L Berke Lawsuit Discovery Dispute Update and more…

NOTE from VRSJustice: I apologize for the lateness of this post.  Something came up that took me away from my computer.  This should have been published on 9/19/2012.

 

Ever since the last update on the Larry Berke Lawsuit, there have been a flurry of activity in the D.C. PACER system.  After the hearing at 2:00 p.m., which apparently was a conference call not a court hearing, on Monday, September 17, 2012, Mr. Berke’s attorney submitted a Motion to Compel the defendants to submit documents and sources.

The motion had several issues copied from the original discovery request, which was not submitted to PACER.  These issues were expanded on in this motion with follow up clauses indicating the plaintiff’s willingness to work with the defendants — the Federal Bureau of Prisons — on the discovery process.

Also, the Honorable Ellen S. Huvelle ordered that the counsel for the defendants give the answers and documentation in response to the Motion to Compel to Mr. Berke’s counsel by 12:00 p.m. this Thursday, September 20, 2012.  It should be known that the counsel for the defendants agreed to do this by that date.  The order by the Honorable Judge more or less formalizes the agreement between the counsel of both parties.

Then after that order, Mr. Berke’s attorney submitted a reply to the Memorandum by the defendants (see this blog post on the opposition — here).  The reply was to re-emphasize Berke’s support for his original motion for a preliminary injunction.  The motion had well known expert witnesses submit written reports in support for the plaintiff’s motion.  These expert witnesses are Dr. Dennis Cokely and Richard Lorenzo Ray.  The reports argue the case for installing a VideoPhone at the prison that Mr. Berke is to report to (FCC Tucson).  Mr. Ray listed ways that the BOP could record videophone conversations (3 ways) and argues that doing so will not be cumbersome to BOP.

In the next post, I will be summarizing the pertinent points of the motion to compel and the subsequent updates since then, including the responses filed with PACER in attachment form.

Motion to Compel is here

Posted in Lawsuit, VRS Fraud | Leave a comment

L. Berke Lawsuit Discovery Dispute

On Monday, September 17, 2012, there will be a conference on a discovery dispute to be held at 2:00 p.m. in Courtroom 23A over at the District Court of District of Columbia.

A discovery process is a part of the legal process where both parties research and perform additional investigation related to the plaintiff’s (Larry Berke) claim.  In this particular lawsuit, the plaintiff is Larry Berke, and the defendants are both the Federal Bureau of Prisons and Mr. Charles Samuels.  There is not enough information available via PACER to shed light on the circumstances behind the discovery dispute.  The recent memorandum filed by the BOP’s attorney (see my previous Larry Berke update here) may have been a part of this.

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Larry Berke Lawsuit Update

On September 4, 2012, a response opposing the preliminary injunction arising from the Larry Berke Lawsuit was filed with the U.S. District Court of District of Columbia by Ronald C. Machen Jr, the attorney representing the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBP) and Charles Samuels, Jr. in his official capacity as the Director of the Bureau of Prisons.

It was a response that refuted every allegation listed in the Larry Berke Lawsuit. Those allegations, that Larry Berke would lack access to, and be “irreparably harmed” on account of his hearing loss, are as follows:

  1. Medical Treatment and Rehabilitation
  2. Interpretive Services for Ordinary Prison Proceedings such as Orientation, Disciplinary Proceedings, Unit Team Meetings, Religious Programs, Employment and Education
  3. Communication With Those Outside The ADX Camp (video phone)
  4. Other Necessary Auxiliary Aids to Allow Effective Communication

Mr. Samuels indicated that and explained the reasons why the FBP has changed Larry Berke’s prison assignment from the ADX Camp in Florence, Colorado to the ADMAX Satellite Camp of the Federal Correctional Center (“FCC”) Tucson, located in Tucson, Arizona.  The FBP Inmate Locator was checked to see if anything changed with respect to Larry Berke’s incarceration information and no updated information was readily available to the public as of yet.

Moreover, one of the reasons for the assignment change is that it turns out that there is a deaf inmate already serving a life sentence in the FCC in Tucson, AZ.  So because there already is a deaf inmate, the FBP states that the Tucson FCC is well equipped to meet all of Larry Berke’s allegations raised in the lawsuit…except for one allegation concerning videophones, more on this later in this post.

