolina Investors, Emergent Mortagage, EMMCO, R-Doc, FlexCheck, and Prevost Montana. Several of Sheppard's business associates have also been either indicted or convicted. It is unknown how many employees of all these businesses were fellow Jehovah's Witnesses. Google names and keyterms for many more details.
ANTHONY VERNELLE SCURLOCK v. CITY OF MEMPHIS was a 2013-14 Tennessee civil court case. In Memphis, Tennessee, an African-American Jehovah's Witness Minister and businessman named Anthony V. Scurlock owns and operates Pallet Service Company, at 611 North Main Street, Memphis, Tennessee. The west side of Scurlock's property runs alongside a 25 foot wide city alley for approximately 148 feet. At some point, Anthony Scurlock had extended his business operations onto the public alley, and even constructed a concrete block wall on city property to enclose his own property. At some point in time, due to new construction requiring additional sewer lines in the area, the City decided to run a new sewer line through the aforementioned alley. The City claimed that Scurlock had known about such for some time, but he took no action to clear the portion of the alley that he had obstructed, so the City sent a Notice in April 2013.
In October 2013, Scurlock filed this lawsuit seeking a DECLARATORY JUDGMENT, DAMAGES, AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF. By November 2013, Scurlock still had not cleared the obstructions from the alley, so another Notice was sent. In December 2013, the City sent in city workers, escorted by City Police, to tear down the wall. What did Anthony Scurlock do? Someone called a local television station to send in their news crew. Once the news crew began filming, the City's work crew stopped and left. Anthony Scurlock vowed to file a lawsuit to stop the City from removing HIS WALL from CITY PROPERTY. Outcome unknown. Typically, the media made the City look like the bad-guy in this scenario. Someone sounding alot like the City Attorney anonymously posted the following soundbite in the Comments section of an article published about this matter:
Mr. Scurlock has taken liberties that don’t belong to him. True he has been in business for 25 years, but that brick wall has not always been there. As a business owner he needs to understand that he cannot take over public property by means of Adverse Possession. The property belongs to the City of Memphis Tennessee. The City of Memphis has every right to tear down the brick wall that was built on public property. Not only did Mr. Scurlock disregard the notices that the City of Memphis gave him, he decided to build a patio on top of the brick wall. He has shown a disregard for protocol & procedure ( The Law of Memphis) and lack of good business sense.
PENNSYLVANIA v. JAMES M. PANASIK was a 2011 Pennsylvania criminal court case which involved Jim M. Panasik, reportedly an Elder at the Easton Pennsylvania Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, and member of the WatchTower Society's Pennsylvania Regional Building Committee. In October 2011, James Panasik, a landlord of residential rental property located in Minersville, Pennsylvania, was convicted in a court trial on the charge of permitting occupancy of a non-registered rental property. Specifically, Panasik failed to register his tenants as required by law. The issue came to the forefront when a nearby fire casused concern with local officials who were attempting to evacuate all properties near to that fire. The state presented evidence that Jim Panasik had been mailed info regarding the registration of tenants in his rental property back in 2008. Panasik was fined $250.00, plus court costs.
IN THE MATTER OF RONNIE WILSON was a February 2012 Application Hearing of the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL BOARD. African-American male, Ronnie Wilson, then age 48, relates in the Hearing that he had been reared as a Jehovah's Witness; relates that he had reared his two daughters as Jehovah's Witnesses; and discusses his then current status as a Jehovah's Witness. Ron Wilson managed to convince this ABC Board to conditionally approve his application for a manager's license despite the fact that at the time of the Hearing, Ronald Wilson was on probation for a cocaine possession charge back in 2010, and as is discussed in the linked transcript, Wilson had been minimally charged in a REAL ESTATE FRAUD CASE in February 2011. CHAIRWOMAN RUTHANNE MILLER moved that Wilson's application be approved, and the only other female on the Board, JEANNETTE MOBLEY, immediately seconded RUTHANNE MILLER's motion, but not without a "what the hell are some of you thinking" dissent from Board Member NICK ALBERTI, who stated to Wilson, in part:
"Your willingness to perpetrate a [REAL ESTATE] fraud just nine months ago, I mean, that wasn't just a small [REAL ESTATE] fraud. I mean, you had to think about that and knowingly go into someone else's property and set up house. That's pretty serious to me. The fact that you are telling us that you don't need [DRUG]counseling is a huge red flag for me. It says to me that you're not ready to really take control, to admit to yourself that -- what is necessary for you to move forward. And because of that, I don't think you're ready for this responsibility, let alone the responsibility, as you indicated to us, that you would be in charge day-to-day of an establishment that's selling alcohol in a neighborhood that has its own set of problems with drugs. I'm just astounded that anyone thinks that you're responsible for this -- rise to the level of responsibility for this privilege. That's it. I'm done."
