How corrupt judges and attorneys steal everything a person has: The Jeff Baron Story.
Jeff Baron is an Internet pioneer who, at the age of 32, invented a technology in the early days of the Internet to make it easier to register Internet domain names. Jeff quickly became successful. His business was profitable and made money.
But today, Jeff Baron does not even own the shirt on his back. Tens of millions of dollars have disappeared due to the actions of two federal judges and a small army of unscrupulous Texas attorneys.
Jeff Baron was born in Detroit Michigan in 1967 and moved to Dallas in 1980. He went to Pearce High School in a Dallas suburb, and he still â€œlivesâ€ in Dallas, although he is keeping a low profile due to death threats he received from lawyers and officers of the court.
Following graduation from The University of Texas summa cum laude, Jeff Baron went to work for Smith Breeden Associates where he was a well-respected analyst. He later worked for the Mary Kay Corporation in several positions. Then he went off to start his own business in 1999.
Jeff Baron, now 44, is a mild-mannered â€œtechie.â€ Heâ€™s one of the nicest people you would ever want to speak with. He has never been arrested, never engaged in criminal activity, never had a judgment against him, and never lost at a trial. He never had any financial problems until he took a firm stand against immoral activity that an associate was becoming involved in. Jeff has never filed personal bankruptcy and has never been involved in any litigation where he has been found liable for significant damages.
While working for Mary Kay, Jeff Baron became interested in computer programming. Working evenings and weekends, he learned enough to develop software to register Internet domain names. Jeff Baron had a vision of how a new technology could have a major impact in the newly developing Internet age. To make that dream reality, Jeff Baron started an Internet business, Ondova, in 1999, and he then left Mary Kay.
Jeff Baron began developing specialized software to be used by Internet domain registrars, and he licensed the software to many domain name registrars, licensed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Soon, Jeff Baron, Ondova and its software became famous worldwide for its innovations in Internet domain name registrations. Ondova and its software quickly registered over a million domain names. By 2001, Jeff Baronâ€™s company personally owned several thousand domain names on websites that generated significant interest of Internet users worldwide. Ondova was able to register domain names such as rewards.com or lite.com for as little as $6 while others paid domain brokers millions of dollars for these type of domain names.
Jeff Baron started his first company with little money and no financing, and he built it from the ground up. This is not a case of a young man given a business or money by wealthy parents. Jeff Baron started with essentially nothing and used his creativity and drive to innovate new technology and develop a significant business.
Jeff Baron was one of the first entrepreneurs to register many generic domain names for his own use. The business model was to identify and register generic domain names that would attract website visitors (by determining what Internet users were interested in); develop websites based upon related products for each domain name; generate income from advertising on the websites; increase visitors to the websites thereby increasing their value.. With the high number of visitors attracted to Jeff Baronâ€™s companyâ€™s sites, his business began to resemble a content search site like Google. Jeff Baron had focused on registering â€œshort, generic domain namesâ€ as brief as two letters. Domain names registered included names like rewards.com, icy.com, and phonecards.com. Jeff Baron has been identified as an â€œInternet pioneerâ€ for his work that contributed to the explosion of the World Wide Web.
In 2001, Munish Krishan called Jeff Baron in an effort to buy â€œphonecards.com.â€ He was persistent. When Jeff Baron said he didnâ€™t want to sell, Munish Krishan inquired about a joint venture or leasing the domain name. Until this point, Jeff Baron had never had any partners.
In 2003, Munish Krishan convinced Jeff Baron that he had a â€œbig, huge team of web developersâ€ who could assist Jeff Baronâ€™s company in outpacing Google as an Internet search engine. Jeff Baron became excited about that potential, and he allowed Munish Krishan to become involved in his business.
Jeff Baron signed a joint venture agreement to develop the new search engine with Munish Krishan. But despite his affirmative representations, Munish Krishan did not have developers capable of developing anything like Google. The joint venture to develop a search engine was a failure.
However, Jeff Baronâ€™s domain registration endeavor continued to grow through 2005 with the favorable economy and Internet growth at that time.
The business grew from $0 to $1.5 million a month in revenue. Jeff Baronâ€™s company redesigned its software to make it easy to register humongous numbers of names and registered millions of names after he met Munish Krishan. The websites created were quickly generating 1,000,000 visitors a day. Even with this success, Jeff chose to use profits for charitable purposes instead of for himself. In fact, nearly all of the profits were used in a trust established for diabetes research, while Jeff Baron himself lived a modest lifestyle in a small apartment in a working class neighborhood while driving a 20-year-old car.
In 2005, Jeff Baron and Munish Krishan found an attorney, Elizabeth Schurig of Schurig Jetel Beckett Tackett in Austin, to create various companies from the business that he had built to an estimated value of approximately $100 million based on investor input. Elizabeth Schurigâ€™s specialty is estate planning.