The opposition by FBP to the preliminary injunction stated that the FBP will provide outside independent interpreting services from a local organization (side note:  there is only one local organization in Tucson, AZ and that is the Community Outreach Programs for the Deaf — http://www.copdaz.org) or even Video Remote Interpreting (“VRI”) for every step of Larry Berke’s prison stay, whether it be medical treatment, rehabilitation, employment, and all activities listed in the lawsuit.

Furthermore, the FBP stated that they already provide these for the deaf inmate already in the system.  They said that the lawsuit now has no merit, in no uncertain terms.  In order to satisfy all of the Larry Berke Lawsuit Allegations, the FBP will provide the following:

  1. Email through the BOP’s Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System (“TRULINCS”) to specific people
  2. A TTY (VRSJustice: more on why a TTY not VideoPhone later in this post)
  3. Access to live qualified ASL interpreters in person or VRI
  4. Access to visual alarms for fire and other emergency events
  5. Dry Eraser Boards for non-essential communication with others
  6. Closed Caption TV in the common area
  7. Access to a Closed-Captioned Telephone (captel)
  8. Access to an electronic bulletin board that contains a list of daily activities at the facility (available through the TRULINCS system)
  9. An inmate companion for assistance with daily living such as unscheduled movements, programs and activities

FBP and Samuels both said that they do provide reasonable accommodations to inmates with specific needs such as Larry Berke.  Having said these, the defendants said that the Judge should deny the preliminary injunction and allow the course of Justice flow — with Larry Berke reporting to prison in Tucson, Arizona.  I plan to monitor PACER over at the District Court of D.C. at the end of the day daily for any further developments.

Now to the question you may have on your mind — why a TTY?  Why not a video phone since this allows for functional equivalency in communication?  The response in the opposition explained it very well that even a 3rd grader could understand (meaning that the Judge, if she is not technically savvy, she will understand what they were trying to explain).  You have watched many shows on TV where prisoners talked through the glass/plexiglass window to someone on the other side — through a telephone, right?  There is a reason for that.  Every single inmate conversation with people on the outside is monitored and recorded.  With a videophone, the FBP effectively loses that ability to monitor and record conversations, and the recording would require translation services, of which translating may mean one thing for one translator and another for another translator.  Too problematic for FBP.  They needed a simpler way to monitor deaf inmates’ outside communication.

Cue in…the old dinosaur called “TTY”.  FBP can record and monitor all TTY conversations because it is completely in English and they have the monitoring and recording infrastructure in place to capture TTY signals through the telephone.

There is more.  Not only that, the FBP asserts that by using videophones, they have to open up their secure computer network to the public.  This is forbidden by the Department of Justice. They also stated that if Larry Berke’s family does not have a TTY, they can get one on loan from a local organization in Tucson for their use during Larry Berke’s incarceration.

Again, they were obviously building the case for their defense on using TTYs, effectively removing the final allegation in the lawsuit, leaving the lawsuit without merit.

Opposition to Larry Berke Lawsuit Preliminary Injunction is here
Attachment A in the Opposition (Declaration of Todd R. Craig, the Acting Chief of Security Technology for the FBP) is here

Posted in Lawsuit, VRS Fraud | 9 Comments

Larry Berke and David Simmons Update

There have been a flurry of legal activity at the District Court of NJ. David Simmons had his probation revised to add a new special condition that he pay a monthly restitution payment of $50.  This was approved by the Honorable Judge Pisano on August 16, 2012.

The saga of Larry Berke‘s ever changing “report to prison” date continues with a very interesting turn of events.  Berke has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Prisons et al alleging that the prison that Berke is to report to “does not have the appropriate facilities or accommodations for his needs as a Deaf individual.” (Berke v Federal Bureau of Prisons et al) The case number is 1:12-cv-01347-ESH.  This case will be presided over by the Honorable Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle.  The initial filing is at the end of this post for your reading pleasure.

In summary, because of the lawsuit, Berke’s legal team requested a delay of the surrender date while they meet with Honorable Judge Huvelle, representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Bureau of Prisons, with the first meeting occurring on August 16, 2012.  All parties involved agreed not to oppose a change in the surrender date to September 28, 2012, and requested Honorable Judge Pisano as the sentencing judge to sign off on the change, which he did (although on the last order modifying the surrender date, he wrote down on the order that it was to be the last change).  The change of date will allow the Honorable Judge Huvelle to decide on the lawsuit by then.