RUTHANNE MILLER's motion passed 4-3. A followup on this conditional approval was scheduled for August 2012. Nothing can be located indicating that such occurred.
MATTHEW KERR v. BROCK HARRESCHOU and HANNAH HARRESCHOU was a July 2010 "Forcible Detainer Complaint", or, EVICTION proceeding filed in regard to a single family rental dwelling located at 290 Lovell Lane, Mount Vernon, Kentucky (across the street from Kerr Heating & Cooling). The "issue" apparently was not "rent payment" given that the Harreschous eventually moved out of the Kerr's rental property into a newly purchased home located only one block away -- only to DIVORCE shortly thereafter.
What is INTERESTING about this EVICTION proceeding is that it especially involved the WatchTower Society's admonition that Jehovah's Witnesses must resolve any differences amongst themselves within the confines of the local congregation --especially if one or more of the involved parties hold a position of responsibility within the congregation. In this case, BOTH the Kerr Family and the Harreschou Family are longterm Jehovah's Witnesses, and both males have been both Ministerial Servants and/or Elders at various times in their lives -- although we can't confirm their congregation positions at the time of the proceeding. Additionally, both the Kerr Family and the Harreschou Family can be described as "needgreaters" within the JW community given that the Kerrs relocated from Ohio and the Harreschous relocated from Florida -- both to where "the need was great".
RICHARD ALAN HARDY and PAULINE HARDY v. IRIS HASELDEN, JILL HASELDEN, and HASELDEN ESTATE was a 2007-12 British civil lawsuit which was brought by all too typical JEHOVAH'S WITNESS TENANTS against easy-going, non-professional landlords. (It has been this Editor's lifetime experience that most "mobile" Jehovah's Witnesses are "mobile" for reasons other than the oft used excuse that their mobility is used to facilitate their personal ministry. Most "mobile" Jehovah's Witnesses actually have a lengthy history of financial problems, and these JWs target unsophisticated landlords who they know will not run a background check on them, and who are easy prey for these JWs' lifelong training as door-to-door scam artists.)
In 1988, a retired couple named John and Iris Haselden, then around 60 years-old, purchased a ?? acre farm -- possibly to give the recently retired father something to do, but more likely to help out their 30 year-old daughter who possibly needed a place to live and something to do to financially support herself. By 1996, instead of the farm being "farmed" by the daughter and her aging father, who by then was in his late 60s, the farmland acreage was apparently being leased out to neighboring farmers. In 1996, the possibly re-married daughter purchased another farm about 12 miles away, and moved there, leaving her parents' farmhouse and surrounding buildings vacant and unattended.
In Summer 1997, some Jehovah's Witness farmer neighbors of the Haseldens, who knew that the Haseldens were looking for someone to keep an eye on their property, acted as intermediaries to bring the Haseldens together with another Jehovah's Witness Couple named Richard and Pauline Hardy, who apparently had fallen on financial hard times, and needed some help. The Haseldens made the HUGE MISTAKE of verbally agreeing to rent the farmhouse, its surrounding buildings, and one acre of land to the Hardys. Because the farmhouse needed repairs, both families agreed on reduced "rent" of only £200 (about $335.00) per month, which years later the British media characterized as "peppercorn rent", or nominal rent. Apparently, the Haseldens thought they were giving the Hardys reduced rent in exchange for the Hardys making the needed repairs to the farmhouse, while the Hardys eventually claimed that they were to be compensated by the Haseldens for the repairs that they made. The bigger issue became the length of time that the Hardys were to live on the Haseldens' farm for only £200 per month. The Hardys eventually claimed that the Haseldens had promised them that they could live in the farmhouse for as long as each one of them was alive. The Haseldens later claimed that they thought that the Hardys were intending to live on their property only until they were able to get back on their feet financially, which the Haseldens thought was to be about two years.