At Elizabeth Schurigâ€™s advice and instructions, Jeff Baron and Munish Krishan and his minority partners placed all of their assets into trusts created by Elizabeth Schurig. As beneficiaries of these trusts, Munish Krishan and his relatives/partners were to receive 50% of the websites created after their agreement. Jeff Baron was to receive 50% of the sites created after the agreement plus 100% of sites/assets created prior to their agreement.
Jeff Baronâ€™s life was never easy. He was diagnosed with juvenile onset diabetes (type 1) at the age of three, and he has had a number of other related health problems. After he became successful, he dedicated his life and virtually all of his income and assets to benefit diabetes sufferers through extremely generous donations. One of Jeff Baronâ€™s estate planning goals was to set aside money for his medical needs. In 2005, Jeff Baron was able to establish a $60 million trust for juvenile diabetes research. Rather than build a huge personal wealth for himself, Jeff Baron wanted to make a difference in the world.
The business structure put together by Elizabeth Schurig was â€œelaborate,â€ to say the least. Some would call it convoluted and confusing. Some divisions were based in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Trusts were set up, and apparently Elizabeth Schurig â€œput her friends in as trustees.â€ Jeff Baron says he trusted Elizabeth Schurig, but the structure she created took control of Jeff Baronâ€™s business and gave it to trustees who he didnâ€™t even know.
Jeff Baron was naÃ¯ve, had little experience with â€œpartners,â€ and he did not conduct any due-diligence on Munish Krishan. He was dazzled by the Google dream, and he made a colossal mistake in entering a business relationship with Munish Krishan.
Everything about the structure was bad for Jeff Baron. He made many errors in judgment in establishing the relationship with Munish Krishan. His business decisions were guided by the mistaken belief that the people he was dealing with would be honest and treat him fairly.
At Munish Krishanâ€™s insistence, Jeff Baron thought it made sense for Munish Krishanâ€™s staff to handle financial matters while Jeff Baronâ€™s staff concentrated on the domain name business and related computer programming. Jeff trusted Munish Krishan, but the structure gave him (and Elizabeth Schurigâ€™s friends) control of Jeff Baronâ€™s money. Jeff Baron invested more money than Munish Krishan, and Krishan took his money out of the business, while Jeff Baron was denied that ability. Jeff Baronâ€™s entities were to receive approximately $4 million from Munish Krishanâ€™s entities from â€œjointly generatedâ€ money that had been received by Munish Krishanâ€™s companies, but due Jeff Baronâ€™s entities.
Jeff Baron let Munish Krishan handle vital negotiations with Google. Munish Krishan met with Google and entered into agreements under his Netsphere company rather than the joint venture, without Jeffâ€™s knowledge. So, Munish Krishan seized control of the money and became the face of the business with the key business contract, Google. Jeff Baron was battling serious health problems at the time, so he focused on keeping his software running properly.
Since a teenager, Jeff Baronâ€™s role model has been Steve Jobs. Jobsâ€™ unbounded creativity and strong moral character are qualities that Jeff patterned his life after. Jeff Baron was unaware that Munish Krishan had a dark past. He was a felon with theft and forgery convictions and was making millions of dollars from pornography with his website, www.freesex.com. When Jeff Baron discovered this in 2006, he wanted no part of Munish Krishanâ€™s immoral activities that Jeff Baron saw creeping into the business. .
Just as Steve Jobs had rejected the pressures from his Apple colleagues to sell pornographic materials at Apple, Jeff Baron did the same. This stance against immoral business brought tension between Jeff Baron and Munish Krishan, and it led to a falling out by the end of 2006..
Jeff Baron then discovered that Munish Krishan had mislead, embezzled, and misappropriated Jeff Baronâ€™s and Ondovaâ€™s company assets to further his pornography business.
Soon after these discoveries, lawsuits were filed, with Munish Krishan (and his proxies) retaliating with six legal proceedings against Jeff Baron between 2006 and 2007. Munish Krishan never won a single lawsuit. It became clear to Jeff Baron that Munish Krishan filed the lawsuits for the purpose of breaking Jeff Baron financially so he could appropriate Jeff Baronâ€™s assets for his own.
Jeff Baron has been living a nightmare since 2006.
One of the many lawsuits filed by Munish Krishan claimed that the hundreds of thousands of domain names that Jeff Baronâ€™s company had registered belonged exclusively to Munish Krishan and his company. This was not the business agreement, but the â€œelaborateâ€ business transactions that lawyer Elizabeth Schurig created in 2005 provided Munish Krishan with a thin argument to claim that he owned everything. Attorney Elizabeth Schurig â€œforgotâ€ to have some of the documents fully executed.
In 2006, Munish Krishan got together with John MacPete, Munish Krishan's lawyer and a partner at Locke Lord Bissell and Liddell, to review the Elizabeth Schurig created transactions with an eye toward crafting a fraudulent story, claiming entitlement to Jeff Baronâ€™s assets, and to submit that story to courts, attempting to get injunctions shutting down all of Jeff Baronâ€™s cash flow.
