Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Federal Racketeering Lawsuit Stuns HSUS

Sent to me by a close friend, who like me, has been waiting for years for someone to take the HSUS to task. I really hope that Feld does not settle out of court and takes the antis into a court decission that will shut them down.
bpb

NOTE: The text of the lawsuit can be read at:http://humanewatch.org/index.php/documents/detail/racketeering_lawsuit_filed_against_hsus_and_its_lawyers/
Center for Consumer Freedom

Federal Racketeering Lawsuit Stuns HSUS

February 22, 2010http://www.consumerfreedom.com/news_detail.cfm/h/4111-federal-racketeering-lawsuit-stuns-hsus

You may have missed our New Year’s Eve exposé covering the dismissalof a federal lawsuit pushed by a consortium of animal rights groupsthat included the deceptive Humane Society of the United States(HSUS). The groups alleged that Feld Entertainment (the parent companyof the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus) mistreated elephantsin violation of the Endangered Species Act, but in December a judgetossed out the lawsuit. Now the plot thickens: The circus is suingHSUS, two HSUS lawyers, and a number of other animal rightsorganizations under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations(RICO) Act. (The lawsuit is exclusively available at HumaneWatch.org.)

The original animal rights lawsuit, filed more than nine years ago,was based on information provided by a former Ringling elephant “barnhelper” named Tom Rider. After Rider left his circus job, he was paidby animal rights groups to testify about the supposedly “bad”treatment of elephants there. In all, the original lawsuit’splaintiffs paid Rider more than $190,000—his sole source of income foryears—while the litigation made its way through the court system.
Sound a bit like pay-for-play? As Judge Emmet Sullivan noted in hisDecember ruling that dismissed the animal rights groups’ lawsuit: “TheCourt finds that Mr. Rider is essentially a paid plaintiff and factwitness who is not credible, and therefore affords no weight to histestimony…. [T]he primary purpose [for the payments] is to keep Mr.Rider involved with the litigation…”
Based on Judge Sullivan’s finding, Feld is suing everyone who played apart in this collaborative scheme (hence the “racketeering” aspect).This includes Rider and a nonprofit “Wildlife Advocacy Project”charity that the Washington, DC law firm of Meyer Glitzenstein &Crystal allegedly used to launder money between their plaintiffclients and Rider.

One of these clients putting up dough to support Rider was the Fundfor Animals, which merged with HSUS in 2004.

Feld is leveling bribery, fraud, obstruction of justice, and moneylaundering charges against HSUS and two of its corporate attorneys,three other animal rights groups, Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal, andall three of that firm’s named partners. It’s an earth-shatteringlawsuit. Today we’re telling the media:
America’s farmers, ranchers, hunters, fishermen, research scientists,fashion designers, and restaurateurs have seen for decades how theanimal rights movement can behave like a mobbed-up racket. But it’sstill shocking to see the evidence laid out on paper. In atreble-damage lawsuit like this, a jury could actually do the humanething and finally put HSUS out of business completely.
You can read the full, 135-page lawsuit over at HumaneWatch. It’sworth more than a glance. If these allegations are proven true, HSUSemployees might be finding themselves walking the same breadlinethey’ve tried to put so many others in.------------------------------------------------
Humane WatchPress release: “Racketeering Lawsuit Fingers Humane Society of theUnited States”FEB 22 2010

http://humanewatch.org/index.php/site/post/press_release_racketeering_lawsuit_fingers_humane_society_of_the_unite/
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RACKETEERING LAWSUIT FINGERS HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES

Multi-Million Dollar Animal Rights Group Accused of Corruption;Lawsuit Available at http://www.humanewatch.org/

Washington – In a landmark RICO (Racketeer Influenced and CorruptOrganizations Act) lawsuit certain to have far-reaching implicationsfor the animal rights movement, Feld Entertainment and the RinglingBrothers circus sued the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS),its lawyers, and several other animal rights groups last week. Thenonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) unearthed the lawsuit infederal court records today. CCF is making the lawsuit availableonline at its newest website, http://www.humanewatch.org/.
“America’s farmers, ranchers, hunters, fishermen, research scientists,fashion designers, and restaurateurs have seen for decades how theanimal rights movement can behave like a mobbed-up racket,” said CCFDirector of Research David Martosko. “But it’s still shocking to seethe evidence laid out on paper. In a treble-damage lawsuit like this,a jury could actually do the humane thing and finally put HSUS out ofbusiness completely.”

In its February 16 lawsuit, Feld leveled bribery, fraud, obstructionof justice, and money laundering charges against HSUS and two of itscorporate attorneys; three other animal rights groups; the Washington,DC law firm of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal; and all three of thatfirm’s named partners.
On December 30, 2009, Federal Judge Emmitt Sullivan ruled that thesedefendants collaborated to pay more than $190,000 to Mr. Tom Rider, aformer Feld employee who was an elephant “barn helper” for two yearsin the late 1990s, in exchange for his impeached testimony againstFeld in an earlier lawsuit—testimony Judge Sullivan declared “notcredible” and disregarded in its entirety. That lawsuit was dismissed.

Feld is also suing Mr. Rider, and a nonprofit “Wildlife AdvocacyProject” charity, claiming that Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal used itto funnel money from their plaintiff clients to Mr. Rider. These clients included the Fund for Animals, which merged with HSUS in 2004.
“The new HumaneWatch website is the only place the public will be ableto read this lawsuit,” Martosko added. “We’re publishing a treasuretrove of information about the Humane Society of the United States,including lots of surprising documents that HSUS would rather remainhidden from its contributors.”

Last week CCF launched http://www.humanewatch.org/, an online watchdog projectdedicated to analyzing HSUS’s activities and keeping the group honest.It includes a blog, an interactive document library, and a growingbody of information about HSUS-related organizations and staff.
To read this explosive federal racketeering lawsuit, visithttp://www.humanewatch.org.to/ arrange an interview, call Allison Miller at202-463-7112
The Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit watchdog organizationthat informs the public about the activities of tax-exempt activistgroups. It is supported by American consumers, business organizations,and foundations.

Related Documents
--Memorandum Opinion, ASPCA et al v. Feld Entertainment, 30 December 2009http://humanewatch.org/index.php/documents/detail/memorandum_opinion_aspca_et_al_v._feld_entertainment_30_december_2009/
--Racketeering Lawsuit Filed against HSUS and its Lawyers by FeldEntertainment, 16 February 2010http://humanewatch.org/index.php/documents/detail/racketeering_lawsuit_filed_against_hsus_and_its_lawyers/
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