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Federal Judge Puts Internet Pioneer Jeff Baron in Civil Lockdown
According to, there are no other reported cases in American history in which a person has been placed in receivership. Baron, as well as his home, car, personal bank accounts and even his clothes, remain under Vogel's total control.
Federal Judge Puts Internet Pioneer in Civil Lockdown
Washington Examiner, February 15, 2012, Barbara F. Hollingsworth

Note: Judge appointed by President Clinton

When Jeff Baron came to Washington this month, he was wearing a borrowed suit.

Once upon a time, the Internet pioneer -- who taught himself computer programming and created innovative software to register domain names -- lived the good life in a Dallas suburb.

His company, Ondova, was a cash cow, pulling in $1.5 million in profit each month.

It all started unraveling when Baron, now 44, hired some high-powered Texas attorneys to help manage his holdings, and he was approached by a potential business partner who promised to turn Ondova into the next Google.

Baron admits he was naive and failed to perform due diligence as his lawyers set up an "elaborate" network of businesses offshore and his erstwhile partner turned out to be a convicted felon who sold porn online.

After a lengthy series of legal battles, Ondova was eventually forced into bankruptcy. But it wasn't until Baron found himself in the Dallas courtroom of U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson that his real nightmare began.

At a June 19, 2009, hearing in his civil case, Judge Furgeson warned Baron that "failure to comply" with a previous court order to renew Ondova's domain names would be considered "contempt, punishable by lots of dollars, punishable by possible jail, death. ... You are a fool, a fool, a fool to screw with a federal judge, and if you don't understand that, I can make you understand it. I have the force of the Navy, Army, Marines and Navy (sic) behind me."

A shaken Baron agreed to give up half of his Internet assets to "buy peace." In 2010, he signed a Global Settlement Agreement for all outstanding claims against him. "There were 1,500 filings. I complied with the settlement agreement 100 percent," he told The Washington Examiner.

On Nov. 14, 2010, three days after Baron "mildly" objected to what he characterized as inflated legal bills, Judge Furgeson made good on his threat, issuing an ex parte order that placed all of Baron's business and personal assets, including his $1.2 million individual retirement account and a $60 million juvenile diabetes trust fund -- and incredibly, Baron himself -- into receivership. Baron's former attorney, Peter Vogel, was given "exclusive control over any and all Receivership Parties, which term shall include Jeffrey Baron."

A Dec. 2, 2010, email to Baron by Barry Golden, Vogel's attorney, clarified exactly what this meant: "you are expressly prohibited from retaining any legal counsel ... you are expressly prohibited from disbursing any Receiver Funds provided to you by the Receiver for anything other than the following daily-living expenses for yourself only: local transportation, meals, home utilities, medical care and medicine."

According to, there are no other reported cases in American history in which a person has been placed in receivership. Baron, as well as his home, car, personal bank accounts and even his clothes, remain under Vogel's total control.

He can be jailed for contempt if he removes anything from the Northern District of Texas, including the shirt on his back. To seek help from Congress, "I literally borrowed clothes to come to D.C.", he told us.

On Jan. 31, Dallas attorney Gary Schepps filed an emergency motion in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in an unsuccessful attempt to stop Furgeson's order to "immediately liquidate $60 million in assets for $0.02 cents on the dollar in pre-arranged secret sales" for two of Baron's companies, neither of which "was the party to any claim in the District court."

A former multimillionaire doesn't get much sympathy nowadays. But if Jeff Baron can be held in this weird form of civil lockdown even though he's never been charged with any crime and never had any judgments against him, what are you going to do when they come for you?

Barbara F. Hollingsworth is The Examiner's local opinion editor


Case claims judge threatened defendant

'You are a fool … and if you don't understand that, I can make you understand it'
Published: 10/31/2011 at 8:39 PM

U.S. Supreme Court

American jurisprudence: Fair, reasonable, following the rule of law and delivering the best chance for justice anywhere, right?

Well, how about a Texas case where there are allegations a judge threatened a bankruptcy case participant, ordered that his assets be seized, told him he was not allowed to hire defense counsel and then pronounced he had the full power of the Navy, Army and Marines to enforce his will?

Those are the allegations contained in a convoluted case pending before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and, by the description of a volunteer attorney working on arguments, it should “shock the conscious” of the nation and worry every American.

The bottom line appears to be whether the judiciary is prepared to rein in one of their own after accusations the judge apparently conspired to strip a long list of constitutional rights from a case participant.

Gary Schepps, who describes himself as a “one-man law office” is working on the case involving Jeff Baron. He’s volunteering, as Baron was ordered by federal bankruptcy Judge Royal Ferguson not to “hire” an attorney for his defense.

