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Adam Kokesh is No Longer Our Customer

Shield Mutual is ending its relationship with Adam Kokesh for the following reasons. (We do not normally issue a statement for such a routine matter, but this is a special case.)

(1) Failure to Renew

Adam’s membership expired more than 6 weeks ago. I wrote Adam three weeks ago about this (1). In response, I received a poor-quality audio recording more than two weeks ago from Adam via Jeffrey Phillips (his current business manager) in which Adam said that he wished to renew his Shield Mutual membership. He directed Jeffrey to make payment. (1) I have not received payment. More than a week ago, I raised the issue with Adam’s father, Charles Kokesh, when he contacted me but, likewise, have not received payment. Shield Mutual membership is inexpensive, but we don’t work for free.

(2) Failure to Remedy Damage

No one in Adam’s camp will remedy a damage that two of Adam’s employees caused me, possibly under Adam’s own direction (1, 2, 3).

On July 17, Darrell Young and Liz “Delish” Del Cano, employees of Adam’s “Adam vs. The Man LLC” (AVTM) business, publicly libeled and slandered me, respectively. They falsely accused me of withholding legal defense funds I raised for Adam in May 2013. They did this using AVTM media assets and consequently slandered/libeled me to as many as 150,000 people. My complaint is documented here: Libertarian Dispute Resolution in the Here and Now.

My fully documented response to their accusations shows that I acted appropriately at all times. You can find it here: Adam Kokesh Legal Defense Fund Update. I hired a respected fellow activist to advocate for me. I offered mediation through another respected activist. I spoke with Phillips about it. In fact he promised me almost a month ago that he would soon settle it (1). I have spoken with the elder Kokesh about it. I have written to Adam in some detail about it (1).

Although I have private confirmation from Young that the funds were received (1) (as well as confirmation that the check was deposited and, via Adam’s father, deposited into the AVTM business account) and even though I fully and transparently documented that I acted appropriately at all times, I have received no formal response to my complaints from Young, Del Cano, Adam, his father or Phillips. No one at AVTM, not even Adam, has seen fit to publicly announce that the funds were received nor much less to grant me the public apology and retraction I am owed.

I received a perfunctory apology from Adam via voicemail (1), an offer of a written apology from Del Cano by way of Adam’s father (1) and a private concession from Young that I am owed an apology (1). But that is it. It is unacceptable to lie publicly about me and then fail to make it right more than two months later.

(3) Grave Breach of Trust

There appears to be an extremely grave breach of trust occurring in Adam’s camp. I am not permitted to remedy it. I refuse to be associated with it, not even indirectly. Perhaps most importantly, I refuse to remain silent about what I know. For almost one month now, I have had a request (1, 2) before Phillips for him to provide public transparency in the AVTM legal and operations fundraising efforts being run by employees Del Cano, Young and Edd “Skitz” Yealey at adamvstheman.com/invest (1, 2, 3, 4).

When Adam was arrested in Philadelphia in May, Shield Mutual established a legal defense fund under the direction of then Kokesh business manager Lucas Jewell. We raised approximately $6,000. On July 15, Phillips requested that Shield Mutual restart legal fundraising for Adam (after his July 9 arrest) (1), then quickly requested that we cease (1). We immediately complied (1).

Del Cano proceeded to take up this responsibility. First she asked the public for $10,000, a reasonable amount to finance a Virginia lawyer for the Virginia state charges against Adam. Then she inexplicably increased the number, to $15,000, $25,000, $35,000, $45,000 and finally $50,000 (1). Young, Del Cano and Yealey encouraged donors to send funds via the AVTM Invest page at http://adamvstheman.com/invest. Donors, they said, could earmark their donations for legal purposes or for business operations. According to Del Cano, donors earmarked very little for business operations. Donors overwhelmingly demanded that their donations be used exclusively for legal defense (1).

The AVTM website has no information about how much donors have given, how much AVTM employees have spent, what they have spent it on nor how much of donors’ funds remain. I can not find any such statements anywhere. Fundraising continues under these same conditions right now despite the fact that Young, Del Cano and Yealey were recently let go from AVTM (1, 2, 3). Phillips has not responded to my requests for greater transparency, even as he used AVTM funds to sign up for Shield Mutual membership (1). (I rejected his application after discovering the irregularities documented below, and returned the funds.)

