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Federal Judge Puts Internet Pioneer in Civil Lockdown
Washington Examiner ^ | February 15, 2012 | Barbara F. Hollingsworth

Posted on 02/18/2012 8:30:32 AM PST by Justice21

Note: Judge appointed by President Clinton

When Jeff Baron came to Washington this month, he was wearing a borrowed suit.

Once upon a time, the Internet pioneer -- who taught himself computer programming and created innovative software to register domain names -- lived the good life in a Dallas suburb.

His company, Ondova, was a cash cow, pulling in $1.5 million in profit each month.

It all started unraveling when Baron, now 44, hired some high-powered Texas attorneys to help manage his holdings, and he was approached by a potential business partner who promised to turn Ondova into the next Google.

Baron admits he was naive and failed to perform due diligence as his lawyers set up an "elaborate" network of businesses offshore and his erstwhile partner turned out to be a convicted felon who sold porn online.

After a lengthy series of legal battles, Ondova was eventually forced into bankruptcy. But it wasn't until Baron found himself in the Dallas courtroom of U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson that his real nightmare began.

At a June 19, 2009, hearing in his civil case, Judge Furgeson warned Baron that "failure to comply" with a previous court order to renew Ondova's domain names would be considered "contempt, punishable by lots of dollars, punishable by possible jail, death. ... You are a fool, a fool, a fool to screw with a federal judge, and if you don't understand that, I can make you understand it. I have the force of the Navy, Army, Marines and Navy (sic) behind me."

A shaken Baron agreed to give up half of his Internet assets to "buy peace." In 2010, he signed a Global Settlement Agreement for all outstanding claims against him. "There were 1,500 filings. I complied with the settlement agreement 100 percent," he told The Washington Examiner.

On Nov. 14, 2010, three days after Baron "mildly" objected to what he characterized as inflated legal bills, Judge Furgeson made good on his threat, issuing an ex parte order that placed all of Baron's business and personal assets, including his $1.2 million individual retirement account and a $60 million juvenile diabetes trust fund -- and incredibly, Baron himself -- into receivership. Baron's former attorney, Peter Vogel, was given "exclusive control over any and all Receivership Parties, which term shall include Jeffrey Baron."

A Dec. 2, 2010, email to Baron by Barry Golden, Vogel's attorney, clarified exactly what this meant: "you are expressly prohibited from retaining any legal counsel ... you are expressly prohibited from disbursing any Receiver Funds provided to you by the Receiver for anything other than the following daily-living expenses for yourself only: local transportation, meals, home utilities, medical care and medicine."

According to LawInjustice.com, there are no other reported cases in American history in which a person has been placed in receivership. Baron, as well as his home, car, personal bank accounts and even his clothes, remain under Vogel's total control.

He can be jailed for contempt if he removes anything from the Northern District of Texas, including the shirt on his back. To seek help from Congress, "I literally borrowed clothes to come to D.C.", he told us.

On Jan. 31, Dallas attorney Gary Schepps filed an emergency motion in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in an unsuccessful attempt to stop Furgeson's order to "immediately liquidate $60 million in assets for $0.02 cents on the dollar in pre-arranged secret sales" for two of Baron's companies, neither of which "was the party to any claim in the District court."

A former multimillionaire doesn't get much sympathy nowadays. But if Jeff Baron can be held in this weird form of civil lockdown even though he's never been charged with any crime and never had any judgments against him, what are you going to do when they come for you?

Barbara F. Hollingsworth is The Examiner's local opinion editor


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: corruption; internet; judges; lawyer
LawInjustice.com has more information on this case.

Note: This judge was appointed by President Clinton

Note2: There is also an article on this story by the law.com lawyer journal, basically defending the judges actions by claiming that Baron "defrauded" lawyers and didn't pay them. But, when you look at the court documents, Baron already had paid something like $ 5 million to lawyers.

1 posted on 02/18/2012 8:30:39 AM PST by Justice21
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To: Justice21

“you are expressly prohibited from retaining any legal counsel”

Oh ya, THAT is in the Constitution........

He hasn’t been charged with ANYTHING, yet this illegal penalty is for “defrauding legal council”?

Seems it was “legal council” that defrauded him and got him in the jam in the first place.


2 posted on 02/18/2012 8:39:52 AM PST by G Larry (We are NOT obliged to carry the snake in our pocket and then dismiss the bites as natural behavior.)
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To: Justice21

Sounds like the judge is in on it.


