LIBERTY REEF (FCP) May 13, 2016 (Updated 5/25/2016) – I have never before done this, and I’m unclear just how much influence I can muster on this, but I’m asking that my friends and the supporters of the Free Capitalist Project will take a few minutes and read this alert – in its entirety – and put aside any excuse, to act in support of Gabriel Joseph.

Tell your friends. Bring a like-minded neighbor. Change your schedules. Change your plans. Gather your brothers and sisters, and church members. It is important! My invitation is to you: Will you love your neighbor? Will you come, on May 27, 2016 at 1:30 pm to the new Federal Courthouse in Salt Lake City (351 S. West Temple) and stand with Gabe?

Gabriel was one of my first real estate investor students, was one of the original partners of the Franklin Squires Companies, and was the first Chairman of our Board.  As many of you know, from 2004 through 2007, Franklin Squires and the Free Capitalist Project had a tremendous period of growth and success. During that same time, in addition to the prosperity experienced by so many people associated with us, many of us and our companies became very politically active and socially influential. We advocated for capitalism, for liberty, and for the United States constitution. We supported the election of local, state and federal candidates who shared our values and principles. We chastised and criticized otherwise popular but unprincipled politicians. We supported programs like Utah’s school voucher bill, and we organized more than 20,000 people into local study groups and forums. We grew rapidly and visibly. Gabe was a regular host and co-host of Free Capitalist Radio and was a very visible example of our real estate training successes.  So much so, that by 2006 Utah bureaucrats and a few of their federal colleagues started to act at the bidding of their politically aligned power-craving friends who couldn’t stand us, with the overtly stated goal of intentionally putting an end to our efforts.

Of course, that battle became rather public, and some of you know that the Federal Government indicted me in May of 2009.  The state and federal government also charged several others, including Jason Vaughn (whose case went to trial, and who was fully exonerated and acquitted by a jury of his peers.  With the help of God, a tremendous attorney (Marcus R. Mumford), and a few very dear friends, and a few principled individuals who work in the halls and chambers of our courts, we were able to beat the first indictment, the superseding indictment and the government’s third attempt – the second superseding indictment.  All of the government’s absurd and politically motivated criminal charges were dismissed against me in 2014.  Prosecutors appealed to try and secure the right to try a fourth time to prosecute me.  The final order putting that matter to rest permanently should be issued in the coming months.

But, what some of you may not know in all this is that through my case we proved that in the government’s zeal to prosecute me, they deliberately targeted people like Gabe, and they pressured many people to make false accusations, under threat of imprisonment. Meaning, if they lied for the government to help convict me, then the government would leave them alone. If not, the government was coming after them.  Gabe did not give in to these threats – and has insisted that the truth will ultimately prevail.

There isn’t space here to fully document what has been proven in court (both the Federal District Court in Salt Lake and in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals) but in sum, both courts have referred to the “sordid history “ of this case and the government’s pattern of neglectful, illegal, and unconstitutional conduct.  But, in all of this, some of the same prosecutors engaged in this “sordid history” prosecuted and convicted Gabriel of making false statements to a bank, wire fraud, money laundering and willfully failing to file a tax return.  As I see it, that legal battle still has some chapters remaining.  I know Gabriel well, and I know that whatever mistakes he may have made in his business, he did not ever intentionally commit fraud, launder money or willfully fail to file a tax return.  I respect the courts, as do all Free Capitalists, and I respect that a jury reached this verdict.  But, I also trust and respect the processes in place that allow a person in Gabe’s situation to bring to light critical legal errors that can occur during a trial, that lead to an unjust outcome.   These legal processes will continue to play out, and I have faith and confidence in the ultimate outcome for Gabe and his family.  We know the truth, particularly about the government’s motive, and the prosecutors’ conduct in these affairs – and how their primary goal was first, to taint our reputations, spread lies through the media, and then convict us if they could.  Thus, Gabe’s fight continues.

To respect the privacy, legal confidences, and the individuality of my friends, I have not spoken publically about Gabe’s case and many others. But, today I’m speaking out and asking for our friends to rise up on this occasion and support a good, talented, friendly, god-fearing man and his family.  Through all of this and through all of our ups and downs, Gabe has been my friend.

