How the Feds Enforce their Monopoly on Fraud (Will Grigg)
Monday June 17th, 2013
Utah businessman Jeremy Johnson faces an 86-count federal indictment accusing him of defrauding customers through his once-lucrative internet marketing firm, iWorks. Johnsonís company allegedly lured unwitting customers into signing up for recurring membership fees, and then threatened to place disgruntled customers on a credit blacklist.
As in any other high-profile federal case, prosecutors seized Johnsonís assets and unleashed a torrent of press releases and leaks damaging to Johnsonís reputation. His wife, Sharla Johnson, has fought back by setting up several websites exposing what she regards as official corruption and misbehavior by federal officials.
Although Johnson, who is presently free on bail, is bound by a gag order, his wife is not Ė but that hasnít stopped U.S. District Magistrate Judge Paul M. Warner from threatening to send him back to jail unless his wife ceases to publish critical commentary about the federal government on her websites.
If the allegations are true, Johnson swindled people out of an estimated $275 million by offering to help them obtain taxpayer-funded government grants Ė and then using tactics that mimic the institutional corruption of the government offering those grants. The difference is that the government demands a monopoly on fraud Ė and is utterly ruthless in pursuing and enforcing that monopoly.