The lawsuit has the potential of changing how Deaf prisoners are incarcerated in the country, so this case is something to watch.  This may have a ripple effect on any future sentencing for both known and unknown VRS Fraud defendants.

David Simmons Probation revision is here
Larry Berke Lawsuit Letter to Pisano is here
Larry Berke Change of Surrender Date is here
Larry Berke Lawsuit filed with the US District Court of the DC is here
[UPDATED] Larry Berke Judgment is here
[UPDATED] John TC Yeh Judgment is here
[UPDATED] Joseph Yeh Judgment is here

Posted in Sentencing, VRS Fraud | 5 Comments

Bonheyo & Bonheyo – Guilty

On August 21, 2012, plea arrangement documentation for Bridget Bonheyo and Jerome Bonheyo have been filed with the U.S. District Court of New Jersey.  In the documentation, both Bonheyos understood that the substance (meat) of the charge(s) against them was that they “participated in a scheme to cause [themselves] and others to make fraudulent video relay services (“VRS”) calls for [their] financial benefit.”

The Bonheyos agreed to plead guilty only to count two of their indictment in exchange for the government dismissing the remaining indictment.  If you recall, the indictment against them had seven counts:

  • Count 1: Conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371)
  • Counts 2-3: Wire Fraud (18 U.S.C. 1343 and 2)
  • Counts 4-7: False Claims (18 U.S.C. 287 and 2)

Again, they have pled guilty to Count 2: Wire Fraud, all others will be dropped.  Sentencing has been scheduled for December 17, 2012 at 10:00 AM.  As with all other VRS cases, the sentencing date may be changed at the last notice.  The Bonheyos now have to go through their own pre-sentencing report investigation prior to sentencing.

Bonheyo Indictment is here (credit to http://ClercJr.wordpress.com for sharing this)
Plea Agreement for Bridget Bonheyo can be found here
Plea Agreement for Jerome Bonheyo can be found here
Sentencing schedule document from PACER can be found here

 

Posted in Bonheyo, Sentencing, VRS Fraud | 18 Comments

Bonheyo & Bonheyo Update

There have been movement in the case against Bridget Bonheyo and Jerome Bonheyo in the summer. Their trial date was scheduled for June 20, 2012, but Prosecutor Ryan Faulconer requested a continuance of the trial, which was subsequently approved by the Honorable Judge Joel A. Pisano on June 11, 2012. According to the motion, there are three reasons Prosecutor Faulconer requested the continuance:

  1. The Bonheyo attorneys are working with the Prosecutor’s office on a possible plea bargain, and this would basically eliminate the need for a trial.
  2. That if the plea discussions do not work out, both the prosecutors and the defendants’ attorneys need time to prepare for trial
  3. Faulconer pointed to a United States Code section saying that granting continuance is far better than pushing for a trial sooner than later.  The USC Faulconer referred to is 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(B)(ii) and (iv) — see this link:  http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/3161

The new trial date is now September 4, 2012.

Not only that, soon after the request for continuance, the Bonheyo attorney, Thomas Pryor, requested a modification to Ms. Bonheyo’s Conditions of Release to allow her to travel overseas to Turkey between the dates of June 28, 2012 and July 8, 2012. The motion was approved by the Honorable Judge Pisano with the condition that Ms. Bonheyo returns her passport upon her return.

Hearing Schedule Document is here
Conditions of Release Document is here.
Continuance Approval Document is here.

 

Posted in Bonheyo, VRS Fraud | 11 Comments

Trial and Sentencing Hearings

What follows is a schedule of all trial and sentencing hearings. The times noted are in Eastern Time, and the hearings are held in Trenton, New Jersey at the District Court located at this address: 402 East State Street. The schedule is not set in stone because the court often reschedules at the last minute for any reason.