I wrote to Adam about this troubling lack of transparency more than three weeks ago (1). He may have made some comment about the issue in the Phillips-facilitated voicemail I mentioned earlier but due to the poor quality of the recording, I can’t be sure. Phillips has a better recording of Adam’s audio message and promised to send it to me more than 2 weeks ago (1). But he never did. I brought up the audio recording issue via mail with Adam and via email with Adam’s father but there has been no response (1).

As Much as $50,000 May be Missing

Tragically, this lack of transparency is the least of my concerns at this point. One week ago, Adam’s father contacted me to request my assistance in securing documentation from Young about how he spent as much as $50,000 of Adam’s personal money and AVTM business funds, including donor funds raised under the pretense of an AVTM-administered Adam Kokesh legal defense fund.

Adam’s father alleged to me specifically that:

  • Checks that are normally received each month at the AVTM post office box went missing during July and August, including regular payments from YouTube in connection with the AVTM show.
  • Young improperly has possession of a table and leather couch that are precious to Adam. (Other sources claim that Young is also in possession of Adam’s bed, flat screen TV, clothes and possibly more.)
  • All of the funds raised for legal defense by Del Cano are missing (1). This includes bitcoin, PayPal and Authorize.net funds. It is unknown exactly how much Del Cano raised but I expect it to be more than $16,000 and possibly as much as $34,000, based on reports (1).
  • More than $21,000 is missing from Adam’s personal account, most of it by way of forged checks. This includes $2,000 that was charged to Adam’s credit card for, among other things, a McDonald’s meal and an oil change to Young’s car, according to the elder Kokesh.

The elder Kokesh claims that Young, who was left in charge of AVTM shortly after Adam was arrested in mid-July until the end of August, is responsible for all of these irregularities. However, I have received no documentation to support these allegations yet. I don’t know whether they are true or not. I am simply reporting them as allegations.

Prior to receiving the details from Adam’s father, I chatted with Young online. He offered some explanations and promised to organize the financial reports that the elder Kokesh sought (1). After speaking on the phone with Adam’s father for almost an hour and pursuant to his request, I spoke with Young this past Saturday morning. He agreed to prepare and deliver full financial documentation no later than this past Monday, September 23. He promised to include letters in which Adam specifically authorized the expenditures, including expenditures of legal defense funds for non-legal purposes. He missed this deadline and as of yet I still have not received any kind of documentation from him. This is the same documentation that Adam’s father says Young has promised him for weeks – and failed to deliver.

I did, however, chat with Young briefly yesterday morning. He claims that he spent all of the legal defense and operations funds in accordance with Adam’s instructions. He mentioned expenses such as a $1,000 electric bill, $429 in airfare to bring Derrick Broze out to host the AVTM podcast, an undetermined amount to compensate Christopher Cantwell for AVTM podcast hosting and approximately $120 per day in phone bills so that Adam could communicate from jail.

Young: The legal funds was spent on legal funds. He told me to get the derrick out there When I felt edd and liz were going rouge I paid for cantwell and derrick to come in.
Derrick plane ticket wad 429 one way. Per adam

Me: You paid for AVTM stuff with legal funds, per Adam?
Young: His instruction

Although Young claims that the possibly tens of thousands of dollars raised for legal defense were spent on legal defense, according to Adam’s father and Young himself, only $4,000 has been spent on the only for-pay lawyer that Adam has hired.

Young also mentioned filing a civil suit:

if I choose ill just wait for them to waste their money on a suit and wait for them to lose.

In response to my concern that he could be facing some serious consequences for his actions, Young said:

They better be ready to see what open wound looks like because we are ready over here

On the question of the allegedly forged checks on Adam’s personal bank account, Young says that Yealey forged Adam’s signatures on the checks. He adds:

It was just my account that was used to deposit the money …

Here are screenshots of my conversation with Young.

Adam’s father claims that the checks were made out in Young’s name. Young seems to have confirmed that he took receipt of the funds in his personal bank account. But I have no documentation either way.

I queried Del Cano, who was in charge of AVTM Adam Kokesh legal defense and business operations fundraising during the time in question, about how much she had raised total for legal defense and operations. She replied, “Why would I answer that question?” Yealey responded to the same question with this: “You know it is out of line to ask that question.”

