Attorney: Guenther Devastated By Felony Conviction, But An ‘Honorable Man’ Who Never Should Have Been Charged

UPDATED 10:26 P.M. EDT (U.S.A.) Bob Guenther never should have been prosecuted for bank fraud in 1994, but accepted a plea deal after a cost-benefit analysis concluded his best chance to minimize a prison sentence was to accept the deal, Guenther’s defense attorney said in a 1996 memo.

Guenther pleaded guilty to a single felony count of bank fraud. In exchange, 10 other counts were dropped by federal prosecutors.

Rather than sentencing Guenther to prison, U.S. District Judge Paul Brown ordered Guenther to serve three years’ probation. Guenther ultimately paid resitution of $76,134 in full.

Michael McColloch, Guenther’s lawyer, said the sentence Brown imposed was an “extraordinary” downward departure of six levels under federal sentencing guidelines.

McColloch’s comments about the case are included in the memo, which Guenther provided this Blog today.

Guenther said today that he had expected to be sentenced to up to a year in jail.

“I fully thought I was going to jail for 8-12 months,” Guenther said, in an email to this Blog. “And for what, absolutely nothing[.] [B]ut after 3 tours in Vietnam, a year at club-med in Seagoville Texas was not the end of the world.”

McColloch said the conviction was “devastating” to Guenther. He described his client as an “honorable man” who got caught up in circumstances beyond his control because a banking crisis in Texas spilled over into Guenther’s automobile dealership.

“I have no doubt that Bob would have preferred even a prison sentence to the burden and blemish of carrying around a federal felony conviction for the rest of his life,” McColloch said.

“This is the real tragedy of this case, that an honorable man who was only guilty of trying to save a business from extinction would be branded a felon by a system which shows little mercy to those caught up in its web by circumstances beyond their control, victimized by finger-pointing bankers and overzealous investigators,” McColloch said.

Guenther is the de facto head of the ASD Members Business Association (ASDMBA) Trust. He has been criticized by ASDMBA members for not providing transparent accounting of how the Trust spent money it collected.

Guenther was charged in Maricopa County, Arizona, with two felony counts of aggravated harrassment March 13. Police alleged he violated a court order that prohibited him from making harassing contact with Cheyenne Mountain and Affiliates, an Arizona company.

ASDMBA members said Guenther engaged in threatening behavior when his management of the Trust was questioned.

The Trust was created last summer to protect members’ legal interests in the AdSurfDaily case. Federal prosecutors said ASD engaged in the sale of unregistered securities, wire fraud and money-laundering, and also operated a $100 million Ponzi scheme.

This Blog broke the story about Guenther’s bank-fraud conviction on March 21. Guenther initially directed an email threat at this Blog over its publication of the story. This Blog did not reply to Guenther’s threat via email, instead advising Guenther in a post that it would not submit to threats and encouraging him to submit information he wished to be considered for publication in a nonthreatening fashion.

Guenther emailed this Blog this morning, asking in a civil tone for submission instructions. This Blog responded to Guenther’s email, and provided the instructions. Early this evening, Guenther provided the document he wished to have considered for publication, along with a supporting email.

We have made the decision to publish this story — and also a link to the document — because of its news value.

Read the document from Michael McColloch, Bob Guenther’s lawyer in the case. McColloch explains his point of view on the matter, saying he took over the case from an attorney who was ill — only two months prior to the scheduled trial date.

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11 Responses to “Attorney: Guenther Devastated By Felony Conviction, But An ‘Honorable Man’ Who Never Should Have Been Charged”

  1. Patrick,

    Thanks for the info, but there is still no excuse for not giving the ASDMBA members a full accounting of the expenditures for which no legal work was done, in my opinion. Many people are asking and those of us, myself included, who gave money to the ASDMBA, deserve a full accounting, as requested on multiple online forums.

