An indictment is when someone is given formal notice that it is believed that he or she committed a crime. An indictment tells the person being charged why this has happened. Being indicted does not mean that you are guilty. It means that there was enough probable cause to charge you with the crime.
What is Probable Cause?
Probable cause is a requirement found in the 4th Amendment. It means that the government feels that, based on the evidence available, there is a reasonable basis for believing that the person charged committed the crime. Probable cause is not a high bar and it is far from a sure thing that someone who is indicted will be charged.
What is a “Victimless Indictment”?
It means that the crime the person is being indicted for is actually something both parties consented to—that the only ‘complaining party’ is law enforcement.
My Experiences and Evidence Regarding My Victimless Indictment:
My Federal indictment was based on an accusation by the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) that Micfo created alias companies in order to obtain IP addresses from ARIN. (You can read the whole complaint here.)
Here is what’s important to understand:
- The alias companies ARIN is complaining about are legal companies. The government had complete knowledge of their activities.
- We settled with ARIN about exactly these same companies and IP addresses two weeks before I was indicted! Here’s a copy of ARIN and Micfo Settlement Agreement duly signed on May 1st, 2019.
- Fraud should be material. Material means that the opposing party was harmed enough that they’d never want to do business with you again. Today, Micfo is still a member and customer of ARIN. Micfo and channel partners got to keep many of their IP addresses and Micfo continues to do business with ARIN.
So those are three reasons (There are more! I’ll continue writing about all this.) why this was a victimless indictment.
To recap with supporting evidence in the links:
- Everything the government alleged in the May 15th, 2019 indictment regarding Micfo’s use of aliases and channel partners was already known to them as they had conducted two separate investigations in 2017 and 2018. (for the full story scroll down to The Indictment Series)
- On September 17th, 2018 the FBI closed their pending investigations when Special Agent Brian Womble wrote to my attorneys, stating they were closing the case and would not be opening a formal investigation into Micfo.
- I was indicted on May 15th, 2019 – despite settling with ARIN—the purported ‘victim’—two weeks prior.
And, as we argued in our Motion to Dismiss the Federal Indictment, per ARIN’s Registration Services Agreement (RSA) IP addresses are licensed and so could never have been ‘owned’ much less ‘stolen’ by Micfo.
A few questions…
Doesn’t it seem highly coincidental that ARIN pressured the government to open up an investigation into Micfo prior to the May 15th, 2019 Indictment? (Given that ARIN’s reasoning to the government for investigating Micfo concerned the same disputes that Micfo and ARIN settled on May 1st, 2019.)
The Indictment Series
For those of you who want greater context and all the juicy details, I’ve covered the full story of my federal indictment in a six-part blog series. Each post is important. It’s not to be missed!
[Part 6]: What is an Arraignment Hearing?
Couldn’t tax payer funds be better spent on active and open criminal cases?
Please scroll down to the comments below and share your point of view on this confusing situation. And again, thanks so much for your enthusiastic support! I don’t know how I could have made through all this without the love and support of my family and friends. This is the first step in our creating community around Helping Every Loving Parent (HELP) to spend time with their children. Every story is important.