Team Prenda (Douchebags) Sanctioned in Lightspeed Media Case – 3:12-cv-00889 (SDIL)

9 Apr Update

I guess John (“I’m Too Poor”) Steele was able to find some assets and the Prenda crew posted a bond.   Paul Hansmeier informed the court of this and withdrew his emergency motion for reconsideration.   LightspeedDoc150   LightspeedDoc148  Well at least there is some money for the defendants.  Hopefully the appeal will be shot down.


7 Apr Update

Here you go.  This is the audio recording of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, 7 Apr 14.  Thank you everyone for keeping us informed.  Take a listen and tell me what you think.      SJD’s posting on this update.


3 Apr Update

Here is the Prenda Appeal document for the Lightspeed case.   Prenda_Appeal_Docs_00889IL)   The appeal is to the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  Based on the following recent 7th Circuit ruling (different case – similar issue), it doesn’t look like the The Dingle-berries have a good chance.   AppealDecision_13-2214(7thC)  Take a look at the ‘Draft’ bond letter they attached.  I guess they were able to find some money or other collateral.  If they are able to come up with a ‘real’ bond, another money trail is opened up and I can be explored to see where the millions went.  {Following is from the Forbes Interview of John Steele}

Kashmir Hill: These firms generally ask people to settle by paying them $3,000. Doing the math, I suggest Steele has made $15 million settling these suits.

John Steele: “Maybe a little less. We don’t track the amount we’ve recovered. More than a few million,” he says, declining to offer exact numbers. “We’ve done reductions based on people’s situations. We decided we’re not going after people in the military or active service.

I have also attached a 2 Apr 14, Order from the Court of Appeals, that states that Hansmeier’s Motion for Reconsideration (26 Mar 14) needs to be addressed by the lower court.  If the motion is successful, the appeal isn’t necessary.  Hansmeier has to file a brief
memorandum (NLT 15 Apr 14) stating why the appeal should not be STAYED pending the disposing of his motion.   COA_Order_Doc146_00889(IL)


27 Mar Update

As I stated, Steele, Hansmeier, and Duffy do not know when to stop.  On 26 Mar 14, Paul Hansmeier filed an “Emergency” Motion For Reconsideration and supporting memorandum.   Lightspeed_Doc_138   Lightspeed_Doc_139   Take a read and tell me your thoughts and what you think the court will do with this fine piece of equine excrement.  Funny, I wonder what Prenda would have told the court if one of “their victims” made the claim that they could not pay???

Also please see the Arstechnica article – New judge blasts Prenda’s “attorney speak,” finds lawyers in contempt   Here is the last part of the 13 Feb 14, Show Cause Hearing where the judge lays down the law after John ramble on.  Classic   HearingEnd_00889(IL)

Here is an Appeal Decision from a recent (12 Mar 14) 7th Circuit (Court of Appeals) case that is worth a read.   AppealDecision_13-2214(7thC)   Hey Prenda!  Take a read.  I think the judge may be right – You are NOT going to win on appeal.   😉

Here are my thoughts on the Emergency Motion by Hansmeier.

***  Here is the transcript from the 13 Feb 14, Show Cause Hearing –  lightspeed.transcript.2-13-14. ***   Based off of the rather fast filing Paul Hansmeier accomplished, I believe he had this response ready to file.  His biggest talking point to his “Emergency” motion the fact that Smith’s Renewed Motion for Contempt does not make mention of any financial irregularities by Hansmeier.  Hansmeier makes a point that Smith’s renewed motion only briefly mentions him; it primarily concerns “berating” John Steele and Paul Duffy.  He also makes the claim that any irregularities in the CPA certified assets report in fact favor Smith, as it overstate Hansmeier’s worth.  Hansmeier has submitted an “updated” letter from his CPA that explains the departure from standard account procedures.  Note: It is an update and not a correction. As we are unable to see Hansmeier’s asset report, update letter, or Smith’s renewed motion, it is hard assess the truthfulness.  But based on the history of the Prenda crew, I have some serious doubts – I bet the judge does also.

