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Scientology sued for Fraud! It's going DOWN like bird sh**! (The Garcia Suit)

Discussion in 'Media' started by BlackRob, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Horseradish Member

    It think we are back to the bodies corporate question. If it is not a corporate body, then... What is the status of that address? A contact address for mail that is not even a trustee address?
    (See: Narconon charity address in the UK, which is merely a lawyer's contact address, not even a trustee address or a premises address.)
    • Like Like x 1
  2. It reminds me of the COSRECI tax evasion in 2010.
    The address for cosreci was a small house in the Australian outback, owned by a bemused couple who had nothing to do with sci.
  3. RightOn Member

    LIAR! Everyone knows that they were the real true ecclesiastic leaders of Scientology living in plain site and running a Xenu flower farm. :p
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  4. wolfbane Member

    If only it was that messy. Unfortunately for the Garcias, the address of CSRT is on Hollywood Blvd and has been widely known in the public domain since the 1993 IRS agreement:

    http://www.xenu-directory.net/documents/corporate/address.php?address_id=112
  5. tikk Member

    That won't be a factor in a diversity analysis of CSRT though, because, again, it's the residences of the trustees that matter; the "principal place of business" is a factor for deciding the residency/citizenship of a corporation, not a trust. But even so, the address to CSRT that donating Scientologists saw and knew was the Florida address. For all I know CSRT conducts a similarly busy flow of business in California but that's not ascertainable. But again--residences of the trustees [and "members" including beneficiaries, per the ] is what matters here.

    The problem for Babbitt, and one of the first things Scientology will point to, is that even if Scientology's full list of trustees was publicly available by reasonable means, Babbitt still would've still gotten the jurisdiction question wrong, because Babbitt didn't understand the corporation/trust distinction, as evidenced by paragraph 15 of the complaint.


    Screen shot 2013-10-30 at 5.52.47 PM.png

    Babbitt identifies CSRT as a trust and yet alleges jurisdiction based on its "principal place of business," which is term of art language [28 USC § 1332(c)(1)] clearly indicating Babbitt's mistaken presumption that CSRT is a corporate entity, or at least should be treated like one under the statute. Babbitt might respond that, well, even if I had understood the distinction then I still didn't have enough information to place CSRT in California since Scientology is sitting on every relevant shred of information about CSRT and it's unavailable publicly or otherwise.

    I have cited the Navarro case but have come to realize that the Carden case (also SCOTUS) is more applicable to this situation, as Navarro has been read by the court to apply only to situations where trustees are the plaintiffs. Carden doesn't concern trusts, explicitly, but the manner in which SCOTUS discusses them, and explicitly distinguishes Navarro, makes it clear they intended Carden to apply to trusts.

    [See this recent case--YUEH-LAN WANG EX REL. WONG v. NM-U.S. TRUST--http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20FDCO%2020120130506--in the DC District discussing how diversity is to be applied against a donative trust, and the differences between Navarro and Carden.]

    The basic difference is that Carden stands for the proposition that you look to an even wider variety of residences in determining the citizenship of a trust--you look to the "members" which is a group comprised of both the trustees and beneficiaries. For the Garcias' purposes this is probably moot because the beneficiary of CSRT, I'm going to guess, is CSI. But for the purposes of a sanctions motion to recoup the Garcias' spent legal fees, this information, like the rest is under lock and key and was unascertainable by Babbitt in January 2013.
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  6. OTeleventy Member

    Thanks for this T1kk. I still have questions. (1) Can this issue go into a round of discovery solely on this dicrete issue, and (2) is there such thing as piercing the "veil" of a trust?
    • Like Like x 1
  7. tikk Member