Rick and Gabriel Joseph

Before I get more specific with this call to action for Gabe, let me just summarize the actual record on what the federal courts have already determined over these last seven years.  (Since originally publishing this post, a few individuals have contacted me and expressed how certain they are that Gabe and I, or one or the other of us, is a fraud or some other derogatory label.  In each instance, these individuals relied upon false claims – now officially discredited by the courts, or upon only pieces of information rather than the whole truth.  Of course, each of us is free to judge our neighbors, but not all judgments are just or of equal value.)  I invite those who are actually interested in the truth, to consider:

On June 2, 2011, the federal court issued an order that received little attention by the press. The direct implication of the court’s finding was that federal prosecutors had brought a false case, had misled the grand jury, and had violated local ethics rules, and federal law. They based their initial false and exaggerated theory on a single letter that had never been sent to anyone except my attorneys, from whom I had been seeking legal advice. But, prosecutors were revealed to have used it to make false allegations about a supposed “Ponzi” scheme, to coach grand jury and potential trial witnesses, to bias former friends and employees of our company, and to mislead the grand jury. The court ordered that the letter would be “suppressed” and this order also invalidated the first indictment. That order is known as United States v. Koerber, No. 2:09-CR-302 CW, 2011 WL 2174355, at *10 (D. Utah June 2, 2011).

On August 15, 2013, the federal court issued an order finding that in addition to the legal and ethical violations above, federal prosecutors also intentionally schemed with IRS and FBI agents to violate the Citizens Protection Act (the “Protection Act”), 28 U.S.C. § 530B, and “due process under the Fifth Amendment.” In these court proceedings, it was proven that local federal prosecutors – acting at the bidding of corrupt local bureaucrat Francine Giani and her staff, had lied to the Department of Justice, had mislead federal agents, and had purposefully schemed to destroy Franklin Squires and my personal reputation.  In the process, these misguided prosecutors also targeted several of my colleagues – including specifically Gabriel Joseph. In court, prosecutors also attempted to mislead the judge and to cover-up the truth of their scheme. Under oath, the lead prosecutor admitted that he had purposefully targeted Gabriel even before, as the court pointed out, there was any conclusion that a law had been violated or that any particular charges were justified. In response, the court ordered suppression of almost all of the evidence in the case, as a remedy to “prevent the erosion of “citizens’ faith in the even-handed administration of the laws” after such serious prosecutorial misconduct.  So, to those who would judge Gabriel, or for those who are willing to believe the government (and the Salt Lake Tribune’s) allegations against me and my colleagues – it invite you to ask yourself, “If the court had to issue this order to ‘prevent the erosion of citizens’ faith in the even-handed administration of the laws'” which side of the controversy has the stronger moral claim?  Not only are those charged with a crime legally “presumed innocent” – in this case, the government has been proven – guilty.  This order is known as, United States v. Koerber, 966 F. Supp. 2d 1207, 1245 (D. Utah 2013)

Approximately one year later, on August 14, 2014, the federal court issued another order, this time dismissing the case against me, with prejudice. In that order, the court found that there had been a “pattern of widespread and continuous misconduct” by the government – not me, my company or my colleagues.  This “pattern” was proven, according to the court, to have “unfortunately beg[u]n even before the original indictment.”   Think about that for a minute.  Before any charges were filed – the government was following an agenda against me (and really against all of us) that included breaking the law and violating the constitution.  What does that say, about the morality of the government agents involved, and those who advanced the allegations in the first instance?  In fact, the court noted that the government had unconstitutionally decided to prosecute me – before the grand jury had concluded there was any reason to bring charges.  The court ruled that the government’s scheme – not Franklin Squires and not Founders Captial – was unethical and unlawful from the beginning. The court concluded that it could “not ignore the sordid history of this case, where [Mr. Koerber] has already established how the government intentionally intruded on his constitutional rights and attorney-client relationship to secure an indictment in the first instance.” The court sharply criticized prosecutors and the government.  Despite all this, the Salt Lake Tribune continues to advance the allegations – and neglects to report on the significance of such a finding – now upheld by the 10th Circuit – after the government’s appeal.  This order is known as United States v. Koerber, No. 2:09-CR-00302, 2014 WL 4060618, at *7 (D. Utah Aug. 14, 2014).

After this last order, Ms. Francine Giani, who has escaped virtually any consequence for her own role in the “sordid” and unjust history of this case – including unethical conduct and illegalities perpetrated as she and her agents and associates schemed, feigned being upset with federal prosecutors for losing the case on a “technicality.” You see, my friends, fairness, ethical rules, federal statutes, and even the Constitutional – these are only “technicalities” to the likes of Ms. Giani.  What do they mean to you?

Finally, after the government appealed the last order, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order in my case affirming the core of the district court’s prior findings and concluded that despite two important errors that needed to be corrected, it remained free to again “conclude that, among other things, “the sordid history of this case,” and the “Government’s pattern of neglect and dilatory conduct” justified dismissal with prejudice. That order is known as United States v. Koerber, 813 F.3d 1262, 1287 (10th Cir. 2016).