DefendantHearing DateLast Updated

 

Posted in Hearing Date, Sentencing, VRS Fraud | 8 Comments

Sentenced To

 
3:09-cr-00810-JAP ICSD Defendant Sentenced To
(terminated) Buscaron, Yosbel Sentence Date: October 15, 2012
Sentenced: 5 years probation with standard conditions;
200 hours over 5 years of Community Service;
1 year of home confinement and electronic location monitoring;
$2.5 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government
(terminated) Fernandez, Lazaro Sentence Date: October 15, 2012
Sentenced: 5 years probation with standard conditions;
1 year of home confinement and electronic location monitoring (NOTE: judgment says 12 months, but paragraph says 200 months — probably a typo because 200 months is over 16 years);
200 hours over 5 years of Community Service;
$2.5 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government
(terminated) Hutchinson, Wanda Sentence Date: March 20, 2012
Sentenced: 5 years probation with special conditions;
1 year of home confinement and electronic location monitoring;
$2.5 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government
(terminated) Bacallao, Jessica Sentence Date: March 20, 2012
Sentenced: 5 years probation with special conditions;
1 year of home confinement and electronic location monitoring;
$2.5 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government
(terminated) Valle, Kathleen All charges dropped after successfully completing a Pre-Trial Diversion program offered by Pre-Trial Services and the prosecutors
Charges dropped on December 6, 2011.
3:09-cr-00811-JAP DHIS Defendant Sentenced To
(terminated) Azrelyant, Irma Sentence Date: July 15, 2013
Sentenced: 1 year of home confinement and electronic location monitoring;
4 years of probation after the confinement.
Fine: waived in lieu of restitution.
Restitution: $7 million dollars (interest waived).
Special assessment: $100 due immediately
(terminated) Finkle, Joshua Sentence Date: December 14, 2012
Sentenced: 1 year of home confinement and electronic location monitoring;
4 years of probation after the confinement.
Fine: waived in lieu of restitution.
Restitution: $7 million dollars (interest waived).
Special assessment: no assessment but is up to the judge.
(terminated) Strusa, Oksana Sentence Date: December 14, 2012
Sentenced: 3 years of probation imposed with standard conditions.
Fine: waived in lieu of restitution.
Restitution: $2.5 million dollars (interest waived).
Special assessment: $100.00 (due immediately).
(terminated) Holovkin, Hennadii Sentence Date: December 27, 2012
Sentenced: 3 years of probation imposed with standard conditions.
Fine: waived in lieu of restitution.
Restitution: $2.5 million dollars (interest waived).
Special assessment: None specified in judgment.
(terminated) Iskandarova, Alfia Sentence Date: July 15, 2013
Sentenced: 3 years of probation imposed with standard conditions.
Fine: waived in lieu of restitution.
Restitution: $2.5 million dollars (interest waived).
Special assessment: $100.00 (due immediately).
(terminated) Zfati, Nathan Sentence Date: March 14, 2012
Sentenced:     5 years probation with special conditions;
$2.5 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government (interest waived)
$100 special assessment fee
3:09-cr-00856-JAP Viable Defendant Sentenced To
(terminated) Yeh, John T. Sentence Date: November 30, 2011
Sentenced: 108 months in a minimum security Federal Prison Camp;
3 years of post-prison supervised release;
$20 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government
Reported to Prison: January 30, 2012
Inmate Number: 50807-037 at FPC Schuylkill in Pennsylvania
Release Date: October 14, 2019, estimated
(terminated) Yeh, Joseph Sentence Date: November 30, 2011
Sentenced: 55 months in a minimum security Federal Prison Camp;
3 years of post-prison supervised release;
$20 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government
Reported to Prison: January 30, 2012
Inmate Number: 50806-037 at FPC Schuylkill in Pennsylvania
Release Date: January 26, 2016, estimated
(terminated) Tropp, Donald Sentence Date: March 21, 2012
Sentenced: 5 years probation with special conditions;
1 year of home confinement and electronic location monitoring;
$2.5 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government
(terminated) Mowl, Anthony Sentence Date: December 17, 2012
Sentenced: 1 year probation with special conditions;