    Good questions; the answers to which are yes and yes-ish. On the first question I'm expecting that to be the case if only because I expected an enraged judge. As to the second, it's not really "piercing the veil" but rather determining whether the organization is a "sham trust," a question that arises more typically in tax law than jurisdiction issues. The case law on sham trusts indicates that the inquiry would include whether the trust was established for a "lawful purpose" and whether a beneficiary can be identified. I can think of a lot of reasons why I'd imagine CSRT is nothing more than a legalistic gatekeeper to pass funds through to a more opaque and fortified entity like CSI, RTC, or CST, but I'd be speculating without significantly more information as to whether it would be considered a sham trust by a court. I'm skeptical we'll get there because I don't think the court will need to dig quite so deep in order to determine diversity jurisdiction. Realize too that if it's determined that CSRT is a sham trust, diversity would most likely still be destroyed because in any scenario where CSRT's real parent/beneficiary was revealed, that parent/beneficiary is most likely going to be a California individual or entity. I'm finding it difficult to imagine a scenario where this case remains in FL federal court, but I am, like Muldrake, becoming hopeful of a successful sanctions and fees motion to make Scientology pay for the six-figures ride thus far.
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  8. muldrake Member

    I lack the facts to say anything authoritative.

    However, yes, paperwork establishing a California location for CSRT is definitely evidence. The question then becomes how much weight should be accorded to it.

    My personal opinion is this case is going to be thrown out of federal court. I hope I'm wrong.
    • Like Like x 3
  9. Anonymous Member

    I've really enjoyed the legal analysis in this thread. Had a bad gut on SMJ myself once I heard the motion dropped. Wolfbane's non legal "legaleeeze" was really amazing work too. Only thing I would add is that the lawyer's translation of "Because, Fuck You" is "Can't we make some law here, judge?" LOL.
  10. wolfbane Member

    Thanks but IANAL and my babblings in lawfare threads should be taken as nothing more than someone trying really hard to lrn2lawfag for the sake of understanding WTF is going on so we can figure out how it can be exploited for further activism efforts.

    And just FTR, I am perfectly satisfied with the "Because, Fuck You..." explanation of this whole diversity jurisdiction hassle. I've decided to look at it as the ultimate CSRT mystery sammich that has now been exposed for what it really is - a big fat mystery, on moldy rye bread slathered in rotten mustard.

    And I hope to Xenu that someday soon Stilo and Huber are made to choke on said sammich, right before they get thrown under the bus by the lolyers of their evil cult.
    • Like Like x 6
  11. DeathHamster Member

    The response should be due soon. Monday-ish?
  12. overhere Member

    For the sake of assumption, say the case stays in Florida, and the SP building opens within the next few weeks a rumored, do they then even have a case for fraud since the "product" has been delivered?

    The timing here really stinks, maybe the attorneys knew about the impending opening (if it opens).
  13. RolandRB Member

    But Babbitt could have asked for this information as part of discovery, surely?
  14. OTeleventy Member

    Garcia's response is due 14 days after the clams filed their motion, which I think was filed on Oct 25. So response deadline is Nov 8.
  15. tikk Member

    There's no such thing as pre-pleading discovery.
  16. RightOn Member

    lot of things happening on the 8th
  17. DeathHamster Member

    He did tell Tony a week to ten days on the 26th, so it might be before Friday.
  18. OTeleventy Member

    They can respond whenever they like prior to the deadline, but LD is 8 Nov (based on 25 Oct motion date), per Loal Rules.
  19. muldrake Member

    Yes, in theory. After filing the complaint. But as tikk pointed out, jurisdiction is by definition part of the complaint. You don't get discovery until after you file the complaint. And when the question is jurisdiction, it is customary (and we see in this case why) that the other party immediately contests jurisdiction if they know it doesn't exist.

    The cult maliciously delayed this until vast resources were squandered, wasting the time of the other side and (what may piss off the judge) the court's own limited resources. They waited until the time most convenient for them to file the motion to dismiss, knowing that a lack of subject matter jurisdiction due to lack of diversity is absolutely fatal to a case. For their own benefit, they squandered an enormous amount not just of the plaintiffs' resources, but taxpayer money. They stole from the public coffers, yet again.

    They should be punished, and I hope they will be.
    • Like Like x 5
  20. Anonymous Member

    But can they claim complete incompetence? Nobody in the cos camp knows that law until somebody picked that up over a conversation in a coffee shop with a stranger out of topic.
  21. Anonymous Member

    Muldrake, respect your legal opinions for sure. I share in your desire for anyone to stick it to the cult. But this is starting to sound a little too butthurt and placing blame on the cult for everything while explaining away faults of the accusers. Sort of like the Rinderburn phenomenon where DM is their god and made them do everything terrible, not them doing it themselves.