Schepps says it is an “overreaching order” against Baron from Ferguson, based in Dallas, that created the trouble.

He told WND Ferguson held a secret meeting with several others about Baron and that resulted in the naming of a “receiver” to take over Baron’s assets, property and life.

“What is frightening legally is the U.S. federal judge’s reasoning. The judge reasons that he has power to – without any notice or hearing – appoint a receiver over an American citizen, and his receiver (who takes orders from the judge) can then waive the person’s constitutional rights,” Schepps told WND.

Rewinding the video just a little: Baron became a successful businessman with the rise of the internet age in the 1990s. His many companies registered domain names – by the thousands.

His success attracted attention, and he was soon wooed by another business operator who apparently promised the development of a search engine to rival Google.

But that business relationship went sour fast, and left Baron and his multiple corporations beat up and bloody, but not dead.

Baron said he successfully fought off a multitude of lawsuits brought over the breakup and although forced into bankruptcy, was faring well until he wound up in the courtroom of Ferguson, who had been appointed by President Clinton.

According to a motion filed by Schepps to the appeals court, Ferguson had personality problems with Baron.

“Every person has their own personality, and the district judge has clearly been personally offended by Jeff, and apparently by counsel,” the motion said. “This may be because, as a result of his own personality style, Jeff’s testimony is naturally narrow, and technical.

“The court’s language is broad. Review of the transcripts shows two men entirely speaking past each other.”

But it seems the judge apparently reacted personally.

It was during one of the hearings as the dispute progressed – before the receiver was appointed, Ferguson was quoted saying, “You are a fool, a fool, a fool, a fool to screw with a federal judge, and if you don’t understand that, I can make you understand it. I have the force of the Navy, Army [and] Marines behind me.

The judge is also on record of reminding Baron that “death” is an option as well.

Despite the obvious vitriol present in the courtroom, the Baron bankruptcy reached a “Global Settlement Agreement” in July of 2010 that was supposed to resolve the conflicts.

According to both Baron and court records, under the direction of the court-appointed receiver, Daniel Sherman, Baron’s company Ondova appeared to have about $2 million in cash available, and only about $900,000 in settled claims.

“Sherman should have immediately closed the Ondova bankruptcy in
September 2010 when there was the million dollars cash surplus. Instead,
Sherman kept the bankruptcy open and ran up over $300,000 in additional attorney fees,” Schepps says.

When Baron objected, the full wrath of the judiciary arose anew.

“Within three business days Sherman had Baron placed into receivership,” with another local attorney, Peter Vogel of Gardere, Wynne and Sewell, named as receiver.

According to details about the Baron case maintained on the website,,Vogel and Baron have a history going back to 2001.

In 2001 Baron considered hiring Vogel to represent one of his many technology companies.

During a pre-hiring screening Baron admits that he revealed confidential information about his business to Vogel, but ultimately decided not to hire him.

Suddenly Baron was faced with lawsuits against his company that were employing trade secrets he had revealed only to Vogel.

The law firm behind the lawsuits? Gardere, Wynne and Sewell.

Although successfully fighting off each of the lawsuits, now Baron found himself under direct control of none other than Vogel.

Then the ex parte meeting Ferguson had with Sherman and Vogel, behind closed doors, named Vogel as the receiver over everything in Baron’s life.

Schepps tells the 5th Circuit Justices about the effect of that order by Judge Ferguson,

“Other than brutally punishing Baron – limiting his access to medical care, keeping him from owning an operating vehicle, traveling outside of Dallas, having heat or air-conditioning, being allowed to earn any money or engage in any business transactions, burning up his COBRA coverage, etc.

“Literally, the receivership has achieved nothing other than to: (1) prevent Baron from hiring any legal counsel, (2) create a list of groundless, non-diverse state law attorney fee ‘claims’ against Baron (solicited by Vogel); and (3) provide a platform for Sherman and Vogel to run up fee demands to a combined total of over FOUR MILLION DOLLARS.”

WND obtained a copy of a recent motion filed in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals by Schepps.

“The original purpose of the ex parte receivership was clear: Jeff Baron was warned that he was ‘prohibited from retaining any legal counsel’ and that if he did… the receiver may move the court to find you in contempt.”

Schepps tells WND that Sherman and Vogel falsely told Ferguson that many lawyers had outstanding fees that Baron has yet to pay, so the receivership was necessary to “discover” those lawyers, and make sure they get paid.

Baron’s documentation says otherwise.

Schepps says that while this matter has been on appeal for nearly a year now the district court has allowed Vogel and his law firm to distribute nearly $1 million of Baron’s money to themselves.

