SEC: Rodrigues’ payment plan “too little too late”
The long-running contempt feud between the SEC and Rodrigues looks set to be resolved one way or another, with a decision on whether Rodrigues should be incarcerated before the court.
Working against a January 15th repayment deadline, Rodrigues on the 14th filed a proposed stay of the contempt proceedings against him. Submitted with the proposal was a payment plan, which suggested Rodrigues could pay off $474,503 by selling motivational books and videos.
The FTC has staunchly opposed Rodrigues plan in a response filed earlier today, labeling it “ill-defined” and “too little too late”.
Reading between the lines, it’s pretty evident that the SEC are claiming Rodrigues’ proposal is half-assed.
Rodrigues’ suggestion of a payment plan to this Court a day before this Court’s ordered deadline is too little, too late to avoid incarceration.
Rodrigues has been aware that he needed to restore the assets at issue since October 16, 2015, when this Court instructed the parties to discuss a potential resolution of the issue.
By November 30, 2015, the Commission had notified this Court that all attempts at resolving the dissipation of assets issue had failed and sought an order of contempt because it was highly likely that he would need to return the assets; yet Rodrigues made no attempt to provide a plan to repay the money.
Moreover, from December 18, 2015 when this Court ordered him to restore the assets until January 13, 2016, Rodrigues made no attempt to contact the Commission as to a possible resolution of the asset issue.
Only with the imminent threat of prison has Rodrigues suggested a vague repayment plan while claiming that he has no present ability to pay.
Personally I found the notion that Rodrigues would pay off over $400,000 by selling books and videos far-fetched.
The SEC pulled it apart even further:
(Rodrigues’) purported plan provides no details as to how much he would pay on a monthly basis, how long the payment plan would be in effect and/or any rationale as to why he should be allowed to retain 80% of the proceeds of any sales from the so-called videos and books that he plans to sell while remitting 20% toward the restoration of assets.
Purportedly Rodrigues and his family are living on handouts. The balls-crushing tone of the SEC’s objection however, suggests that perhaps they know something we don’t.
The proposed payment plan is one more delaying tactic to avoid taking responsibility for returning money—most of which he obtained through the TelexFree fraud.
He should not be able to avoid his responsibility by proposing a sham payment plan.
The defense that Rodrigues’ visa case bail prevented his jailing in any other case was similarly destroyed.
Rodrigues argues that, because he is out on bail in the unrelated visa fraud matter, he cannot be jailed for contempt in the criminal case because this Court does not have the authority to revoke his bail.
That argument is absurd.
In effect, he is arguing that because he is on bail for the visa fraud he may avoid jail for any other infraction whether violation of this Court’s orders or murder.
That is clearly not the case. This Court need not revoke bail to incarcerate but can jail him on its own authority.
Urging the court to assert its “inherent authority”, the SEC requested ‘Rodrigues be incarcerated until he complies with this Court’s orders‘.
Will he or won’t he?
Footnote: Our thanks to Don@ASDUpdates for providing a copy of the SEC’s opposition to Rodrigues’ “Motion For Reconsideration”, filed January 15th, 2016.
Update 20th January 2016 – On January 15th Judge Morton sided with the SEC and denied Rodrigues’ motion and payment plan proposal.
Morton asserted Rodrigues had failed to meet the January 15th deadline for remittance to the SEC and ordered his remand to the custody of US Marshals.