I asked Yealey why, in early August, he directed the public to donate to AVTM business operations separately from the AVTM invest page and apparently directly to his domestic partner Del Cano. He chose not to respond to my question.

Shield Mutual Funds Go to Lawyer, So Far

One bright spot is that at least $4,000 of the $6,000 Shield Mutual raised for the Adam Kokesh legal defense fund in May actually went to pay for Adam’s Virginia lawyer, Graziella Bianchi, according to both Young and Adam’s father. However, as much as $8,500 remains unpaid on the bill for this attorney. That his lawyer hasn’t even been fully paid yet is troubling given that Adam appears to have been wiped out financially. The remaining approximately $2,000 that Shield Mutual raised for Adam remains unaccounted for, pending Young’s overdue report.

Adam’s father has told me that everyone in Adam’s camp, including Adam, takes very seriously the responsibility to account for the funds that Shield Mutual raised for legal defense. In fact, Adam and I have an explicit agreement that he will account for those funds so that I can inform donors as to how it was spent. I stand ready to receive the documentation and publish it in an appropriate format. I encourage the Kokesh camp to render the highest level of transparency not just with the $6,000 that Shield Mutual raised for Adam but also with the money that Del Cano, Young and Yealey raised under AVTM auspices as well – the money that is actually missing and unaccounted for.

Questionable Practices Ongoing

Why have Del Cano, Young, Yealey and/or Phillips, possibly under Adam Kokesh’s direction, represented to the liberty community and AVTM fans that they need $50,000 to pay lawyers? Adam’s father confirmed to me on the phone that Bianchi is charging less than $12,500. The Washington, DC attorney, Peter Cooper, is not charging anything. In fact, they still claim, at the moment of publication, that they need $50,000 for lawyers.

The below quote is from the AVTM Invest page at http://adamvstheman.com/invest:

A NOTE ON FUNDRAISING: Adam has obtained counsel for both cases and needs to raise $50k or more to hire an appropriate lawyer. He has chosen to direct all fundraising endeavors to this page. If you have any questions about your donation, please contact [email protected] We thank you immensely for your support, and request that you donate all that you responsibly can to the cause.

Also, on September 10, Phillips posted at the AVTM website that there are plans to spend donor funds on the promotion of jury nullification. I can find no evidence that donors were ever offered the option of earmarking their contributions towards jury nullification education. The only two options I am aware of are legal defense (i.e., paying lawyers) and business operations.

Furthermore, I have a first-hand report that Del Cano and Yealey continue to claim that they are working for Adam and/or AVTM. This contradicts what Phillips and Adam’s father told me several weeks ago. Even more alarming is that they are working on a Kickstarter project to raise more funds from fans, supporters and allies of Adam Kokesh in the name of Adam Kokesh. Are they actually working on Adam’s behalf? Can they be trusted to use donors’ funds appropriately? The source for this information requested public anonymity.

Why will Young, Del Cano and Yealey not say how much money they raised for Adam’s legal defense and for AVTM operations? Adam Kokesh and his father have no way of knowing for sure. The former is in a cage and the latter is only now becoming intimately involved. Phillips likely can not be sure either. He was not there when the funds were raised.

But Young should know. He was put in charge of AVTM operations, including fundraising, after Jewell left in mid-July. He isn’t saying. Yealey should have an idea as well. He remains silent. Del Cano is the AVTM fundraiser. She went out and raised the funds. She knows the answer. But her only response is, “Why should I answer that question?”

Trust / So What?

Let’s consider Del Cano’s question for a moment. Why should the individuals involved in this mess step forward and openly tell the complete truth without further delay or enticements? What could possibly motivate them to tell people how they are spending their money? Why would they want to go to the trouble of showing much they have raised under the pretense of an Adam Kokesh legal defense fund and where it has gone?

Because it is the right thing to do.

It is the right thing to do, when you ask for people’s trust and assistance in the form of hard-earned money, to then document publicly and in a timely manner that you actually did what you promised to do with their money.

The answer could not be simpler. But let’s look beyond that. Let’s consider what happens when an activist requests aid in the form of legal defense funds – and then those funds are misappropriated.