Local Salt Lake Tribune staff writer, Tom Harvey, functioned as the unofficial spokesperson for the government and the philosophy of Ms. Giani and these corrupt prosecutors. He has been instrumental in helping the government tarnish our reputations – including specifically, Gabe’s.  Despite all of the above court rulings – Mr. Harvey still, to this day, sells the government’s line, without apology.   On November 3, 2015, he reported that a federal “Jury finds Rick Koerber associate guilty in real estate loan fraud” case. He didn’t even have the civility to state Gabriel’s name – and recognize him as his own man. Of course, he’ll defend that and say, “look at the subtitle.” “Gabriel Joseph and Koerber had operated investment companies linked to scams, according to prosecutors.” But, what Mr. Harvey never does, is show the public that the same lead prosecutors that led the trial against Gabe, are among those who intentionally schemed to violate local ethics rules, laws, and constitutional limitations in my case.

It would be different if it was just me saying this (which, by the way, I did back in 2009 when this charade all first came to light), but now both the Utah District Court and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals have weighed in on our side of the argument and made and sustained these findings themselves.  And, in the middle of all this, we also uncovered a strategy memo by Ms. Giani (or a member of her staff) that overtly stated back in 2007 – when their chief investigator had concluded that NO EVIDENCE supported charges, that their goal was to originally stated as a purposeful effort discredit me and to get “the public” to align with the government – even after their own chief investigator reported that no illegality had been uncovered after years of investigation. I’m not kidding, that was on government letterhead, written by Ms. Giani or her staff, as their PURPOSE – to discredit me and to get the public to align with the government. It’s also important to note that in that same document – the government listed Gabriel Joseph as someone they could pressure with criminal charges – to help make this happen. Of course, Tom Harvey and the Salt Lake Tribune have sat on their hands on this issue – NOT ONCE – reporting on this, even though its public record and the court has issued the above rulings.

At the end of the day, the reason I’m writing this is that a federal jury convicted Gabe on several federal felony counts. Cheered on by Tom Harvey (and other vile humans like “FreeCommunist” a Trib.com commenter) prosecutors have now asked the court to send Gabriel to federal prison for 10-15 years.

Gabe’s sentencing is going to take place on May 27, 2016, at 1:30 pm at the new Federal Courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City.

In my opinion, Gabe’s trial was full of problems. I’m glad to know he now has excellent attorneys working on the possibility of a new trial, and an appeal. And, Free Capitalist friends and supporters should know that I remain on the path I described back in 2009. Before the government’s lies – we had a tremendous enterprise. We had a tremendous team of individuals working for us, and many – many thousands of people’s lives had been blessed by our work. Before the government’s big lie, there was not ONE government complaint, and there was not ONE lawsuit against us.  (Note:  One reader has written to me to point out a civil lawsuit against Gabe – where Gabe prevailed.  But, even in that instance, the lawsuit was filed after the government had embarked upon its campaign against us and worked to deliberately convince people against us – separate and apart from any evidence that we had engaged in any wrongdoing, and with plenty of evidence to the contrary.)

I know that to some few, especially those who accept the writings and allegations of Tom and the government, my name is forever associated with the imagined Ponzi-scheme theory invented by Francine, and Wayne Klien (and a few of their old associates). But, that story was false when they invented it, and it is still false today. The political interests that encouraged them are still active in Utah government and the majority of the people still have no idea.  Just today I was contacted by a well-meaning family member of Gabe’s, chastising me for destroying his life – presuming that despite all of the above – the government’s allegations are still true and proclaiming that I should be ashamed.  I am not ashamed.  What we did at Franklin Squires was amazing, it blessed the lives of thousands of people.  Significantly, before the government got involved, with what has now been proven in court as an illegal, unethical, and unconstitutional scheme led by federal officers who purposefully set out to attack us and discredit us – there was no question as to our success, or our intentions.  We employed hundreds of citizens, paid excellent wages, provided benefits, taught thousands of people across the country, and received thousands of thank-you letters, testimonials, and support.  Many of our partners and owners – including Gabe – contributed frequently and generously to charities, to scholarships, to community efforts, and actively engaged in schools and government – to advance principles, and freedom.  All this story was largely drowned out by the economic collapse of our business.  Some still presume that Franklin Squires collapsed financially because of some wrongdoing.  But, that is false.  And, it was not merely the real estate collapse of 2007-2009 that caused the collapse.  Franklin Squires and our related companies could have survived and prospered – but for the malicious and false scheme of the government.  The people who were hurt financially, as a result of the Franklin Squires financial collapse, have much more reason to direct their anger at the government – than any other direction.

