Discussion in 'Media' started by BlackRob, Jan 23, 2013.
OSA, you so disappoint!
SCIENTOLOGY DENIED: Federal judge finds that Garcia fraud lawsuit can continue
Hey Davie. The meat grinder of justice seems to be closing in on your balls.
This lawsuit opens the gates of hell on the scientology crime syndicate where the armour of religious cloaking gets stripped away.
Is there such a thing as a bad headline that begins with, "Scientology denied"?
Scientology denied killing 911 followers: "They were installed that way"
Now all we need is for TeamGarcia to branch out, and take a page out of the cult's own playbook, and file a second lolsuit in Cali to sue the trusts in parallel with the Flag suit. That way they can't go throwing other entities under the bus in one case without submitting damaging evidence that will hurt the other case.
How convenient that we now know the book value of these two arms of the octopus. There's no lack of assets to pay off any judgements, even less the 3 California entities. They total $236 million and change.
Sauce - http://tonyortega.org/2014/04/07/sh...-for-just-two-of-its-entities-is-1-2-billion/
The nice thing about the Garcias not easily getting their money back is that part of the IRS agreement is that the cult is supposed to give refunds like they are asking for so they might end up losing their tax exemption.
Scientology fires legal salvoes at the Garcias
The Luis and Rocio Garcia federal fraud lawsuit regarding fundraising for Scientology’s “Super Power Building.” When we last checked in, the Garcias had won an important victory, surviving a challenge to the lawsuit over its “diversity jurisdiction” and the fact that this California couple had filed its lawsuit in a Tampa federal court. In order to get past a problem of jurisdiction, the Garcias dropped three defendants and were allowed to file an amended complaint.
Now, Scientology has answered that amended complaint with a new motion to dismiss the lawsuit, again over the question of diversity jurisdiction. The church is saying that the Garcias cut some corners in order to avoid the jurisdiction problem, and Judge James A. Whittemore should not have allowed it. The filing indicates that Scientology plans to appeal Whittemore’s ruling on the jurisdiction question. Well, of course they are.
Scientology also filed a two-page renewal to its motion to compel arbitration — essentially a document which says, come on, judge, hurry up and make your decision. We’re also anxious to find out how Whittemore is going to rule on this question: Scientology says he should dismiss the lawsuit and force the Garcias to take their dispute to Scientology’s internal arbitration system because this is a religious dispute. The Garcias deny that it’s a religious dispute, and refuse to have anything to do with an arbitration system they say is a sham.
FIRE FIRE FIRE BURN THAT FIRE!!! Burn that cult's LIES!!
Didn't they use the "arbitration" system before?
This, on top of everything else, does not look good for the cult.
Furthermore, if they cult DOES get this kicked back to that arbitration system, and they refuse to pay the Garcia's, then this will end up in court again.
IANAL but stick to your day job. Other than wishing the cult the worst, how on earth can you possibly conclude from the facts that the Garcia case doesn't look good for the cult?
The Garcia's are losing this case so far. If this gets kicked back to the arbitration system, the suit is likely over.
Yes, there can be appeals. But there's one parts of any suit which gets overlooked by anyone who has never filed a suit: attorney salaries. IIRC, Garcia's attorneys are all on contingency, meaning they are paying everything out of pocket with the hopes of getting a bigger chunk of any winnings. That's going to get really, really, old for them after a while. Especially with an opponent in this instance being a cult which has billions in the bank, which hires very expensive and competent attorneys and which has a policy to string out suits for years and even decades.
Look again at the OP of this thread. See how big and badass the attorneys were sounding then? This was to be the first suit of MANY. Then a year and a half later, look at how things are now. They've dropped every defendant but one: Flag. They are still only at the stage of figuring out preliminary crap before things even get to the trial stage. There is now another motion to dismiss filed by the cult.
Even Tony O's latest writeup about the motion to dismiss is uncharacteristically conservative and reserved.
It's nice to wish and dream. But don't let that cloud your review of the facts.
It's early days yet.
Also, I don't think Garcia's layers are working on commission. Dox?
Sigh. Please reread the last line to my post. That applies to you too.
You could have used Google like I just did. You'll see that you were the first one to comment to the OP:
Yes, I remember that post now that you linked to it. It is however not obvious from Emmas post whether Garcia's case is pro bono or not, only that the follow-up cases are intended to be.