    Roxy

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  2. Had I known Andy B. was a convivted felon I would not have turned over a large sum of money to ASD, at the very least, I was lied to by omission. Had I known Bob G. was a convicted felon, I would not have turned over money to his ASDMBA, at the very least I was lied to by omission. How can Bob G. claim he is any different than Andy B.? Just because Bob G. says he is different, does not indeed make him different! Both liars, both fraudsters, both CONVICTED FELONS!

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  3. I have to agree with you there! No accounting from Bob, no copy of the trust, no refunds for those who ask, even though Larry F. will refund those who ask him. Hm. Like you, I’d never have given Bob one cent if I knew his past, especially since I contributed specifically because he said he KNEW how I could get my local bank (TCF in Minnesota) to give me my money back, but then stated he had “no idea” when I spoke with him on the phone.

    I wonder why this letter was “requested” in the first place back in 1996. Who was it intended to sway?

    Roxy

    snailspace: Had I known Andy B. was a convivted felon I would not have turned over a large sum of money to ASD, at the very least, I was lied to by omission. Had I known Bob G. was a convicted felon, I would not have turned over money to his ASDMBA, at the very least I was lied to by omission. How can Bob G. claim he is any different than Andy B.? Just because Bob G. says he is different, does not indeed make him different! Both liars, both fraudsters, both CONVICTED FELONS!

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  4. Had I known Andy B. was a convivted felon I would not have turned over a large sum of money to ASD, at the very least, I was lied to by omission. Had I known Bob G. was a convicted felon, I would not have turned over money to his ASDMBA, at the very least I was lied to by omission. How can Bob G. claim he is any different than Andy B.? Just because Bob G. says he is different, does not indeed make him different! Because a leopard can not look in the mirror and see his spots, does not mean that those spots do not exist for everyone else to see. Both liars, both fraudsters, both CONVICTED FELONS!

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  5. AN HONORABLE MAN?

    The Mother never speaks ill of the child and the Defense attorney never speaks ill of the client! OF COURSE his defense counsel would have these kind words to say and call him an “Honorable Man”.

    This mmatter was on the Criminal side of Bob Guenther’s many trips to the Court Room. During this 1990 era Guenther tried to scam another Bank out of over a million dollars resulting in a Judgment for $1.3 million to be rendered against him in 1990. An honorable man would have paid his debt but Guenther dodged that obligation for over a decade and the Judgment holder finally gave the matter over to collection specialist, Cadle Company of Ohio. They hired Dallas attorney Andrew Emerson to go after him.

    A call was made to attorney Emerson’s office today. As usual the attorney was busy so his very pleasant secretary asked who was calling and what was the nature of the call. I simply said I had an interest in talking to Mr. Emerson about Robert L. Guenther. Only about 12 minutes passed and the phone was ringing with Mr.Emerson on the line!! He was most interested in getting ‘up to speed’ with Bob Guenther’s latest exploits and wanted certain information I talked about. Then he told me his story about chasing this “Honorable Man”. He said that in a final effort to avoid paying this debt Guenther filed Bankruptcy, however Mr.Emerson caught him hiding assets and lying to the Court resulting in having Buenther’s Bankruptcy thrown out, validating the debt once again.

    From the conversation with attorney Emerson you could tell Bobbie L had left a lasting impression on him and he wanted all the information he could get so he can make this an active matter once again. We obliged. In fact this was considered such an important ‘trophy’ case to attorney Emerson he features it on his website:

    http://www.emerson-law.com/results-collection.php

    Now I ask you, is lying to a Federal Judge and hiding assets to to avoid paying a legal debt the hallmark of a “Honorable Man” as his Criminal Defense attorney McCollach would have us believe? Attorney Emerson believes perjury under oath should have warranted the Prison time Guenther dodged in the criminal case. But, not to worry, Andrew Emerson has dusted off the file now…he can bring Guenther back to court and put him under oath and go from there….as Jimmy the Greek said, “you are only as good as your information” and I am sure volunteers will emerge to help with the ‘information’ task.