I’ve endeavored to prove, through diligent legal action these past seven years that time is on the side of truth. I believe that. And, I believe that fair-minded people, especially those who have been critical and skeptical of me, and Gabe and our colleagues, have a moral obligation to question their presumptions and conclusions – especially now, after the court has verified in its formal legal rulings, the falsehoods, the unethical conduct, the illegal scheme, and the unconstitutional actions of the government.  It may take seven more years, or twice that, to ensure that those who have abused their positions in government against us are held legally accountable and are required to reimburse those who suffered as a result of their widespread misconduct and illegalities.  If anyone thinks that day won’t come, I believe they have underestimated the significance of what has been proven so far, and the power of the truth.

But, that’s not the main reason I’m writing today. I’m writing because my friend could really benefit from the support of people who love him and/or who love liberty. Gabe is a good man, a funny, friendly, and determined man. There are those who know this even more than me. But, I know it. He’s no criminal, in the purest sense of that term, no matter what anyone may think. Yet, he very realistically is facing a long federal prison sentence, away from his wife, his children, his other family and his friends. Gabe is strong, and so is his wife Shandi. I know they will only be made stronger through their faith as this continues to unfold – but I also know they could use a show of support. We do not know what the judge will decide. On May 27, 2016, at 1:30 pm, the judge may decide a sentence of probation – or the judge may decide a sentence of 10+ years. Whatever Gabe’s personal flaws or mistakes – he should NOT be in a federal prison, not even for a day. He was not targeted because he harmed anyone, in fact, for the charges he faced, it does not appear that the banks lost even a dollar, and may have even profited. Yet, not one mortgage banker, not one bank executive in the tremendous banking fraud perpetrated on our nation has spent any time under the same stress faced for the last several years by Gabe and his family.  Gabe was targeted because he was associated with me, with Franklin Squires and the Free Capitalist Radio program.  That is wrong.

He was not targeted because he harmed anyone, in fact, for the charges he faced, it does not appear that the banks lost even a dollar, and may have even profited. Not one mortgage banker, not one bank executive in the tremendous banking fraud perpetrated on our nation has spent any time facing the same stress and present circumstance faced by Gabe and his family.

Gabe was targeted because he was associated with me, with Franklin Squires and the Free Capitalist Radio program.  That is wrong.  Whether you know Gabe or not, whether you have previously supported the Free Capitalist Project or not – the reason I’m writing this today, is a CALL TO ACTION.  Whether you realize it or not, Gabe stands in this situation, for all of us. He stands for every citizen who could suffer from the overreach of corrupt federal bureaucracy. I respect the court and our jury system, but these prosecutors – some of the very prosecutors who presented his case to the jury – work in an office that has plainly lost its moorings.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I’ve never done this. Since the day I was first arraigned, I’ve focused on doing my part to win this battle, and after my initial press conference back in 2009, I’ve not once asked anyone to change their life to SHOW SUPPORT for me or my Franklin Squires and Free Capitalist colleagues. But, today is different.  Today, I’m asking for something from you – the reader.  Wherever you are, this message is to you – our old and new friends, will you show up to support Gabe, in court, on May 27th? Will you come to the new Federal Courthouse in Salt Lake City and be civil, and polite, and respectful? Not as a protest – we will continue to protest through the rules and laws of the court in this case – but, as a show of support? Will you come dressed in suits and with kind and warm support for Gabe and his family? Will you help show the court that Gabe is loved, with strong ties to his community, and that given the context of all the above – the “public” is NOT aligned with corrupt prosecutors and bureaucrats?

What we started with the Free Capitalist Project years ago has definitely been affected, and to a significant degree slowed, by the tyranny I’ve briefly described here – but our cause is just, and or work will again pick up steam and we will re-marshal forces to advocate for liberty, principles, and the success and prosperity of individuals and families. The government targeted us because of our initial success – and they set out to destroy us and our reputations and to stop us, and to use the laws against us – by breaking those very laws, by violating the US Constitution and by disregarding the ethical rules that are meant to govern them.  None of us are immune from such wrongdoing, and all of us have a vested interest in the court showing leniency to a man like Gabriel Joseph.

Tell your friends. Bring a like-minded neighbor. Change your schedules. Gather your friends and church members. It is important! My invitation is to you: Will you come, on May 27, 2016, at 1:30 pm to the SLC Federal Courthouse, and stand with Gabe?

I’m sure I’ll see many of you there.