TYPICALLY, five years later, in October 2002, the Hardys were still living in the Haseldens' farmhouse, and they were still only paying the elderly Haseldens £200 rent per month. In October 2002, the Hardys requested and received permission from the Haseldens to open a child daycare business at the farm. In 2004, possibly needing money, the Haseldens, by then in their mid 70s, sold off a chunk of the farmland -- leaving them with only 60 acres total. In July 2006, under unknown circumstances, a Bank holding a mortgage on the farm began foreclosure proceedings, which were not ended until the mortgage was redeemed in June 2007.
HOWEVER, back in 2006, after they learned of the foreclosure proceedings, the Hardys began to "ask" the Haseldens for a written lease which gave the Hardys possession of the farmhouse and surrounding buildings and grounds for the LIFETIME of each Hardy, at the same monthly rent of only £200. At the same time, the Hardys began demanding that they be reimbursed for repairs they allegedly had made to the farmhouse, which allegedly amounted to £31,399.30 (about $52,500.00). (IF THE HARDYS WERE TO BE REINBURSED FOR REPAIRS, WHY DID THEY WAIT UNTIL 2006 TO ASK FOR SUCH???)
In September 2007, after the aforementioned mortgage situation had been remedied, the Hardys filed this lawsuit requesting: 1.) specific performance of a written lease with noted terms, 2.) reimbursement of repairs amounting to £31,399.30, and 3.) an additional £8,000 (about $13,500.00) for income from their child daycare business lost during the foreclosure proceedings, and 4.) their legal expenses. Although the Haseldens were legally served with all court documents, for unknown reasons, the Haseldens apparently did NOT attend any of the multiple legal proceedings conducted between September 2007 and September 2008.
In September 2008, District Judge Anson of the local Preston County Court issued a default judgment granting the Hardys their requested LIFETIME lease at £200 rent per month -- and not just the farmhouse with one acre of land, but the entire remaining 60 acres farm -- £40,095 (about $67,000.00) for repairs and lost income, plus £25,000 (about $42,000.00) for their legal expenses. When the elderly John Haselden learned what Judge Anson had granted the Hardys, John Haselden had a heart attack and died 26 days later. In between the heart attack and death of John Haselden, the Hardys sought and obtained from Judge Anson a levy on Jill Haselden's farm to cover the money judgment. In August 2009, the Hardys attempted to evict Jill Haselden from her farm, but such was forestalled due to the various appeal efforts.
Not did was the Haselden family unjustly screwed by Judge Anson, but he and other Preston County District Judges did everything they could do to prevent his decision from being reviewed by an appellate court -- likely because they knew that Judge Anson's rulings were all counter to English law. It took until November 2011 before the Haseldens' appeal was heard by the London Court of Appeal, which voted 3-0 to overturn every single ruling by Judge Anson, and sent this case back for a new trial with instructions that every previous ruling was contrary to English law and impliedly should be reversed. Outcome is unknown, but we assume that the other Preston County District Judges decided it best not to try again to intentionally screw over the Haseldens, because there is no further appeal on record.
TALK ABOUT THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF "NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED" WHEN A NON-JW DOES SOMETHING GOOD FOR A JEHOVAH'S WITNESS. If justice had not finally won out in the end, the JEHOVAH'S WITNESS TENANTS and their attorney would have ended up with TWO FARMS and a large amount of CASH. All that the Haseldens ever received for their "Christian" attempt to help out people they had not even known previously was NOMINAL RENT for nearly 15 years which in total likely did not cover the legal expenses it took to simply hold onto what already belonged to them. If there is a BURNING HELLFIRE, .... .