from the damn-that-historical-record dept
First, the John Steele affidavit in that case, which the character assassination filing cited repeatedly, has finally been filed. Oddly, the affidavit is signed and notarized three days after the filing by Steven Goodhue which quotes it. Not sure how that time twist works, where you file a document quoting another document three days before it's been written, but, hey anything's possible.
But in those two documents, Steele lays out a clear timeline for his interactions with Alan Cooper and the porn copyright trolling business. In the Goodhue filing, it states clearly:
Steele described the litigation and his business to Cooper. At some point in early 2011, Steele and Cooper discussed how a friend of Steele’s was exploring opportunities relating to purchasing and marketing adult content. Cooper expressed interest in learning more about these opportunities and Steele offered to help him learn more.Later in the filing, they say that while Steele and Cooper discussed setting up Cooper with a shell company, nothing happened there. Instead, Steele claims that the first time he actually involved Cooper with his porn copyright trolling efforts was even later in 2011, when he "offered to introduce Cooper to Mark Lutz."
In Steele's declaration, he suggests that he made the intro and then had little knowledge of what happened after that.
My understanding is that Alan took me up on the offer and participated in a limited number of transactions in 2011 with Mr. Lutz's companies. I am not aware of any post-2011 transaction in which Alan participated.Okay, so we have a timeline and a suggestion of limited knowledge. The timeline states that they didn't even discuss these ideas until 2011 and all that John Steele did was introduce Cooper to Lutz and that's it.
So, here's where Steele's story falls apart. As we'd discussed in an earlier case, some GoDaddy records were filed which show John Steele registering domains in Alan Cooper's name in 2010. Ruh roh. Specifically, they show the email address "firstname.lastname@example.org" registering a variety of domain names in Alan Cooper's name. And, in case you're wondering, there's no doubt that's Steele's email address (rather than, say, Cooper pretending to be Steele) because that same email address was used to register Prenda's website. And there's plenty of evidence that it was actually Steele doing this beyond the email address. The physical address used is an address in Arizona which is the home address of John Steele's sister, Jayme, namely 4532 East Villa Theresa Drive, Phoneix, AZ 85032. And the GoDaddy documents show that the address was originally the address of Prenda's office in Chicago. And the GoDaddy support logs show that someone named John called because he was having trouble logging into the account and made them send the info to email@example.com.
Oh, and you might recall that in the case before Judge Wright, opposing lawyer Morgan Pietz had filed a document about yet another Prenda shell company called VPR Internationale:
Further, a residential address in Phoenix apparently co-occupied by Anthony Saltmarsh and Jayme Steele has also been linked to several Prenda straw men and sham entities, including Alan Cooper.... Prenda previously represented VPR Internationale in various copyright infringement suits.... According to the Nevada Secretary of State, all officer positions at VPR Inc. are held by “Alan Cooper,” and the address given for Mr. Cooper in each instance is 4532 East Villa Theresa Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85032.... Similarly, an Internet search of that same address revealed what appears to be an archived WHOIS record for an Internet domain name registration ofIndeed, as some have been pointing out on Twitter, Nevada still has a listing for VPR showing "Alan Cooper" in all executive roles, using Jayme Steele's address... and that was set up in 2010.
which lists “Alan Cooper” as the registrant, technical contact, and administrative contact, but using firstname.lastname@example.org as the email address of record, and 4532 East Villa Theresa Drive, Phoneix, AZ 85032 as the mailing address of record. Exhbit T. According to public database searches on Anthony Saltmarsh and Jayme Steele, both of them resided at 4532 East Villa Theresa Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85032.
So, Steele claims he and Cooper talked about this stuff in 2011 and the extent of Steele's help was an intro to Mark Lutz to help out with AF Holdings and Ingenuity 13, but the paper trail shows Steele using Cooper's name to set up a number of other websites and companies in 2010, well before he claimed to have even discussed Cooper working "in the business." Ooops.
Yes, it's looking like Steele has the credibility problem here, rather than Cooper.
Oh, and perhaps someone more familiar with how the 5th amendment works can fill in the details here, but the various points made by Steele in this particular case appear to be the identical issues to which Steele pleaded the 5th in front of Judge Wright in the Central District of California. I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to plead the 5th in one place, and then respond to the same questions elsewhere. I would imagine that might come back to bite Steele as well. In the meantime, however, we get to watch him keep digging as he really does seem to think he can talk his way out of things, despite the piles upon piles of evidence that appears to contradict what he's saying.