Jazzy, Renee, Andy, Ian @ Forkfest 2020
In the last week, Renee and Andy Spinella were sentenced for their victimless “crimes” in the Crypto Six case. This spring, the two agreed to plead guilty to a single count of “wire fraud” for saying something to a bank that was allegedly not the whole truth. As prosecutors admitted at Renee’s sentencing, there were no damages to the “victims” in this case, a list of several banks and credit unions. No restitution is owed to them by either of the Spinellas or Nobody – who was sentenced last month on his plea deal – because well, the banks weren’t actually defrauded.
Renee was sentenced last week to $2100 in fines and fees and three years on probation and Andy was sentenced today to $600 in fines and fees and 18 months on probation. On its own, the sentence doesn’t seem too bad, until you remember that it includes a federal felony conviction that will stay with them their entire lives unless the president pardons them.
Banks can lie to you with no penalty, but the federal government goons’ position is that if you say anything to the banks that isn’t the entire truth, even with no intention to defraud, that you should have your home violently raided, then face up to 30 years in prison for every statement you made that they didn’t like. Not even a federal perjury charge is as serious as “wire fraud” as perjury can only be sentenced up to five years in prison.
The fact that none of the “victims” were damaged in any way was of no consequence, because the prosecutors just want to get more convictions on their record so they can move up the political chain by crushing innocent lives beneath them. Now Andy and Renee can no longer carry guns and anyone who checks their records and doesn’t bother to ask them about the “wire fraud” conviction might mistakenly believe the two are dishonest fraudsters, and nothing could be further from the truth.
They are two honest, good people who only took plea deals because the prosecutors were threatening them with more victimless charges and, like most people facing federal prosecution, they just wanted it to be over. I don’t blame them for doing what they considered best, but now that they are sentenced, Nobody is sentenced, and Colleen’s charges were dropped, it’s just me and Aria left to go to trial. We think a jury with a shred of decency will find us not guilty of all the bullshit “crimes” against us. In the event of such a decision, I would be relieved, but not happy, because my friends did not deserve what happened to them – the feds used them as stepping stones to get to me. No victim, no crime.
The next step in the “Crypto Duo” trial is Thursday September 1st at 9:30am in federal court church in Concord, where the judge will hear arguments on a motion to dismiss the “money transmitter” charges.
NH Jury Rights
The motions and objections in the Crypto Six case are starting to fly back-and-forth. Recently, the defense attorneys for me and Aria DiMezzo filed a “Notice of Public Authority Defense“, saying that we had relied on a legal memo from attorney Seth Hipple that cites the New Hampshire Banking Commission stating that they don’t regulate person-to-person cryptocurrency sales. Today, the dishonest federal prosecutors filed an objection to that and a motion to exclude the evidence, arguing that the statements of the NH Banking Commission are irrelevant to the case, since the charges are federal.
Though their primary argument is that the NH Banking Commission’s opinion is irrelevant, they later admit their real fear is the jury might nullify the charges if they knew the actions are legal in New Hampshire:
Alternatively, if the evidence is relevant, it should be excluded under Federal Rule of Evidence 403, because its introduction would be unduly prejudicial to the government and invite jury nullification.
Jury Nullification is your right to judge the law itself, instead of the facts in the case. Nullification is an established right of jurors that governments across the United States, especially in federal courts, attempt to suppress. It’s no surprise that the prosecutors are worried about it here, as Aria and I certainly did no harm to any other soul and a jury who knows they are free to use their conscience to render a verdict, may very well throw out the entire case.
The next step in the trial is Thursday September 1st at 10am in federal court church in Concord, where multiple motions will get hearings, including a motion to dismiss the “money transmitter” charges and a very interesting motion arguing the government should be prevented from introducing blockchain analysis expert testimony as their methods cannot pass the scrutiny required to be admitted as evidence in a case.
In a recent post here at Free Keene, Chris Waid presented his notes from the sentencing hearing for Nobody as a, “Big win for Mr. Nobody“. This is ridiculous spin. For those who didn’t hear the news, my co-defendant Nobody was recently sentenced to “time served” of approximately six months in jail as well as $2,100 in fines and fees, a forfeiture of $10,000, and two years’ probation. He had taken a plea to one count of “wire fraud”, despite not having defrauded anyone. Like the other Crypto Six defendants, he was intimidated into a plea deal by the threat of further charges.