3 posted on 02/18/2012 8:48:41 AM PST by savedbygrace (But God.)
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To: G Larry

There is way more to this story than meets the eye. Baron was prohibited from hiring legal counsel because he hired one attorney after another and when they’d done a bunch of work on his case, he’d fire them and refuse to pay them. That’s called theft of services.


4 posted on 02/18/2012 8:50:47 AM PST by BuckeyeTexan (Man is not free unless government is limited. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: Justice21

Throughout the nation, judges ranging from local traffic judges to Federal Judges have become petty tyrants doing just about anything they want. The only check on them are other judges.

Fortunately not all are corrupt but it sure seems like they are at times.


5 posted on 02/18/2012 8:51:58 AM PST by yarddog
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To: G Larry
Seems it was “legal council” that defrauded him and got him in the jam in the first place.

So can you find a lawyer to sue them?

6 posted on 02/18/2012 8:53:05 AM PST by LoneRangerMassachusetts (The meek shall not inherit the Earth)
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To: Justice21
W T F !?!?!?

How do pea-for-brains judges see over the bench with their collective heads permanently stuck up their arrrces ????

AND

Where's Shakespeare when we need him ( "....The First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Lawyers...." )

Does America really need 70 percent of the world's lawyers? REALLY !!!!!

7 posted on 02/18/2012 9:02:20 AM PST by Robert Drobot (Fiat voluntas tua)
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To: BuckeyeTexan

The lawyers didn’t get retainers? Other than contingency cases, the ones I knew would get, i.e., $10K retainer that they ‘work down’ till it’s almost used up, then have the retainer ‘refreshed.’ So they are never out their fees.

In a case like this, of course, the numbers would/should be considerably higher, but why did they do all that work without payment up front?


8 posted on 02/18/2012 9:04:47 AM PST by EDINVA
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To: Justice21
His company, Ondova, was a cash cow, pulling in $1.5 million in profit each month.
Ya' know, I'm all for capitalism, but $18 million a year in profit wasn't enough?
9 posted on 02/18/2012 9:07:32 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: oh8eleven

Apparently it was enough for someone to want to steal it under cover of authoritah.


10 posted on 02/18/2012 9:14:44 AM PST by null and void (Day 1124 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: BuckeyeTexan

If you read the court documents, you’ll see that “not paying lawyers” was a fabricated ruse to “justify” what the lawyers/judge did to this man. He actually paid these laywers, in full, over $5 million. There was no defrauding of lawyers here. It was a scheme by a group of lawyers to unlawfully take away this man’s civil rights and property.


11 posted on 02/18/2012 9:16:26 AM PST by Justice21
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To: EDINVA

The lawyers all got retainers, and heaps and heaps of additional money (over $ 5 million). After they were paid in full, over $5 million, they created a scheme to take away the rest of this man’s money, claiming that they were not paid. If you read the court documents, you’ll see that the lawyers fabricated this scheme in coordination with the judge. Once the man was prohibited from hiring a lawyer to defend himself, he was repeatedly raped (figuratively).


12 posted on 02/18/2012 9:16:32 AM PST by Justice21
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To: Robert Drobot

Apparently a law degree isn’t the ticket to ride it once was. Turns out some newly minted lawyers can’t get jobs. Maybe they should have taken burger flipping 101 as an elective.


13 posted on 02/18/2012 9:18:48 AM PST by meatloaf (Support House Bill 1380 to eliminate oil slavery.)
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To: Justice21

Look, I’m not defending either side. I’m saying there is way more to the story than the author chose to include.


14 posted on 02/18/2012 9:29:33 AM PST by BuckeyeTexan (Man is not free unless government is limited. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: meatloaf

I have a first cousin who hung out his shingle in my home town many years ago. I recall mentioning to him that the town seemed to be over run with lawyers but he said there was plenty of business.

He turned out to be right as he became wealthy.


15 posted on 02/18/2012 9:36:54 AM PST by yarddog
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To: Justice21

Tom Hagen: A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.


16 posted on 02/18/2012 9:38:52 AM PST by Larry Lucido (My doctor told me to curtail my Walpoling activities.)
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To: Justice21

I didn’t even know Al Gore was in prison.


17 posted on 02/18/2012 9:46:02 AM PST by DOGEY
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To: Justice21

What you say may well be true, but that raises both potential ethical and criminal questions about the lawyers and the judge.