One thing that Hansmeier doesn’t address is the fact that all three clowns were found “jointly and severally” liable for $261,025.11.  All for one and one for all. It should also be noted that Hansmeier has done nothing (prior to this motion) to state or show he was unable to comply with the 27 Nov 13, Sanction Order.  His emergency motion ONLY came about after he was able to see Smith’s renewed motion and the 180 pages of financial documents that are attached to it.  It sure looks like he waited to see what was found by Smith and then felt safe to file a motion.  Funny that we haven’t seen some sort of motions from Steele or Duffy

In all the Steele/Hansmeire/Prenda Law activity, it was always John Steele playing the loud-mouth blowhard, while little overt action by Hansmeier is noted. This does not mean Hansmeier is of course telling the truth (of course that is my opinion).



DB_Card1In case you missed it, Team Prenda was recently sanctioned for being the jerks and douchebags they are (My Opinion).  This post is to spread the word and ensure it is up on the Web.  Everyone needs a place in history.  I’m sure there are many other people who were involved in this mess, but the clown princes of this bad foray down copyright infringement law suits are John Steele, Paul Hansmeier, Peter Hansmeier, Paul Duffy, and the court jester known as Mark “I Don’t Like Mexico” Lutz.

On 24 Mar 14, Chief Judge Herdon issued a memorandum and order in case 3:12-cv-00889, Lightspeed Media Corp., v. Anthony Smith, er al., Southern District of Illinois. PrendaLaw_Contempt_Mar2014   If you are unfamiliar with this case, the Background section of the memorandum does a good job in summing it up.  Suffice it to say Prenda Law Inc. (John Steel, Paul Hansmeier, and Paul Duffy) were seeking the ISP subscriber records for over 6,000 people under the claim that Smith hacked the computers of Lightspeed.  They were unsuccessful in this attempt and the defense (to include Comcast & AT&T) were awarded attorneys fees – Smith $72K, AT&T $119K, and ComCast $69K – total judgment of $261K.  This judgment was specifically against Steel, Hansmeier, and Duffy (jointly & severally liable).  The Prenda crew of course failed to pay and Smith had to file a motion for contempt against them.  During a subsequent hearing, Prenda admitted to not paying the judgement or seeking a bond for it. The court also order Steele, Hansmeier, and Duffy (SHD) to file a CPA certified asset statement as to their wealth.  The financial statement they did file with the court (in camera – not part of the open docket) was noted as being irregular and suspect to say the least.

Based on all the Prenda shenanigans, the judge DIRECTED the following.

  • SHD are required to pay interest on the sanction amounts pursuant to the Sanctions Order. SHD became liable for interest on 11 Dec 13, at a .13% interest rate.
  • The Court believes coercive AND remedial sanctions are warranted. SHD are sanctioned in the amount of 10% of the original sanction amounts equally divided among them. This works out to be $7,236.70 to Smith, $11,963.75 to AT&T, and $6,902.13 to ComCast – total amount of $26,102.58.
  • SHD will comply with the Sanctions Order and this order within 7 days, on or before 31 Mar 14.
  • A partial payment or bond will not be considered compliance with this order. Failure to comply with this order in that time frame shall result in a $500 per day per attorney fine for up to 30 days ($1.5K x 30 = $45K).  After 30 days, this amount shall increase to $1,000 per day per attorney (30 days x $3K = $90K).
  • The Court noted Smith filed a “Renewed Motion for Contempt.” on March 20, 2014, as the Court was finalizing this order. The Court will consider Smith’s new motion as “additional sanction for contempt” since it relates directly to representations made in Court and in the financial statements SHD submitted. SHD have until 20 Apr 14 to respond to this new motion. The court will then determine if another hearing and possible sanctions are warranted.

Well, you can see that the Prenda crew has taken a serious blow amid ship.  I personally don’t think all the fun from this is all played out.  This three-man ship of fools doesn’t know when to quit and roll-over.  Until we are graced by the profound words of Steel, Hansmeier, and/or Duffy, please enjoy these quotes from the order.  Note: I can’t wait to read the actual transcript from the hearing (The judge specifically references it).

DieTrollDie 🙂

Furthermore, Duffy, Hansmeier, and Steele failed to make a reasonable and diligent effort to comply with the Sanctions Order.