After months, Munish Krishan and John MacPete began claiming a story that went something like this: â€œWe really donâ€™t know who this Jeff Baron guy is except that his registrar company registered all of these names and websites for our use and not for Jeff Baronâ€™s, and please disregard the thousands of pages of business documents that I signed because the transaction was not complete and I changed my mind before it was consummated. Just take our word for it that Jeff Baron and Ondova hijacked our domain names, and give them to usâ€.
Munish Krishan then allegedly feigned illness, claiming that he could not produce evidence in court, and he had his brother-in-law, Manish Aggarwal (who had little to no knowledge of the subject of his testimony), commit perjury by submitting numerous declarations stating false facts to support the position that Munish Krishan owned everything that Jeff Baron really owned. To avoid perjury himself, Munish Krishan very cleverly avoided making any statements under oath (his brother-in-law made them all), and they conveyed a fraudulent explanation of Munish Krishan owning everything.
This fraudulent position caused most of Jeff Baronâ€™s companiesâ€™ business relationships to wither, and he got stuck with millions of dollars in registrar fees while the customers (Google and other companies) agreed to â€œfreezeâ€ all revenue payments based on fraudulent representations by Munish Krishan that the assets were his and that Jeff Baron â€œhijackedâ€ them.
It was a very clever and effective scheme, yet based entirely on fraud and perjury. Munish Krishan had apparently done this to a previous partner in California in a dispute over his freesex.com name in the early 2000â€™s. Munish Krishan bragged to Jeff Baron how he coerced his former partner into giving him sole ownership over freesex.com through legal action based on fraud.
Jeff Baron filed a lawsuit in Dallas, Texas for the purpose of having a court declare the rightful ownership of the domain names. Munish Krishan then filed a countersuit in California, claiming that â€œJeff Baron hijacked my assets.â€ Munish Krishan asked the court to enjoin Ondova and Jeff from doing anything with the domain names, freeze all revenue and to give control of everything to Munish Krishan.
Jeff Baron described Munish Krishanâ€™s lawyers as â€œunrelenting,â€ and Munish Krishan and his proxies filed more and more legal proceedings; however, all were dismissed or denied by various courts, including an appeal made by Munish Krishan with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. During that time, Jeff Baron reported that he â€œwon every time,â€ although his business was suffering, and the morale of his employees had fallen.
Despite his lucrative business venture, all of the legal actions forced Jeff Baron to pay $100,000 as a bank fee just for the rights to obtain a loan of approximately $1 million to pay lawyers and to pay for Ondovaâ€™s fees to ICANN and Internet registrars to keep the jointly owned domain names (web sites) registered (renewed).
As Munish Krishan and his proxies had cut off all revenue to Ondova, and Ondova was responsible for approximately $5 million a year in renewal fees to renew jointly owned names that Munish Krishan was claiming as his own. The MacPete/Krishan strategy seemed to be to cause courts to order Ondova to pay for domain name renewals that Munish Krishan claimed as his own, while Munish Krishan cut off all revenue to Ondova that should have been used to pay these renewals. They knew that this strategy would quickly bankrupt Jeff Baron and Ondova, and Munish Krishan could easily pick up the domain names once Ondova and Jeff Baron could not pay for them.
Munish Krishan was a nightmare, but Jeff Baron had no idea that two federal judges and a gaggle of their attorney friends would take the nightmare to a whole new level â€“ 24-hour-mare.
Despite rising legal expenses and sinking revenue, Jeff Baron managed to pay off the loan in a few months, only to face a lawsuit from an attorney he had hired to manage a settlement agreement with Munish Krishan. Charla Aldous, with a close family connection with the judge in Jeffâ€™s case and her partner, Jeff Rasansky, sued Jeff Baron for $7 million for a few weeks work and an extremely botched settlement agreement. Charla Aldousâ€™ partner, Steve Malouf, is the brother-in-law of Judge W. Royal Furgeson, a Clinton appointee who became a federal judge in Jeff Baronâ€™s case in 2009. Judge Furgesonâ€™s wife, Marcellene, is Steve Maloufâ€™s brother. After Judge Royal Furgeson became judge in Jeffâ€™s case, Aldous made a motion to intervene in Judge Royal Furgesonâ€™s court, asking him to award her $7 million from Jeff Baron.
How could any attorney sue a client for $7 million for working a few weeks? When your law firm is related by marriage to the judge hearing your case, it seems you can get away with just about anything in our courts.