    Look, I definitely hoped that Babbitt and company were able to carry through on this suit. I still am. I in fact was willing to cautiously cut Rinder some slack due to his involvement in something so potentially good. That's despite Rinder's other utter failures chronicled throughout WWP.

    But this whole thing is a mess. And there would be at least a fighting chance if Babbitt and company did their homework on where to correctly file in the first place. Which means the actual ones wasting tax payer dollars and in fact their own money is Garcia's legal team.

    You and tikk have stated numerous times that jurisdiction is legally the plaintiff's responsibility. And there are Anons ITT who are not lawyers who have found information available online showing at least some evidence of CSRT being a California corporation. So now we're supposed to think that Garcia's legal team - which includes Rinder and former cult attorney Bob Johnson - with their access to Pacer, Nexis, PI's, etc., would not have been able to find something about this and do further research? Especially when THEY ARE THE ONES RESPONSIBLE FOR JURISDICTION, not the cult? Come on, all that really sounds like is that the entire legal team is a bunch of incompetent fucks.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get all the explanations of how the cult should have, would have, could have filed for dismissal earlier. But that's like getting mad at the poker player who played you into betting your whole wallet instead of showing their hand of four aces right away so you could have folded when the cards were dealt.

    Cult's legal team 1. Garcia's legal team 0.

    If in fact Garcia's legal team decides to move forward in a different court, great. But they better rethink more than just which court to file in now that they have a taste of how it could go. Because they got their ass handed to them in this phase and that sucks.
  22. Random guy Member

    I'm still holding my judgement until Babbitt has filed his response.
    • Like Like x 5
  23. muldrake Member

    Yes, you called it right. I mad. I butthurt. They're probably going to get away with it too. I can't even imagine the feel Babbitt must have. Because as sleazy Scientology maneuvers go, this was a pretty good assfucking they delivered.
  24. muldrake Member

    Well, if this utter reaming hasn't destroyed his spirit, Babbitt may get his revenge in a state lawsuit. Or the plaintiffs may. California was the home of the Wollersheim suit, after all. And after a lot of sleazy maneuvers, they lost the hell out of that and had to pay bigtime.
  25. Anonymous Member

    I've got to ask you muldrake, how much you think Rinder might have had to do with the fail thus far. I mean, I could see how he might have been viewed by Babbitt as an advantage. But Rinder couldn't even tell him where CSRT was located. I realize this may not be that easy to answer without seeing and hearing his interactions with Babbitt. But it just keeps bothering me how much of an advantage/disadvantage Rinder has actually been so far in this case.
  26. Anonymous Member

    Why would anyone ask Rinder about that in the first place?
  27. muldrake Member

    Not much at all.

    Where CSRT was located (and Babbitt may actually ultimately be right about it) is a damn, damn tough problem.

    The location of trusts, for jurisdiction purposes, is difficult. And very, very few people (and Rinder would not have been among them) had any understanding of this particular trust. Only a few lawyers and a few people with deep understanding of the corporate structure of Scientology entities would even have known there was an issue here.

    Blame Brennan for doing such a good job!
    • Like Like x 2
  28. muldrake Member

    Rinder wouldn't have known about it anyway. Seriously, Rinder cannot be blamed for this. There are about a half-dozen people in the world outside of Scientology who would have known its corporate structure well enough to know what an issue this was in this case. I'm one of those, and I was personally embarrassed that I completely missed this before it happened.

    So Rinder was basically completely blameless for this. He had no way to know. It's more my fault than his, and it's not my fault at all.
    • Like Like x 4
  29. wolfbane Member

    This seems jaded and short-sighted.

    1. Team Garcia trolled the cult into dropping dox that proved Marty and Rinder's value as expert witnesses. That was a complete 180 from prior lawfare and media coverage where they bawled that they were peons who knew nothing.

