Unsigned Pleading Attributed To Zeek Rewards’ Clawback Defendant Raises Questions About Whether Canadian ‘Sovereign Citizen’ Is Taunting Court, Receivership
4TH UPDATE 2:47 P.M. EDT JUNE 27 U.S.A. An unsigned pro se pleading docketed June 23 and attributed to Zeek Rewards’ clawback defendant Catherine Parker is leading to questions about whether Parker is a Canadian “sovereign citizen” taunting a U.S. federal court in North Carolina and the receivership judicially empowered to gather hundreds of millions of dollars for Zeek victims.
Such taunts from “sovereigns” occurred during the AdSurfDaily Ponzi prosecution brought by the U.S. Secret Service beginning in 2008. The Secret Service also is involved in the Zeek case.
Zeek once listed a “Catherine Parker” as an employee, and the name of “Catherine Parker” of Hamilton, Ontario, appears in an ASD-related petition started by certain members unhappy after the Secret Service seized more than $65.8 million from 10 bank accounts linked to now-jailed ASD President Andy Bowdoin in August 2008.
The 2008 petition called for the U.S. Senate to investigate federal prosecutors and the Secret Service, claiming that “we as Americans have a right to advertise with any company without interferences [sic] by [sic] Attorney General and /or any of its agents.”
Prosecutors said ASD was a securities company offering unusually consistent, above-market returns while posing as an “advertising” firm. Zeek, which also had a purported “advertising” element while allegedly offering securities, offered unusually consistent returns even higher than ASD.
Despite the petition, ASD’s Bowdoin pleaded guilty to a Ponzi-related criminal charge of wire fraud in 2012 for his 1-percent-a-day “program.” He is in federal prison. Zeek and ASD are known to have had members in common. The SEC says Zeek duped members into believing they were receiving a legitimate return that averaged about 1.5 percent a day.
Like ASD’s Bowdoin, alleged Zeek operator Paul R. Burks was accused by federal prosecutors of making up daily profit numbers to make the purported returns seem realistic.
Parker resides in Hamilton, Ontario, according to the June 23 pleading attributed to her. That’s the same city and province that appeared under the name of Catherine Parker in the 2008 ASD petition, leading to questions about whether a Zeek beneficiary with “sovereign” ties also had profited from ASD’s outrageous scheme that also was advanced by “sovereigns.”
The June 23 pleading attributed to Parker was sent back to Parker’s Hamilton address for a signature, according to the clawback case docket. The case is styled “Bell v. Parker et al.” Kenneth D. Bell is the court-appointed Zeek receiver. In the early months after the SEC’s August 20012 Ponzi- and pyramid action against Zeek, Bell, a former federal prosecutor, was accused by an asserted Zeek member to have committed a felony.
Certain ASD members made the same sort of potentially injurious claims against a federal judge and a federal court clerk.
Senior U.S. District Judge Graham C. Mullen is presiding over the Zeek clawback actions. A longtime jurist and former Naval officer, Mullen is no stranger to poisonous filings that may be designed to embarrass or even ruin public officials by making scandalous claims against them.
In 2002, in a case unrelated to Zeek, Mullen became the alleged target of a smear campaign that used both the court docket and the Internet. Mullen then was the chief judge in North Carolina’s Western District.
In the 2002 case, the disciplinary committee of the North Carolina State Bar found that an attorney had used a website and created a “fictitious criminal record” for Mullen and had asserted that the judge had a felony record for horribly disgraceful crimes.
The attorney, who allegedly complained about “the record keeping practices of several federal, state and local entities,” including the IRS, the FBI, the CIA, the Administrative Office of the United States’ Courts, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff and the North Carolina State Bar, also allegedly tried to weaponize his own pleading accusing Mullen of felonies, according to the Bar filing.
“Now that these documents are a part of the record in this case, any person can come look at the court file, and copy only the pages that they want, and publish them in any newspaper or on any web site, with or without any explanatory comment, for any purpose they want to accomplish,” the attorney allegedly wrote. “No one is under any obligation to say that these are spoof pages and that the Chief District Judge did not do these things and was not ever arrested for these things. Isn’t freedom wonderful! And as long, as they only publish the pages, and don’t comment on whether they are true or not, they can’t be sued for libel, due to the absolute privilege that attaches to court filings.”