Whether or not he took the plea and even if he went to trial and “won” on every count – as Aria and I are hoping to do – it would not be a “win”. As Mark Stevens put it in his book, “Adventures in Legal Land“, whenever you are targeted by the state, it is a loss. Even if you “win” and defeat the charges, you still lose your time. You still lose your ability to focus on things that are actually important to you instead of focusing on a criminal trial and the stress of bail conditions and the government’s axe hanging over your head. Basically, when they bring charges against you, you are going to lose – the only question is how much?
In Nobody’s case, he went through a horribly and unnecessarily violent pre-dawn raid on his home, spent several months behind bars, most of a year on restrictive bail conditions, and now is having his personal finances decimated. He has nearly nothing left after paying their extractions, is now a federal felon for life, and is still under multiple probation restrictions for two years. All of this damage has been brought upon him simply because, as he described it, he was convicted of, “contempt of bank”. It’s great that he doesn’t have to go back to prison, but this is not a win.
In other Crypto Six news, the remaining two defendants, Aria DiMezzo and me, have had motions filed by our defense attorneys, including a motion to dismiss the “money transmitter” charges, a motion to block the prosecution from using blockchain analysis experts, and a notice of a “public authority defense”. The hearing on these motions is set for September 1st at 9:30am at Concord Federal District Court Church.
On Thursday July 28th judge Joseph N. Laplante concluded the sentencing hearing for Crypto6’s Mr Nobody with a ruling to the maximum degree possible in his favor, and below is a run down of the defenses, prosecutors, and judges thoughts and arguments.
For more detail of what happened and a bit of a backstory on the sentencing check out Freedom Decrypted episode 170 where we covered the pre-sentencing motions that went into the variance granted (or in other words the request to reduce the sentence below that typically authorized by the sentencing guidelines).
The notes from the sentencing hearing are as follows:
– Mr Nobody is pleading guilty to a single count of wire fraud
Judge opens with a speech on the sentencing guidelines being the guiding force behind determining the sentence, but are not a hard rule to be followed, and he can sentence Mr Nobody outside of the guidelines.
There is a sealed pre-sentencing report that was created by the court of which came to 26 pages in length. Unfortunately due to certain information contained within it is sealed, but this is for Mr Nobody’s benefit and it may be that this report can be released by him and/or released by him with appropriate sections redacted. While this may not be relevant to Mr Nobody’s sentencing report the type of information that can be included includes information such as histories of mental illness that would be inappropriate to release to the public. Our opportunity as the public therefore to be outraged by the malicious, manipulative, or outright lies contained in it must therefore be reserved till a later date.
Possible outcome based on sentencing guidelines and guilty plea:
The guidelines recommend:
– 10 to 16 months imprisonment
– 2 to 5 years of supervised release
– A fine of $2,000 to $1 million dollars (more…)
It was about ten degrees Fahrenheit at around 6am on March 16th, 2021 when dozens of armed agents from the FBI, IRS, USPS, ATF, and Keene Police swarmed onto the duplex containing the Free Talk Live studio. They smashed in windows and a front door, set off explosions, flew in drones, and held multiple peaceful bitcoin activists at gunpoint. Simultaneous raids were being conducted in multiple other locations, with six people arrested in total. They were since dubbed “the Crypto Six” by supporters.
One had her charges dropped and three have taken plea deals despite never harming another human being. Two remain, facing hundreds of years in prison for completely victimless, made-up financial “crimes” regarding bitcoin.
Now, more than a year later, the FBI has returned the surveillance DVRs they took from the property. This is some of the footage taken at the scene of the Free Talk Live studio in Keene, NH:
I had the pleasure of speaking from the main stage at 2022, the biggest, sold-out Porcfest ever. My speech was about the history of Free Talk Live and the FBI’s obsession with the Free State Project, specifically . Thank you to Dennis Pratt and the rest of the Porcfest crew for having me back!
Here’s the full speech and Q&A:
Thank you to Jim Babb for speaking out years ago and Rodger Paxton for laying the groundwork for having me back to Porcfest.