Jeff Baron began to fear for his life after discovering emails exchanged by several attorneys whom he had trusted -- Charla Aldous, Jeff Rasansky, and Jerry Masson. The emails indicated that they wished him physical harm and even death. Jeff Baron believes this was caused by jealousy and irritation that they were having to do any work for the money they were being paid. The emails include: (1) a plot to ruin Jeff Baronâ€™s case by disclosing confidential information to adversaries and to intervene in Jeff Baronâ€™s lawsuits to make â€œallegations (false) in court that will â€œkill him;â€ (2) literally threaten to kill him (laughing about it); (3) a plot to â€œbeat his (Jeff Baronâ€™s) assâ€ and to send a â€œ6â€™4â€ prostituteâ€ to rape Jeff. In this email, the lawyers discuss who will owe who drinks after the deed is done; (4) and call Jeff Baron names like â€œtitty babyâ€ in response to his complaint that they are destroying his companies. The attorneys said he should join the marines and go to Afghanistan.
In 2009, federal Judge W. Royal Furgeson forced Jeff Baronâ€™s company, Ondova, to file for bankruptcy protection, despite the fact that Ondova was solvent and would have been swimming in cash if Munish Krishan hadnâ€™t diverted the money. Judge Royal Furgeson did this without any due process, without a hearing, without a trial, and without honoring the protections allegedly guaranteed under the constitutions of the United States and Texas.
Based upon the documents that I have reviewed, there was no legal or factual basis for Judge Royal Furgeson to do what he did. Judge Royal Furgeson has repeatedly denied the most fundamental rights that Jeff Baron is supposed to have as an American. I believe Judge Royal Furgesonâ€™s actions constitute numerous criminal acts. I believe what Judge Royal Furgeson has done and is doing to Jeff Baron should send the judge to prison for the rest of his life.
The federal bankruptcy judge appointed to preside over the Ondova bankruptcy was Judge Stacey C.G. Jernigan, a colleague and friend of Judge Royal Furgeson.
Transcripts from the court proceedings indicate that Judge Royal Furgeson and Judge Stacey Jernigan discussed and coordinated Jeff Baronâ€™s case through private meetings, lunches, and other ex parte discussions.
Judge Stacey Jernigan appointed her long-time friend Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman to be Trustee, giving him the power to take control of and strip Jeff Baron of all control and power in his company, Ondova. This action by Judge Stacey Jernigan and Trustee Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman enabled the looting and decimation of Ondova, an extremely successful company.
Within a few months, Trustee Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman (and lawyers) had taken over $600,000 in legal fees from Ondovaâ€™s assets. Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman had total control over the money; Jeff Baron was powerless.
In one of the most shocking things that I have ever heard of in a legal proceeding, Judge W. Royal Furgeson threatened mild-mannered Jeff Baron with DEATH. Judge Royal Furgeson said this in open court, on the record, and the judgeâ€™s court reporter transcribed his words in June 2009:
JUDGE ROYAL FURGESON: any failure to comply with that order is contempt, punishable by lots of dollars, punishable by possible jail, death .
MR BELL: And death
Judge Royal Furgeson then went on to threaten and berate Jeff Baron calling him â€œa fool to screw with a federal judge.â€ You see, federal judges can do just about anything they want to do. They commit serious crimes while hiding behind their robes. The law and the facts are meaningless to them when they have ulterior motives for their wrongful actions.
JUDGE ROYAL FURGESON: So I'll tell you what.... You want to challenge the court order, I have the marshals behind me. I can come to your house, pick you up, put you in jail. I can seize your property, do anything I need to do to enforce my orders. I'm telling you don't screw with me. You are a fool, 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 behind me.
In 2009 and 2010, a string of lawsuits and court hearings were held for the purpose of stripping Jeff Baron and the trust he established for medical research of the wealth that he had created through his own ingenuity.
Money was â€œsiphoned offâ€ by greedy attorneys thanks to the actions of Judge Royal Furgeson. An appeal filed by one brave attorney on Jeff Baronâ€™s behalf is pending, although the appellate court refused to stay the order destroying Jeff Baron and his companies.
With Jeff Baronâ€™s business destroyed, he agreed to a settlement in which he agreed to fight no more if 100% of Ondova was returned to Jeff Baron in August 2010 with all creditors paid in full and the promise that the lawyers would cease looting. Jeff Baron threw in the towel. He simply wanted the nightmare to end, and he wanted to salvage a little something before it was too late. Jeff Baron promptly complied fully with all terms of the settlement agreement. As part of the consideration, Trustee Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman agreed to give Jeff Baron the keys to Ondova back to Jeff along with approximately $1 million left over in its bank account to resume business. Trustee Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman also agreed, in writing that he (through lawyers) would promptly file a â€œstipulated dismissalâ€ in Judge Royal Furgesonâ€™s court to dismiss the lawsuit.
Instead, Trustee Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman and his colleagues refused to comply and began to fabricate reasons to â€œjustifyâ€ keeping the bankruptcy open, refusing to dismiss it and the lawsuit in Judge Royal Furgesonâ€™s court. As justification, Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman and his lawyer colleagues began fabricating controversies, with the judgeâ€™s encouragement. Each contrived controversy was designed to provide Trustee Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman and his colleagues an excuse to keep billing hundreds of thousands of dollars and avoid complying with the agreement to give Jeff his company back and to let him move on with his life, without lawyers.
