Friday, October 12, 2012

I Have Been Contacted By The FBI

Yes, it's true. I have been contacted by the FBI. Of course, a lot of other people have been contacted as well. Hundreds, in fact. The case they're working on involves some guy who ran a series of rather seedy websites, and used them to attempt to extort money from people. I was one of those people, though he didn't get a dime of my money. But I can't say I wasn't sorely tempted at one point to take the offer. It would have solved what for me had become a source of some serious personal concern. And the ploy was apparently effective because many others did pay.

So how did I become a target in what was a quite large extortion operation? And why am I now getting interesting e-mails from the Feds? Believe it or not, the story goes back to our 2012 City Council election. This really is quite a story, friends. Pull up a chair.

Going into the 2012 Sierra Madre election there was a concerted, though laughably ineffective, attempt to take this blog out. It had become obvious to certain parties in town that a lot of people were starting to get their local news from the Sierra Madre Tattler. We certainly weren't reaching everyone of course, but it was being read by most of those in town who actually bother to vote. And what was being said here was certainly not helping push forward the campaigns of the candidates they were supporting last April. So they decided to go after us.

The initial vehicle was a blog called The Sierra Madre Tattler Tattler. Run by someone using the name of Lady Elizabeth Wistar, it attempted to cast this site as a hotbed of uncivil and highly politically incorrect behavior. With most of the attacks being aimed at my charming self. Unfortunately for Ms. Wistar, not many people were interested in reading a blog that did little more than run down another blog. And Ms. Wistar apparently wasn't up to the job, either. After 5 posts that dealt mostly with her burning obsession with me, she pretty much ran out of malarkey. Today the site sits somewhere out in there in the ether unread and forgotten.

However, that isn't where this story ends. Or why the FBI has come calling. If you follow this link to Elizabeth Wistar's Facebook site (click here), you will find the following message:

Rainbows and unicorns!

I heart John Buchanan, I heart Josh Moran, I heart Nancy Walsh, I heart MaryAnn MacGillivray. I heart Joe Mosca. And I REALLY heart Sierra Madre!

You can read my blog The Sierra Madre Tattler Tattler. It is a spoof of  The Sierra Madre Tattler, which is written by John Crawford.

A cyberbullying report has been filed against John Crawford and can be viewed here:
http://cyberbullyingreport.com/bully/john-crawford-sir-eric-sierra-madre-tattler-cyberbullying-296.aspx

This cyberbullying site that Lady Wistar spoke of (I guess she "hearted" that, too), no longer exists. It completely vanished from the internet about six weeks ago. You can't even find references to it on Google. Something that is not easy to do. Try and pull something off of Google someday. It takes skill and practice.

So imagine my pleasure and surprise when I received the following e-mail from the FBI:

A current Department of Justice - FBI investigation into the websites of stdcarriers.com, illegalalienreport.com, and cyberbullyingreport.com has identified you as being a potential victim in this matter. Please review the attached questionnaire and complete as soon as possible. Any questions in this matter can be directed to this office. 

The person (or persons) running these seedy little websites listed in the FBI e-mail is (or are) being investigated by the Federal Department of Justice for extortion. I was one of the persons he/they attempted to run their extortion scam on.

Here is how this operation worked. Let's say someone such as Lady Wistar had a gripe with a person living in her neighborhood. If the person our angry Wistarian didn't "heart" was originally from another country, then she could pay this site operator a sum of money to post her victim's name and likeness on "illegalalienreport.com."

Or let's say our Wistarian found some reason to have a "not heart" situation going on with a neighbor who is Gay. She could then pay these people the set price and post her neighbor's likeness and name to stdcarriers.com and identify him as having AIDS.

Or, as in my case, if the person the concerned Wistarian didn't heart ran a news blog that took political positions contrary to those of her and her lovely friends, then she'd pony up the fee and post the victim's identity on cyberbullyingreport.com.

As nasty as all that is, it isn't what the FBI is after. We're talking extortion here. I, like so many other people who were slandered by people like Lady Wistar, wrote into these sites and complained about the injustice of being placed there. Imagine if you found yourself on one of those sites with your name and picture, and were identified as being an AIDS carrier who has unsafe sex. How would you feel?

Or if you were a hard working non-citizen living in the United States and found yourself pictured on one of those sites as being an illegal alien. Wouldn't you be afraid?

Talk about bullying. Of course you'd want to write to those guys and try to get your name and picture taken down. Those sites were attracting a lot of traffic, and any day a neighbor, or an employer, or even your children might see you there. It was an atrocious and nasty operation that profited by the homophobia, racism and hatred of those who paid them to anonymously slander people they resented.

