Archives on February, 2015

Achieve Community: Kristine Johnson, Can You Say Criminal Investigation??

Posted by ASDUpdates on February 28, 2015No Comments

achieve-community-logoDefendant Kristine Johnson has filed two interesting Motions yesterday, one a Joint Motion requesting the authority to transfer funds, and the second a Joint Motion to Seal further filings so that Defendants Troy Barnes and Work With Troy Barnes, Inc. do not have access to them. It seems there may be trouble in paradise.

One very interesting revelation in the Transfer of Funds motion is this:

2. Contemporaneously with the civil proceedings in this case, Ms. Johnson is a target of a federal criminal investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina.

This Motion goes on to say that these “criminal authorities” had approached Ms. Johnson’s attorneys regarding the voluntary transfer of over $800,000 associated to both the ongoing criminal and civil investigations.  Because these funds “derive directly or indirectly from any investor”, and are located in Hong Kong. Due to the Preliminary Injunction, Ms. Johnson cannot execute a voluntary transfer without violating the Preliminary Injunction.

Hence the Joint Motion from Ms. Johnson and the SEC to relax the injunction on a one time basis

to permit the funds transfer from the “ipayDNA.info” account, to which she has access, to a pre-arranged bank account located in the United States, such that authorities will be able to freeze and potentially seize the funds as part of their on-going criminal investigation.

Ms. Johnson shall not execute the transfer of funds from the ipayDNA account until such account has been established, and she has received the express written permission of undersigned counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission to transfer the funds.

The second filing is this:

Because of the nature of the proceedings referenced in the parties Joint Motion for Authority, the parties’ interests, as well as that of other entities not party to the motion, at this time substantially outweighs the public’s interest in open proceedings. If not sealed, it is possible that the relief sought by the parties’ Joint Motion could be stymied by adverse interests.

Defendant Kristine Johnson and the SEC respectfully request that the Joint Motion and any subsequent order be restricted only to the filing parties – Defendant Johnson and the SEC – and the Court. Specifically, the parties request that Defendants Troy Barnes and Work With Troy Barnes, Inc., not have access.

These two filings are on the Files Website, Doc 28 and 29.

Achieve Community: Judge Orders Preliminary Injunction – Asset Freeze for Relief Defendant ‘Achieve International, LLC.’

Posted by ASDUpdates on February 25, 2015No Comments

Judge Blackburn issued the Order based on “good cause”, part of which was the SEC making a “prima facie case for each of the violations alleged in the Complaint and a strong likelihood that the SEC will prevail at trial on the merits.”

This Order is a virtual repeat of the other 2 Preliminary Injunction and Asset Freeze Orders already in place for Barnes and Johnson.

I have uploaded this Order onto the Files website.

Achieve Community: Order for Preliminary Injunction and Asset Freeze Issued for Work With Troy Barnes, Inc.

Posted by ASDUpdates on February 24, 2015No Comments

There was a scheduled Hearing today wherein the Defendants and Relief Defendant were “to show cause why the court should not enter a preliminary injunction and order preliminary relief against Defendants and Relief Defendant and to extend the temporary relief granted until a final adjudication on the merits.

Defendant Work With Troy Barnes, Inc. has not filed a response to the SEC’s motion for preliminary injunction, as ordered by the court. Nor did Defendant Work With Troy Barnes, Inc. appear at the show cause hearing on February 24, 2015, despite adequate notice of the proceeding.”

So, Judge Blackburn issued the following Order:

The matter before me is Plaintiff United States Securities and Exchange Commission Emergency Motion for an Order Granting an Ex Parte Asset Freeze, Temporary Restraining Order, and Other Emergency Relief [#4], filed February 12, 2015. The motion seeks an order (1) freezing funds and other assets of Defendants Kristine L. Johnson, Troy Barnes, and Work With Troy Barnes, Inc., and Relief Defendant Achieve International, LLC, wherever located, which are derived directly or  indirectly from any investor funds obtained by or on behalf of Defendants or Relief  Defendant in connection with the scheme alleged in the SEC’s Complaint; (2) prohibiting Defendants and Relief Defendant from the acceptance, deposit, or disbursement of additional funds from investors or potential investors; (3) enjoining Defendants from violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws; (4) requiring Defendants and Relief Defendant to provide an accounting of investor funds and other assets; (5) prohibiting the destruction or alteration of documents; (6) providing for expedited discovery; and (7) providing alternative service by the Commission. On February 12, 2015, the court issued a temporary restraining order against Defendants and Relief Defendant on those terms. (Asset Freeze, Temporary Restraining Order, and Order Granting Other Emergency Relief and Setting Preliminary Injunction Hearing [#10], filed February 12, 2015.)

