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The Courts The Almighty Buck

Copyright Troll's Property Seized To Pay Bankruptcy Debts (ktetch.co.uk) 69

ktetch-pirate writes: Copyright troll firm Prenda may be gone, but one of its principals — Paul Hansmeier — is starting to feel Karma's burn. In a bankruptcy hearing on the 3rd, Judge Sanberg ordered it converted to Chapter 7, requiring assets be seized and liquidated to pay the 2.5M+ in debts including judgments from courts around the country, as well as proceeds from the sale of Hansmeier's 1.2M condo in Minnesota. She justified it by saying he had a practice of deceiving the courts with his extortionate schemes.
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Copyright Troll's Property Seized To Pay Bankruptcy Debts

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  • HA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ldobehardcore ( 1738858 ) <steven...dubois@@@gmail...com> on Saturday December 05, 2015 @07:22AM (#51062227)
    Serves that pile of human garbage right. Take them for every dime. Leave them out on the streets.
    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      This is even better than prison. At least i think so. In prison, they can hide their shame from the world at large. Now, half the man (or less) and subjected to publicity they walk among the people they once abused. What better way for the fickle hands of fate to deal the next hand?

      • I like to think of it as Stage 2 in the Scandal-Ruin-Prison trifecta.

        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          Maybe they'll string up before they go to prison? I'd not, of course, suggest they do so but I'm thinking it might work out best for them in the long run. I don't see where they'll *likely* end up in prison, however. It could happen but it's unlikely.

      • I think a sleazy guy like that has smuggled out enough cash to the Cayman Islands to keep him happy.

        Oh, and he'll be back. We'll be discussing his new criminal "business" here on Slashdot in a couple of years. Folks like that never learn, have no moral ethics, and have no respect for the law. And never will.

        Short of killing him, there is no way to prevent him from pursuing other dubious activities.

        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          It's the holiday season. Lemme pretend that this will be a lesson to him and others who would do the same things. 'Tis but a small gift. I'm going to imagine this is the end of it, for them, and others will see this case and not be copyright trolls. I still think all the work should have gone into the public domain as chances are this will just end up being bought by more copyright trolls but I am going to remain deluded. Hrumpf!

        • I think JudgeÂHarry Pregerson already did the killing.
      • Re:HA (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TWX ( 665546 ) on Saturday December 05, 2015 @01:46PM (#51063337)

        This is even better than prison. At least i think so. In prison, they can hide their shame from the world at large. Now, half the man (or less) and subjected to publicity they walk among the people they once abused. What better way for the fickle hands of fate to deal the next hand?

        I've known people like the subject of the article. You're not thinking like they and their peers think. They do not feel shame for their actions nor do they feel shame for being subjected to punishment for them. They feel their actions are legitimate and they feel anger directed toward those that have thwarted them, and actions like the court has taken only stiffen their resolve.

        People like this need to be put into jail if they're to actually learn. People like this that continue to have their freedom are still free to pursue more of these kinds of schemes because they've seen how little the consequences, really, are for them. Left like this, with some means, they're going to simply repeat the pattern that we've already seen.

        Embarrassment on the streets? Walking among those they abused? Do you feel like everyone is watching you on the streets? Do you feel like the entire community knows who you are or even cares? Hell, criminals that have inflicted violence on others and been convicted semi-anonymously walk the streets and no one really knows what they've done or how that could mean that they are riskier than others; copyright trolls are less of a danger and far less directly impacting on the local community and will easily avoid any sort of public shame during the course of their days.

        This is a victory, but it's hollow one and only one more battle, not the end of the war.

        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          I've known some pretty crappy people but nobody who didn't have shame, or at least a good game face, afterwards. I've known a few that mostly regretted getting caught.

          You're probably right. Damn it. *sighs* I doubt they broke any criminal statutes that will land them in jail. Maybe a good contempt of court sentence will be an eventual finding but I'm not entirely sure if it could work - unless they've still pending litigation. I don't think I'm the most moral of people but I don't think I could live with my

          • by sribe ( 304414 )

            I've known some pretty crappy people but nobody who didn't have shame...

            Then you haven't known an actual sociopath. Good for you. I mean that sincerely, not sarcastically.

            • by KGIII ( 973947 )

              That is probably true and, for that, I'm grateful. I did actually have a relationship with a lady who nearly fits the description and *might* fit as I could just be deluding myself into thinking there was some empathy and something other than greed or self-interest inside. :/

              • by sribe ( 304414 )

                ...I did actually have a relationship with a lady who nearly fits the description and *might* fit as I could just be deluding myself into thinking there was some empathy and something other than greed or self-interest inside. :/

                The successful ones become really good at mimicking normal reactions, so it's hard to tell unless the relationship goes on way longer than is healthy... Best to extricate ASAP, and let somebody else discover the answer to that question!

                • by KGIII ( 973947 )

                  I actually paid that one to go away on the advice of my lawyer. She still has a car that's in my name but I've no idea what happened to it. I don't even really care. She was straight up evil and completely dishonest. The relationship didn't last long. I tolerated some verbal abuse once and figured it might be a bad day. The second time, she had to go. That was when a few other things were shared with me by other people who didn't want to tell me because they didn't want to interfere. Thanks guys! *sighs*

                  • by sribe ( 304414 )

                    I tolerated some verbal abuse once and figured it might be a bad day. The second time, she had to go.