One fabricated controversy that Trustee Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman created was that Jeff Baron was interfering with the domain names and that Jeff Baron â€œreally didnâ€™t want to settle.â€ Another contrived controversy was that â€œJeff doesnâ€™t pay his lawyers anything and defrauds themâ€ despite the fact that lawyers had been already paid approximately $5 million. The list goes on and on.
Trustee Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman and his colleagues appear to have fraudulently induced Jeff Baron to enter into the settlement agreement, knowing full well that they never intended to honor it. Jeff Baron had believed that a U.S. bankruptcy trustee like Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman was in fact trustworthy. As has been a pattern in this case involving lots of money, individuals, including Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman became blinded by greed and were devoid of any semblance of honest dealings. Having approximately $2 million in Ondovaâ€™s trust account and approximately 3 times the amount of money to pay off all legitimate claims in full, Trustee Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman chose not to be honest and perform his trustee duties, but instead sought a path that would allow him to pocket the money that he held in trust. This is considered bankruptcy fraud.
At this point Trustee Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman and his lawyer had been paid approximately $600,000, but through their bankruptcy fraud scheme, would soon take over $2 million. This is money that was earmarked to pay Ondovaâ€™s creditors and equity holder and money that Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman had been entrusted with as fiduciary
Although he initially was promised â€œthe keys to his companyâ€ would be returned once he met certain conditions, which were met, he was ordered not to â€œtouchâ€ anything in his office, and on September 11, 2009, all company materials, any personal items and records were seized. Judge Royal Furegsonâ€™s order allows even all of Jeff Baronâ€™s mail to be diverted and monitored.
Part of the August 2010 settlement agreement was that Jeff Baron was coerced into permitting Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman to take approximately $1.6 million to hold â€œin trustâ€ for Ondova. Jeff Baron agreed to this because of Judge Royal Furgesonâ€™s threats on Jeff Baronâ€™s life and Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Shermanâ€™s agreements in court that 100% of Ondova would be returned to Jeff Baron with all creditors paid in full and the promise that the lawyers would cease looting.
The cost to get rid of Munish Krishan and his pornography included the following: Jeff Baron lost $7 million that Munish Krishan had embezzled, assets said to have a fair market value of $200 million, $1.6 million in cash, and $4 million in legal fees were looted by federal judges and attorneys in Dallas, Texas.
Throughout the ordeal, Jeff Baronâ€™s health has suffered, and he has spent up to a month in the hospital at a time due to medical complications from stress compounded with his severe diabetic condition.
The court documents reflect that the trustee, Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman and his lawyer, Raymond Urbanik, have (at last count) taken approximately $2,000,000 of Ondovaâ€™s assets plus additional assets of approximately $10 million belonging to Jeff Baron personally and to other companies not in bankruptcy. More than 20 lawyers have plundered Jeff Baronâ€™s companies in what appears to me to be a shameless display of corruption and conspiracy, including several attorneys who Jeff Baron had hired to defend him.
One brave attorney, Gary N. Schepps, filed an unsuccessful appeal for Jeff. Gary N. Schepps should be considered a hero for his actions because attorneys who take action against judges and other attorneys often find their careers ruined due to retribution.
Attorney Gary N. Schepps has stated:
â€œThe lockdown injunction serves no legitimate interest. Mr. Jeff Baron should be allowed to transact business, receive wages, cash checks, earn a living, travel freely, retain counsel, and defend his interestsâ€¦
â€œNotably, receivership is not authorized as a means of providing ultimate relief or remedyâ€¦The District Court has discretion to impose a receivership only where it is ancillary to some other final equitable remedy sought in the property which is pending before the court.â€
Jeff Baron told The Post & Email that Dallas is home to a criminal cabal of attorneys operating â€œin their own little club.â€ The law firm of Texas State Senator Royce West has been paid a significant amount of money from the trust and registered what Baron described as another â€œquestionableâ€ claim.
Attorney Gary N. Schepps further stated:
â€œJudge Stacey Jernigan, Trustee Daniel â€˜Corkyâ€™ Sherman, and the other lawyers reminded Jeff Baron of Judge Royal Furgesonâ€™s wicked wrath. They coerced Jeff Baron to settle the case on terms very favorable to Trustee Daniel â€˜Corkyâ€™ Sherman and Munish Krishan but unfavorable to Jeff Baron. By capitulating to these demands, Trustee Daniel â€˜Corkyâ€™ Sherman promised Jeff Baron that he would turn â€˜the keys to Ondovaâ€™ back over to him, with all creditors paid off and $1 million in Ondovaâ€™s bank account and to be â€˜free from lawyers.â€™â€
What Jeff Baron didnâ€™t count on was the ethical standard prevalent in the Dallas legal community. That standard, combined with two unscrupulous lawyers who exploited the situation, lead to an unimaginable chain of events, unprecedented in the history of the American legal system.