He says in addition to that, Vogel has solicited claims from Baron’s former attorneys for unpaid fees, even though no claims had been submitted.

“And presented the ‘claims’ to the district court in a one-sided ‘report’ that intentionally excluded all of the exculpatory evidence,” one of Schepps motions continues.

The motion then describes in detail how all claims by these “past” attorneys are fictitious, in most cases easily proven false by signed contracts between Baron and said attorney.

Schepps tells WND, “Sometimes there are fee disputes between clients and attorneys. It happens. That is not what happened here.

“The claims, and we’ve document this clearly, are 100 percent fabricated garbage.

“Notice the huge number of attorneys that somehow can’t find their contracts and all claim $300/hour fees. Their invoices and letters to other lawyers, however, showed they were working for $40/hour or flat fees, etc. – and were paid IN FULL,” he said.

Baron sought relief from the fictitious claims and what his attorney calls “outrageous” billing by Vogel.

Instead, according to Schepps appeal motion, “the district court did not grant Baron any of the requested relief, and instead sealed from the public view Baron’s motion, objections, and response to the one-sided receiver’s ‘report’.”

Schepps says in his appeal, “The district court erred in holding that it could appoint a receiver over an individual and thereby waive the individual’s constitutional right to trial by jury.”

Schepps says that a number of basic civil rights have been denied, such as due process, and the guarantee under the 7th Amendment of the Constitution that if the value of a claim exceeds $20, Baron has the right to a trial by jury – something that has been clearly denied in this case.

“The district judge most likely did not initially intend to put Jeff into a ‘civil lockdown’ for months on end and present him with a million dollar receiver’s bill,” he said.

“But when a court disregards the rules of procedure and long established principles of due process, they put their finger in the meat grinder, and soon the whole body is pulled in,” said Schepps in a motion in the case this year.

WND repeatedly attempted to contact Vogel, unsuccessfully.

The documentation of the case can be seen online where it is maintained by a friend of Baron’s who “is outraged” that Baron could be treated like this in America.

WND is told that the court won’t allow Baron to maintain the website to tell his story.

“Jeff doesn’t actually have a website (and by court order is prohibited from having one), and the lawinjustice site was set up by a friend of his,” Schepps told WND.

“There has been a complete breakdown of due process in the district court,” he said.

“Jeff Baron’s constitutional rights to due process, unreasonable seizure, to hire legal counsel, to travel, to work, to engage in commerce and business transactions, etc., have been suspended,” he says.

“The actions taken against Mr. Baron shock the conscious.

”My concern is that the Fifth Circuit has to make a choice. Do they acknowledge that there are a bunch of dishonest attorneys who have tried, literally, to conspire together to steal money from Jeff? Or, do they throw Jeff under the bus to ‘protect’ the ‘good name’ of the legal profession?” he said.

Motion For Reconsideration

Judicial Activism Gone Berserk ^ | 8/19/2011 | Carey Branstetter

Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 10:19:36 PM by Justice21

In a pending civil lawsuit in a Texas Federal Court, a constitutional nightmare is occurring that could have ominous consequences on all Americans. In violation of the Constitution, The Democrat appointed federal judge in this case has made a U.S. business owner essentially a slave without any due process or hearing. All of the relevant details of this incredible and profoundly disturbing case are online at

No case in recent judicial history resembles more of a Stalinist show trial. The conduct appears to be more corruption than merely judicial activism and the litany of outrages occurring are almost beyond belief. If there is no intervention now, a precedent will be set with truly ominous implications for all Americans.

The case involves an Internet pioneer named Jeff Baron. In the early days of the Internet, one could register a domain name and sell it at a profit or monetize it to earn a few cents every time someone called it up with a search engine. Jeff designed an automated software to quickly register these domain names, and in this way his company registered hundreds of thousands. However, in doing so his company was responsible for the annual fee to re-register each name.

Jeff was doing quite well when he took on an ostensibly promising new partner who claimed quite convincingly to be developing a search engine to outmatch all others. What the partner didn't mention was his history of indictments for fraud and theft. Jeff knew none of this, and companies were established to legally protect the assets of the stakeholders. However, it wasn't long before money under the partner's control, unawares to Jeff, started disappearing. And then the partner made an audacious move: he suddenly claimed ownership of the names Jeff had registered and paid for with his own money years prior.

Jeff now had to try to regain control of his company and fend off his duplicitous partner. Attorneys, quite naturally, were engaged-always expensive but not invariably competent. Legal experts who have looked at the behavior of the attorneys in this case have universally found their proceedings highly suggestive of corruption. When the famous trial attorney Norm Pattis was acquainted with the case, he exclaimed, "My Lord! What a mess!"

