|Jeremy Johnson Wins Stay in Court Ordered Sale of Assets - Asks Court For Order to Pay Corporate Attorney|
by Morgan Skinner|
KCSG Television - St. George, Utah
(Las Vegas, NV) – St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson has won a partial victory in the legal proceedings with the Federal Trade Commission in which he and other defendants are accused of fraudulent internet activity. Johnson and co-defendants Duane Fielding, Anthon Holdings and Network Agenda, LLC represented by Ogden attorney Michael Studebaker, filed an Emergency Motion to Stay the sale of assets with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on September 23, 2011. The sale proceeded since the Court did not grant the Stay until a few days later.
The Defendants filed a subsequent Motion to Void the Sale and Return the Property and Personal Assets on September 28, 2011 contending the Defendant's constitutional rights of due process were violated. The FTC claimed the Defendants forfeited their right when they didn't file any opposition at a July hearing in which the Court approved the sale. What the federal judge apparently did not know was that Johnson was not represented by counsel in the hearing, never received notice of the hearing even though the federal officials knew where he was residing because they had him in jail.
Johnson was arrested June 11, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona and incarcerated for over three-months on a single count of alleged mail fraud. US Magistrate David Nuffer allowed family and friends to post a 2.8-million dollar property and financial bond, for his release. In criminal proceeding under the law, the Court must provide counsel. Since Johnson has been left without means by the government seizure of his assets, the court appointed an attorney in this case - Nathan Crane.
Johnson said the FTC and Justice Department have conspired against he and the co-defendants to deprive them of their right to due process. Court records show he has been deprived of his personal bank accounts, his home, his businesses and personal assets by the Court Ordered Receivership leaving him unable to defend himself or his companies without any findings of wrong doing by the Court. While corporations are required by Nevada law to have counsel, if none is provided by officers, directors or stockholders, there is no requirement of the Court to appoint counsel in civil proceedings.
Judge Hunt set a hearing Friday, October 14, 2011 in which he will address the Defendants' Motion to Stay Enforcement of Judgment Pending Appeal based upon erroneous information in the Court and the Motion to Vacate the Sale and Return Property and Personal Assets. The judge gave the FTC and Receiver Robb Evans until October 12, 2011 to file any opposition to Defendants motions. And, further stayed enforcement of the previous Court Order that allowed the sale until a resolution of the Defendants motions including the appeal ability of the Order is resolved.
Hunt approved payment of $509,620.20 on September 30, 2011, from the estate (Johnson's assets) to Court appointed Receiver Rob Evans and Associates for services from January 10, 2011 through March 31, 2011 in the first motion for fees.
Johnson filed a motion Pro Se Friday, October 7, 2011, requesting the Court to order the Federal Trade Commission to pay attorney fees related to representations of the corporations in the case since corporations are required by law in Nevada to have legal counsel. In court documents, Johnson said that since the FTC has convinced the Court that he should not have access to his funds they (the FTC) should be required to pay them. Johnson said his corporations need an attorney to help protect their interests as well as his manifest interest.
"If a default judgment were entered against the corporations, it would be a slippery slope to my ultimate demise in the case and undoubtedly another opportunity for the government to issue more press releases of a victory on their part when I have yet to be afforded the opportunity to present any evidence to defend myself or my corporations in this case," Johnson said.
He continued, "I have already been incarcerated in this case due to the overtly callus actions of the FTC that created an egregious argument regarding me as flight risk convincing the US Attorney to have me arrested in Arizona which created the desired media..[frenzy]..they wanted."
Johnson said, "..with the criminal case in Utah, I am running the risk of saying things which could be used against me in court to my detriment. I am not asking the Court to have the FTC pay my personal attorney, ...but the cost to have my corporations represented should be a cost the FTC should bear since it was so adamantly opposed to my motion to the Court to use my own funds held by the receiver to pay them. Further, it would prevent a default judgment that would be a miscarriage of justice since the default would only benefit the government and could only happen as a result of the government denying my ability to pay an attorney.
The Memorandum, in support of compensation on which the Receiver was granted $509, 620.20 in service fees, said there are 61 defendants of which nine are individuals and 65,000 document pages in the case. The financial records show a gross revenue of 332.5-million dollars by iWorks, of which $13.5-million remains held in dispute at SunFirst Bank of St. George, Utah.
Johnson said the case is complex and overwhelming to many defense attorneys who are unable to devote full-time to the case because of other clients. The strategy of stripping me of my financial ability to defend himself and companies while attacking my integrity in news releases with allegations of unsubstantiated internet fraud not only seems unfair but unamerican.
Court documents show 32 local (Utah-Nevada) Defense attorneys have been hired in the FTC civil case of which 7 have terminated their services. The government has nine full-time lawyers assigned the FTC civil case and the resources of the US government.
In the Utah criminal proceeding, Johnson has a Court appointed attorney, Nathan A. Crane of the law firm of Peter Stirba & Associates in Salt Lake City. The government has three attorneys assigned to the criminal case, according to court records.
Originally published October 8, 2011
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