  1. Donors become disappointed and bitter.
  2. Donors lose faith in the future of the community.
  3. Donors stop giving.
  4. Another activist desperately needs help and she has to go into a cage for awhile because she can’t raise the money for decent legal representation because some very thoughtless individuals screwed over the donors last time around.

I’m not saying that that is what happened in the Kokesh camp. I can’t say for sure what Young, Del Cano, Yealey, Phillips, Adam and his dad have done and are currently doing. But I expect one or all of them to come out with the truth soon.

My point is that when an activist gets into a jam, things get serious fast. If we, as a community of individuals, do not respect the sacrifices donors make, then we will no longer benefit from their donations.

This may be difficult for you to see. But from my position, as someone charged with the defense of dozens of activists here at Shield Mutual, the issue is crystal clear. Donations earn respect and that respect is paid out in transparency.

Your boss’ orders are no excuse. We’re libertarians. We speak truth to power, no matter whether that power is in the state house, the white house or Adam Kokesh’s house. Every individual is fully responsible for his or her actions. No exceptions.

Why am I Speaking Out?

I’m not directly involved. Shield Mutual hasn’t done anything wrong. It’s impossible to accuse us. We never had our mitts on any of the money or possessions involved. We have handled ourselves impeccably. So why am I speaking out about this?

I am speaking out because something very wrong is going on. If the reports are accurate, Adam Kokesh is being defrauded and/or the donors who generously chipped in to help him are being defrauded. But I am neither defrauder nor defraudee. So why do I care? No skin off my nose, right?

I am bearing witness to what appear to be misdeeds. I can not remain silent. Just as I speak out when people far away are harmed by governments and corporations, so do I speak out when people much nearer are harmed by other individuals and organizations. Nobody gets a pass. I don’t care if you call yourself a libertarian or anarchist. I don’t care if you have 80,000 fans or not. I call ‘em like I see ‘em, for better or for worse. That’s integrity.

Conclusion

I am terminating Shield Mutual’s services to Adam Kokesh due to non-payment, unremedied damages and lack of transparency in AVTM legal defense fundraising.

There are a lot of lessons here. If you run an organization in the liberty community, you should learn whatever you can from this.

I am not accusing anyone mentioned here of wrongdoing. I am simply sharing the facts as I know them. If you are a writer or podcaster, go out and interview the people named in this statement. Investigate this situation. Find out the truth. Because if we can’t find the truth among our ourselves, we don’t deserve to talk about what the truth is out there in the greater world.

Darrell Young, Liz “Delish” Del Cano, Edd “Skitz” Yealey and Jeffrey Phillips need to come forward and come clean. Let the truth come out. Everyone who is keeping Kokesh-related secrets needs to come out in a spontaneous, crowdsourced truth-seeking process. Do it for yourselves, for the community and for the next activist who gets thrown in a cage for living the truth.

I wish Adam Kokesh the best of luck in beating the charges against him in Washington, DC and Virginia courts. He has my personal support as a fellow activist. I don’t know if Adam has been duped or if he bears responsibility for this mess. If the people in his camp care about him, they will remedy the lack of transparency in AVTM legal defense fundraising immediately so that it does not continue to reflect poorly on Adam.

I’d like to credit Lucas Jewell, Adam’s former business manager, who was forced to leave AVTM after Edd Yealey (“Open Carry Edd” – he always open carries a pistol) threatened to shoot him in a tense meeting at Adam’s house on July 11, 2013 (80M video file, skip ahead to 30:20 to see the threat or watch this 42-second excerpt). Lucas has waited and watched, gathering information and evidence. His assistance in preparing this statement was valuable.

Special Note: Don’t expect me to comment further, do interviews or anything else. If I have anything else to add on this subject, I will post the update here. Focus your attention on Darrell Young, Liz Del Cano, Edd Yealey, Jeffrey Phillips and others who are either associated with this mess or who may have profited from it.


September 31 Update and Response to Adam Kokesh

After I published the above statement there was an immediate outpouring of appreciation from dozens of people. The article has been read almost 11,000 times.

That same day, Jeffrey Phillips announced that “AVTM will not be making a statement at this time” in response to my statement (1). Phillips then appeared on the Journalistic Revolution (Liberty Movement Radio) approximately 30 minutes later. You can listen to his interview here. It starts at 44:45 and lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Darrell contacted me that same day to say he was going to hire a lawyer to defend himself.