The obstreperous partner's lawsuits failed in court after court until one controllable, activist judge was found. After Jeff paid one attorney over $400,000, the presiding judge, Royal Ferguson, inexplicably ordered ALL income from Jeff's company be turned over to this same attorney. And then, to add more than a pinch of surrealism to injustice, the judge hurled threats at Jeff from the bench-threats including imprisonment and death. Naturally, the attorney who had received all the income from a company in addition to a $400,000 fee wasn't about to contest the judge's order. More than one outside judicial expert suspects conspiracy.

Remember that federal judges are appointed for life. In this case, the judge made rulings without any conceivable basis in fact or law, acting as judge, jury and executioner, ignoring the constitution. Jeff felt he had no alternative but to put the company into bankruptcy (Jeff has never personally been in bankruptcy). And when he did, control over his company was lost. With the attorneys grabbing off more and more money in great, unjustifiable sums, Jeff reluctantly agreed to settle the civil suit with his double-dealing partner. And then a case that was unparalleled in its weirdness took another wild turn.

Although Jeff complied with all of the terms of the settlement agreement, the interested attorneys refused to file to have the case dismissed. The blood was in the water, and they were closing in for the kill. As ridiculous fees in sums of millions of dollars mounted in great baseless leaps, Jeff filed a formal objection to them-triggering an almost unimaginable round of retribution.

The attorneys bypassed any hearing process and met in secret with the judge to appoint a "receiver" over both Jeff and his company. In doing so, all of Jeff's possessions and property were stripped from him-everything from his house and car keys to his exempt retirement account were immediately seized. He was further forbidden from working and keeping any money or owning any property or possession. Equally shocking, the sole stated purpose of the receivership was to prevent Jeff from hiring a lawyer. Obviously, the act was in violation of the constitution.

And the receiver himself? The receiver is Peter Vogel, an adjunct judge in the case and a friend of the senior judge. While still acting as adjunct judge in Jeff's case, Vogel met with adverse attorneys, who requested the senior judge appoint him as receiver. Upon request, without any hearing, Vogel was immediately appointed receiver over Jeff and all his private holdings and possessions and has now been paid around a million dollars (including his law firm). Vogel continues to threaten Jeff with contempt and jail if he hires an attorney. Remember that a federal judge can act as judge, jury and executioner if they choose to ignore the constitution. This is exactly what is occurring here.

Needless to say, this receivership, as confirmed by several attorneys, is a flat violation of numerous articles of the constitution. Jeff has in effect been reduced to servitude. His personal bank accounts, his home, his IRA, his other business interests, a charitable trust for diabetes-all of which had nothing whatever to do with the case at issue-were seized. Jeff has been barred from hiring an attorney, and the court is forcing Jeff's appellate attorney to work without compensation.

Any attorney Jeff has had contact with in the past has been cajoled to file claims-even more claims-against him. When Jeff filed an objection, the interested attorneys had their friend, the judge, seal it, thus hiding it from the public and preventing it from appearing in the court record. These deeply interested attorneys have thus far enriched themselves to the tune of more than four million dollars. An expert observer called it "a court-sanctioned gang rape."

If a judge, as in this case, is allowed to seize all of a person's assets and make him a servant to his friend in clear violation of the constitution, the implications for all Americans is ominous. If not overturned, decisions such as these set precedent and become part of the "common law" that all Americans are bound by.

Jeff is not an aristocrat. He does not live in a palatial home or drive a sports car. His car is twenty years old, and Jeff lives in a modest condominium in a working class neighborhood. He has been forbidden a livelihood and even denied funds for a health-imperiling medical condition. The attorney-judge cabal not only wants his assets. They want his life.

Have trouble believing in the veracity of the account presented here? The court's own documents are available for anyone to read at .

TOPICS: US: Texas; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: activism; corruption; cronyism; greed
Unbelievable if this judge is honest that he has had the wool pulled over his eyes by a bunch of greedy attornys.

1 posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 10:19:41 PM by Justice21
To: Justice21

I’ve read a little on this one before. It is interesting. The other side is it seems Baron was playing lawyer hopping, hiring up to 22 law firms and not paying them. He would hire a couple, run up expenses, then hire a few more, run up expenses and so on so he was never without an attorney but never paid. This went on and on and on...

Baron is accused of being a “vexatious litigant”, someone who basically defrauds lawyers out of services without paying them. The ‘not hiring any more lawyers’ was an injunction against Baron for continuing this fraud.

Always two sides of the story.

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