Last we touched base with the Infinity2Global criminal trial (June 2019), defendant Richard Maike wanted to delay proceedings till February 2020.
The issue then was Maike was playing attorney musical chairs.
Ultimately Maike got his wish and then some, with the court delaying the trial till May 11th, 2020.
Now due to COVID-19, the Infinity2Global criminal trial has once again been delayed.
On March 13th the Kentucky District Court
entered General Order 20-02 continuing any civil or criminal trial scheduled to begin between March 16, 2020, and April 17, 2020, for a minimum period of 30 days because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
That order has since been extended twice. The second extension was issued on April 17th, ‘continuing all civil and criminal trials scheduled to begin on or before May 29, 2020’.
This covers the previously scheduled May 11th Infinity2Global trial.
In light of this, the court has delayed proceedings, at the behest of Maike and co-defendant Jason Syn, till August 10th.
The Court is aware that this case has been on the docket since 2017 and that the current trial date has been scheduled for several months.
However, in light of General Order 20-09, the trial of this matter must be continued.
Taking into consideration the fact that numerous witnesses, Defendants, and counsel will be traveling from other countries, such as Spain and South Korea, and other states, including California, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, Florida, and Massachusetts, the Court finds that a trial date later in the summer would protect the health of the parties, the witnesses, and potential jurors.
In related news, the Infinity2Global defendants are doing their best to have evidence withheld from the jury.
An April 13th response to multiple Motions in Limine by the DOJ, addresses the multiple objections raised the defendants.
The first is the handling of an investor complaint, which was submitted to the Minnesota Office of the Attorney General.
The defendants argue that by receiving the complaint,
the Attorney General was merely a conduit for the victim’s complaint, and that the involvement of the Attorney General is irrelevant and would unduly prejudice the defendants.
Thus the argument is an exhibit containing communications between the Attorney General should be withheld.
The DOJ argues
In this case, Defendants do not want the jury to see that some of the individuals who invested in Emperor positions complained to their state Attorney General about I2G.
The evidence is probative, however, of the fraudulent nature of I2G’s business because some of the witnesses for the United States are expected to testify that their repeated efforts to contact anyone at I2G to request a refund were largely ignored until they submitted a written complaint to their state Attorney General.
Only then did they receive a response from an attorney for the company.
Secondly we have an email
directed to various co-conspirators which contain complaints about problems with the company’s product, the I2G Touch.
The co-defendants don’t want these emails available because they contain hearsay.
The DOJ argues they intend
to introduce the email, however, not for the truth of the matters asserted therein (that there were issues with the I2G Touch and Songstagram), but to show that, in this particular instance
(1) Maike and Syn were on notice that I2G promoters were raising questions about the products well into the time frame of the conspiracy, and
(2) what Maike and Syn were doing or, more aptly not doing, with this information.
The potential for unfair prejudice here is minimal: multiple witnesses—including the inventor of the I2G Touch and Songstagram—will testify to their first hand knowledge and awareness of the problems with the products.
The jury will hear again and again that these products were riddled with problems; the telling part of these exhibits is the fact that defendants were well-aware of the problems and repeatedly paid them little mind.
Third, the co-defendants object to the DOJ
referring to (or otherwise attempting to prove that) the Emperor (investment) level is an illegal pyramid scheme.
This objection is made on the basis Infinity2Global’s $5000 Emperor positions were limited to 5000 participants.
To which the DOJ responded;
Defendants’ assertion that a multi-level marketing company with anti-saturation policies is, as a matter of law, not a pyramid scheme, could not possibly be further from the actual law.
Defendants have the burden of proving that any anti-saturation programs they had in place were more than cosmetic, and would have the actual effect of preventing the company from collapsing on the later investors.
It should be noted that at the time Infinity2Global’s Emperor positions were only limited to create artificial scarcity.
It was a marketing tactic that is now being misrepresented as some sort of pyramid prevention policy.
Fourth, co-defendant Doyce Barnes assets incriminating statements he made should be excluded because they were “puffery or sales talk”.
Here’s an example of one of the statements Barnes seeks to exclude:
On or about October 28, 2013, BARNES told investors that “I personally in my own opinion, feel like we will be able to put between 100,000 and 200,000 people in between now and the end of the year, and I think one half million next year is not out of the question at all.”
Barnes’ objection is made on the basis the above and any similar statements were general in nature. Marketing speak if you will.
The DOJ argues;
The statement to which Barnes objects is … subject to some factual verification or substantiation at the time Barnes made it.
With regard to the specific assertion Barnes objects to, the Second Superseding Indictment goes on to state:
“In fact, I2G had fewer than 7,000 members at the end of 2013, and fewer than 24,000 members at the end of 2014.”
Barnes was a co-owner of I2G from its inception. When he is telling potential investors in late October 2013 that the company will have between 100,000 and 200,000 people in by the end of 2013, that is not puffing or sales talk.
Barnes cannot hide behind the fact that he prefaces his statements with, “I personally in my own opinion…” when at the time he made the statement, I2G had substantially under 10,000 members, a fact which Barnes either knew and deliberately concealed, or was recklessly indifferent to whether it was true or false, and a fact which would have been important for any prudent investor to know.
Other objections raised include:
- the admission of statements and emails made by the co-defendants;
- references to Infinity2Global holding investor funds in escrow;
- citing Richard Maike’s personal expenditures;
- bringing up Global1Entertainment (failed Infinity2Global Ponzi reboot);
- evidence pertaining to “criticisms of business practices”;
- evidence pertaining to “false statements (made that are) unrelated to casino profits”;
- possible confusion regarding the distinction of Infinity2Global’s owners (Richard Maike and Doyce Barnes), and defendants who worked for the scheme (Richard Anzalone, Faraday Hosseinipour, Dennis Dvorin and Jason Syn);
- the admission of international banking records pertaining to Jason Syn; and
- the admission of an email to Maike regarding Qubeey’s bankruptcy (qubeey developed the I2G Touch app).
I2G Touch was riddled with problems, as seen from the litany of emails from complaining users.
On February 9, 2014, Maike and Wright were copied on a “Situation Analysis” (Exhibits 127 and 128), discussing the options.
Ultimately, the I2G Touch “product” limped along: Maike continued to make payments to Amazon Web Services to host the platform and to Queeby to service the platform.
Maike needed the I2G Touch to stay alive so that he could continue to defraud investors.
The United States plans to show that Maike was aware of Queeby’s many problems—both software and financial—and consistently hid those facts from investors, instead making bloated claims that I2G had exclusive rights to a revolutionary product, claims which he knew were false.
The truth—which I2G hid from investors—was that I2G had non-exclusive rights to the near-zerovalue product of a company which Maike knew was in bankruptcy.
At the time of publication decisions on the defendant’s motions in limine remain pending.
Update July 18th 2020 – Citing the threat of COVID-19, the Infinity2Global trial has once again been postponed to March 2021.