So where does extortion figure into all of this? I wrote to the site I was apparently placed on by Lady Wistar and tried to talk whomever I was communicating with into taking me off of "cyberbullyingreport.com." I explained that I run a news blog and that the person (or persons) who paid to have me put on there did so out of a very specific political motivation. And by leaving me on that site the person I was telling all this to was at risk of being sued for libel.

The reply I received back from this person claimed his sites were located offshore, and that should I attempt to sue I really would have no real legal ground to stand on. However, this person would take my page down if I were to pay $600 for a "reputation protection service." Which was, of course, an attempt at extortion that I refused to pay.

I have now sent 11 pages of related e-mails and website information to the FBI. I had developed quite a correspondence with whomever owned those sites, and I suspect much of what he wrote there will likely hang him in a Court of Law. The attempts at extorting money from me were repeated several times.

Of course, I still don't know who Lady Elizabeth Wistar is, or was. I do have some opinions, however. My suspicion is that this fictitious figure is a composite of several persons, all of whom had reasons for wanting to silence my blog during last April's election.

As you can see, their strategy failed miserably. And who knows, some of what was included in that effort may yet come back to haunt them.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

58 comments:

  1. john, people in sierra madre never bully. they don't send around petitions, they don't meet in parks, and they would never file, en mass, false reports with the police department against a child. they don't cyberstalk, and they don't cyber bully. we are hallucinating about what happened to us in this beautiful town, and clearly you are, too.

    now, if you excuse me, this narcissist has a date with my mirror. i miss myself something terrible.

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  2. Didn't Lady Wistar also have her own Facebook page?

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    Replies
    1. Probably so. For criminals, Facebook is ripe for the picking.

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  3. Obviously Mr. Brandenburg wasn't around for the election cycle of 2010 or 2012.

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    1. I believe Tony was being facetious.

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    2. Yes, but he turned this into being about him.

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    3. Tony, in his defense, has been subjected to similar attacks. As has his family. This was more of a commiseration than anything else.

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    4. Brandenburg was obviously being sarcastic 7:46. Notice the nice label he was sporting? That was bestowed upon him by one of the cyber bullies. There are some that will try to shame the whistle blowers, be it In the political or education arenas- they're looking like one and the same .

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    5. i was drawing a parallel, yes, and having fun wit the trolls.

      746, it's funny you should say that, the same sentiment was brought up when the wistar thing happened, and, here is the thread. you'll notice we got hit up there, too. my posts were yanked off by patrick lee, and then then he called and yelled at mary that neither she, nor i, i were allowed to say anything negative about the patch. what a maroon. what had i said? i said that it was unfair to talk smack on john/the tattler, and then to deny (block) the tattler a fair forum to reply to the topic. my posts were taken down and we got the call.

      was that us talking about the brandenburgs? yep, we sure were. we were talking about bullying, double standards, and anonymous cyber attacks, and we were saying it was wrong to allow it to happen to john crawford. do you have a problem with that 746? do you not see the correlation, or have you taken your dig and pranced off?

      http://sierramadre.patch.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-tattler-too-negative

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    6. and that page they made up was an outrage. i only hope that the maggots who created it are exposed .

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    7. Patch used to be merely bad when Patrick Lee was there. Now that he is gone it is literally brain dead.

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    8. Today's newsworthy item on the Patch was a hiker slipping on algae.

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    9. Were helicopters brought in?

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  4. This is the underbelly of Sierra Madre politics.
    Shocking to the inexperienced, predictable to those who know how the Downtown Dirts and the Downtown Investment Club roll.

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  5. Crawford, sorry you had to take the hit for the team, but you were the guy for the job.
    All that communicating with he criminals who ran the sites?
    You bet they have hung themselves with their own words.

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    Replies
    1. I proudly accept the role of Crash Test Dummy. I will be blogging in 2014 as well.

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  6. I never did see the Wistar folderol. For starters, it was so obviously no lady.

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  7. Typical sleazy dirts.
    This has got all the marks of Bart Doyle, John Buchanan, Joe Mosca and a few other "civic leaders"
    Remember the Cumquat and it's obscene related site?
    There's nothing these guys won't stoop to.

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    Replies
    1. The "Cumquat" has an off spring ,only more devious and creepy!

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    2. Who knows, it could very well be some of the very same people.

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    3. Birds of a feather flock together!!!!

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    4. That is one nasty flock of birds.