However, plaintiff.’s counsel argues that this confusion is the primary reason they did not comply with the Sanctions Order. The Court finds this argument disingenuous.  Specifically, .“I can.’t pay what I don.’t have.” (Show Cause Hr.’g Tr. 22:16-17 (Hansmeier)). Also, .“[I]t.’s extremely important because if the Court issues sanction order for, I don.’t know, a billion dollars, we can.’t pay it. And I don.’t believe that there.’s any case law to establish that .– there.’s not a debtor.’s prison. I mean if we can.’t pay it, we can.’t pay it.” (Show Cause Hr.’g Tr. 19:10-15 (Steele)).

They submitted incomplete, and to say the least suspicious, statements of financial condition. Attached to each statement was a letter from their certified public accountant (.“CPA.”). In these letters, the CPA indicates a departure from generally accepted accounting principles. He further notes that plaintiff.’s counsel elected to omit substantially all of the disclosures required by generally accepted accounting principles.  The Court finds these statements insufficient to establish plaintiff.’s counsel.’s inability to pay.

Plaintiff.’s counsel significantly violated an unambiguous order of the Court. They also failed meet their burden regarding their inability to pay defense.

The Court also finds the magnitude of harm significant. As indicated in the Sanctions Order, this case is .“baseless.” (Doc. 100 at 9). Judge Murphy ordered sanctions for attorney.’s fees and costs because plaintiff .“unreasonably and vexatiously multiplied the proceedings in this matter.” (Doc. 100 at 10).

Also, the Court cannot ignore the behavior of plaintiff.’s counsel before the undersigned at the show cause hearing. While the Court was unable to nail down any specific lies due, in significant part, to plaintiff.’s counsel excellent. “attorney speak.”, the misrepresentations and half-truths presented indicate plaintiff.’s counsel.’s clear disrespect of the Court.



About DieTrollDie

I'm one of the many 'John Does' (200,000+ & growing in the US) who Copyright Trolls have threatened with a civil law suit unless they are paid off. What is a Copyright Troll? Check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation link -
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23 Responses to Team Prenda (Douchebags) Sanctioned in Lightspeed Media Case – 3:12-cv-00889 (SDIL)

  1. SJD says:

    Hey, why do insist that “Prenda are jerks and douchebags” is your opinion?! Don’t usurp it, it is our opinion!

  2. SJD, giggle, lol!

    I best loved the part where Steele resents the “nonexistent” FORBES article where he brags, which the *COURT* googles for and reads for itself. I think the steam from the judges ears was probably visible at that point….

  3. rsteinmetz70112 says:

    Not to defend Prenda, but most CPA statements have some CYA language about GAP, compliance unless it is legally required or the result of an audit. I can’t imagine a reputable CPA believing anything these guys say or accepting any information they provide at face value.

    The hearing transcript sounds like fun. Do you know when it will be available?

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Point, but I think the court goes on to show that this wasn’t normal CYA language from the CPA.

      “The Court finds that plaintiff’s counsel has not met its burden. They submitted incomplete, and to say the least suspicious, statements of financial condition. Attached to each statement was a letter from their certified public accountant (CPA). In these letters, the CPA indicates a departure from generally accepted accounting principles. He further notes that plaintiff’s counsel elected to omit substantially all of the disclosures required by generally accepted accounting principles. The Court finds these statements insufficient to establish plaintiff’s counsels inability to pay.”

      I don’t know about the transcript, except that Judge Herndon specifically cites from one. That means he has a very detailed record of the hearing in his possession.

      DTD 🙂

    • Anon. E. Mous says:

      I think the CPA jut has an idea of how Team Prenda is with filing thing’s with the court and wan’t no part of being called on the carpet or being thrown under the bus like others who have dealt with Prenda have been. Why end up in a cell with them.

  4. WDS says:

    And this sanctions order is by the Chief Judge. Who are they going to run to now.

    I liked the part where Judge Herndon pointed out that the paltry .13% doesn’t apply to this sanction (which would be about $34.00 / year), but instead hits them with $500.00 a day each, and then increases it if they don’t comply within a month.

    It took quite a while, but these guys have finally really pissed off their home states federal judicial system.

    I join DTD and SJD in the Douchebag opinion.