Trustee Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman pulled in a favor from his good friend Judge Royal Furgeson. In a secret, ex parte meeting, Trustee Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman and Judge Royal Furgeson stripped Jeff Baron PERSONALLY of 100% of his possessions and almost all of his civil rights. Jeff Baron is forbidden to work, forbidden to own property, and forbidden to act for himself. Judge Royal Ferguson placed Jeff Baron, individually, into a receivership, with no due process whatever.
In my opinion and according to attorney Gary N. Schepps, this is unprecedented. As I understand it, an individual person cannot be placed into receivership. No person can be owned as property. And the law supposedly provides that no one may lose property rights without due process. Due process means notice, an opportunity to be heard, the opportunity to have a hearing, call witnesses, and present evidence. Jeff Baron and his attorney were denied all of these Constitutionally-guaranteed rights.
Judge Royal Furgeson gave the â€œpossessionâ€ and â€œexclusive controlâ€ (these are actual quotes from Judge Royal Furgesonâ€™s order) of Jeff Baron to another close friend and attorney, Peter Vogel, just as if he was a plantation slave in the 1880â€™s. Peter Vogel was a co-judge in this case along with Judge Royal Furgeson.
Judge Royal Furgeson and Judge Stacey Jerngian also denied Jeff Baron the absolute right to hire a lawyer to defend himself or his interests. Jeff Baron was explicitly threatened that if he tried to hire a lawyer, he would be imprisoned and held in contempt. In court, Judge Royal Furgeson said
JUDGE ROYAL FURGESON: This is going on and on and on until Mr. Baron has nothing. I mean actually everything is depleted. I gather that Mr. Baron is worth lots of money. But it may be that we sell all the domain names. We may sell all of his stock. We may cash in all of his CD's, and we may seize all of his bank accounts
Receiver/Master Peter Vogel has literally stolen Jeff Baron Baronâ€™s identity, even opened bank accounts with Jeff Baronâ€™s name and Peter Vogelâ€™s address and contact information. This has all been ordered by Judge Royal Furgeson in appointing Peter Vogel as Jeff Baronâ€™s receiver. Jeff Baron is not allowed to do much of anything without Master/Receiver Peter Vogelâ€™s permission.
The blatant conflicts of interest in this case between judges, parties, and lawyers are incredible. For example, Charla Aldous, the lawyer for Jeff Baron who is suing Jeff Baron for $7 million dollars for providing approximately three weeksâ€™ work, is partner with Judge Royal Furgesonâ€™s brother-in-law, Steve Malouf. Peter Vogel and Judge Royal Furgeson have an extensive and close relationship including writing research papers together, co-blogging, etc. The list of examples of conflicts goes on and onâ€¦.
Although Jeff Baronâ€™s income from Ondova was only $6,000 per year, he funded a medical research trust to cure diabetes valued at $60 million. Peter Vogel, under judgeâ€™s orders, has liquidated this diabetes research trust for what is believed to be â€œtwo cents on the dollarâ€ to put more money into his bulging pockets and the pockets of his lawyer friends.
So, bloodsucking judges and lawyers have not only harmed Jeff Baron and stolen all of his money, but Master/Receiver Peter Vogel's victims now include those whose lives would have been bettered through the contributions from this trust.
Jeff Baron has not been accused of any crime, has no judgments against him, never been held incompetent, never been sanctioned in court, never been insolvent, and never had a trial. The judges and lawyers have persecuted, prosecuted, and threatened Jeff Baron relentlessly. The judge and lawyer cabal not only want Jeff Baronâ€™s moneyâ€¦they seem to also want his life.
â€œImagine being a party to a civil lawsuit. You â€˜buy peaceâ€™ and settle. You perform your settlement obligations and a stipulated dismissal of all claims is entered into by all parties. Then, a few months later you get a knock on your door. The judge decided you should immediately turn over all of your property to him (through its receiver)â€“ the keys to your home, your cell phones, all of your personal paper and documents, your checking accounts, your credit cards, all of your savings, all of your stock, your IRAs, and all of your possessions, investments, and property rights. The reason for this harsh invasion of your most fundamental rights to privacy and to own and control property and transact business with others â€“ is to prevent you from hiring an attorney. Imagine too that the cost for this â€˜serviceâ€™ that the judge seeks to charge you though his receiver is over $225,000 per month.
â€œEven if you had a million dollars of non-exempt assets saved up over your lifetime, that money would be taken from you by the â€œreceiver feesâ€ after four months.â€
It appears that JeffBaron is a serial victim of attorneys' absolutely groundless claims. The attorney fee claims are not part of the underlying case -- the underlying case settled. Judge Royal Furgeson and Judge Stacey Jernigan simply grabbed all of Jeff Baron's assets and decided to distribute them. The receiver, Peter Vogel, actively solicited hundreds of attorneys to make claims. In the end, two dozen did.
