Intimidation used in Redwood contempt proceedings
The FTC vs. Redwood case seems to have fallen off my calendar, likely due to me forgetting to pen down an update.
In any event I was reminded of the case earlier today by a reader.
Looking at the case docket, wooh it’s a bit of a doozy.
Since our last June 25th update, which documented defendants Jason and Eunjung Cardiff facing incarceration over contempt, there have been seventy-two entries on the docket.
The FTC, Cardiff and Jacques Poujade triangle is central to the dispute, with most of the docket entries a back and forth between the parties.
In chronological order, here are the significant highlights from the docket.
On July 2nd the Cardiff’s request for their passports, a living allowance and legal fees was denied.
A July 8th hearing saw the Receiver given court-ordered access to the Cardiff’s primary residence, for the purpose of conducting appraisals.
The Cardiffs were ordered to not be present when the Receiver entered the premises, if need be with the assistance of law enforcement.
On July 29th the FTC filed a notice detailing attempted intimidation of one of their declarants.
The FTC had relied on a declaration provided by the declarant to establish Jason Cardiff’s ‘ongoing control over the cannabis oral film strip business‘, in violation of the court-ordered injunction.
The text message was sent on July 21st by Julie Green, manager of Pharmastrip’s California facility.
Pharmastrip is the cannabis oral film strip business in question.
The FTC’s declarant worked at Pharmastrip for “approximately one month” during the Spring of 2019.
Since leaving Pharmastrip, there had been no “recent communications” between the FTC’s declarant and Julie Green.
The day after she sent the text message, a declaration signed by Green, that attempted to rebut the FTC’s declarant’s declaration, was filed on behalf of Jacques Poujade.
As per the FTC;
Under the circumstances of the current litigation, (the declarant) found this message to be threatening.
Ms. Green’s out-of-the-blue text of a screenshot with Ms. Grodek’s address is the equivalent of an “I know where you live” threat that courts have found to be intimidating.
The FTC requested the court instruct the Cardiffs and Jacques Poujade
that neither they, nor any of their employees, nor anyone else acting on their behalf may have any contact with (the declarant) without the Commission’s prior knowledge and consent.
That same day, July 29th, Jason Cardiff was found in contempt of court at an evidentiary show case hearing.
For reasons stated on the record, the Court finds defendant James Cardiff in contempt of court and in civil violation of the Court’s prior order.
Defendant is immediately remanded into custody.
James Cardiff isn’t a defendant in the case, so the above would appear to be a typo for “Jason Cardiff”.
The hearing was continued to July 30th, at which it was decided Cardiff was no longer in contempt.
For reasons stated on the record, the Court finds defendant James Cardiff is no longer in contempt of court. Defendant is immediately released from custody.
I wasn’t able to ascertain the explicit reason why Cardiff was found in contempt.
On July 31st the FTC was directed to prepare a facts and conclusion report by August 9th. A hearing on the matter was to be held on August 19th.
At the same July 31st hearing, the Cardiffs and Jacques Poujade were ordered to turn over “thin strip dissolvable machine” in their possession to the Receiver.
On August 14th the August 19th hearing was continued to August 27th, with the court noting:
The parties are encouraged to use this continuation as an opportunity to explore ways in which this matter can be resolved.
On August 22nd the Receiver filed a motion detailing continued non-compliance.
Jacques Poujade had turned over a strip machine to the Receiver.
During the Receiver’s inspection of the machine, Julie Green (the same woman behind the threatening text message),
disclosed to the Receiver the existence of a second machine that had been received but had been shipped out to Colorado.
Through discussions with Poujade’s lawyer, a proposal that Poujade and his lawyer would assist the Receiver with finding a potential buyer for both machines.
Poujade has since changed lawyers, and the Receiver now claims “cooperation has stopped”.
Poujade through his new lead lawyer James Spertus, together with the Cardiffs and their legal counsel, now refuse to disclose to the Receiver the location of Colorado Machine.
They also refuse to provide to the Receiver the documentation for the Colorado Machine, including as to its shipment to Colorado,
or to make any arrangements for the Receiver to make a site visit to the location where the Colorado Machine is being held to inspect that machine and sequester it.
This is the third recorded instance of non-compliance the Receiver has made.
On August 27th the Order to Show Cause hearing was held.
At the hearing
- the FTC’s request for full accounting was granted;
- any recorded communication between the Cardiffs and Jacques Poujade was ordered turned over to the FTC;
- the Cardiffs were ordered to turn over their mobile phones to the Receiver for data imaging; and
- it was ordered that a proposed order be drafted regarding preservation of the dissolvable strip machines.
The Redwood case is back on our court calendar so stay tuned for updates…