I received a copy of the deposition the court appointed receiver conducted as part of the suit against Jeremy Marcus and his related debt relief companies.
If you have not kept up on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and State of Florida action against Jeremy Marcus and 321 Financial you can start with this link.
The FTC said at the time of filing the suit, “According to the FTC and Florida, Jeremy Lee Marcus, Craig Davis Smith and Yisbet Segrea, through 11 companies, got people to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars a month by falsely promising they would pay, settle, or obtain dismissals of consumers’ debts and improve their credit. Over time, victims found their debts unpaid, their accounts in default, and their credit scores severely damaged – some were sued by their creditors, and some were forced into bankruptcy.” – Source
Recent updates regarding the case and status of Jeremy Marcus have surrounded his luxury BMW i8, click here.
In reading over the deposition I was forced to go take a look at why people actually claim their rights to not answer questions using the Fifth Amendment. According to this source, the Fifth Amendment “protects individuals from being compelled to be witnesses against themselves in criminal cases. “Pleading the Fifth” is a colloquial term for invoking the right that allows witnesses to decline to answer questions where the answers might incriminate them.”
Jeremy Marcus nearly wore out the Fifth Amendment in responding to questions during his deposition. The questions he refused to answer create an interesting picture of further investigation by the FTC, State of Florida, or court appointed receiver.
Jeremy started out answer a question about if he ever held himself out as Jeremy Brisk and he said it was a nickname his family and friends used.
When asked how long he had been using that name he invoked his Fifth Amendment rights. He also refused to answer the following questions which you should mentally add “I plead the Fifth” when you read them. Kind of like adding “in bed” to the end of your fortune cookie.
Keep in mind this is only a part of the questions that went unanswered.
1. Are you currently working on any business ventures?
2. Have you personally invested any money in the business ventures that you’re working on right now?
3. Have others on your behalf holding any property or money for you invested in these business ventures you’re working on?
4. What kind of businesses have you been investigating?
5. Did you speak to your father about your deposition today?
6. Did you speak to your brother James about your deposition here today?
7. Did you speak to Kyle Hunt about your testimony here today?
8. Did you speak to Joey Ford about your testimony here today?
9. Have you spoken to Craig Smith in preparation for your deposition today?
10. Have you spoken to Yisbet Segrea in anticipation of your deposition today?
11. Do you know Doug Feliciano?
12. [Do you know] Ronnie Liddell?
13. Do any of your current business ventures that you’re looking into deal with Ronnie Liddell?
14. Have you recently inquired as to opening up an offshore trust or an offshore account?
15. Have you made any money since the court entered its freeze order in May of this year?
16. Have you earned any salaries since the court entered its freeze order in May of this year?
17. Have you taken any distributions from any companies since the court entered its freeze order?
18. Do any of the current business ventures you’re looking into deal with providing bookkeeping and tax services to third parties?
19. Are you familiar with the Kashia Indian Tribe?
20. Do you remember having discussions with the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians about such a program?
21. Was this non-binding letter of intent addressing an Internet-based short-term consumer loan program for borrowers throughout the United States?
22. How was 321 Financial going to be financing this program?
23. Was 321 Financial going to be utilizing moneys from receivership defendants to finance this program?
24. Were the funds that were held by the receivership defendants those that were acquired by the receivership defendants through the purported debt relief programs it was offering to consumers?
25. Was part of this proposed arrangement with the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians to provide the alleged debt relief services that your companies were providing to consumers already?
26. Who is Scott Merritt?
27. Is Scott Merritt an individual who works on behalf of Answers Etc.?
28. What kind of company is Answers Etc.?
29. Does this refresh your recollection that apparently you also have a vendor license with the Kashia Tribe?
30. Do you know a gentleman by the name of Michael Lupolover?
31. And did Mr. Lupolover assist you in establishing this business relationship with the Kashia Indian Tribe?
32. Exhibit 5 appears to be from your gmail account; is that correct?
33. It appears that in Exhibit 5 you sent to Mr. Lupolover two agreements. Do you see that?
34. And were these agreements in contemplation with the business arrangement with the Kashia Indian Tribe?
35. You’ll see that also on August 15, 2016, you sent an e-mail to Craig Smith and James Meggesto. Who is Mr. Meggesto?
36. You wrote, back in August of 2016, that you’ve met with the Tribe in California. Were you referring to the Kashia Indian Tribe?
37. And was the relationship a joint venture regarding credit financing operations on the Tribe’s land?
38. Did you ever set up credit financing financial operations with the Kashia Tribe?
39. Are you currently engaged in credit financing financial operations with the Kashia Indian Tribe?
40. Was Holland & Knight the law firm that you and 321 Financial, LLC, retained in connection with your business relationship with the Kashia Tribe?
