It would be easy for me to ignore all of the drama which has played out between the Sweigert brothers, AKA George Webb and Dave Acton, and that of Defango, Nathan Stolpman, and others. But…there is one aspect of this story that causes me to camp out in this neck of the woods a little longer.
I want to know what the legal theory and evidence is, behind Dave Sweigert’s threats of a RICO lawsuit against a few YouTubers and most likely, the deeper pockets of YouTube and Patreon. If Sweigert did not have an extensive history of filing as a Pro Se Plaintiff in Federal courts, I might saunter away, on the assumption that he was probably not serious in his threats. However, because of his past history, this story bears watching.
There are interesting questions which arise from the potential use of RICO laws against persons who are only loosely associated through online social media. And then there is the monetary motive that Sweigert feels is critical to his argument against Youtubing crowdstalkers, which can be derived from having a Youtube channel that allows advertising. I feel inclined to point out that there are monetary benefits from filing a successful civil RICO case, in the form of treble damages.
The backstory of what I have viewed in the public domain, has no doubt hidden undercurrents, documents which are not accessible, and behind the scenes conversations which have taken place. Much of this situation could have been kept entirely private, but for the fact that Dave Acton/Sweigert has published documents and videos and made comments on other YouTube channels, Twitter, etc. Some of his words and documents he has pulled from the public domain after being witnessed by many persons not party to his private affairs. The game he is playing is a strange one; possibly one that suggests a form of entrapment through legal sophistry.
So what are the various options in which conflicts can be resolved, apart from criminal and civil law proceedings? What are the elements of a RICO lawsuit that must exist for a case to be even accepted into the law courts? I am not an attorney and do not understand legal theory in depth, nor legal procedures. Yet because I am an American citizen, having a layman’s common sense understanding of law, I can view the facts and evidence which have been presented in the public domain, and form an opinion which can withstand logical scrutiny.
As stated in previous posts, my attention was first drawn to various Youtubers, because of their commentaries on the Maersk Memphis dirty bomb incident on June 14, 2017. About that time, I began to follow Bravo Von Muller’s video commentaries. Through him, I became aware that prior to this event, there had arisen a discussion on the true identity of Dave Acton, and that of George Webb.
A Pre Litigation Notice?
And like others, Bravo Von Muller has found himself in the fishing net of Dave Acton/Sweigert. An example of that is found in this video, although there were other similar type communications made and displayed earlier at the Bravo Von Muller YouTube channel. This particular comment shows someone named Dave Sweigert stating, Bravo, …this is your pre litigation notice. Safeguard all electronic files that you have used in your video productions.
If Bravo Von Muller is ever named as a defendant in a lawsuit by Dave Sweigert, I shall be interested to find out what measures Sweigert took prior to that action, to explain exactly where and how that Bravo Von Muller had committed defamation or some other action subject to a civil court of law. Bravo von Muller has pointed out that he has no assets, and I cannot see how he can be drawn into the gangsta group which Sweigert is forming through some legal theory of his.
So what is Sweigert trying to achieve? A chilling of free speech? Bravo Von Muller has admitted that he receives the grand sum of about $160 a month from his YouTube channel. Perhaps Sweigert desires to be the cause of the loss of this source of supplemental income for this former Air Force man from the 1980’s, who later became a Las Vegas gambler and casino dealer. Bravo Von Muller has a right to speak his own views and to make his personal commentary public on matters which are in the public domain. I note that he allows derogatory comments from others about him to be published on his YouTube channel. In other words, Bravo Von Muller has not attempted to censor those who oppose him by words, but rather he allows their views to be read.
After the dirty bomb report, numerous persons asked whether this false report which originated with “a conspiracy theorist” might negatively impact the free-for-all world of YouTubing. The answer to that concern would appear to have arrived in the form of Suspicious Activity Reports, Evidence Preservation Letters, Cease and Desist Notices, and Pre Litigation Warnings; all of which come from one source who uses Twitter, YouTube comments and videos, plus letters sent by the United States Postal Office.
The grouping together of various Youtubers that Sweigert believes can be prosecuted under the criminal and civils laws of the RICO act, has the potential to have a chilling effect on free speech, the monetizing of certain internet platforms, and the right of free association to discuss ideas in the public realm.