  5. Anon. E. Mous says:

    What I love best about this is that the accountant was having nothing to do with the shadiness of the accounting docs being submitted to the court and noted to the Judge the irregularities of Prenda’s principals asset statements…Ouch! But am I surprised that they tries to B.S. their way through the court again and come out unscathed, no…it’s just standard operating procedure for the Steele ,Hansmeier and Duffy.

    I also love how Hansmeier was telling the Judge how the costs could be a million dollars and how if they can’t pay they can’t pay. We all know that is B.S. It is more a case of we don’t wan’t to pay then can’t pay. I am sure they have the means to pay, it’s just the have chose consciously not to do it

    The mere fact that the Judge wasn’t impressed with how they proceeded with this case, and then their failure to pay costs and the suspect accounting statements have made this Judge a tad angry and he see’s the game going on hear and even cited in his order of of Prenda ability to ” Lawyer Speak” to avoid answers that would tie them to anything that could be used against them. I am not even going to bring about how the Prenda gang tried to tell the Judge he had no right to order them to pay anything.

    When a Judge goes out of his way to note this and some of your more questionable actions in a case, you find yourself in a world of hurt. It will be interesting to see how their bravado will be when they face this Judge with the required documents he was asking Team Prenda for. The next hearing ought to be epic.

  6. that anonymous coward says:

    Could they be the masterminds behind KlearGear and they are just waiting for those defamation bills to get paid so they can stay afloat?
    (you laugh but given what has happened so far you can not claim this doesn’t sound like a possible truth)

  7. WDS says:

    The ArsTechnica article has a link to the transcript of the show cause hearing. A fun read.

  8. Anon. E. Mous says:

    The Prenda gang once again trying to weasel their way out of paying an order of the court. It’s amazing to listen to these clowns whine and plead poverty.

    I wonder how Steele will fair in his poverty plea with the court when he is doing a pool, spa and deck to his Miami home… must be tough scraping by and still be able to do reno’s ( A great find by SJD )

    Have a look at Steele’s Notice Of Commencement permit of his renovations that were filed with Miami’s Dade county: and note the date of the permit was filed on: Jan 30 2014

    Gee, John how are you going to explain these reno’s when you are going to plead how you can’t afford to pay this courts order….good luck with that.

  9. m says:

    I’ll figure something out after I’m done reading Erickson’s order. Hmmm,

  10. WDS says:

    DTD, Thanks for the 3 April Update.

    It would seem to me since these bonds usually require about 100% collateral to be issued, their ability to post it seems to belie their argument that they couldn’t pay the original judgement.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      I agree that most bonding companies are not going to guarantee anything unless they feel safe in getting back their money with profit. I would love to see the financials, but that is unlikely. Steele and the rest of the a$$-clowns think they are so smart. They are so smart, they designed their own demise. 🙂

      • DBecker says:

        You are likely right that this bond (if it actually exists) is 101% collateral backed. Insurance companies are in the business of gambling, but it’s always “black I win, red you lose”.

        There is certainly something fishy going on.

        The path of least resistance and lowest cost is posting a bond of the type the court normally expects. Instead they filed a draft of a proposed form of bond. “What if I pay with a post-dated third party check from East Timor?”

        They could be trying to trick the court into thinking that an actual bond has been posted. That’s supported by the last-minute filing. But that doesn’t seem likely enough to work to be worth the effort.

        They could be stalling for time. The order and penalties are very clear, but they could claim confusion and ask that the penalties be struck. This only works if they post an actual bond later, so it’s also unlikely.

        My guess is that they are busy setting up financial cut-outs. By posting a bond through an insurance company, we can’t see what is funding the bond. It’s possible that the bond will be subject to discovery, so they need further cut-outs. The collateral is likely an offshore bank account, or a series of accounts. The delay in posting the actual bond may be caused by wire transfer confirmation delays. Banks are happy to help hide the money trail, but they don’t want to be stuck holding the bag, so they won’t release the funds for the next hop until the inbound transfer is confirmed.

  11. Anon. E. Mous says:

    This is what you would call a Hail Mary that Team Prenda is trying for. I think they have a better chance of winning the lottery than they will at winning on appeal. I guess they all must have wen’t home and dug around in the sofa cushions and found an extra 200k to meet the bond requirement… Lordy, it’s a miracle!

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