ML-Implode has notched yet another victory in its string of battles against attacks from financial neer-do-wells attempting to silence criticism (and even sheer mention) of their misdeeds on the site. Keith Gilabert, a convicted & jailed hedge fund Ponzi fraudster, has become the latest sue-happy plaintiff to become a notch on Implode’s belt, as a California court has dismissed his suit against ML-Implode and contributor/author Anne Logue with prejudice, ordering him to pay costs (per California’s “Anti-SLAPP” statute).
You can read the court’sruling against Gilabert here.
Gilabert’s suit was filed year-end 2012, and generated a year of litigation and upwards of $30,000 in costs for the defendants, despite its transparent lack of merit. The pro se complaint, which made little legal (or logical) sense and was filed beyond the California statute of limitations for libel, nevertheless demanded $10 million in damages. Motivating the suit was Gilabert’s displeasure at a case brief by Logue on HF-Implode.com (a sister site of ML-Implode), recounting his 2007 confession, conviction and imprisonment for hedge fund fraud. The brief consisted solely of excerpts and summarization of federal case files regarding the Gilabert Ponzi from the justice department, the federal courts, and the SEC (which fined and banned Gilabert).
The suit follows in a well-worn pattern of prior ML-Implode attackers, seeking to “whitewash” the online record of their dubious (if not outright criminal) escapades, through the device of frivolous litigation (read about our immediate prior victory here). In this case, it appears Gilabert is grooming the public for his (presumably illegal) re-entry into the money management game, as can be gleaned not only from this suit, but from numerous “astro-turfed” PR wire releases by Gilabert, portraying himself as a benevolent and charitable tycoon (we won’t do him the favor of linking to them, but they are easy to find).
Unfortunately, because the American legal system is so obscenely expensive and provides little in the way of meaningful penalties for frivolous behavior and legal abuse (the present anti-SLAPP ruling being relatively rare), bullies like Gilabert still think they can easily exploit the system to browbeat and silence small-scale critics. And more often than not, they are right — most defendants won’t, or can’t bankrupt themselves to defend free speech, as ML-Implode has.
Further, a reward of costs (such as in this case) is but small consolation to defendants when (as here) it is unlikely to even be collectable. And even if costs are recovered, ML-Implode will receive nothing, because Gilabert’s panicked attempt to dismiss the suit voluntarily after realizing the defendants were formidably “SLAPPing back” resulted in Implode being formally dismissed (the law suit then continued versus Logue, the principal defendant and author of the contributed text).
[We would of course appreciate your donations, as we operate on a shoestring in the face of such continued threats.]
Prior case files and related materials are available here:
- Dismissal with prejudice (`Anti-SLAPP’ ruling in favor of defendants)
- Site of original Gilabert/GLT fund post on HF-Implode (with comments on Gilabert’s threats)
- Logue re-post and additional words after Gilabert threat
- Gilabert’s former Ponzi partner publicly comes clean (while Gilabert, fresh out of jail, denies all)
- Logue and Implode file “anti-SLAPP” in Gilabert case (filing and additional case info)
- Hedge Fund Felon Gilabert Ups Harassment Campaign Against Implode (Gilabert’s attempts to get ML-Implode shut down by its internet hosting companies, before suing)
- The anti-SLAPP motion filed by Defs.
- Gilabert’s filed complaint