———————

Based on the record, and Defendant Work With Troy Barnes, Inc.’s failure to show cause why the court should not enter a preliminary injunction and order preliminary relief, the court finds and concludes as follows:
1. That the court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action and over Defendant Work With Troy Barnes, Inc.;
2. That the SEC has made a sufficient and proper showing in support of the relief granted herein, as required by Section 20(b) of the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”) (codified at 15 U.S.C. § 77t(b)) and Section 21(d)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) (codified at 15 U.S.C. § 78u(d)(1)) by establishing a prima facie case for each of the violations alleged in the Complaint and a strong likelihood that the SEC will prevail at trial on the merits and that Defendant Work With Troy Barnes, Inc., directly or indirectly, has engaged in and, unless restrained and enjoined by order of this court, will continue to engage in acts, practices, and courses of business constituting violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act (codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 77e and 77q(a)), Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act (codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 78j(b) and 78o), and/or Exchange Act Rule 10b-5 thereunder (codified at 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5);
3. That there is good cause to believe that, unless restrained and enjoined by order of this court, Defendant Work With Troy Barnes, Inc. will dissipate, conceal, or transfer from the jurisdiction of this court assets that could be subject to an order directing disgorgement or the payment of civil money penalties in this action, and that unless restrained Defendant Work With Troy Barnes, Inc. will continue to accept funds from investors;
4. That there is good cause to believe that, unless restrained and enjoined by order of this court, Defendant Work With Troy Barnes, Inc. may alter or destroy documents relevant to this action;
5. That there is good cause to believe that an accounting is necessary to identify the source, location, and use of funds obtained from investors; and
6. That there is good cause to believe that expedited discovery and alternative means of service are warranted.

The rest of this Order repeats the myriad of restrictions placed on the two Defendants, you can read them all on the Files website.

Achieve Community: Preliminary Injunction and Asset Freeze Order Issued for Kristine Johnson

Posted by ASDUpdates on February 24, 2015One Comment

Issued today, we have a second Injunction and Asset Freeze issued in the Achieve case, which begins:

On February 12, 2015, Plaintiff United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission” or “SEC”) filed an emergency motion for an ex parte Order: (1) freezing funds and other assets of Defendants Kristine L. Johnson, Troy Barnes, and Work With Troy Barnes, Inc., and Relief Defendant Achieve International, LLC, wherever located, which are derived directly or indirectly from any investor funds obtained by or on behalf of Defendants or Relief Defendant in connection with the scheme alleged in the SEC’s Complaint; (2) prohibiting Defendants and Relief Defendant from the acceptance, deposit, or disbursement of additional funds from investors or potential investors; (3) enjoining Defendants from violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws; (4) requiring Defendants and Relief Defendant to provide an accounting of investor funds and other assets; (5) prohibiting the destruction or alteration of documents; (6) providing for expedited discovery; and (7) providing alternative service by the Commission.

The rest of this Order follows the same general restrictions as were placed upon Barnes, so I will not repeat them.

Achieve Community: Kristine Johnson Will Not Follow Court Order; Invokes 5th Amendment

Posted by ASDUpdates on February 24, 2015One Comment

Filed today is this response to Paragraph 5 of the February 12, 2015 Asset Freeze, Temporary Restraining Order, and Order Granting Other Emergency Relief and Setting Preliminary Injunction Hearing (the Order). Through counsel, Ms. Johnson had this to say:

 Paragraph 5 of the Court’s February 12, 2015 Order requires Defendant Kristine L. Johnson, and others, to provide a sworn accounting of various matters relating to specified transactions and accounts at banks, financial institutions, or brokerage firms.

Ms. Johnson respectfully declines to provide the accounting required by the Court’s Order for to do so would violate Ms. Johnson’s privilege under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States to not act as a witness against herself in any proceeding involving a fine, penalty, or forfeiture, which privilege Ms. Johnson now asserts.

While I do realize that this is her right, it does raise the question of why she will not answer simple questions; kinda makes her look guilty to outside observers.

But I have the feeling that the SEC and Mr. Heinke already know most of these answers.

Achieve Community: Troy A Barnes Will Invoke 5th Amendment if Deposed

Posted by ASDUpdates on February 23, 2015One Comment

In a Declaration filed today, Nicholas Heinke, Senior Trail Counsel for the Denver Regional Office of the achieve-community-logoSEC, stated that on February 17 he served a notice of deposition for both Troy Barnes and Kristine Johnson. These depositions were scheduled for the 20th and the 23rd, respectively.

In addition to the Notice of Deposition, Mr. Heinke issued a discovery request to both defendants and issued subpoenas to several financial institutions.