A Letter to the Attorney General of California Department of Justice
On August 1, 2017, Dave Sweigert wrote to the Attorney General, California Department of Justice to request their assistance. Sweigert made it understood that the District Attorney of San Luis Obispo (SLO) County had failed to comprehend the application of Article I Declaration of Rights [Section 1-Sec. 32] and the California Penal Code Section 646.9 to the complaints which he had filed against Nathan Stolpman of the Lift The Veil YouTube channel.
The Declaration of Rights deals with this California Constitutional statement: All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy. And Section 646.9 defines harassment, credible threats, and the crime of stalking.
Sweigert tells the Attorney General that an individual in SLO county “maintains a worldwide network of crowd stalking associates that receive calls to action via Livestream broadcasts on YouTube and videos on Patreon to target the private citizens of California. The individual is known as: NATHAN AMES STOLPMAN, age 38″.
He claims that Mr. Stolpman is involved in crowd stalking, that he is ” handsomely rewarded via financial incentives”, and that he encourages “a call to action to ‘take care of’ or ‘visit’ the victim. He also states that “Mr. Stolpman is fond of issuing ‘bounties’ for photographs of his targeted individuals. By providing the intended whereabouts of the victim, a call to action is issued to intercept the individual for unwanted photography and other harassment.”
With regard to this and other such letters of complaint, I have no issue with Dave Sweigert freely exercising any of his rights at any time. The only thing which I would object to, is if his facts are incorrect and his arguments misleading, so that he has not fairly represented the situation.
Two letters sent to the parents of Nathan Stolpman
Days earlier, Dave Sweigert had sent two letters to the residential address of Nathan Stolpman, who apparently resides in the garage. One of these letters, dated July 20, 2017 is addressed to Pamela J. Stolpman, who is Nathan Stolpman’s mother. When I looked up her name on the internet, it is readily apparent that Pamela Stolpman died a couple of years ago. It appears that the second letter was addressed to Nathan’s father, who is the owner of the home.
The subject line of this letter to the deceased Pamela Stolpman is: Alleged criminal activity of your son, Nathan Ames Stolpman. He begins by saying, “As you are well aware, your son (Nathan Ames Stolpman) is presently engaged in a long standing cyber harassment campaign directed at me. I am a private individual that has suffered greatly from your son’s continuous disparaging, slanderous and defaming remarks. Additionally, he is fond of making videos in my neighborhood in Mount Shasta with his encouragement to ‘meet with him’. Enough is enough.” Sweigert quotes California Penal Code Sec. 646.9 (a) and (e), concluding “Your son’s actions are considered by me as threats.”
I won’t criticize Sweigert when he views the actions and words of Nathan Stolpman as threatening, for he is within his rights to express his subjective opinion. After all, he is the focal point of those videos. But after viewing a number of Lift The Veil videos, my opinion is that Stolpman is a childish showman, much like Dave Acton. And like Dave Acton aka Dave Sweigert, Nathan also panics if the scrapes he gets himself into with other people goes beyond some invisible boundary.
Unless Nathan Stolpman has a criminal record that I am unaware of, he does not appear to be someone who would physically harm another person. That his actions might encourage someone else who is dangerous, would be, in my mind, the primary reason that Stolpman needs to rethink his dramatic displays. It must be noted that Nathan Stolpman studied drama at college. It must also be noted that Dave Acton also did some Hollywood acting on a temporary basis. One can find something of the mirror imaging of each other in their methods of conflict resolution. That said, Dave Sweigert is within his rights to initiate action to cause certain acts of Nathan Stolpman to cease, and I do not take issue with that.
Here is the fly in this ointment, however. Dave Sweigert has claimed that he lives in California, presumably in the Mount Shasta vicinity. But the letters which he mailed to Nathan Stolpman’s living father and deceased mother were sent from a post office box from Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. The Fort Meade location is highlighted on Dave Sweigert’s online resume, although it would appear that he still retains employment in California. Fort Meade is an Army Base which houses the United States Cyber Command, and the NSA. And of course, given this twilight zone in which we find ourselves, it is only appropriate that the postage on the envelope was one penny less than $6.66.
