Initially scheduled to take place on December 1st, the hearing on Principe’s harassment injunction motion has been delayed.

On November 16th a joint stipulation was filed requesting the December 1st hearing be continued to December 22nd.

The parties do not enter into this stipulation for the purposes of delay but instead do so because they reasonably believe that, if the hearing is continued, they may be able to resolve the issues presented in the motion without requiring the Court to issue a ruling on the motion.

The parties’ respective counsel have discussed this matter and reasonably believe they may be able reach a stipulation concerning a compromise on the relief sought in Plaintiff’s motion, thus potentially allowing Plaintiff to withdraw parts of or the entire motion.

Details of the negotiations between the two parties have not been made public as at the time of this update.

On November 17th Chris Principe filed a reply to Timothy Curry’s response filing.

In it Principe’s attorney argues

  1. an injunction order would not restrain Curry’s protected speech
  2. social media posts are not protected public speech
  3. Chris Principe is not a public figure or limited public figure
  4. OneCoin allegedly being a Ponzi scheme and Principe’s alleged promotion of it is not a matter of public interest and
  5. if the injunction is granted, Curry will “remain free to discuss OneCoin”

One argument in particular struck me as odd, if not outright false, in Principe’s reply.

In the filing Principe’s attorney asserts there’s ‘no evidence that Principe has voluntarily injected himself into a public issue‘.

Curry has submitted no admissible evidence demonstrating that Principe voluntarily inserted himself into any controversy.

The only uncontroverted fact concerning Principe’s involvement and its founder is that Principe’s magazine, Financial IT, featured a photograph of Ruja Ignatova on its cover and in an article in February 2016.

There is no evidence on record that any controversy surrounding OneCoin existed when the February 2016 Financial IT article was published.

And all of Curry’s allegations of the continued promotion of OneCoin are not supported by admissible evidence.

As a result, Principe cannot be said to have injected himself into any controversy.

Um, what?

BehindMLM’s published OneCoin review is dated September 23rd, 2014. It currently has 1372 comments and to date has well over a hundred thousand views.

Using February 28th as a benchmark (we covered the PR disaster on February 20th but I’m unsure exactly when the Financial IT issue in question was published), that’s seventeen months prior to February, 2016.

BehindMLM alone had published forty articles covering OneCoin’s Ponzi shenanigans globally, during which four regulatory warnings were issued (Bulgaria, Finland, Sweden and Hungary).

OneCoin also cancelled their US launch, amid fears of a regulatory investigation into their Ponzi scheme.

But uh yeah, totally no “controversy surrounding OneCoin” prior to February, 2016.

The fact of the matter is that by February 2016, OneCoin was a well enough known Ponzi scheme on the radar of multiple regulators. By featuring Ignatova on the cover of Financial IT and continuing to appear at OneCoin events, Principe very much “injected himself into a public issue”.

To be clear this isn’t support of Curry’s conduct towards Principe, I’m just simply pointing out glaring flaws in Principe’s filing.

Stay tuned for an update on the December 22nd hearing.