    W.

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  6. Well, Bob has managed to get someone to put on paper that he is an “honorable man”, of course, he had to pay him. And you know, most people I’d give the benefit of the doubt to, and say “so what”, but as much as I try, I keep remembering that the honorable man in question is Bob Gunther, convicted felon. Bob who made no small fuss about Jack’s past, who posted so many bullying comments and then reveled when they were somehow effectively removed from the public record. A guy who brags about his achievements and rarely misses a chance to berate those who disagree with him, and apparently has even tried to bully this blog which as far as I can tell has treated him with complete fairness.

    No, too little too late. His paid attorney may have considered him an honorable man a bit over 10 years ago, but in my mind he’s just another blowhard who figured out how to get his own money back from ASD, or at least it appears that way and will continue to unless and until he provides complete disclosure of the ASDMBA accounts.

    I’m not a member of the ASDMBA, I was not a member of ASD before that, so except insofar as I attempt to educate consumers about internet fraud, I have no dog in this hunt, no standing if you will. But, from the sidelines, it looks to me as if Bob should relinquish all involvement with the trust, let new trustees take it over and wind it up. What should be done about the outstanding liabilities of the trust, well, I have no good answer to that, perhaps it should file bankruptcy and thus let a debtor in possession or some similar trustee figure that out. In a bankruptcy a trustee could pursue any preferential payments made, surely not everyone is going to made whole. But really, the only way to end this fiasco once and for all is to get a neutral party in charge and fold up the tent. Enough people have been scammed since ASD opened up shop, but it’s possible the appearance can be changed so that people who feel they were scammed twice can at least get this part of the story out of their system. Whether Bob has done anything improper is not the point anymore, the atmosphere is poisoned and until Bob is out of the picture, a lot of people aren’t going to be satisfied.

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  7. Once again Bob Sterling, aka JD Sullivan aka Wayne Tidderington you are full of crap.. If you did a simple search of Judge Paul Brown’s sentencing record over the 20+ years on the bench, especially during the S&L crisis, you would see my sentence was a rare exception to Judge Brown’s history of dealing out justice.. Why was that?? Why was the prosecutor and his boss fired??

    And the “other” bank you refer to, that was Majestic Savings and Loan, the failed thrift that was a 49% shareholder in my dealership, Heritage Oldsmobile Inc. That “loan” you refer to was a stock loan, ordered by a Texas Bankruptcy Court to be dissolved in exchange for my contribution of the 51% Stock to the Estate.. Is this over your head?? Must be, because you are terrible when it comes to facts.

    The Cadle Company bought the “asset” at a FDIC sale for less than $1500, then proceeded to try and bully me to pay a debt I didnt owe. Then they hired this low tier debt collecting Emerson to collect the debt.. A debt I dont owe, wont pay, and they will never collect a dime on. Cadle and Emerson spent over $300,000 trying, and they got ZERO.. Exactly what I owe, ZERO, so get your facts straight or shut up.. You are obviously a rookie at this investigation stuff..

    And get ready to spend a little of your own money pal. It’s coming, hide and watch..

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  8. You can say you don’t owe it, you might even believe you don’t owe it, but the fact I see is a federal judgment says you do owe it, which I take to mean you owe it. And it looks like you got them interested enough to come looking for it.

    Robert Guenther: Once again Bob Sterling, aka JD Sullivan aka Wayne Tidderington you are full of crap.. If you did a simple search of Judge Paul Brown’s sentencing record over the 20+ years on the bench, especially during the S&L crisis, you would see my sentence was a rare exception to Judge Brown’s history of dealing out justice.. Why was that?? Why was the prosecutor and his boss fired??And the “other” bank you refer to, that was Majestic Savings and Loan, the failed thrift that was a 49% shareholder in my dealership, Heritage Oldsmobile Inc. That “loan” you refer to was a stock loan, ordered by a Texas Bankruptcy Court to be dissolved in exchange for my contribution of the 51% Stock to the Estate.. Is this over your head?? Must be, because you are terrible when it comes to facts.The Cadle Company bought the “asset” at a FDIC sale for less than $1500, then proceeded to try and bully me to pay a debt I didnt owe. Then they hired this low tier debt collecting Emerson to collect the debt.. A debt I dont owe, wont pay, and they will never collect a dime on. Cadle and Emerson spent over $300,000 trying, and they got ZERO.. Exactly what I owe, ZERO, so get your facts straight or shut up.. You are obviously a rookie at this investigation stuff..
    And get ready to spend a little of your own money pal. It’s coming, hide and watch..