It does not look good for the cult. From an outside accounting standpoint, the fact that they did not trust the arbitration system is a red flag. This is a very, very interesting case.
court wise, i am not paying attention or care. Tax, fraud, and forensic accounting wise, this is giving me a boner.
Let me sum up what i am perceiving here:
People donated money for a building for "charity",
the "charity" kept asking for more money(usually normal, but this cult kept asking for LOTS more)
Building was WAY!!!!!!! behind schedule for years, without a clear reason, despite the "charity" claiming successes with the project.
edit: From what i also understand, they did this "inhouse" which is uncommon. In normal charity fraud incidents, this would have been thrown out with testimony and pay stubs from the contractors behind the building. But if this was in-house, then they would not have that. Flag, the defendant, where they the ones that supplied the labor to build it?
Essentially, they lied about what the money was going to, and lied about the progress for the building. What this lawsuit is determining, is who was in charge of the operation, and who is responsible for the buildings and the delays.
Now the kicker. Right now everyone else was dismissed. But if the flag defendant is unable to show that they were the party responsible for the building, then that is going to be another red flag, and probably start a fraud investigation with the state DA. with fraud investigations, perception IS the law.
So yeah, not looking good for the cult in the long term.
Contingency is not the same as commission and neither of those are the same as pro bono. It seems like you have these all confused as being the same thing since you are using them interchangeably. I suggest you Google them so you understand the difference.
I am also guessing by your comments that you have never been involved in a suit. They are money suckers for the defendants and the plaintiffs both. Lawyers really are the ones who make out the most from them - they get paid whether they win or lose. The exception is contingency cases (and pro bono, but those are knowingly being taken on by attorneys for free). And even on a contingency basis, I believe the support attorneys, paralegals and hired experts are being paid by their firms (not totally sure of that, but pretty sure, maybe a lawfag can confirm). So in this case, the firm taking on the case on a contingency can lose money big-time, like in the hundreds of thousands.
In the Garcia case, Babbitt, Weill and the other attorneys were willing to take the gamble. They obviously saw a BIG payday if they could win the case because it could open the floodgates to other refund cases like the Garcias. But if there is no golden pot observable at the end of the tunnel in relation to their own investment of money, they will decide at some point to cut their losses rather than to continue burning more cash.
With what I can see - and once again, IANAL - the facts are showing that the case is going the wrong way. See any more suits filed like was announced was going to happen? Notice that there's only one defendant left out of five? Ever see Davey boy get pulled right away into the case like Babbitt was promising? Are you seeing that the cult has yet another motion to dismiss on the table?
Yes, there's always a chance of it turning around. But on top of all the aforementioned things is the fact that Garcia's lawyers have been commenting with lessened enthusiasm and far less frequently than at first. And that's just not a good sign at all.
You seem to be talking about criminal charges being brought against the cult. If so, do you have any information suggesting that the FL State DA is engaging in any such investigation? Because if not, this is just more wishful than reality. And so would be how this is not looking good for the cult in the long term.
I disagree. After seeing how Vance Woodward filed his argument for a refund, I'm beginning to think it does not look good for the Garcias.
I'm starting to think of this lolsuit as a "test case" similar to way the Headley lolsuits were test cases, except with a few significant battles being won before the overall war is lost. And the real advantage here is an example is being set of doinitwrong that will help future cases (like Vance's case) to doitrite.
The major battles I see as a WIN in the Garcia's favor include trust-busting and expert witness certification. They got some valuable information disclosed on exactly who is involved in the trusts and IASA that hasn't been revealed publicly since the IRS filings for tax exemption in the early 1990s. So now the next butthurt ex-whale who is willing to fight for their money back knows exactly how to file on those trusts without playing the blind guessing game the Garcia's had to take on.
And on the expert witness front, the Garcia's forced the cult to reverse their position on Marty & Mikes being insignificant former executives who didn't know squat. That has already paid off in Vance's refund case where his latest filing attaches Marty's declaration about the enrollment forms in Garcia's case and quotes from that affidavit extensively.
Getting the arbitration argument thrown out, could also fall into the helpful-battles-won category. If that's how it plays out. But unlike Vance's case, they haven't presented their counter to that issue in a solid way that shows they made a good faith effort to do everything they could to follow the arbitration policy before filing their case. So I think Fogerty makes good, valid points regarding loosing the arbitration argument being a HUGE defeat with dire ramifications and no pot of gold being at the end of the tunnel now that the trusts are gone.
Despite winning those small battles, the Garcia's chances of winning the war seem iffy at best.