$2.5 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government
(terminated) Viable Communications, Inc. Sentence Date: November 30, 2011
Sentenced: $20 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government
3:09-cr-00857-JAP Master/KL/Mascom Defendant Sentenced To
(terminated) Hawkins, Kim E. Sentence Date: January 10, 2012
Sentenced: 5 years probation with special conditions;
1 year of home confinement and electronic location monitoring;
$2.5 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government
(terminated) Berke, Larry Sentence Date: December 19, 2011
Sentenced: 24 months in a minimum security Federal Prison Camp (FPC);
3 years of post-prison supervised release;
$2.5 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government
Reported to Prison: Tucson USP
Inmate Number: 81281-208
Release Date: 06-24-2014
(terminated) Berke, Dary Sentence Date: April 3, 2012
Sentenced: 5 years probation with special conditions;
1 year of home confinement and electronic location monitoring;
$1 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government
(terminated) Goetz, Lisa Sentence Date: January 27, 2012
Sentenced: 5 years probation with special conditions;
1 year of home confinement and electronic location monitoring;
$2.5 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government
(terminated) Simmons, David Sentence Date: March 21, 2012
Sentenced: 1 year probation with no special conditions;
$1 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government
3:09-cr-00858-JAP Viable Arizona Contractors Sentenced To
(terminated) Pena, Benjamin Sentence Date: October 16, 2012
Sentenced: 55 months to Federal Prison; 3 years on supervised probation;
$1.28 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government;
$1 million forfeiture (in addition to restitution)
Reported to Prison: Tucson USP
Inmate Number: 81288-208
Release Date: 11-21-2016
(terminated) Rubeck, Robert “Zack” Sentence Date: October 16, 2012
Sentenced: probation for 1 year;
$1 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government
(terminated) Frankel, Tamara Sentence Date: March 15, 2012
Sentence Date: October 16, 2012
Sentenced: probation for 1 year;
$1 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government
3:09-cr-00859-JAP Deaf Studio 29 defendants Sentenced To
(terminated) Marc Velasquez Verson Sentence Date: July 22, 2013
Sentenced: 3 years probation with special conditions;
$2.5 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government;
Special Assessment of $100 paid immediately to the the U.S. Government
(terminated) Ellen Thompson Sentence Date: July 22, 2013
Sentenced: 3 years probation with special conditions;
$2.5 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government;
Special Assessment of $100 paid immediately to the the U.S. Government
(terminated) Doris Martinez Sentence Date: July 22, 2013
Sentenced: 2 years probation with standard conditions;
$2.5 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government;
Special Assessment of $100 paid immediately to the the U.S. Government
3:11-cr-00861-JAP Bonheyo & Bonheyo LLC defendants Sentenced To
(terminated) Bridget Bonheyo Sentence Date: January 7, 2015
Sentenced: 3 years probation with special conditions;
$18.5 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government;
Special Assessment of $100 paid immediately to the U.S. Government
(terminated) Jerome Bonheyo Sentence Date: January 7, 2015
Sentenced: 3 years probation with special conditions;
$18.5 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government;
Special Assessment of $100 paid immediately to the U.S. Government
3:14-cr-00128-JAP Hawk Relay defendants Sentenced To
(terminated) Samuel “Sam” Hawk  Sentence Date: January 14, 2015
Sentenced: 55 months to Federal Prison;
3 years of post-prison supervised release;
$18,987,188 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government — $25 payable every quarter from prison, a minimum of $200 per month 30 days after release from prison
Reported to Prison: Schuylkill FCI (same prison as John and Joseph Yeh)
Inmate Number: 71290-066
Release Date: 02-01-2019
(terminated) Bryce Chapman Sentence Date: December 17, 2014
Sentenced: 3 years probation with special conditions;
$18.9 million restitution to be paid to the U.S. Government;
Special Assessment of $100 paid immediately to the U.S. Government
Posted in Sentencing, VRS Fraud | Leave a comment