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  9. Robert:

    Your “facts’ just don’t seem to add up. You are trying to say I guess the $1.3 million dollar judgment (with considerable interest now having accumulated) is not a ‘valid debt’? The FDIC….Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation….The Federal Insurance program paid for by the Banking Industry and ultimately us of course as consumers and taxpayers, was in error when the FDIC went after you and obtained a judgment in a Court of Law? This is not normally how the system works, you would have had the FDIC claim thrown out of Court in 1990 when the judgment was first rendered if this was the case.

    Texas by the way does not have a ‘Texas Bankruptcy Court’, all Bankruptcy is handled by the Federal Bankruptcy Courts. Remember, you’ve ‘been there, done that’. Your exact statement:

    “And the “other” bank you refer to, that was Majestic Savings and Loan, the failed thrift that was a 49% shareholder in my dealership, Heritage Oldsmobile Inc. That “loan” you refer to was a stock loan, ordered by a Texas Bankruptcy Court to be dissolved in exchange for my contribution of the 51% Stock to the Estate”

    Now let’s see how this could work. Since Federal Savings and Loans were prohibited in investing Federally insured Depositors money in the common stock of any company, how could they have ended up with 49% ownership of a Car Dealership? Well, if a ‘floor plan deal’ was ‘stretched’ beyond the normal or customary (legal security limits) then that dealership might have persuaded the S&L to take an assignment of the stock so as to not pull the floor plan or to keep the money flowing. When Magstic S&L folded and went into Federal Bankruptcy a Federal Bankruptcy Receiver would have reviewed the transaction. Because of the amount of the Heritage Olds debt to the S&L and the value of the 49% of the dealership the debt was not covered. Why could the Bankruptcy Court force you to hand over the other 51% interest in the business? Could be several reasons:

    1. you personally guaranteed the debt.
    2. There was ‘Hankey Pankey” going on between the Dealership and the S&L

    At the end of the day taking the value of the 49% plus the 51% or the 100% liquidated value of Heritage Olds, there was still $1.3 million owing to the S&L and that is why the FDIC obtained the judgment for this amount.

    Yeah, I think I understand. I know that no business man would sit still and allow a $1.3 million dollar Judgment to be rendered if the Court had accepted the other 51% as satisfaction in full….obviously this was not the case. The devil is always in the details and of course Federal Bankruptcy records are always a matter of Public Record, and I am sure some ‘inquiring minds’ will want to know the truth. Did you ‘mis-speak the facts again? Maybe that ‘low tier’ collection attorney Andrew Emerson has the real facts and answers?

    W.

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  10. After reading all this, it is clear that, irrespective of his guilt or innocence, Bob Guenther has completely relinquished any moral right to be judged fairly by his own actions in accusing anyone and everyone of everything under the sun, fair or not.

    In his own case, Mr. Guenther is claiming injustice, not illegality and is asking for the law to be interpreted using the spirit of the law and justice, rather than the letter of the law. (Although this is only his side of the story) However when it comes down to applying the spirit of law and justice to ASDMBA affairs, he and his attorney are happy to resort to any kind of legal manipulation and manoeuvring for their own ends and the spirit of justice and law flies out of the window.

    He wants it all ways.

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  11. alasycia:

    I must correct you on your last statement. He does not want it always…he wants it his way and only his way.

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