Unlicensed Activity

Investigation Agency
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Stacy L Forster and Marc Benson

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3 responses to “Unlicensed Activity

  1. This is in reference to a Federal Law Suit.


    Civil Action No. 5:08-CV-00131-D
    Defendant/ Counterclaim
    Plaintiff/Third-party Plaintiff,
    RIAA, and SAFENET, Inc. f/k/a
    ., a Delaware
    Third-party Defendants.

    …..12. Counterclaim/Third-party Defendants, through various concerted efforts and
    cartels, control or attempt to control the channels of creation, distribution, and sale of musical
    works throughout the United States and the world. They are not artists, songwriters, or
    musicians. They did not write or record the songs. For a number of years, a group of large,
    multinational, multi-billion dollar record companies, including these Record Company
    Counterclaim Defendants, have been abusing the federal court judicial system for the purpose of
    waging a public relations and public threat campaign targeting digital file sharing activities. As
    part of this campaign, these Record Company Counterclaim Defendants hired an unlicensed
    private investigator, MediaSentry, – in violation of North Carolina and other applicable law –
    which receives a bounty to invade private computers and private computer networks to obtain
    information – in the form of Internet Protocol (“IP”) addresses – allowing them to identify the
    computers and computer networks that they invaded. MediaSentry performs these investigations
    in North Carolina and other states.
    13. Using information obtained from this illegal invasion, the Record Company
    Counterclaim Defendants file so-called “John Doe” lawsuits – reportedly against more than
    thirty thousand anonymous “John Does.” The “John Doe” lawsuits are filed for the sole purpose
    of activating the discovery powers of the court system – notably, the subpoena power – to obtain
    records from Internet service providers, to connect the IP addresses to the names of individual
    account holders allegedly using those IP addresses at the time of the invasion. However, service
    providers have no way of knowing the identities of the person or persons who may be using the
    computer or computer network at the time the record companies invade it. In fact, there is not
    even any way to verify that the unlicensed investigators secretly snooping for IP addresses have
    obtained the correct ones.
    14. After harvesting the names of account holders through these subpoenas, the
    record companies often dismiss the John Doe suits. The Record Company Counterclaim
    Defendants then, upon information and belief, provide the personal information to an agent
    which engages in deceptive and illegal practices aimed at extracting money from people
    allegedly identified from the secret lawsuits. Most of the people subjected to these secret suits do
    not even know that they have been sued until a demand for payment is made by agents for the
    record companies.
    15. The collection practices engaged in by these record company agents are for the
    sole purpose of contacting prospective defendants and demanding that they pay thousands of
    dollars each to avoid the prospect of a federal lawsuit against them. This demand takes no
    account of the merits of any prospective claim against the putative defendant, but instead relies
    upon the inherent inequality in resources and litigation power between Record Company
    Counterclaim Defendants and their individual victims……. To read the full story, or
    download the pdf. http://shufflezine.blogspot.com/2009/03/north-carolinian-sues-riaa-major-labels.html

  2. From Alabama. Would PI licensing prevent this embezzling employee or would an adequate background check have sufficed?

    Who keeps eye on private eyes?
    Monday, March 30, 2009
    Staff Reporter

    Michael Anthony Allen committed one two-bit con after another, judging by court records ranging over a decade.

    According to an indictment brought by a federal grand jury in Mobile last month, the Robertsdale man then pulled off what may be his most brazen scam yet: embezzling money from the private detective agency where he worked for almost a year.

    “I’m the last guy in the world that should have happened to,” said Max Hansen, who founded Baldwin Legal Investigations 20 years ago.

    Allen, 34, pleaded not guilty last week in U.S. District Court to two counts of bank fraud and one count of obstruction of correspondence. U.S. Magistrate Judge Sonja Bivins set a May trial date.

    Federal Defender Carlos Williams said he finds it strange that the only evidence against his client appears to come directly from Hansen, rather than from an independent probe by law enforcement.

    “There’s a lot more than meets the eye,” he said. “It’s an unusual indictment, in my opinion.” He added, “We don’t have the documents to tell what’s what yet.”

    Hansen said the case inspired him to rekindle efforts to persuade the Legislature to create a regulatory agency to monitor and license private eyes. Such an agency might have prevented the crimes outlined in Allen’s indictment, he said.

    No requirements

    Alabama and Mississippi are among the handful of states with no licensing requirements for private investigators.

    According to the indictment, Allen is charged with embezzling $23,347 from Baldwin Legal Investigations from October 2007 to September 2008. He is accused of opening accounts at United Bank and First Gulf Bank, stealing checks to his employer and then forging Hansen’s signature and depositing them.

    Court records show that Allen’s criminal record includes 10 felony convictions dating to 1999 in Lee and Jefferson counties — and various prison stints — for offenses such as robbery, forgery and credit card fraud. He also has piled up misdemeanor convictions for writing bad checks.

    Background check

    Hansen, however, said a background check he ran on Allen turned up no convictions because the defendant gave him a fraudulent Social Security number.

    A previous Allen employer said that Allen apparently also concealed his criminal record there. Scott Woodall, a private detective from outside Atlanta, said he hired Allen several years ago to perform investigative work in Alabama and Mississippi.

    He said he checked Allen’s references and ran a search of criminal databases — based on incorrect information that Allen provided.

    Woodall said that a fingerprint-tracking system used in some other states would have been a helpful backstop. “We would immediately be able to tell if there was a problem,” he said.

    Allen applied in Georgia for his own private investigator’s license, but the state regulatory board rebuffed him in May 2004, according to Matt Carrothers, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office. The reasons are not public information, he said.

    Recommendations to regulate private detectives drew interest in the Legislature in 2004 before falling by the wayside. The Alabama Private Investigator’s Association has circulated a proposal to legislators, and Hansen said he has contacted lawmakers from Baldwin County about restarting a push.

    Hansen’s own proposal, modeled on procedures in other states, would require investigators to pass a background check and a written exam covering issues such as state laws and ethics. Applicants also would sit for an interview in front of a state board.

    Education needed

    Hansen said that private investigators need a certain level of education or relevant work experience, such as in law enforcement. He added that the state should require investigators to carry insurance and maintain an office.

    It also might be wise, he said, to create two tiers of licenses, beginning with an apprenticeship.

    Jim Anderson, a retired Foley police chief, agreed on the need for regulation. “I think one of the best things it would do is keep people out who don’t belong,” said Anderson, who runs his own private detective agency.

    At present, “You go up to the probate judge, get a business license and you’re a private investigator,” Anderson said.

    Alan Goodman, a private investigator from Maine who serves as assistant national director of the National Association of Legal Investigators, said Congress should even consider setting federal rules. “You need standardized licensing across the board,” he said.

    ©2009 Mobile
    © 2009 al.com All Rights Reserved.

  3. Hi. I have been lurking for a while now on your blog and finally wanted to get the bravado up to say thanks to you. You have impressed me so much I have begun my very own blog and it’s been going ok so far.

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