VRS Case List

3:14-cr-00128

Edit
3:09-cr-00810-JAP ICSD defendants
3:09-cr-00810-JAP-1 Yosbel Buscaron (terminated)
3:09-cr-00810-JAP-2 Lazaro Fernandez (terminated)
3:09-cr-00810-JAP-3 Wanda Hutchinson (terminated)
3:09-cr-00810-JAP-4 Jessica Bacallao (terminated)
3:09-cr-00810-JAP-5 Kathleen Valle (terminated)
3:09-cr-00811-JAP DHIS defendants
3:09-cr-00811-JAP-1 Irma Azrelyant (terminated)
3:09-cr-00811-JAP-2 Joshua Finkle (terminated)
3:09-cr-00811-JAP-3 Nathan Zfati (terminated)
3:09-cr-00811-JAP-4 Oksana Strusa (terminated)
3:09-cr-00811-JAP-5 Alfia Iskandarova (terminated)
3:09-cr-00811-JAP-6 Hennadii Holovkin (terminated)
3:09-cr-00856-JAP Viable defendants
3:09-cr-00856-JAP-1 John T.C. Yeh (terminated)
3:09-cr-00856-JAP-2 Joseph Yeh (terminated)
3:09-cr-00856-JAP-3 Anthony Mowl (terminated)
3:09-cr-00856-JAP-4 Donald Tropp (terminated)
3:09-cr-00856-JAP-5 Viable Communications, Inc (terminated)
3:09-cr-00857-JAP Master/KL/Mascom defendants
3:09-cr-00857-JAP-1 Kim E. Hawkins (terminated)
3:09-cr-00857-JAP-2 Larry Berke (terminated)
1:12-cv-01347-ESH Larry Berke Lawsuit (terminated)
3:09-cr-00857-JAP-3 Dary Berke (terminated)
3:09-cr-00857-JAP-4 Lisa Goetz (terminated)
3:09-cr-00857-JAP-5 David Simmons (terminated)
3:09-cr-00858-JAP Viable Arizona Contractors defendants
3:09-cr-00858-JAP-1 Benjamin Pena (terminated)
3:09-cr-00858-JAP-2 Robert Z. Rubeck (terminated)
3:09-cr-00858-JAP-3 Tamara Frankel (terminated)
3:09-cr-00859-JAP Deaf Studio 29 defendants
3:09-cr-00859-JAP-1 Marc Velasquez Verson (terminated)
3:09-cr-00859-JAP-2 Ellen Thompson (terminated)
3:09-cr-00859-JAP-3 Doris Martinez (terminated)
3:11-cr-00861-JAP Bonheyo & Bonheyo LLC defendants
3:11-cr-00861-JAP-1 Bridget Bonheyo (terminated)
3:11-cr-00861-JAP-2 Jerome Bonheyo (terminated)
3:14-cr-00128-JAP Hawk Relay LLC defendants
3:14-cr-00128-JAP-1 Samuel Hawk (terminated)
3:14-cr-00128-JAP-2 Bryce Chapman (terminated)
Posted in VRS Fraud | 2 Comments

Welcome to VRS Justice!

Thank you, dear reader, for coming here to this Blog in order to keep up with the ongoing VRS Fraud updates.  This is a note from the author for your reading pleasure.

What is VRSJustice?

What is VRSJustice?  To answer that question, I would need to answer the why I’m doing this blog.  It is to be a central and factual source with updates about the VRS Fraud cases.  This blog will report nothing but the truth and facts about the ongoing VRS Fraud cases.  What I will be doing here with this blog is to uphold the principles proposed (and ultimately accepted) by a committee for the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) back in 1997. [By the way, this is an excellent page on Principles by Journalism.org — http://www.journalism.org/resources/principles].

The first principle on that page is what my first obligation is and always will be to truth, nothing but the truth.  You will not see me editorialize, embellish and exaggerate facts.  Any information sent to me at vrsjustice@gmail.com will be first and foremost be confidential.   The information will go through a thorough vetting process in order to verify facts to be the truth before being considered for publication in this blog.  Credit will be given unless anonymity is requested.  Doing it any other way would defeat the primary purpose of which VRSJustice.com was conceived — that is to report truth and facts of the ongoing VRS Fraud cases and of any future new cases that may come.  Any mistakes and inaccuracies will be corrected as soon as they are discovered.

Again, nothing but the truth and facts only as I do not want to be sued by lawyers left and right for defamation of character and/or libel.  Each post that have been and will be published will be backed up by verifiable facts found elsewhere — either on the Internet or elsewhere.  To this end, each post will have links or footnotes citing where the information came from, whether it came from PACER, from an attorney, anonymously, or elsewhere.

ClercJr and Daniel Foster’s Legacy

The reader may be familiar with a blog maintained by Daniel Foster at http://clercjr.wordpress.com.  I will confess to being very familiar with his excellent blog.  It was on account of his untimely departure from the earthly plane, and the subsequent lack of a centralized source of VRS Fraud case updates that I started this blog.  Here in this space, I wanted to give Daniel Foster a big shout out for covering the VRS Fraud case updates in his blog.  I would like to also add that nobody from Daniel Foster’s circle of family and close friends asked me to do this, nor did I ask them for permission. As Daniel said often in his blog posts — this is public information (PACER) and that anybody can get to these information.   UPDATE (2012-09-07): I contacted Robert Hansen, who maintains clercjr.wordpress.com, to request that I take over maintenance of the VRS Case Documents since it was not being actively updated over there.  I will give credit to ClercJr for all the documents that he provided on his blog, and those documents will be brought over here for continuity’s sake.

