In an attempt to gut the DOJ’s criminal case against him, Richard Maike claims recordings of incriminating webinars are illegally obtained wiretaps.

If that sounds ridiculous… it’s because it is.

Whilst I’m not a lawyer and can’t speak to specific legalities, Maike’s motion to suppress suggests the DOJ obtained Maike’s webinars via subpoena.

During the course of I2G’s operations, Mr. Maike engaged in conference calls with I2G distributors to update the I2G distributors on developments with the company.

Unbeknownst to Mr. Maike, these conference calls were recorded by the private provider and subsequently obtained by the United States.

The provider isn’t named in Maike’s motion, but they’re all pretty much the same.

You create a webinar, pass out a link and then hold the webinar. A copy is provided which you can upload to other platforms after it (YouTube, Facebook etc.).

What appears to have happened is the DOJ subpoenaed the provider for a copy of the webinars in question.

Or maybe they were re-uploaded to YouTube etc. and the DOJ just downloaded a copy. Who knows.

Maike argues that the DOJ obtaining webinars and presenting them as evidence against him violates Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act (1968).

In a nutshell, the quoted Act requires judicial approval for a wiretap.


So uh, how does obtaining a recording of a webinar after the fact constitute a wiretap?

By definition, a wiretap is a live interception of a communication (electronic or otherwise).

Unless Maike can prove the DOJ intercepted his incriminating webinars as they were being held, obviously there was no wiretap.

A big part of busting online MLM scams is reproducing incriminating webinars, calls and social media content.

Obtaining this content after the fact isn’t a wiretap, unless you want to completely redefine what a wiretap is.

And you need only look as far as Maike’s cited Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act to see where his argument falls apart.

The Act requires the DOJ to obtain judicial permission to conduct a wiretap prior to doing it.

For simplicity if we use a YouTube hangout as an example, why would the DOJ need to apply for a wiretap when they can just subpoena YouTube for a recorded copy of the already held hangout?

If the DOJ wanted to record the webinar live, if it was public (which most MLM marketing webinars are), then it’s not really wiretapping, is it.

As I understand it the only scenario where the DOJ would have to apply for permission is if the webinar was private and the DOJ wished to record it live – neither of which appears to be the case here.

Points for creativity Maike, but I can’t see this one sticking.

Maike’s Motion to Suppress was filed on August 11th. A decision on the motion is pending.


Update 7th October 2018 – The court has rejected Maike’s illegal wiretap argument and denied his motion to suppress.