Friday, April 13, 2007

Martin Armstrong's Punishment by a Corrupt State

On April 27, 2007 Martin Armstrong's - record 7+ Years Contempt of Court Incarceration was ended. He will now have to start another 5 Years in prison which means he will end up in prison for 12 years for a very questionable criminal charge. His right to a speedy trial was denied, he was not allowed to hire top lawyers and in fact the court took his money away from his original lawyers. He never had a proper trial, he was forced into a plea after they put him into solitary confinement for several days without sleep, as well as having been almost killed by a murderer who was allowed into his cell and then beat him with a typewriter causing Martin to lose many of his teeth while the prison guard looked on according to other inmates, Martin then had to spend a week in intensive care, the man who smashed a typewriter on his face was never charged. This shows how corrupt the US Justice System is, most likely deliberately getting a prison thug to attempt to murder Martin! Nobody in the US government cares though, what has it got to do with their salaries and gold plated pensions. As Martin says: "Strangely there was not one wire transfer (of Princeton Economic's client money) into my personal accounts." No mention was made of the fact that the CIA tried to get his $60 million super-computer model in 1998 a year before he was charged criminally - as Princeton Economics employees witnessed and was written about by one employee named James Smith. The Court then demanding Martin hand over assets (including his computer model) before he had his trial to determine if he was 'Innocent Until Proven Guilty' is wrong and a major conflict of interest by the government since the CIA wanted his model in 1998. A brilliant man will continue to rot in prison.

Southern District of New York Judge John Keenan sentenced Armstrong to the maximum , saying he had no choice but to make the criminal sentence consecutive to the civil contempt, even though the Judge could have legally given Martin credit for time already served.
In a interview with Martin's lawyer: It was stated that they filed a petition with the Supreme Court for holding Martin in contempt for more than 18 months, which is unlawful. Mr Sjobolm is hoping that "the SC grant cert, find in our favor & Mr. Armstrong will be credited for time served and be released."

The criminal sentence follows Armstrong's guilty plea (under physical duress after being put in solitary confinement without sleep for several days) last August for conspiracy to commit securities violations.

Martin did not steal money, plain and simple. What he or employees allegedly did was:

(1) Lose money trading (not a crime) and Martin claims that Republic Bank employees did illegal trading in his Princeton accounts.

(2) Failed to disclose such trading losses in some cases, some have written that it was some Princeton or Republic employees that may have actually lost the money and kept it hidden.

(3) Allowed Republic to consolidate client funds to limit their own liability and concern for accounting, which then of course allowed payment to some old clients with new client money.

Since Martin's original high end lawyers had his money taken away from them he never got a proper defense team for this, his mother hired one lawyer who while he tried hard was not likely of the same quality as the original team. He was tortured in solitary confinement for days (supposedly for damaging a vent cover!) after an attempted murder by an inmate who was allowed into his cell, proceding to strangle Martin and smash a typewriter over his face causing him to lose many of his teeth and requiring him to be transferred to an intensive care hospital room for a week. After all that they pretty much forced a minimal guilty plea out of him in desperation, since he had been in prison without a trial for 7 years, his life was going by.

The real reason Martin continues to be held in prison as his daughter Victoria Armstrong has stated may be because he will not hand over his computer model's code which President George W. Bush's CIA tried to aquire in 1998. This is constitutionally illegal for the US government to seize copyright material and private property. America is supposed to be all about protecting private property from totalitarian government.

Judge Keenan, who also ordered Martin Armstrong to pay $80 million and $1 in restitution that even the government acknowledged he did not have, said "every criminal case is a tragedy but this is a particularly sad one."

The 57-year-old Armstrong, after being rebuffed in a last-minute attempt to appear pro se, spoke for about 25 minutes, taking the judge on a tour of the origins of what he called the "franchising" of Princeton Notes for large-scale currency trading that began in 1992.

When Keenan told him to get to the point, the former head of Princeton Economics International Ltd. portrayed his downfall as anything but his own fault.

"I was too occupied. I didn't pay attention," he said, his voice quavering. "I don't think this is a situation where I started to go get money from someone. [I earned a] $78,000 salary. I worked all the time. I took care of my kids and I guess that's the most important thing. I trusted people I shouldn't have trusted."

The government alleged that Armstrong was the key player in a multi-billion dollar "Ponzi scheme," (even though it was never proven that Armstrong got any money from the alledged misdeeds) one of the largest ever, which covered the losses of initial investors with money from new investors, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Southwell. It charged he made misrepresentations about both the value of assets in some accounts and his trading record and illegally commingled funds from separate investor accounts.

Republic Securities, the broker-dealer used by Armstrong, pleaded guilty in 2002 to conspiracy and securities fraud charges. Two of its employees entered guilty pleas in 2004, as did a former employee of Armstrong.

Both Armstrong and his lawyer, David Cooper, disputed the use of the term "Ponzi scheme" Tuesday, saying there was no evidence Armstrong sought to enrich himself.


That claim is disputed by Alan M. Cohen, the receiver appointed by Judge Richard Owen in the civil case brought against Armstrong and his Princeton companies by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Owen initially ordered Armstrong jailed in 2000 for contempt for failure to disgorge some $1.4 million in assets -- a figure that later grew to more than $14 million and included gold bars, rare coins and even a bust of Julius Caesar. The civil court never proved that any of these assets were bought with Japanese investors money. They also are illegally trying to get his $60 million computer model that the CIA tried to aquire in 1998.

Armstrong contended that he no longer had the assets, but Owen did not believe him. A seven-year fight over the limit of the contempt power of federal judges was under way as Armstrong refused to budge and launched challenge after challenge to his detention from his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Ultimately, on Armstrong's fourth trip to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, attorney Thomas Sjoblom, now of Proskauer Rose, argued in January 2006 that the inherent power of federal judges to jail for contempt is limited by the Anti-Detention Act, 18 U.S.C. 4001(a), which states no citizen shall be imprisoned unless authorized by an act of Congress, and the so-called "recalcitrant witnesses" act, 28 U.S.C. 1826, which gives the power to jail non-cooperative witnesses for up to 18 months.

The argument was rejected by the court last November, with then-Chief Judge John M. Walker writing that Congress authorized "indefinite coercive civil confinement" in the Judiciary Act of 1789 and finding that Armstrong could not be considered a witness.

The court also took the unusual step of removing Owen from the case, saying reassignment was the best course because the long-running dispute over the missing assets could use a "fresh look by a different set of eyes."

Those eyes now belong to Southern District of New York Judge Kevin Castel, who will hold an April 27 hearing on the civil contempt.

Mr.Cooper, a veteran defense attorney who said this was his last case before retirement, went out firing, saying his client was in a bizarre state of legal limbo because of Owen, the absurdity of which became complete when Keenan was unable to consider the civil contempt in determining the criminal sentence to give Armstrong.
"I've never seen a criminal case in which defendant has been subpoenaed to turn over the things he stole," he said. "The fact we aren't allowed to talk about seven-plus years in prison for refusing to turn over items he is supposed to have stolen is crazy. If that's the law, it's crazy.

"The contempt was outrageous and everyone knows it was outrageous and Judge Owen was notorious for the outrageousness of his conduct," he said. "Why did they take it away from Judge Owen? Because he was going to keep him in. The circuit was trying to say 'Let him out -- we are beginning to look draconian.'"

The implication or "wink" that the circuit gave to the lower court, he said, was "resolve" this matter, Cooper said, "But Judge Castel didn't catch the wink."

Despite Cooper's comments, Castel has been pressing hard for both sides in the civil action to reach a settlement.