On September 26, Yealey posted copies of checks that were allegedly forged by Darrell Young, saying, “I can’t stay silent anymore.” The checks were later removed from Yealey’s Facebook profile but you can see them below. There is one in the amount of $15,000 that is made out to Darrell Young and apparently endorsed by him as well. The memo field reads “Reimbursement.”

On September 27, Liz Del Cano announced that she had raised $20,320 for Adam Kokesh. She claims that $7,113.10 was earmarked for legal defense. This does not appear to include bitcoin donations and may or may not include PayPal donations (1).

Del Cano’s statement possibly contradicts a statement she made on August 7th, in which she said, “Most of the donations we have received thus far have been earmarked for legal defense, and can not be used for operations funding.” (1)

It has also come to light that Del Cano may have been paid a percentage of the funds she raised for Adam Kokesh. This is likely a minor issue for most donors but I feel it should be disclosed anyway. It is news to me.

Adam Kokesh Responds from Jail

On September 30, a video response from Adam Kokesh was published on YouTube. I was alerted to it the next day. Here is his statement:

I’d like to comment on his statement.

1. Adam asks people to distribute jury nullification pamphlets in the days leading up to his trial.

I have noticed an increasing level of desperation in the Kokesh camp over the last few weeks. There are very reasonable concerns that Adam could be sentenced to significant jail time. I am concerned, however, that inexperienced activists are being led into harm’s way.

When engaging in jury rights or jury nullification activism, it is unwise at best to target a particular case. This can lead to jury tampering charges. There is a reason why it is against the Fully Informed Jury Association’s (FIJA) guidelines. Adam is a valuable member of our community but before people go out there and put themselves in line for a spot in a cage, they should be trained and prepared to do it in the safest way possible.

I have been working on jury nullification activism in DC since August. Adam’s circle took note of this. Adam praised my efforts in multiple podcasts in early September. This article on jury rights stems from my efforts. Unfortunately, our efforts to launch pamphleting at DC Superior Court so far have fallen short. Others are now working on this. I wish them the best of luck. I am supporting some of the efforts financially. You should too.

But I want to state very clearly that people need to follow FIJA’s guidelines (and then some) in order to avoid the risk of jury tampering charges. We should not be sending them more bodies to put in their cages. That doesn’t help anything. It just makes it worse. There are government decision-makers who want Adam Kokesh in a cage for a long time. They know that some of us are working on jury nullification and they will want to make an example of any of us who are careless enough to disregard FIJA’s reasonable guidelines. Hell, they’ll want to make an example of us no matter what. Be careful. Veteran activists have a responsibility to educate both themselves and newcomers about how to minimize these risks.

2. Adam says that I violated his and/or his dad’s trust by going public.

In fact, it was Adam’s father, Charles Kokesh, who vigorously pursued me in an attempt to get me to be their spokesperson for their allegations against Young. He wanted me to go public two days before I actually did.

The elder Kokesh simply did not want me to release everything he told me. He wanted me to release less than I actually did. I discovered, after the fact and via a reliable third party, that the elder Kokesh was not upset at my statement and that, in fact, he thought it would help Adam’s legal strategy.

Why did I release the additional information that I received from Charles Kokesh, beyond what he asked me to say? Because I sensed that I was being set up. The Kokesh camp had already lied publicly about me once (see #2 in the original statement). And they refused to make it right. I was asked to level accusations at Young that were very limited in scope. I was not given the documentation I requested in order to verify the claims that the elder Kokesh made to me. The elder Kokesh told me things that I sensed were calculated to make me think they were attempting to do the right thing. But it rang false.

I released the additional information because I sensed that the Kokesh camp was not committed to transparency. I sensed that they might baselessly attack me again. Given their perceived lack of integrity, I feel the right thing for me was to simply get out and release everything I had so that the truth-identification process could happen in the light of day rather than in a digital back room.

3. Adam says that my original statement is half truths, false assumptions and baseless accusations.

As anyone who reads my statement carefully can see, almost everything is very well-documented.

That which is not well-documented in the section on transparency (#3) came straight from Charles Kokesh. It is either the best information that the elder Kokesh had as of last week or this is an admission that the elder Kokesh lied to me. If the former is true, then Adam is misinformed or not being completely honest. If the latter is true, then it lends credence to my feeling that I was being set up.