The Declaration goes on to say that on February 19th, Mr. Heinke was contacted by an attorney on behalf of Troy Barnes, and was informed that Barnes intended to invoke his 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination to any questions concerning The Achieve Community, or other defendants. The attorney said that Barnes would send an email confirming this intention.

Below is the text body of that email, filed as an Exhibit:

I have received the notice of deposition set for tomorrow. I have consulted with an Attorney. And I understand I am the target of a criminal Investigation involving many of the same issues before the Securities and Exchanges commission.

If Deposed, I intend to take the Fifth Amendment in any and all ongoing investigations Including Kristine Johnson, Work With Troy Barnes Inc. And The Achieve International LLC.

Ms. Johnson’s attorney confirmed that she will also invoke her 5th Amendment privileges. Due to these revelations, Mr. Heinke informed both parties that they would not need to appear for these depositions.

Achieve Community: Judge Orders Preliminary Injunction and Asset Freeze for Barnes

Posted by ASDUpdates on February 23, 2015One Comment

Today, Judge Robert Blackburn signed an Order for Preliminary Injunctions, Asset Freeze and other Equitable Relief against Defendant Try Barnes. The Order makes the following points:

  • Pending trial or further Order of the Court, defendant Barnes, and everyone that may act in concert with him, are enjoined and restrained from offering any security by the use of any means of interstate communications, obtaining money by means of an untrue statement, or engaging in any deceitful or fraudulent transaction.
  • Pending trial or further Order of the Court, defendant Barnes, and everyone that may act in concert with him or who received actual notice, are enjoined and restrained from using interstate commerce, the mails, or any national securities exchange in connection with any purchase or sale of a security.
  • Pending trial or further Order of the Court, defendant Barnes is prohibited from accepting funds from investors for investment in any investment program.
  • Pending trial or further Order of the Court:
    • funds assets or other property of defendant Barnes, wherever located, are frozen.
    • shall hold and retain, and prevent dissipation of funds or assets or things of value
    • Any bank, financial or brokerage institution holding funds connected with the scheme alleged in SEC complaint shall hold and retain and prevent removal of any such funds or assets.
    • No person or entity, including defendant Barnes or any person acting on behalf of a creditor or claimant, shall take any action to interfere with the asset freeze
  • That, the Defendant Troy A. Barnes is prohibited from destroying or altering records.
  • Defendant Troy A. Barnes and his affiliates, agents, servants, employees, attorneys-in-fact, and those persons in active concert or participation with him who receive actual notice of this order by personal service or otherwise, and each of them, are hereby restrained from destroying, mutilating, concealing, altering, or disposing of any document relating in any manner to any transactions described in the SEC’s Complaint.
  • That service of this Order may be made by facsimile, mail, e-mail, delivery by
    commercial courier, or personally by any employee of the Securities and Exchange
    Commission who is not counsel of record in this matter, or special process server, or any other person.
  • That nothing in this Order alters or eliminates the provisions in the Court’s Asset Freeze, Temporary Restraining Order, and Order Granting Other Emergency Relief [#10], entered February 12, 2015, requiring Defendant Barnes to provide a sworn accounting, ordering expedited discovery, or providing for alternative means of service.
  • That the Court shall retain jurisdiction of this matter for all purposes.

I have uploaded the complete Order onto the Files website.

Zeek Rewards: Receiver Files Motion for Class Certification Notice

Posted by ASDUpdates on February 20, 2015No Comments

In the case entitled “Bell v Disner, et al” the Receiver has filed for Court approval on a Notice to send to all affiliates within the Class recently certified by Senior Judge Mullen.

The filing lists these individuals and entities as Defendants:

TODD DISNER, in his individual capacity and in his capacity as trustee for Kestrel Spendthrift Trust;
TRUDY GILMOND; TRUDY GILMOND, LLC; JERRY NAPIER; DARREN MILLER; RHONDA GATES; DAVID SORRELLS; INNOVATION MARKETING, LLC; AARON ANDREWS; SHARA ANDREWS; GLOBAL INTERNET FORMULA, INC.; T. LEMONT SILVER; KAREN SILVER; MICHAEL VAN LEEUWEN; DURANT BROCKETT; DAVID KETTNER; MARY KETTNER; P.A.W.S. CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LLC; LORI JEAN WEBER; and a Defendant Class of Net Winners in ZEEKREWARDS.COM

Here is a copy of the Proposed Order, ZeekDoc103-1.