41. You’ll see that the invoice that Holland & Knight sent to you on October 21, 2016, refers to the matter, “Joint ventures regarding transactions to establish credit financing financing operations on Indian lands.” Did I read that correctly?
42. Are you currently involved in that business relationship with the Kashia Indian Tribe?
43. Are you receiving income from that business relationship?
44. Did you disclose any income or business relationship with the Kashia Indian Tribe in the financial disclosures that you provided in this case?
45. Again, it looks like the next e-mail is an e-mail that you sent to Scott Merritt at [email protected] Do you know who that is?
46. Mr. Merritt, was he involved in your attempt to establish a business relationship with the Kashia Tribe?
47. Does that refresh your recollection in terms of Scott Merritt working for Tribal Lending Solutions, LLC?
48. Did you or any of the receivership entities pay any fees to Mr. Merritt in connection with your attempt to establish a credit relationship?
49. Do you know why your dad was applying for a license in California to provide financing to an Indian Tribe?
50. Did you put your father’s name on this application as a way to conceal your involvement in the credit arrangement with the Kashia Tribe?
51. Are you aware that we took your father’s deposition a couple of weeks ago?
52. Did you know that your father was deposed in this case?
53. Did you speak to your father about his testimony?
54. Are you aware that at your father’s deposition, that he testified that you used to provide him with documents to sign, and he would sign them blindly?
55. Was your father involved in your business relationship with the Kashia Tribe?
56. Are you the person who directed your father to put his name on this license application with the Kashia Indian Tribe?
57. What interest did Jack Marcus have in 321 Finance?
58. Did you have an agreement with 321 Financial to be the person responsible for compliance with federal and state laws and regulations?
59. Was there anyone other than you who decided what information was going to be put on this lending commission vendor license application for the Kashia Band?
60. Do you recognize your father’s signature?
61. You’ll see the physical address is 1410 Southwest 3rd Street, Pompano Beach. Are you familiar with that address?
62. Have you ever been to that address before?
63. Isn’t it true that you ran multiple, multiple, multiple businesses out of that address?
64. Have you ever been to that location before?
65. Are you familiar with an entity called Red Arrow Associates?
66. The first page of Exhibit 7 is an e-mail that you sent in December of 2016 to your wife, which attaches the application we just looked at, correct?
67. Was your wife Amanda involved, in terms of your negotiations of these deals and the submission of these applications to the Kashia Tribe?
68. And was Red Arrow Associates an entity that you caused to be formed to conduct business with the Kashia Indian Tribe?
69. Take a look at Exhibit 8. It’s an e-mail exchange between you and Paul Herman on February 9th of this year. Are you familiar with Mr. Herman?
70. Did you know that Marta Burg was a lawyer who was working with the Kashia Indian Tribe?
71. Is Red Arrow Associates still an active corporation?
72. Have you received any money from Red Arrow Associates in the past ten months?
73. Did you disclose your interest in Red Arrow Associates in the financial disclosures you provided in this case?
74. Was Red Arrow Associates, or is Red Arrow Associates in the business of undertaking credit repair activities?
75. Has Red Arrow Associates been involved in the financing of fees associated with credit repair activities since May 9th of this year?
76. Exhibit 10 is a November 27, 2017 e-mail from Paul Hess to your gmail account. Do you see that?
77. And the subject matter of this e-mail is asset protection?
78. Have you earned any income since May 9th of this year?
79. Since May of this year, have you established an offshore company?
80. Mr. Marcus, when did you get married?
81. Did you have a wedding?
82. Did you have a wedding ceremony or reception?
83. Did you have a DJ at your wedding?
84. Is the W Hotel right on the ocean?
85. Did you have a photographer at your wedding?
86. Before we move on to our next topic, I wanted to show you what we’ve marked as Exhibit 11 and Exhibit 12. I’ll represent to you that Exhibit 11 and Exhibit 12 were found on your wedding photographer’s website or social media account. Is Exhibit 11 a picture of you and your wife at your wedding at the W Hotel in December of this year?
87. Did you give your wife a wedding ring at your ceremony?
88. Can you provide any testimony here today that the businesses you ran that are the subject of the FTC action were done so in a lawful manner towards consumers?
89. Did you make any false or misleading statements of material fact to consumers in connection with the business practices which are the subject of this litigation?
90. In connection with the business practices which are the subject of this litigation, did you breach any lawful duty owed to consumers?