Blog or Vlog, that is the question

Why a blog if the major stakeholder in this VRS Fraud is the Deaf Community whose primary language is a visual one — American Sign Language?  A blog is a vehicle in and of which the author can convey once again solid and clear facts and truths of any VRS Fraud updates, with links and cited sources, to all audiences — ASL users and non-ASL users — in English.  A vlog limits information dissemination to just one audience — those who understand ASL.  This is an injustice to readers who do not have fluency of ASL under their belts.  Inclusion is important in advancing society as a whole.   As stated earlier, the goal of this is to be a central source of factual information and updates about the VRS Fraud cases.

Editorial Philosophy

This blog stands for readers who wish to keep up with the truth and facts about the unfortunate blemish on the Deaf Community that is the VRS Fraud Cases.  This blog’s intended audience will be the Deaf Community, Hard-of-Hearing Community, Professionals that serve the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Interested readers not affiliated with any of the cultural and professional groups, and finally with people involved with VRS.

This blog also hopes to be useful as a source of information on courts and how cases weave their way through the courts.  To beat a dead horse even deader, truth and facts will reign paramount here.

Sources

My primary source of information will be the PACER Federal court document clearinghouse system.  In fact, any blog posts cited with information and has downloadable documents obtained from PACER and elsewhere will be redacted (information blacked out) of the following, if any exist:

  • Social Security and taxpayer-identification (TIN) Numbers
  • Dates of Birth
  • Names of Minor Children, if any
  • All financial account numbers (banks, credit cards, etc.)
  • As these VRS Fraud Cases are of criminal nature, home addresses.

This compliance is mandated by the Federal Government Civil and Criminal Rules at Fed. R. Civ. P. 5.2 or Fed. R. Crim. P. 49.1. If you want to see complete information in the redacted documents available on this blog, you can go ahead and get the documents yourself, after all, it is public record.

Legal Advice

I am not an attorney, and because of that fact alone, I will not be dispensing any legal advice.  Any questions that concern the VRS Fraud cases, I will try my best to provide a layman’s interpretation of legal terms and happenings.  These will come from research.

Financial Support

Donations will not be accepted as they will tarnish my journalistic objectivity by the seeming appearance of sponsorship.

Who am I?

Finally, the biggest question that may be discussed and asked here and elsewhere — Who is the author of this blog?  After that question, a flood of questions may be unleashed:

  • Is the author objective? (This is the goal for this blog — to be objective)
  • Is the author currently a part of the VRS industry?  (Yes — as a consumer; No as an employee and contractor)
  • Is the author out on a vendetta against one or several defendants?  (No)
  • Does the author know at least one defendant implicated with VRS Fraud?  (Yes)
  • Is the author in contact with any of the defendants since the beginning of these VRS Fraud cases? (No)

Again, just exactly who is the author?

A very, very general background information on the author.  The author was born and raised deaf to a family that also has other deaf family members and relatives.  The author went to schools with other kids as did everybody else reading this.  The author was and still is involved in the Deaf Community, both participating and participated in a variety of organizations and clubs, and so on.

So why stay anonymous?  One would argue that staying anonymous is the coward’s cop-out.  I disagree, as I can.  Staying anonymous depends on the circumstances and/or situation.  Generally, anonymous is defined by many dictionaries to be a person not identified by name.  There are several reasons to remain anonymous — and you can google that for your reading pleasure.  By remaining anonymous, I am free to objectively and happily provide this blog as a public service towards making the Deaf Community a more empowered and informed community.  I have no desire to have any recognition, should my identity be known, for maintaining this blog.

One could again argue that it is hard to trust someone who is hiding behind a blog or a pseudonym.  I have nothing but this in response:  I will uphold the principles of journalism and report nothing but facts and the truth.  What more do you want?  I am no Sam Donaldson, Walter Cronkite, and Barbara Walters.  I am just a deaf author who wishes to continue keeping the Deaf Community informed about the VRS Fraud without any recognition and to make the Deaf Community a better community.  This is what ClercJr would have done as well – empower and keep informed the Deaf Community through timely updates.

One for all, all for one, I remain,
VRS Justice

 

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