Achieve Community: TRO’s Extended for Kristine Johnson and Troy A. Barnes

Posted by ASDUpdates on February 19, 2015No Comments

Today, the SEC files a “Stipulated Motion for order for Preliminary Injunction, Asset Freeze, and Other Equitable Relief” relating to both Kristine Johnson and Troy A. Barnes.  Both filings use the similar wording, as follows:

Plaintiff United Stated Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission” or “SEC”) and Defendant Kristine L. Johnson, by and through counsel, hereby stipulate and agree to extend the temporary relief granted in this Court’s Asset Freeze, Temporary Restraining Order, and Order Granting Other Emergency Relief [#10], dated February 12, 2015, until a final adjudication on the merits. Therefore, the Commission and Defendant Johnson respectfully move the Court to enter the attached Order for Preliminary Injunction, Asset Freeze, and Other Equitable Relief as to Defendant Johnson.

—and—

Plaintiff United Stated Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission” or “SEC”) and Defendant Troy A. Barnes hereby stipulate and agree to extend the temporary relief granted in this Court’s Asset Freeze, Temporary Restraining Order, and Order Granting Other Emergency Relief [#10],  dated February 12, 2015, until a final adjudication on the merits. Defendant Barnes further agrees to waive his right to any hearing pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65, waive any findings of fact or conclusions of law, and waive his right to appeal, if any, from an order entering a preliminary injunction against him. Therefore, the Commission and Defendant Barnes respectfully move the Court to enter the attached Order for Preliminary Injunction, Asset Freeze, and Other Equitable Relief as to Defendant Barnes.

Both filings had a “Proposed Order” attached to them, and I will advise if the Order is granted.

Zeek Rewards: Receiver Files Civil Suit Against Alleged Norwegian “Net Winners”

Posted by ASDUpdates on February 19, 2015One Comment

ZeekWe have a new case just filed today, 3:15-cv-81, in the Western District of North Carolina. I noticed it as it was a new and unassigned case on the original case listings going back to 2012.  Below are the named defendants who hail from Norway:

The Defendants

12. Geir Vidar Pleym is, upon information and belief, a resident of Oslo, Norway. Pleym is a former ZeekRewards “affiliate” and was a “net winner” of $256,917.29 under one or more usernames, including “freeasabird.”
13. Roger Guldahl is, upon information and belief, a resident of Halden, Norway. Guldahl is a former ZeekRewards “affiliate” and was a “net winner” of $200,271.51 under one or more usernames, including “norway.”

14. Anne Liv Dale is, upon information and belief, a resident of Kristiansand, Norway. Dale is a former ZeekRewards “affiliate” and was a “net winner” of $158,896.14 under one or more usernames, including “ALGold777.”
15. Fredrik Skjoldt is, upon information and belief, a resident of Oslo, Norway. Skjoldt is a former ZeekRewards “affiliate” and was a “net winner” of $97,694.27 under one or more usernames, including “lambo.”
16. Robert Ulvberget is, upon information and belief, a resident of Elverum, Norway. Ulvberget is a former ZeekRewards “affiliate” and was a “net winner” of $72,569.11 under one or more usernames, including “megamaniac.”
17. Stian Alexander Karlsen is, upon information and belief, a resident of Oslo, Norway. Karlsen is a former ZeekRewards “affiliate” and was a “net winner” of $65,000.94 under one or more usernames, including “xander09.”
18. Pia Cecilie Fore is, upon information and belief, a resident of Heggedal, Asker, Norway. Fore is a former ZeekRewards “affiliate” and was a “net winner” of $62,115.13 under one or more usernames, including “julie4.”
19. Knut Fore is, upon information and belief, a resident of Asker, Norway. Fore is a former ZeekRewards “affiliate” and was a “net winner” of $60,436.49 under one or more usernames, including “speedykf.”
20. Fredrik Harald Skjoldt is, upon information and belief, a resident of Oslo, Norway. CMS Huset AS is, upon information and belief, a shell company through which Skjoldt was a ZeekRewards “affiliate” and “net winner” of $57,586.54 individually or collectively with Morten Skaar, under one or more usernames, including “huset.”
21. Morten Skaar is, upon information and belief, a resident of Oslo, Norway. CMS Huset AS is, upon information and belief, a shell company through which Skaar was a ZeekRewards “affiliate” and “net winner” of $57,586.54 individually or collectively with Morten Skaar, under one or more usernames, including “huset.”
22. Odd Steinar Nordlien is, upon information and belief, a resident of Faaberg, Lillehammer, Norway. Nordlien is a former ZeekRewards “affiliate” and was a “net winner” of $55,019.09 under one or more usernames, including “quadrant.”
23. Anne-Mette Helland is, upon information and belief, a resident of Mandal, Norway. Vita-min AS is, upon information and belief, a shell company through which Hellend was a ZeekRewards “affiliate” and “net winner” of $53,428.51 under one or more usernames, including “AMGold 777.”