– Phoenix, Arizona
Fallen Upon Hard Times
The two guiding lights of Creditors in Commerce are now fallen stars and have been convicted and sentenced to hard time in Federal prison.
On June 15th, 2015, Brandon Alexander Adams received a 40-month prison sentence. The following day, Gordon Leroy Hall was hammered with a stiff term of eight years.
Initially, on February 4th, 2014, Hall and Adams were indicted with four counts of attempting to produce fictitious instruments purporting to be actual securities issued under the authority of The United States. An additional fifth count was attached to Gordon Hall, a convicted felon, for knowingly possessing firearms.
The Taxman Commeth
Attorneys for the United States allege that towards the end of January 2014, Hall and Adams produced two documents, one for $868,397.60 and the other for $635,176.26; in an attempt to help Hall pay off his debts to the IRS.
On February 7th, 2014 arrest warrants were issued and Adams was taken into custody that very day in New Mexico. More than two months transpired before Hall was arrested and booked in Spartanburg County, South Carolina on April 28th.
When Push Came To Shove
Despite giving advice to the patrons of his seminars to avoid using a lawyer and to plead guilty when charged by government courts; Adams pled Not Guilty and there is no record of Adams attempting to avoid using a lawyer. The record reveals that Adams filed a financial statement and was furished with a court-appointed attorney.
On the other hand, Hall clearly waived his right to court-appointed counsel; and this is where the narration begins to get shady. Almost immediately upon Hall setting out to defend himself, attorneys for the United States filed a motion for a FARETTA HEARING.
Why We Avoid Lawyers
An advantage for a defendant with legal education and background in law is that many motions and arguments that could effectively win your case or a dismissal of the charges will not and cannot be argued by appointed counsel.
Attorneys are very conservative and operate within a narrow range of acceptable legal argument or face sanctions by the court. Attorneys have a vested interest, whether they be prosecutors, judges or defense counsel, in maintaining de minimus standards and procedures that benefit the criminal justice system, often at the expense of the defendant.
Feds Stack The Deck
Although Hall had the right idea to avoid a lawyer, he couldn’t avoid the federal attorneys, nor their trap, nor the fact that the judge was a former lawyer. Under the ruse of a Faretta Hearing, the Federal Court ruled that Hall “failed to demonstrate a knowing and intelligent waiver of his right to counsel” and compelled him to be represented by a court-appointed attorney. In other words, they intentionally stacked the deck against him.
During the next six months, Hall made several attempts to have his court-appointed counsel removed so that he could proceed on his own. But each effort was denied by the court. Burdened with the weight of his federally-appointed attorney, Hall proceeded into a jury trial and, not surpisingly, was found guilty.
Adams pursued a different path. On January 13th, 2015 he accepted a plea bargain and never went to trial. Apparently, the court waited for Hall’s trial to conclude and then sentenced the two of them back to back.
Hall is currently in prison and has filed an appeal. An additional filing was blocked on the premise that Hall is represented by counsel and therefore is not allowed to file anything on his own. Adams is scheduled to self-surrender by no later than Monday, August 17, 2015, at 12:00 p.m. to begin serving his sentence.
The hearings and trial took place at Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse in Phoenix, Arizona.