COURT OF APPEAL DECISION – 13 APRIL 2015
COURT DOCUMENTS DAMAGING TO WATCHTOWER SOCIETY’S REPUTATION
COURT DOCUMENTS RELATED TO THE CASE
JW LEAKS has published court documents relating to the removal of the body of elders in the Menlo Park Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (California, USA), the seizing of control of millions of dollars of congregation assets by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, and the related RICO Enterprise civil lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase Bank et al.
In 2010 the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York seized control of millions of dollars of prime real estate assets belonging to the Menlo Park Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, California, by forcefully removing the body of elders and dispersing the congregation. Money invested by the congregation was also removed from their bank accounts by Watchtower representatives. Those within the congregation that objected to this were threatened with disfellowshipping. Those congregation members who actually spoke up against the scandal were later disfellowshipped.
Allegations of corruption, collusion, banking fraud, and a “money laundering scheme” have since been leveled against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, their lawyers, and their bankers.
Included are the most recent court documents dated between June 12, 2013 and September 23, 2013.
| Case: c13-01955 JSW | Case: c12-01372 CRB | Case: cv10-03907 |
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JW Leaks has published court documents relating to the million dollar financial fraud involving Rodney Hatfield and the Watsonville Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in California, USA.
These court documents include the sealed 2009 Indictment, Rodney Hatfield’s plea bargain dated January 30, 2013, and the Criminal Minutes Sentencing Order summary dated September 16, 2013. Hatfield was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison in connection with his role in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
In pleading guilty on January 30, 2013, Hatfield admitted that he conspired with his co-defendant to obtain money from investors by means of materially false representations about the value of their investment accounts. Hatfield admitted that he defrauded members of his own Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Watsonville, California. As part of the conspiracy, he solicited millions of dollars in investment money from his fellow congregants and others to invest in Landmark Trading Company, LLC (“Landmark”), a company he and his co-defendant had set up as a holding company for the purpose of trading in foreign currency exchange.
Initially, Landmark did engage in some legitimate currency trades on behalf of its investors; however, the company quickly began to run a negative return on its trading activity. Rather than accurately report this negative trading activity to investors, Hatfield and his co-defendant distributed false reports to investors in e-mails that their trading accounts were profitable and increasing in value. While some investors did receive all or most of their principal back, Hatfield admitted his actions resulted in a net loss to investors of more than $1 million.
In his Plea Bargain, Hatfield stated:
“I agree that I am guilty of the offence to what I am pleading guilty, and I agree that the following facts are true: From January 2004 through December 23, 2008 . . . I defrauded members of my own Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Watsonville, California. With the assistance of Myers I solicited my fellow congregants and others.”
The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Edward J. Davila, United States District Court Judge, following a guilty plea on the first count of the indictment, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349. Judge Davila also sentenced the defendant to three years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment. Judge Davila did not impose a fine in light of the defendant’s financial circumstances. However, Judge Davila set a hearing for November 8, 2013, to determine the amount of restitution as well as set a reporting date for Hatfield to begin serving his sentence.
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JW Leaks has commenced publishing US Diplomatic Cables relating to Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society.
The first series of diplomatic cables deals with the years 1973 – 1976 and provides a unique insight into the role the US government played in assisting the Watch Tower Society around the world during the turbulent mid-1970’s.
These diplomatic cables deal with the treatment of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Malawi, the banning of the Watch Tower Society in Kenya and Argentina, arrests of Jehovah’s Witness missionaries and members around the world (incl. Turkey, Spain, Greece, Kenya, Mozambique), the US government’s diplomatic political assistance in trying to get Grant Suiter and Milton Henschel into South Africa for a visit, and the seizing of Watch Tower Society property in various countries.
When taken together the cables show the degree of reliance the Watch Tower Society has placed in the US Department of State and various US embassies to secure the presence of the corporation in Africa, Asia, and South America.
These diplomatic cables will especially assist those who are researching the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Africa, Asia, South America, Turkey, Greece, and Spain.
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