So here we have the unfortunate situation that Nathan’s father, who once held a very high government position, not only receives a threatening letter regarding his adult son’s behavior, but he also receives a separate letter addressed to his deceased wife.
So what does the compassionate Dave Sweigert do on July 25, 2017, just after it is confirmed that the Stolpmans have received his July 20th letter? Why he files a Report of Suspected Endangerment To A Dependent Adult/Elder which also references a letter he had sent to the Chief of Detectives of SLO on July 24, 2017.
This letter to Victim Services, Elder & Dependent Adult Abuse, complains that Nathan Ames Stolpman, 38, “operates a fake hoax news site with thousands of viewers”, and he brings to their attention that in a certain video, Nathan’s father appeared “on a live camera show” as he came into the room to discuss legal documents which had been delivered a few minutes earlier. Sweigert then stresses, “These documents clearly state that the father’s property and home are in legal jeopardy because of the son’s use of the facilities and logistics to support wire fraud activities as defined by Penal Code 646.9, cyber-stalking, for commercial profit (see wire fraud and racketeering).”
Sweigert, in his Elder Abuse letter, also observes that the 72 year old “elder Stolpman appears to be in the care of an extremely unstable, controversial and eccentric YouTube personality who-only last week-abused the processes of the County courts with an unfounded, meritless, frivolous and vexations civil action against a former fan (see attachment to ref: (b)).” Dave Sweigert then explains to Victim Services that “a wire fraud civil legal action has been iniated(sp) against Nathan Stolpman for alleged slander, defamation, wire fraud and criminal violations of Penal Code 646.9”. Dave Sweigert signs off with “Warm regards”.
Anyone who watches Lift The Veil sooner or later understands that Nathan Stolpman has confessed to having mental issues, although at one time he was highly functioning in society as a high-end car salesman. Thus Nathan Stolpman’s father, who is now getting older, and who lost his wife two years ago, and is trying to assist his son who is dealing with some level of mental health issues, finds himself being threatened by Dave Sweigert that he might lose his house through RICO laws. And while Sweigert chastises Nathan for being the primary cause of this trouble, we must note that Sweigert is purposely using tactics to resolve conflict, that will cause the most damage to his targets.
Here are two common sense questions: (1) if Dave Sweigert does not file a lawsuit as he has threatened to do, is he setting himself up to be criminally charged for harassment and the use of intimidation tactics against his adversaries? (2) If he does file a lawsuit, can he expect a counterclaim involving those same issues?
This whole matter is messy from beginning to end, as there is fault to be found with many of these Youtubers in their presentations, and that includes The Litigator also known as Dave Sweigert. Most likely some of these conflicts could have been ignored, or addressed by a detailed formal letter from Dave Sweigert to individual persons, wherein he describes exactly what was said that constituted defamation, as the law defines it.
And with regard to the charge of cyber stalking against Stolpman, I do not know if a judge or a jury would agree with Sweigert that a credible threat had been made against him. In fact, it might be that the District Attorney of SLO did not address Dave Sweigert’s complaint in the manner in which Sweigert wanted, because the facts of that situation did not meet the minimum requirements of the law. I do not know. And it is now left up to the Attorney General of the California Department of Justice to review this question.
I find it difficult to imagine that a strong, bold, heroic, self-proclaimed Incident Commander, with Army training, a survivalist expert who has put his photos out on the internet via Infowars and Hollywood acting demo websites, would so tremble in fear over someone taking his photo at a conference, that he cancelled his own book signing opportunity. But, the upside to this loss of potential book buyers is that now he can add this complaint to his RICO lawsuit, and command treble damages should he prevail.
Dave Sweigert has published several specialized books, and it seems that he is working on another one. Below is a copy of the potential cover, front and back. It says, “Dave Sweigert is a modern day General Billy Mitchell, ostracized for demonstrations of the next generation of warfare. The author brilliantly leads us through the nuances of cyber-attacks…”.
Billy Mitchell was an Army General who is called the “father of the United States Air Force”. I am not sure whether to rest my case on that book cover statement, or allow Dave Sweigert to rest his case on that comparison. I am virtually conflicted on that one. As we now know, Dave Sweigert is an expert on winning virtual conflict.