telexfree-logoCiting James Merrill’s ongoing compliance with curfew and monitoring conditions ordered back in 2014, a probation officer has requested Merrill’s monitoring be dropped.

james-merril-founder-president-telexfreeAs it stands Merrill (right) is ‘restricted to his residence every day on a curfew from 8:00pm to 8:00am‘. He also has electronic monitoring equipment on him 24/7.

Over the past two years Merrill has failed to comply with his curfew restrictions only once.

On April 16, 2015, Mr. Merrill requested permission to visit his daughter at the University of New Hampshire on Saturday, April 18, 2015, with a return time of 9:00pm.

This request was approved by the Pretrial Service Office.

However, a review of Mr. Merrill’s activity on April 18, 2015, as captured by his location monitoring equipment, suggested activity that did not coincide with his request.

Specifically, Mr. Merrill left his residence from 11:02am to 6:13pm. Mr. Merrill left his residence again at 7:16pm to 8:54pm.

On April 22, 2015, Mr. Merrill reported to the probation office, as instructed, to address this issue.

When confronted with the information from his location monitoring equipment, Mr. Merrill advised that he returned from his visit with his daughter at 6:13pm.

Mr. Merrill stated that he then left his house again in order to meet up with some friends at a restaurant to celebrate his birthday which was the following day.

Mr. Merrill was informed that he was not authorized to stay out past his curfew for the purpose of meeting with friends at a restaurant and the express reason for the extension of his curfew to 9:00pm was solely for the purpose of visiting his daughter.

As a sanction for violating his release conditions, Mr. Merrill, after consulting with his attorney, agreed to serve two consecutive weekends on home detention from Friday at 8:00pm, to Monday at 8:00am.

Citing Merrill’s otherwise compliant record, Supervising Probation Officer Alicia Howarth has requested ‘a modification Mr. Merrill’s pretrial release conditions‘.

we respectfully request that Mr. Merrill be removed from curfew with location monitoring equipment.

It is this officer’s opinion that Mr. Merrill’s overall compliance since April 2015, has decreased both the risk of nonappearance and risk of danger to the community.

Personally I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the request.

On one hand I get how being under 24/7 monitoring for years can be stressful and obstructive.

On the other hand Merrill was co-creator of a $3 billion dollar Ponzi scheme. His partner in crime fled the country the first change he got and remains a fugitive.

Merrill might not be a flight risk but I do think he should still be under 24/7 monitoring. Given the size and scope of TelexFree, there’s simply too much at stake to take any risks.

As annoying as a curfew and 24/7 monitoring might be, it’s ultimately nothing compared to the widespread financial devastation Merrill’s actions have caused.

Perhaps a relaxation of the curfew rules but maintaining his monitoring as a compromise would suffice. Stay tuned for a decision on the matter.


Footnote: Our thanks to Don@ASDUpdates for providing a copy of the June 15th Memorandum filing by Pretrial Services.