Frankly, I feel that Adam’s video statement from prison is a tacit admission that I am actually telling the truth.

4. Adam says that I implicated Phillips, Del Cano and Yealey but that no evidence exists to support my claims.

I do not claim that Phillips, Del Cano or Yealey have engaged in any crimes.

They are all, however, party to the ongoing and egregious lack of transparency in their fundraising for Adam Kokesh.

When they release everything they know about it, including how much was raised, what it was earmarked for, what it has been spent on and why they have resisted requests for greater transparency, then they will have made an important step towards relieving themselves of their responsibilities in this area.

5. Adam says I accused him of being responsible for the false statements against me and that I have no evidence to back that up. (See #2 in the original statement above.)

Actually, I have five separate pieces of evidence that Adam ordered the libel and slander against me.

  1. On July 17, Phillips said that Adam wanted him to go public about the USPS-delayed check. (1)
  2. Also on July 17, Young and Phillips again said that Adam instructed them to attack me. (1)
  3. On September 24, Young said that Adam wanted him to “put out an attack video” against me. (1).
  4. On September 25, Yealey posted that Adam was behind the press release in which I was slandered. (1, 2)
  5. On September 25, on the Journalistic Revolution on Liberty Movement Radio, Phillips implies at 1:04:20 that Adam told Young and Del Cano to attack me.

6. Adam says I waited 2 months to contact him after he was put into a cage.

This is correct. I was following his instructions in coordinating my communications through his father and his business manager (first Lucas Jewell, then Darrell Young and finally Jeffrey Phillips).

If his business managers and/or father did not relay my updates to him, that is hardly my fault. I was simply following Adam’s own instructions.

Until the end of July, Adam was in a jail in Virginia and I expected him to get out on bail at any time. Then, he was moved to Washington, DC and again I expected him to be released on bail at any time. I was working rather hard this whole time attempting to achieve that goal of bail for Adam. In fact, I lent Young $500 very early on, when the AVTM business team told me they had $70 to their names, so that he could bail Adam out of the Virginia jail.

I can’t call into jail and, likewise, Adam did not call me until after I wrote him.

Finally, I live outside North America. The postal service here is a joke. Had I mailed him something on July 9, it still would not have reached him.

7. Adam claims that funds I raised for him in late May did not reach him until one and a half months later.

This is partially true, as far as I can tell. Why did the funds take so long to reach Adam? If I admit this, then why do I claim that Young and Del Cano libeled and slandered me, respectively, on July 17? Here are the answers.

Why did the funds take so long to reach Adam? Although I have been repeatedly vilified by Phillips, Christopher Cantwell and now Adam himself over this, no one has actually asked why it took so long.

  1. I raised the funds in USD, bitcoin and litecoin for an approximate total of $6,300 in late May when Adam was in a cage, denied bail and facing a federal felony charge that carries up to 8 years in a cage. But a few days later, Adam’s felony charge was reduced to citations and he was released. Adam then took his time in getting back to me about whether he planned to hire a lawyer or not.
  2. Once Adam decided not to hire a lawyer, the appropriate course of action was to refund at least the USD donations.
  3. However, Adam requested as a favor from me that I attempt to get the donors to give the approximately $4,900 in USD donations to him anyway for a civil suit. At no charge, I communicated with 146 donors in an attempt to get their consent to release the funds to Adam anyway.
  4. I initially budgeted one week as enough time for donors to respond to Adam’s request. After I received a complaint, I extended that by one week. Then I gave it 3 more days. I consider 17 days to be an abbreviated but reasonable time period for what Adam requested me to do. I considered the interests not just of Adam but also those of the donors. At this time, there was no urgency.
  5. On June 21, I disbursed the remaining funds (after refunds) to Adam. I immediately transferred the not inconsiderable bitcoin and litecoin proceeds and I issued a check to an address that Jewell gave me. It is the same PO Box that one can still see on the AVTM Invest page. I issued the check directly from the payment processor. (This is all documented here.) Phillips in particular later complained that there must be a better or faster way but the only two options offered by this payment processor are EFT to my bank account or a check mailed out by USPS. I refused to bring the funds into my bank account, which would have only slowed down the ultimate delivery and muddled the ethics. I was left with only the USPS option.
  6. On July 12, I discovered that the check was returned by USPS as undeliverable. I worked with Phillips over the next few days and he made a decision on July 15 as to where he wanted the check sent. I immediately complied. Young privately confirmed on July 29 that he received the check.