91. Are you familiar with the corporate defendants that have been named in the FTC action pending against you?
92. Do you know who Mike Silva is?
93. How many Mike Silvas do you know?
94. Do you know more than one Mike Silva?
95. Do you understand what commingling of funds is?
96. Are you familiar with a company called MarkSYS, M-A-R-K-S-Y-S?
97. Do you know Craig Smith?
98. Did you ever give Mr. Smith a Tesla in connection with compensation for his work with the corporate defendants?
99. Are you familiar with a woman by the name of Yisbet Segrea?
100. It’s my understanding through various interviews with employees that you were the boss, you were the CEO, president, the man in charge of the corporate defendants. Is that true?
101. Are you familiar with a company called Check 321?
102. Have you ever seen a customer complaint?
103. Are you familiar with the Better Business Bureau?
104. I know you know a lot of Mike Silvas, but in this case Mike Silva told us in an interview that there was a corporate name change all the time, but the product remained the same. Do you disagree with Mr. Silva?
105. Isn’t it true that the corporate defendants promised to consumers, in order to induce them to enroll in programs, that they would provide a consolidated loan to the consumer?
106. Isn’t it true that these consumers never received a consolidated loan?
107. Were you aware that the State of Minnesota has started an investigation into the practices of the corporate defendants?
108. Isn’t it true that you provided information in connection with that investigation?
109. Are you familiar with an investigation that was ongoing with the State of Maryland, related to the business practices of the corporate defendants?
110. Are you familiar with an investigation by the State of Iowa into the business practices of the corporate defendants?
111. Are you familiar with various complaints that were made against the corporate defendants to the Attorney General for the State of Arizona?
112. Isn’t it true that the corporate defendants held themselves out to consumers as operating as a not-for-profit?
113. Isn’t it true that you were aware that the State of Colorado had instituted an investigation, based upon the business practices of the corporate defendants that you were in control of?
114. Isn’t it true that you were aware of the investigation by the New Mexico State Attorney General into the business practices of the corporate defendants you controlled?
115. Isn’t it true that you were aware of the investigation being conducted by the New York State Attorney General, as it relates to the business practices of the corporate defendants you controlled?
116. Isn’t it true that you were aware that the State of Pennsylvania Attorney General had initiated an investigation into the business practices of the corporate defendants that you controlled?
117. Are you aware that the State of Vermont was also investigating the corporate defendants?
118. Are you aware that the State of West Virginia was investigating the business practices of the corporate defendants you controlled?
119. Isn’t it true that the corporate defendants received a cease and desist letter from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services?
120. Isn’t it true that you were aware that the promises that were being made to consumers were not being honored, and consumers’ debts were not being paid off?
121. Isn’t it true that one of the promises that were made to consumers in order to get them to enroll in the corporate defendants that you controlled was that there would be legal services or representation provided to them?
122. Are you familiar with the office in Panama, Discount Marketing?
123. Isn’t it true that after the State of Florida Department of Agriculture served its cease and desist, you moved your back room operations to Panama?
124. Isn’t it true that consumers who enrolled in the purported debt relief services being offered by the corporate defendants that you controlled had to pay fees before debt relief services were provided to those consumers?
125. Isn’t it true that you were the person who was responsible for refusing to refund consumers?
126. Do you remember talking to the receiver and his counsel after the takeover of the 1410 premises?
127. Are you familiar with an entity called Legal Helpers or Legal Helpers Debt Resolution?
128. Isn’t it true that you’re an owner or control person of Legal Helpers or Legal Helpers Debt Resolution?
129. Isn’t it true that that’s your signature?
130. Are you familiar with an entity called Americor?
131. Isn’t it true that a corporate defendant that you owned or controlled acquired Global Solutions or Global Client Solutions’ assets?
132. Are you familiar with Alan Messina?
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133. Do you know an individual named Hodari Askari?
134. Isn’t it true that you were aware that the corporate defendants were falsely reporting to credit bureaus the existence of a loan with NGP Enterprises and the consumers?
135. This particular e-mail deals with concerns that were made at a website called getoutofdebt.org, regarding 321 Loans – mailer – MarkSYS – raises – questions. At that point in time, did Mr. Herman send to you this Internet article about mailers that your companies were sending out and questions that were being raised?
136. Are you familiar with an entity called American Advocacy Alliance?
137. Isn’t it true that in October of 2016, you directed a not-for-profit entity to pay your personal tax bill of $1,033,000?
138. Isn’t it true that you named this trust that you’re holding your residence in after your dog?
I invite you to read the entire Jeremy Marcus deposition, here.