DOJ intervene in G1E defamation lawsuit, case dismissed
In early January Chuck King published a YouTube video in which he claimed the FBI was investigating Rick Maike and Global1Entertainment.
Chuck King had invested in Infinity2Global and wasn’t too happy about losing his money in the collapse.
In response to King’s efforts, Maike and G1E filed a $10 million dollar defamation lawsuit. They were granted a TRO in early 2015 and the case has slowly been playing out in court.
A trial had been scheduled for April 17th, but then in late 2016 it was confirmed that G1E and Maike were under investigation by the FBI.
Through a forfeiture complaint filed under seal around the time Chuck published his video, we learned that Maike and G1E were under investigation for suspected money laundering and wire fraud.
In light of the confirmed criminal investigation, on March 13th King filed a Motion to Stay until the conclusion of criminal proceedings.
Maike and G1E filed an opposition two weeks later and insisted the matter go to trial.
With the April 17th trial deadline counting down, hearings were held but a decision on the motion had yet to be made.
A settlement conference to discuss the matter was scheduled for April 10th, with the final pre-trial conference bumped to April 14th.
On April 13th, a day before the conference the DOJ filed a Motion to Intervene and Stay Civil Trial.
On April 12, 2017, the United States filed a Criminal Complaint and a U.S. Magistrate Judge found probable cause to believe that the Plaintiff in this case, Richard G. Maike, has committed violations of federal criminal law, specifically, mail fraud, money laundering, and structuring of monetary transactions, and a warrant for Maike’s arrest issued.
Talk about eleventh hour timing… Surprise bitches!
King is a victim, and potential witness, in the criminal case.
The United States believes that proceeding with trial as scheduled in this civil litigation will disrupt and unfairly prejudice the interests of the United States in the prosecution of the criminal case.
In addition, proceeding with the civil trial will result in unnecessary consumption of the Court’s time and the parties’ resources concerning matters that should be largely resolved by the outcome of the criminal case,
and is unnecessarily burdensome to witnesses for the same reason.
The issues presented in the civil litigation are inextricably intertwined with those now presented in the pending criminal case.
Because King is pro se, he cannot adequately represent during a civil trial the interests of the United States in the proper presentation of evidence and ultimate findings developed on questions of fact which are also implicated in the criminal prosecution.
The DOJ requested the court stay G1E and Maike’s civil case against King until the conclusion of the criminal case.
G1E and Maike opposed the motion, arguing that
it is left to King to prove whether those defamatory statements were in fact true.
Because King cannot do so, he has tried every conceivable tactic to delay the April 17 trial – he has filed a Motion to Stay (apparently denied by the Court), stalled by extending court-ordered settlement discussions when he clearly had no intent to settle in good faith, and now he has the Government filing a similar Motion to Stay on his behalf.
Staying the present action solely because the Government has finally decided after 27 months to lodge a criminal complaint (not an indictment) against one of the Plaintiffs for issues that were not discussed by King in his defamatory videos is wholly inappropriate and against established Sixth Circuit case law.
Accordingly, the Government’s Motion to Intervene and Stay should be denied.
Despite the filed opposition, within twenty-four hours G1E, Maike and King ‘reached a settlement of all matters in controversy between them‘.
The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but I don’t imagine King had to give anything up of significance. From the sounds of it he was right all along.
Upon learning of the settlement, Judge McKinley dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice a day later on April 14th.
Stay tuned for a followup on the criminal charges filed against Maike.
Update 15th April 2017 – On April 12th Rick Maike was criminally charged with mail fraud and structuring.