I don’t know if the USPS screwed up mail delivery or whether the problem was that AVTM’s PO box was too full or had not been paid. Maybe it was something else entirely. I discharged my responsibilities promptly and with integrity. I went out of my way to accommodate Adam and do right by the donors as well. Thanks to that work, Adam received $6,000 that he would otherwise not have received.

If I admit that, indeed, the check arrived after Young and Del Cano’s July 17 attack on me to more than 150,000 people, then why do I insist that they libeled and slandered me?

This what Young and Del Cano actually said:

These funds were never released to Adam and are still missing.

  1. This is a claim that *none* of the funds were released to Adam. The fact is that all of them were but most importantly that they had already received two out of three of the funding sources: the bitcoin and litecoin proceeds. I have thousands of confirmations to back this up.
  2. This is a claim that the funds were *never* released. This is false as well. They already had the bitcoin and litecoin. And I worked closely with Phillips several days before this announcement to get the second check sent. I documented everything with screenshots. So they knew that the funds had been released.
  3. This is a claim that the funds were *missing*. But they were never lost. Again, they had the bitcoin and litecoin. And they knew exactly where the USD funds were because I documented that step by step with Phillips on July 15.

If they had said that they had received some of the funds but that a check was delayed and was already on its way again, then that would have been true. What they actually said was false on multiple counts, and they knew it.

Furthermore, no one in the Kokesh camp has yet found the common decency to publicly state that they received all of the funds. Adam hints at it in the above video, finally, more than two months later, but that is it.

What’s Still Missing

Precious little documented information has actually been released by the people mentioned in my original statement. There is still a lot of information missing.

  • A complete fundraising total with earmarks that jives with Del Cano’s earlier statements.
  • A complete accounting of how the AVTM-raised Adam Kokesh legal defense fund has been spent.
  • An accounting of how the remaining $2,000 in the Shield Mutual-raised Adam Kokesh legal defense fund has been spent. If it was spent on anything other than lawyers’ fees, then it has been misappropriated.
  • A full retraction and apology from Adam Kokesh for the July 17 attack on me.
  • Pingback: Free Adam Kokesh Campaign Ends | Free Adam Kokesh (FreeAdam.net)()

  • James Babb Ⓐ

    It’s a shame that the relationship with Adam was terminated based on apparent misconduct of his “associates.” I would be happy to cover Adam’s Shield Mutual fee, if that helps.

    “I don’t know if Adam has been duped or if he bears responsibility for this mess.”

    I’m sure it’s extremely challenging to manage affairs from in jail, so I’m willing to give Adam every benefit of the doubt, and assume it’s his “associates” that have acted disreputably.

    • http://georgedonnelly.com/ George Donnelly

      Jim, kindly see #2 above. Thanks.

  • Justin Joseph

    It is hard to believe that Adam would miss such an important payment, but after reading all of this, I must say it is a very logical decision on Shield Mutuals account. Also Adams cause is something I can stand behind, but the way he conducts himself is in a very disorderly and inappropriate fashion. Based on his actions alone and how he did choose to slander Shield Mutual, it will be interesting to see what he has to say about this. But I can honestly say I am deeply saddened by this all.

  • Frank Connell

    As someone who has donated to Adams “defense fund” I had serious doubts about the chuckle heads he calls his close friends and business partners. I think Adam has his shit together most of the time or at least puts forward an organized persona but the other guys seem to be your stereo typical pot heads. Lets be honest here though there are people who can use in moderation and there are others who make it a life style choice to their own detriment. And what I think you are seeing is the latter. I don’t fault Shield at all here for backing away from this train wreak. I feel for Adam who is stuck in a cage but his people are doing little to help his cause even if it’s at Adams behest.

    • Steven Vandervelde

      “Chuckle heads” ha ha, that was a much kinder word than I would have used. lol

  • Tom P.

    What a depressing series of events. I’m glad that Adam is apparently keeping his head held high through all this.