Concerning the â€œclaims,â€ Attorney Gary N. Schepps could not find a single legitimate claim after months of review stating â€œSometimes there are fee disputes between clients and attorneys. It happens. That is not what happened here. The claims, and weâ€™ve documented this clearly, are 100 percent fabricated garbage.â€
Jeff Baron paid his attorneys in accordance with their engagement agreements. Most were flat rate or capped or contingency. The claims alleged against Jeff Baron appear to be clearly fabricated. Documents show that the fabrication is blatant.
The fact that Jeff Baron was stripped of everything made the opportunity attractive. It appears that the attorney fee claims were added post-seizure/post-appeal to attempt to justify an appearance of justice as the result of the ex-parte seizure.
In the appeal brief filed with the 5th Circuit COA, Gary N. Shepps explained â€œMost intuitively know that a judge cannot simply enter an order to strip a person of all their property and property rights. Jeff Baronâ€™s appeal lays out the legal precedent and principles as to why that is so. The issues raised in the appeal are very basic: the district court is a court of law and equity, not an imperial court. Accordingly, the power of the district court must be exercised within the limits of the law and equity.â€
Attorney Gary N. Schepps says this case should â€œshock the conscienceâ€ of the nation. Gary N. Schepps is volunteering, as Jeff Baron was ordered by Senior U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson not to â€œhireâ€ an attorney for his defense.
Gary N. Schepps says it is an â€œoverreaching orderâ€ against Jeff Baron from Judge Royal Furgeson that created the trouble. â€œWhat is frightening legally is the U.S. federal judgeâ€™s reasoning. The judge reasons that he has power to â€“ without any notice or hearing â€“ appoint a receiver over an American citizen, and his receiver, who takes orders from the judge, can then waive the personâ€™s constitutional rights,â€ said Gary N. Schepps.
According to a motion filed by Gary N. Schepps to the appeals court, Judge Royal Furgeson had personality problems with Jeff Baron. â€œEvery person has their own personality, and the district judge has clearly been personally offended by Jeff, and apparently by counsel,â€ the motion said. â€œThis may be because, as a result of his own personality style, Jeff Baronâ€™s testimony is naturally narrow, and technical.
â€œThe courtâ€™s language is broad. Review of the transcripts shows two men entirely speaking past each other.â€
But Judge Royal Furgeson apparently reacted personally.
When Ondova was forced into bankruptcy, the company appeared to have about $2 million in cash available and only about $900,000 in settled claims. â€œDaniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman should have immediately closed the Ondova bankruptcy in September 2010 when there was the million dollars cash surplus. Instead, Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman kept the bankruptcy open and ran up over $300,000 in additional attorney fees,â€ Gary N. Schepps said.
When Jeff Baron objected, the full wrath of the judiciary arose anew.
Within three business days, Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman had Jeff Baron placed into receivership, with another local attorney, Peter Vogel of Gardere, Wynne and Sewell, named as receiver.
According to details about the Jeff Baron case maintained on the website LawInjustice.com, Peter Vogel and Jeff Baron have a history going back to 2001. In 2001, Jeff Baron considered hiring Peter Vogel to represent one of his many technology companies.
During a pre-hiring screening, Jeff Baron admits that he revealed confidential information about his business to Peter Vogel but ultimately decided not to hire him.
Suddenly Jeff Baron was faced with lawsuits against his company that were employing trade secrets he had revealed only to Peter Vogel.
The law firm behind the lawsuits? Peter Vogelâ€™s lawfirm -- Gardere, Wynne and Sewell.
Although he successfully fought off each of the lawsuits, Jeff Baron found himself under direct control of none other than Peter Vogel.
Then the ex parte meeting that Judge Royal Furgeson had with Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman and Peter Vogel, behind closed doors, named Peter Vogel as the receiver over everything in Jeff Baronâ€™s life.
Attorney Gary N. Schepps told the Justices of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit about the effect of that order by Judge Royal Furgeson.
â€œOther than brutally punishing Baron â€“ limiting his access to medical care, keeping him from owning an operating vehicle, traveling outside of Dallas, having heat or air-conditioning, being allowed to earn any money or engage in any business transactions, burning up his COBRA coverage, etc.
â€œLiterally, the receivership has achieved nothing other than to: (1) prevent Baron from hiring any legal counsel, (2) create a list of groundless, non-diverse state law attorney fee â€˜claimsâ€™ against Baron (solicited by Vogel); and (3) provide a platform for Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman and Vogel to run up fee demands to a combined total of over FOUR MILLION DOLLARS.â€
According to a recent motion filed in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals by Gary N. Schepps:
â€œThe original purpose of the ex parte receivership was clear: Jeff Baron was warned that he was â€˜prohibited from retaining any legal counselâ€™ and that if he didâ€¦ the receiver may move the court to find you in contempt.â€
Gary N. Schepps says that Daniel â€œCorkyâ€ Sherman and Peter Vogel falsely told Judge Royal Furgeson that many lawyers had outstanding fees that Jeff Baron has yet to pay, so the receivership was necessary to â€œdiscoverâ€ those lawyers and make sure they get paid.