                    So... You were a metric shit-ton smarter than I was. Sigh...

                    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

                      I'm pretty tolerant and easy going but when it was so obviously habitual and ingrained, just by the way it was enacted, it was simply not something that I was going to accept nor have as a part of my life. The first time, I can forgive and forget. The second was not long after and was clearly showing that it was a character flaw. The reality is that she was with me for the money and, not to stroke my ego - it's not nor does it, I kind of have a bit.

                      If she'd been smart, she'd have at least pretended better.

      • by ebvwfbw ( 864834 )

        I think this guy is probably a leading candidate for Gitmo. Lock 'em away.

    • I think converting the bankruptcy to a Chapter 7 was the legal punch in the face these guys deserved. You can get away with extortion? Guess what we can get away with? Pay up buddy. I'd force them to send apology letters as well.
  • How does one manage to pay 1.2 million dollars for a condo in Minnesota? Are real estate prices really that insane there? It ain't San Francisco.

    And what happened to John Steele, who practically started this whole damned business model and now seems to have escaped under the radar? I've seen no reporting on his fate since Prenda Law fell apart.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      How does one manage to pay 1.2 million dollars for a condo in Minnesota? Are real estate prices really that insane there? It ain't San Francisco.

      You just answered your own question. It ain't San Francisco, which is why people will pay a lot to live here.

      IIRC, they lived in the Carlyle, a luxury downtown highrise building. It's a really nice building and their condo is on a high floor and probably pretty large, I'd guess over 2000 square feet and probably is a unit with views of both the river and the skyline.

      • correct on all but the size, its just under 1800sq ft, here is a link to zazzle for their specific condo in the puece.
    • Just how much money is out there. The rich don't flaunt their money any more. It keeps the pleebs from noticing and keeps the "We're broke, so we need more Austerity" myth going...
      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        That's really not a whole lot. People in SF pay that much on a regular basis and they actually (probably) do a little work for their money. It might seem like it's a lot but you can spend that on a good coke binge and chunk of ocean front property in Panama City, Florida. Hell, that's not even on the *good* side of the inlet in PCB.

        Err... You might have enough left to buy the ladies a couple of nice gifts but not a whole lot really. It's not what it used to be. Not that I'd recommend going on a coking binge

      • There's that little company called 3M - Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing... There's a LOT of money in the Midwest, it's just not as flashy as Silicon Valley riches.
        • by vovin ( 12759 )

          There are 18 Fortune 500 companies in Minnesota. 17 of which are in the metropolitan area of Minneapolis-St. Paul.
          There is also Cargill .. which Forbes' lists as the largest private company. Actually valuation is now known but is estimated around 55 billion. (more than double ADM at a market cap of 21 billion).
          There is also Carlson which owns hotel changes, and resorts such as Radisson, among others.

          So yeah. There is a lot of money here.

    • What, are you like Dr. Evil; did you just wake up after being frozen in the 60s?

      $1M ($1.2M even) ain't what it used to be.
    • The twin cities (Minneapolis, St Paul) is actually a fairly expensive area to live (I've lived there). Rochester, MN also has some expensive realestate.
    • And what happened to John Steele, who practically started this whole damned business model and now seems to have escaped under the radar? I've seen no reporting on his fate since Prenda Law fell apart.

      My guess is that he's moved far away and is practising some new (but similar) scam under (yet another) assumed (possibly stolen) identity. Eventually, he'll slip up or someone will make the connection, and then we'll hear lots more about him.

    • A fancy condo really near downtown (such as the ones nine or ten blocks from my house) will run you that. I have no idea why, but I'm hoping it will shore up my property values.

  • Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Saturday December 05, 2015 @07:36AM (#51062247)
    It's been nice to see over the past few years more stories about patent trolls going down hard rather than getting away with theft. It seems to coincide with a certain judge in Texas retiring.
  • ...IS OVER 9000!!

  • Human organs sell well. Even if not, think how many human lives could be saved just by harvesting one troll.

  • Ha ha ha ha (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Saturday December 05, 2015 @09:52AM (#51062615)

    My insightful commentary on this is, "HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!"

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It is indeed hard to come up with more insightful commentary when laughing so hard. Instead I'll refer to an unoriginal quote:

      The wheels of justice grind very slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine.

      Goodbye, Prenda Law.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    That's not karma; unless there is solid evidence they died and this is their reincarnation.

    How about justice, I think that's a better work to use in this case, eh?

  • By filing Chapter 13 initially, this guy was hoping to hold onto his assets, including the condo. TFA indicates that the maximum creditors could receive would be $161,400, which seems outrageously low for a debt load in the millions. I hate Chapter 13s because they are so numbers-intensive, and for people desperately wanting to hold onto their house (or car, or what have you), often times the numbers don't work. By converting to a 7, he basically loses all assets of a significant value that he cannot ful
  • I read TFA, as well as the past articles. What I don't understand is how the individual, Hansmeier, is financially responsible for the liabilities of the corporation, Prenda. I understand that an employee of the organization, even the head or CEO, can go to jail (ex Enron or Tyco), disbarred, and/or fired. However one of the purpose of forming a business entity is to protect the individual assets in case of corporate disaster. Are all employees liable when a corporation goes bankrupt, or just the corporate

  • When the so called "assets" wind up including the patents and yet another greed patent troll buys them on the cheep?

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