The June 23 pleading attributed to Parker appears to contend that Parker, who faces a Zeek-related default judgment of nearly $214,000, entered a defense to the clawback claims in October 2014 and that Parker has a postal receipt to prove it — but that a 46-page document she submitted in her defense was never entered into the record of the case. The pleading, however, does not detail the asserted October 2014 defense. Nor does it appear to include a copy in the form of an exhibit that presents the claimed defense.
Instead, the pleading purports to make a U.S. court clerk for the Western District of North Carolina the “respondent.” It also contends that the clerk and two attorneys working for the Zeek receivership under Bell have “dishonored the court.” At the same time, the pleading puts the court’s Charlotte Zip Code in a bracket — “[ 28202 ]” as opposed to a straightforward 28202, the standard convention.
A pleading that asserts “dishonor” claims against public officials and litigation opponents is consistent with tactics employed by “sovereigns” and their adherents. So is the use of a bracket to encase a Zip Code. (See the Blog of the Anti Defamation League, which has a March 15, 2013, story unrelated to Zeek that references a bracket and “sovereign” conspiracy theories about Zip Codes. The ADL story reports on a particularly tragic outcome for a purported “sovereign” the PP Blog also has written about.)
Whether the asserted October 2014 filing by Parker complied with the local rules of U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina — the venue from which Parker was sued for the return of her alleged Zeek winnings plus interest — is not known. What is known is that pleading standards exist in U.S. courts. Pro se filings also are one of the hallmarks of “sovereign citizens,” individuals who may express sentiment that laws do not apply to them or that courts do not have jurisdiction over them.
A court is not mandated to accept any and all pleadings. Some “sovereigns,” for instance, have been known to submit vexatious pleadings that seek to use the courts as an outlet for smear campaigns against judges, clerks, government officials and litigation opponents. “Sovereigns” also have been known to submit nonsensical claims or antigovernment or extremist political arguments, rather than cogent legal defenses.
Whether Parker is a “sovereign” is unclear. Some individuals have fallen under spells by “sovereigns” who sell pleading kits online or at speaking engagements. Now-jailed AdSurfDaily Ponzi-scheme figure Kenneth Wayne Leaming was a purported “sovereign citizen.” Fellow ASD figure Curtis Richmond also was a purported “sovereign.”
Is A Canadian ‘Sovereign Citizen’ Taunting The U.S. Court And The Zeek Receivership?
On its first page, the June 23 pleading attributed to Parker includes what appears to be an ink stamp or seal of something called the “INTERNATIONAL FLAG OF PEACE.” Some “sovereigns” have shown a fascination with ink stamps, including ones in red that purportedly signify a bloody thumb print. (See this May 13, 2015, story in the Jackson Hole News & Guide that refers to purported “sovereigns” in Wyoming and the “International Flag of Peace.”)
Meanwhile, some “sovereigns” have expressed a fascination with capital letters, arguing in essence that if their names appear in caps, the reference is to a nonperson, a person who does not exist or to a person who exists in two forms. The June 23 pleading attributed to Parker asserts she is a “natural person.”
Another oddity with the June 23 pleading attributed to Parker is that it requests “a certified copy” of any oath taken by the court clerk and “certified copies and detailed lists of all [the clerk’s] court related bonds, sureties, indemnifications, and insurance related policies.”
This, too, is consistent with filings by “sovereign citizens.”
Although the June 23 pleading attributed to Parker is typewritten, the phrase “special, private, priority” is scrawled in longhand down the left-side margin of both pages. The reason why was not immediately clear. Some “sovereigns,” however, have expressed a belief that certain word combinations and certain types of punctuation have magical properties that can render courts and litigation opponents powerless, resulting in the dismissal of a case.
The June 23 pleading attributed to Parker ends with the words “Notice to Principal is notice to Agent and Notice to Agent is Notice to Principal.” Similar words have appeared in filings by “sovereign citizens” in U.S. courts.
“Sovereign citizens” in Canada sometimes have been called “Freemen on the land.” In certain instances, they have polluted Canada’s courtrooms with gobbledygook and have behaved in fashions similar to American “sovereigns” — claiming interests in properties they do not own and asserting their actions flow from common law or the Uniform Commercial Code.
Although many “sovereigns” clutter court dockets with mind-numbing nonsense, they do not act out in violent ways.
“Sovereigns,” however, have been linked to violence, including the murders of police officers.
Questions have been raised about whether a Canadian “sovereign citizen” murdered Edmonton Constable Daniel Woodall earlier this month.
NOTE: Our thanks to the ASD Updates Blog.