Jeff Baronâ€™s documentation indicates otherwise.
Gary N. Schepps said that while the matter has been on appeal for nearly a year, the district court has allowed Peter Vogel and his law firm to distribute nearly $1 million of Jeff Baronâ€™s money for themselves.
He said that, in addition, Peter Vogel has solicited claims from Jeff Baronâ€™s former attorneys for unpaid fees, even though no claims had been submitted.
â€œAnd presented the â€˜claimsâ€™ to the district court in a one-sided â€˜reportâ€™ that intentionally excluded all of the exculpatory evidence,â€ one of Gary N. Schepps motions continues.
The motion then describes in detail how all claims by these â€œpastâ€ attorneys are fictitious, in most cases easily proven false by signed contracts between Baron and said attorney.
Gary N. Schepps has said: â€œSometimes there are fee disputes between clients and attorneys. It happens. That is not what happened here.
â€œThe claims, and weâ€™ve documented this clearly, are 100 percent fabricated garbage.
â€œNotice the huge number of attorneys that somehow canâ€™t find their contracts and all claim $300 per hour fees. Their invoices and letters to other lawyers, however, showed they were working for $40 per hour or flat fees â€“ and were paid in full,â€ he said.
Jeff Baron sought relief from the fictitious claims and what his attorney calls â€œoutrageousâ€ billing by Peter Vogel.
Instead, according to Gary N. Schepps appeal motion, â€œthe district court did not grant Baron any of the requested relief, and instead sealed from the public view Baronâ€™s motion, objections, and response to the one-sided receiverâ€™s â€˜report.â€™â€
Gary N. Schepps said in the appeal, â€œThe district court erred in holding that it could appoint a receiver over an individual and thereby waive the individualâ€™s constitutional right to trial by jury.â€
Gary N. Schepps said that a number of basic civil rights have been denied, such as due process, and the guarantee under the 7th Amendment of the Constitution that if the value of a claim exceeds $20, Jeff Baron has the right to a trial by jury â€“ which has been clearly denied in his case.
The documentation of the case can be seen online where it is maintained by a acquaintance of Jeff Baron who â€œis outragedâ€ that Jeff Baron could be treated like this in America.
The court wonâ€™t allow Jeff Baron to maintain the website to tell his story.
â€œJeff doesnâ€™t actually have a website, and by court order is prohibited from having one, and the www.lawinjustice.com site was set up by a friend of his,â€ Gary N. Schepps has reported
â€œThere has been a complete breakdown of due process in the district court,â€ he said.
â€œJeff Baronâ€™s constitutional rights to due process, unreasonable seizure, to hire legal counsel, to travel, to work, to engage in commerce and business transactions, etc., have been suspended,â€ he says.
â€My concern is that the Fifth Circuit has to make a choice. Do they acknowledge that there are a bunch of dishonest attorneys who have tried, literally, to conspire together to steal money from Jeff Baron? Or, do they throw Jeff under the bus to â€˜protectâ€™ the â€˜good nameâ€™ of the legal profession?â€ he said.
Though attempting to dress itself up as a legitimate court action, the Jeff Baron case appears nothing more than legal industry looting. It strongly parallels abusive actions regularly seen in probate cases.
Government initiated and/or sanctioned confiscation of American property and hijacking of civil rights is a rapidly growing threat posing significant danger to a highly unsuspecting public. Jeff Baronâ€™s story illustrates one of many legal avenues of predatory opportunity.
In my opinion, Judge W. Royal Furgeson used Jeff Baron to allow attorney friends to make a lot of money. He likely had no idea that the attorneys would take it to the extremes that they did, but the whole scam got out of control. He couldnâ€™t reverse what had been done with tens of millions of dollars. So, he made the death threat to Jeff Baron, and he began doing completely illegal things to destroy Jeff Baron and end the escapade before he was exposed. Then he seized the opportunity to take a job as the head of a new law school in an attempt to remove himself from the spotlight.
What Judge Royal Furgeson and the attorneys involved didnâ€™t count on was that mild-mannered Jeff Baron refused to take this sitting down. Bolstered by friends and by advocates like John Margetis and George McDermott, this corruption is being heard far and wide. None of us are going to allow these people to get away with this. They should all be indicted, arrested, imprisoned, convicted, disgraced, bankrupted, disbarred, and impeached.
Jeff Baronâ€™s legal assault is chronicled at LawInjustice.com. Click here to â€œlikeâ€ a Save Jeff Baron Facebook page.
Jeff Baron was the subject of my Online TV Show on Sunday, February 19, 2012. Click here to listen to the broadcast.
I said on the show that I wanted to write a comprehensive article about this, and I interviewed Jeff Baron and others to fill in some blanks from the previous story that I wrote. The article above is the result.
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