  • Seth

    Did Adam go into the clink before or after his membership expired? If his membership expired before he went into the click, then I can totally understand him no longer getting the benefits of SM membership. But if he went into the click before his membership expired, then I’d say he should still get to be a member of SM. Also, a members should not ever have to pay his membership fees from jail. What if you’re serving a multiple year sentence? I’d say that if you were a valid member when you went in, you stay a valid member until you get out, no fees necessary.

    • Justin

      Well… think about it this way. You’re telling somebody else how to run their business…?

  • spiderwisp

    So, it seems some people Adam has trusted may not being doing what they should… and your response? Throw him to the wolves at a time he needs you most. HE’S INCARCERATED! Give the man a break… there’s only so much he can do. This is a black eye for Shield Mutual… I have no trust now in your services.

    • AgoraJoe

      He isn’t blaming Adam, but Adam chose his own spokespeople and consequently takes responsibly for their actions.

      Is George to sit quietly by while those people publicly libel him?

      Would you have him remain silent after witnessing what appears to be a huge fraud on their parts?

      If anything, this post is a testament to how hard George tried to work on behalf of client before finally tiring of the AVTM team hijinx.

      • spiderwisp

        I think making a public statement would have been one thing… but making the statement while/after dumping Adam was not the way to do it. Adam did choose his spokespeople… like he chose George. Apparently he’s not good at picking loyal relationships.

        • AgoraJoe

          If you went to jail, defaulted your premiums, AND your family slandered your State Farm agent, then maybe.

          George tried airing his grievances with the at-fault parties to no avail. Again he’s not attacking Adam per se but merely explaining why he’s no longer representing a high profile client, while defending his own good name.

          In the anarchic world both George and Adam strive for, displays of evidence like this will be part of how reputation based services are carried out – as a peaceful alternative to lawsuits, subpoenas, judges, etc.

  • Nick Kreifels

    Thank you George and Lucas, that clears up a lot of confusion for me. I will withhold judgement on Adam until he has an opportunity to speak for himself.

  • rinnieroo

    I don’t believe that Adam has the capability from jail to defraud people. It’s difficult for them to communicate.

  • http://lyndsysimon.com/ Lyndsy Simon

    No comment on the circumstances, but thanks for being transparent.

  • AgoraJoe

    If Shield Mutual had any better options if like to hear them. Sounds like all options were exhausted.

    This isn’t a charity, it is a business, and Shield sent WAY beyond what another business would have done, considering how they were treated from multiple different “friends” of the client.

    Spiderwisp, your disdain is totally misplaced.

    • spiderwisp

      Sure… so according to your argument, when one of your friends treats me in a manner I do not like, I have the right to attack you? Please do elaborate.

      • AgoraJoe

        They are his EMPLOYEES.

        Let’s say I am an accountant. A client of mine goes to jail. He stops paying me, and several of his employees publicly accuse me of stealing from him, when I have evidence it was actually them.

        I bring my concerns to the client who apologizes but otherwise does nothing (and still didn’t pay me despite having the money).

        You can bet I will NOT work for free, and I also will publicly defend my good name. That’s what is happening here.

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  • Christopher Cantwell

    I received a total of $215 from Darrell to cover travel expenses during one of my two trips to VA with AVTM.
    http://www.christophercantwell.com/2013/09/25/has-adam-kokesh-been-robbed/

  • Derrick J. Freeman

    Thank you for leading by example, George. The transparency this thorough blogpost provides was badly needed. It’s not easy to speak unpopular truths.

    • AgoraJoe

      Agree, Shield Mutual needs our support.

      On a somewhat related note, weren’t you also a victim of the AVTM team at one point?

      • Derrick J. Freeman

        Yes, AgoraJoe, I’m so grateful for the work of Shield Mutual.

        Regarding your question, I was not a victim of the AVTM team, but of Adam Kokesh himself. I have continued to work in a friendly business capacity with all of the other people I met there. But Adam was dishonest with me, promising payment and ultimately refused to pay me for services rendered. (Seeing a pattern?) He made no complaint about the quality of my work but instead refused to pay me (see if you can catch the irony here) because I complained that I wasn’t being paid. I am so grateful that I left when I did.

        • Justin Fowler

          I’m sorry, man. That sucks. :(

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  • Chris

    Stay classy, George.

  • Jay Volk

    Wow, when he said full discloser, he was not joking.

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