If one were to assuming the local bar is corrupt, at least to the extent that any disciplinary committee(s) and these lawyers might all be cronies, that leaves the judge culpable elsewhere.

In the case of a federal judge, what you are alleging happened here (conspiracy, fraud, and God knows what else) would constitute extremely serious charges. Federal judges are subject to investigation beyond the local area, and are subject to impeachment by the Congress. See Alcee Hastings. (the judge could be impeached, convicted, then elected to Congress! Is this a great country, or what?)


18 posted on 02/18/2012 10:34:01 AM PST by EDINVA
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To: Justice21

Let me be very clear I am NOT advocating this!

But with that being said It’s incidences like this that will eventually lead to Lawyers, Judges and Politicians being terminated with ‘extreme prejudice’ from their positions.

Mind you, I believe that Shakespeare mentioned something very similar in one of his plays.


19 posted on 02/18/2012 11:58:52 AM PST by The Working Man (The mantra for BO's reign...."No Child Left a Dime")
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To: BuckeyeTexan

I’ve read about this case before. Sometimes there are two sides to a story. Other times, like in this case, there is a real victim on one side and perpetrators on the other.

If you read the court files on http://LawInjustice.com or Lawlessamerica, you’ll see a number of lawyers that crafted a scheme against this Internet entrepreneur. It’s not just one judge who perpetrated this grand theft. Also involved are Daniel Sherman of Yaquinto and Sherman Law Firm, Peter S. Vogel of Gardere Law Firm, bankruptcy Judge Stacey Jernigan, and James Eckels General Counsel of CI Host (a company with an infamous reputation in its own right)


20 posted on 02/18/2012 4:36:13 PM PST by Justice21
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To: Justice21; EDINVA

The Fifth Circuit has reviewed every order — because Baron appealed every order — and affirmed the judge’s actions.  The bankruptcy judge found that Jeffrey Baron was guilty of theft of services and that the bankruptcy was a sham to avoid contempt proceedings in the District Court.  Mr. Baron has had every remedial process available to him.  The most pathetic part was that he tried to buy peace through a settlement agreement.  Yes, he signed it, but he never would execute it.  He wouldn’t turn over the domain names he stole.  That’s why the case is in federal court.  The plaintiffs had to sue him to enforce the settlement agreement.  And he still hasn’t executed the settlement.  He has fought every step of the way.  


21 posted on 02/18/2012 11:31:44 PM PST by BuckeyeTexan (Man is not free unless government is limited. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: Justice21

P.S. You haven’t seen/read all the court files because that blog you linked didn’t post all of them.


22 posted on 02/18/2012 11:35:14 PM PST by BuckeyeTexan (Man is not free unless government is limited. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: G Larry

This is America 2.0...thank the progressives! There is nothing we personally own anymore not even ourselves!!!

America is turning into hell!


23 posted on 02/18/2012 11:35:41 PM PST by surfer (To err is human, to really foul things up takes a Democrat, don't expect the GOP to have the answer!)
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To: Justice21

Can anyone explain what “$0.02 cents” is? No, it’s not a typo.


24 posted on 02/19/2012 12:05:18 AM PST by Strider2
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To: BuckeyeTexan
BuckeyeTexan, you are wrong on everything you've said in your post. There are something like 1000 court filings in this case. If you start to read more of them, it becomes clear that the accusations against this Internet entrepreneur are a coordinated cover up for "taking" (trying to use a nice word instead of "stealing") $10 million dollars from him. Read the settlement agreement and the docs. Baron did execute and comply with it. He paid all of his lawyers, and so on. The bankruptcy judge is in on the cover-up, having secret, closed-door meetings with the other judge and the people who "took" Baron's money. I found this analysis as well: Click Here For Article. It's hard for most Americans to believe, but some of our federal judges are indeed corrupt, and two of those judges are involved in this case. Baron has been forbidden from having any paid lawyer even for his appeals, so its impossible for him (or for the dozens of other companies in that seizure order) to have any semblance of a fair result. There is absolutely no due process here, so what a court of appeals court finds is meaningless (you are also wrong about the appeals court affirming the orders...In reading the orders, I know that none have been affirmed yet). You can't have any justice without due process. A corrupt process without due process always results in unjust and false outcomes. This is a principle that every civilized society acknowledges and a principle very important to our founding fathers.
25 posted on 02/20/2012 9:32:31 PM PST by glenmeadow
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