However, on the doitwrong lessons learned front, what I (unfortunately) expect to see play out in the Garcia's case (in the long run) is that their classic fraud argument (we were lied to, the donations we made weren't used for the purposes we were told they were intended for) has no glue to hold it together and no backup ammo on the table to trump the signed agreements and effectively counter the religion card.
Vance used the undue influence argument, amongst other things, to jump over those issues with guns blazing. So he has the ability to say "yeah I agreed to that shit. So what. It shows I was a mind fucked victim who was taken advantage of." But with the Garcia's, the way things look after the filing of the amended complaint, they're going to have to prove their donations were used for something else. Now that could make for some extremely lulzy "show me the money" financial info disclosures in discovery, which would likely drag on for years. But that's ASSuming the case even gets that far. Which is big, fat, idiotic speculation at this point time imo.
That all said, win loose or draw I don't particularly give a rat's ass how this case plays out moving forward. Between the two small battles the Garcia won so far (the trust-busting disclosures and Marty's declaration being re-used to deliver an effective counter blow in Vance's case) plus the money the cult has hemorrhaged in fighting this - that's good enough for me to give the Garcia's a big thumbs up on attempting to fight the good fight. It was a gutsy move and did a helluva lot more good than all the former members who just roll-over like a chicken shits and let the cult screw them out of their monies on account after they leave.
The issue of getting refunds is srs bizness and a huge battleground to conquer. With a few RARE exceptions, there hasn't been any regular news on ESMB, FB and the indy blogs of successfully gotten refunds since 2010. It's common knowledge in those camps that the era of jumping through a gazillion loops to get a small refund back for pre-paid monies on account is long gone. So that's a lot of missed opportunities to put a hurting on the cult where it matters most. As such, if the Garcia case falls apart due to proving a flawed legal strategy, then so be it. As we see in Vance's case - they've already shed some major light on how to present a better argument for fighting the refund battle.
Sometimes it takes a failed test case or two to show what NOT to do. Like with the LauraD case overcoming some of the same issues the Headleys had with their failed attempt to fight the good fight. Falling on one's swords is never pretty to watch, but if that's what it takes to hammer out an effective strategy for future refund cases - then TeamGarcia deserve a pat on the back for going down the path they chose.
Minor technicality - "Flag" is actually two defendants - FSO & FSSO. As shown on the latest RECAP'd docket here: http://ia601904.us.archive.org/4/items/gov.uscourts.flmd.280072/gov.uscourts.flmd.280072.docket.html
But aside from that split hair, the rest of what you say makes good sense to me although IANAL either. Thanks for keeping it real. Historically, critics go batshit insane as their heads spin around on their neck and shit spews forth from their lips when scilon lawsuits go badly. But the fact is, fighting the cult in court is a David vs. Goliath battle. Except the hero is a tiny little piss ant with a broken slingshot and the cult is an entire army of Goliaths toting WMD. So cases getting stomped on and annihilated is to be expected.
The Garcia case as it currently stands looks like it's going to be one of those unavoidable casualties of war. I hope I'm wrong, but imo that hope amounts to nothing more than half-assed pissing in the wind ATM. Unless they file a second case in California that breaks out the double-edged "undue influence" sword in the same way Vance's case did, and goes back after the trusts where the big money is hidden.
tl;dr - Cocks. TeamGarcia (and those peeps blindly saying their still winning the war) suck them. But kudos to TeamGarcia for giving it their best shot.
Scientology litigation update: The Garcias respond, and the NAFC plays hardball
You’ll remember that the Garcias survived a daunting challenge to their lawsuit and its “diversity jurisdiction.” They dropped three defendants in order to get around an objection by Scientology, but then the church accused the Garcias of cutting corners in order to make that change.
Now, the Garcias have answered that accusation in a succinct filing — but did so a day late, and have asked Judge James A. Whittemore to excuse their tardiness. Yikes. We’ll see what happens.
I don't think the "undue influence" angle will work in this case (IANAL) because he said that most times he refused to give donations when asked so he had a choice and could use his judgment. The clams have won this one.
The Garcia's filing was a day late? With the church already accusing the Garcias of cutting corners to get around an objection by Scientology? Man, another bad sign at this stage of the game.
BREAKING: Garcia federal fraud lawsuit survives another challenge by Scientology
Tony Ortega: Garcia federal fraud lawsuit survives another challenge by Scientology
Hahahaha!!! Those fuckers won't be able to derail it much!! Good move judge!
The interesting question now is how the judge is going to rule on the more substantial matters remaining.