    2. Team Garcia completely nullified the Culkin payoff and turncoat maneuver. Cult hemorrhaged cash and made asses of themselves and then Culkin never even got called to the stand.

    3. Team Garcia overcame a fkton of questionable allegations in the disqualify motion.

    4. Bob Johnson is still on-board, and his reputation intact.

    5. Marty got declared an expert witness, not a consultant, and there wasn't jackshit they could do about his intimate knowledge of enrollment waivers and agreements.

    6. Rinder got declared as partially protected by privilege and there wasn't jackshit they could about it except bawl and point out his privilege log had more info than the one they got bitch-slapped for in the LauraD case and were made to resubmit.

    7. Confidentiality agreements came out that were signed by Marty & Mike the cult claimed proved they were sworn to STFU and the judge specifically commented in his ruling there was nothing submitted backing up that claim. Do we see broken cult NDAs much? No. Do those signed agreements strike fear in all those who blow the SO? Yes. And they have for decades. So the ground shook on that one and the game changed.

    8. And after all the epic fail brought about by all that maneuvering and hot air blowing, the cult was FORCED to resort to the ultimate hail mary move with this jurisdiction argument in the 13th hour which could get them slapped with sanctions and put a hurtin' on the lawfag's reputation who were made to sink that low.

    Team Garcia seemingly has the cult's scumbag lolyers shittin' bricks imo. Some of these pre-trial wins are so juicy (NDAs thrown out, Expertise certification, Bob Johnson LIVES!) I would actually give Team Garcia 2-5pts on each one. (Eg: 3pts per broken NDA times THREE NDAs =9pts). But even on an overly conservative estimate of one point each and a small penalty applied on winning points involving multiple parties because derp-ITS-ALL-RINDER'S-FAULT-derp...

    Cult's legal team 1. Garcia's legal team 7.

    Does it matter? No, because fuck you - unknown diversity was unknown - that's why. But in retrospect, finding out muldrake is butthurt makes me feel better about the big picture. And imo Team Garcia still fought a valiant battle so far. YMMV.
    • Like Like x 6
  30. ^ Another great, well thought out post, wolfbane.

    There is obviously frustration when scilon lawyers find yet another way (it seems) to avoid or delay examination of the substantive issues, and cause ruinous expense to victims of fraud.

    But there is a bigger picture, as you point out. Part of this is that it cannot have escaped the attention of judges, across jurisdictions, that the tactics employed routinely in these cases are damaging to the legal system as a whole, and there are definite signs that they (judges) are taking some steps at least to limit the damage.
    • Like Like x 1
  31. RolandRB Member

    I imagine that the Garcias are fully liable for the legal costs on the Scientology side which won't take much effort to inflate to a million dollars or more. This will ruin them and send out a very strong message to anyone else thinking of asking for their IAS donations returned, since that one is the biggest and most obvious fraud and covers well over a billion dollars in the IAS dWARf chest.
  32. 'Morning, Roland! Had your Ready Brek yet?
  33. RolandRB Member

    Just cheese on German bread and a beer.
    • Like Like x 1
  34. RolandRB Member

    Bauernbrot
  35. Ah! A new one on me. Far too few threads about European breads on WWP, IMHO.
  36. Anonymous Member

    • Like Like x 2
  37. Thank you! Just one more word then I'll be quiet:

    Pirogi...oh and
    Knackebrod, or
    Speckknoedel (Bacon!) and maybe
    Povitica, even
    Vanocka...what about
    Lepinja and
    Guglhupf...
  38. The Wrong Guy Member

    Anonymous Van Halen was a great band, until they added that guy with the Roland RB synthesizer.
    • Like Like x 5
  39. muldrake Member

    And this jurisdiction issue has nothing to do with the ultimate merits of the suit. The same law (state law) applies to a re-filed suit, even if it does get kicked out of federal court. The main reason people prefer federal court is the belief, often correct, that the judges are better. This is what you want when your case is good (and don't want when your case sucks). Scientology's side of this case is horrible and they can't win in a fair trial.
    • Like Like x 4

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