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  8. Maybe the FBI can tell John Buchanan what he can and cannot read. (Watch the Neuroblast video of John Buchanan defending the Cumquat at a city council meeting.)

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    Replies
    1. If the FBI has any contact with that bloviating ignoramous, John Buchanan, they had better be trained in defense against dull arts of logorrhea.

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  9. Another great hypocrisy from the Civility Party. Those frauds.

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  10. "Rainbows and unicorns!"

    My dear God.

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    Replies
    1. One inevitable downside of an informative, well-written, local blog, is that you have to face the fact that some of your neighbors are lunatics. Ignorance was bliss.

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  11. So, if I am to correctly interpret the message in today's blog, the FBI is busy investgating offshore attempts to extort $600 from you but have no time to investigate Bob Matheson. Is that correct? And you are providing much of the evidence against Lady Wistar and it's cohorts to make their job even easier.... That gaggle of "business professionals" and their political cabal should be very pleased with themselves to have raised their visibility to the national level.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe Matheson has better political connections.

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    2. The connection between Matheson and Lady Wistar and the Dirts and Dics is not hard to imagine.

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    3. Yes. We have seen the pictures of them drinking wine and partying together. They're certainly a fun loving bunch.

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    4. They're so civil, aren't they?

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    5. Matheson was obviously skilled as a cameraman, and was well versed with the internet.
      Wonder just how much input he's had on the anti-slow growth web sites.

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    6. I don't think it is too risky to say Matheson could have been involved with the Cumquat.

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    7. Risky when you're posting anonymously? Maybe not risky but your post does show a lack of understanding about gays and pedophiles. They are not the same. Being gay is not against the law. On the other hand being a pedophile is.

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    8. Nothing in the posts about Robert W Matheson, convicted child pornography devotee, shows any of the confusion you mention 9:33. Why do you think of it?

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    9. 9:33 should get the award for weirdest post of the day.

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    10. And 9:36 wins Most Accurate.

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  12. Hard to believe there's such a crowd of ugly, sleazeball characters in a small town that's been around since 1907 and shares a lot of history with Pasadena, Arcadia and San Marino. Uniquely whacko bunch. Utter lack of dignity or ethics, anything goes, to hell with the residents. They need to be run out of town, perhaps the FBI got a call from a fed up local with connections, more power to that.

    By the way, the Valero station in San Marino is no more, it's now Chevron. Maybe fallout from the Valero EVG scam last December in Sierra Madre?

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  13. Am I the only one who hates unicorns?

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    1. The only good unicorn is a d...

      Wait, that would be uncivil.

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    2. The reason why unicorns are nearly extinct is because in some societies their horns are considered a powerful drug that assists those who use it to sell more houses.

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  14. Crawford,
    Can we start naming Lady Wistar suspects now?

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    Replies
    1. No, let's not. It would not serve our purposes well if innocent individuals were linked to this. Let's stay away from that one for the time being. Thanks for asking.

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  15. The proper use of unicorns. Click on my name.

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    1. Excellent source of sparkles, huh? Created especially for Sierra Madre by...

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    2. Goes best with a tossed glitter salad of Wistaria.

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    3. Watch out for sparkles. Some experts believe they cause brain disorders.

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  16. The Civilty Party is very sloppy about who they go into business with.

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    Replies
    1. Short-sighted indeed.
      Wanted business associates to come after the Tattler - probably didn't think the FBI would come after the associates.

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    2. I suspect that they are quite stunned when people don't find them to be as wonderful as they think they are.

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    3. Speaking of civility folks, what's the latest with Bart Doyle and the El Monte transit deal?

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    4. Like all investigations that have been going on forever, the authorities cannot talk about it. I am beginning to think that investigations are often called when the involved govt agency wants to supress the story. All they have to do is declare the case to be under investigation and then not talk about it for the next twenty years. By then all of the principles have safely died of natural causes and nothing was revealed..

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  17. It was probably Steve

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    1. Does Steve have any DSP era investments downtown?

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    2. Steve is Mr. DSP.

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    3. Steve is not a Sierra Madre resident. He/she said that in one of his/her first posts. My guess is that he's/she's a Tattler lurker. Someone who likes to cause trouble and take shots at the Moderator, trying to make him look bad. But not all "Steve" posts are done by the same person regardless of what was said yesterday. Style, punctuation, content and literacy varies from post to post.

      We're on to you, Steve. We're watchin' for ya.

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    4. A troll is successful if a thread ends up discussing the troll instead of the topic in the main article.
      That's their goal - shift the focus from ideas to personalities, and insults.

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