Eg. Fraud. Criminal activity.
Woof! He's only decided on the parties of the case. In a couple years they might get to discovery (foreplay). After that the real case starts.
I am drunk on box wine and htis makes no sense to me. But I know the Hamster is a stand up guy and I’m sure this is hella funny to the soberd.
I'd prefer if they didn't Jonestown on the way out, so that would be a bad headline.
But what are “911 followers”?
I have this really bad song in my head that I actually wrote. So I am goign to make a video of it to torment the world as I have been tormented. BRB.
The number that died at Jonestown, more or less.
In Hubbard speak, the term is "out PR".
Oh I get it now. 911 made me think of something else.
Song that I promised is here:
Whittemore has set a September 4 hearing for oral arguments on Scientology’s motion to compel the Garcias into Scientology’s internal arbitration. We expect that Whittemore will announce his decision at the end of the oral presentations, as he did in the earlier mini-trial over Scientology’s motion to disqualify the Garcias’ attorneys. It should be a rather explosive day, as Scientology tries to convince Whittemore that this is a case involving their religious freedom, and the Garcias will counter that it’s only about fraud.
I look forward to seeing support that day in Tampa.
LIVE REPORTS FROM TAMPA: Scientology tests its religious freedom defense in fraud lawsuit
We have several correspondents on the scene today as the next dramatic showdown occurs in Luis and Rocio Garcia’s fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology.
The Garcias first filed their lawsuit in January 2013, alleging that over their long time in the church, they had been victimized by fraudulent schemes to convince them to donate large sums of money. (In one memorable example, they claimed that they were asked to donate tens of thousands of dollars to pay for a Scientology cross to go on the top of the Super Power Building in Clearwater, only to find out later that other church members had been asked to pay for the same cross.)
One of Scientology’s reactions to the lawsuit was to file a motion asking that federal Judge James A. Whittemore compel the Garcias to take their dispute to the church’s internal arbitration scheme and drop their lawsuit. Scientology insisted that this was a religious dispute, and not something for a civil court to hear. To deny Scientology’s request would be to infringe on its religious freedom.
“The Garcias learned and accepted the Scientology religious tenet that all disputes between and among fellow Scientologists and/or Scientology churches and affiliated religious organizations should be resolved by use of Scientology’s internal dispute resolution and justice system, including ultimately, if necessary, submission of all such disputes to arbitration before followers of the Scientology religion who are knowledgeable in the Scientology Scripture,” Scientology’s attorneys wrote in their motion to compel arbitration back in March 2013.
The Garcias deny that their allegations are religious in nature. It’s a fraud dispute, and Scientology’s religious freedoms have nothing to do with it, they say. Also, they point out that Scientology’s arbitration scheme is a sham, and they’ve filed affidavits from former church officials who say as much. “Anyone who requests a refund is by definition, ‘guilty’ in the eyes of Scientologists in good standing, no matter what the issue, especially when that person is in conflict with any Scientologist, and even more so the church itself,” wrote former top Scientology executive Marty Rathbun in a declaration supporting the Garcias answer to the motion.
Today at 2:30 pm Eastern time, Judge Whittemore will preside over a hearing as the two sides make oral arguments. Based on his track record, we would expect Whittemore to make his ruling at the end of the session.
We’ve been through a similar experience in this stormy lawsuit. Scientology previously went to its well-used playbook, trying to disqualify the attorneys for the Garcias. We were in the courtroom as Whittemore found against Scientology that time.
Since we’ve been there before, we know that our correspondents won’t be able to take electronic devices into the Tampa federal courthouse. So we’ll have to wait for them to emerge and send us their reports. As soon as we get them, we’ll post them here.
2:30 pm update: Things should have started down in Tampa. We’re sitting by the phone here in New York, waiting for some word from our correspondents. They’ll have to leave the courtroom and get to their cars or wherever they’ve stashed their phones before they can call us with the news. We’ll be talking to several people and amassing a joint report.
Hey, while we wait, here’s the recording of this morning’s radio show:
If you go to Tony's site and want to hear what he said on the radio this morning, his segment of the show starts at 66 minutes 30 seconds.
NEWS FROM THE COURTROOM
We’re assembling these reports after talking to numerous witnesses. Here’s what we have so far.
Judge Whittemore listened to both sides, but he says he’s going to take a couple of weeks before rendering his decision. “But it doesn’t look good for Wally Pope and Scientology,” we were told.
It only gets better.
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