Current date/time is Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:45 am
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I wrote Tyson Allen Rhame (owner of Sterling Currency Group) predicting Government intervention back in 2013:
If you figure out how many people have to be suckered into buying Iraqi dinar to make your $20+ million dollars monthly and multiply that by years upon years of deception, it equates to TENS OF THOUSANDS of upset investors. Your arrogance will meet all those people reading this case along with Google, search engine forums, lawsuit review forums, and news agencies all around the world. Most importantly, you’ll see the Government reviewing this information and starting their own investigation. – You can read the ENTIRE EMAIL where I explain it all to Rhame. Case 1:13-cv-00878-RHB Doc #32-2
In 2015, the FBI and US Marshall’s office raided Sterling Currency Group and Tyson Rhame’s home. The United States Attorney filed a lawsuit against Sterling Currency and issued warrants to seize assets of Tyson Allen Rhame, James S Shaw, Carole Laurette Shaw, Frank Miller Bell, Sterling Currency group and many, many others! Sterling’s Attorney David Lilenfeld is partners with Rhame and Shaw in Sterling Funder LLC, also mentioned in the Federal complaint.
As of 2016, the Federal CIVIL case against Sterling Currency Group has been put on hold pending the outcome of a related CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION.
Sterling Currency Group LLC (DinarBanker.com / SterlingCurrencyGroup.com) filed a lawsuit against us and we fought back with a counter-lawsuit containing information about their online operation that I’m sure you’ll find interesting!
Sterling Currency is a company that sells Iraqi Dinar (Iraq’s currency) and Vietnamese Dong (Vietnam’s currency) to people online. It’s owned by Ty Rhame and James Shaw (United States Attorney claims Carole Laurette Shaw is also an owner) and David Lilenfeld (Lilenfeld PC) is their full time salaried attorney. He is also Rhame and Shaw’s business partner in Sterling Funder LLC, a Crowd Funding website – Lilenfeld refers to his “partners” as his “client”.
The online sales of Iraqi Dinar has been extremely profitable for Sterling; how profitable? Attorney Navneet S. Chugh gives us an idea by stating in a closing argument that Sterling Currency Group’s sales for the first 3.5 months in 2011 were 65 million dollars.
Mr. Chugh also made mention of Sterling’s operation in his opening statement of Civil Action File No. 2011Cv197363 as:
Mr. Rhame and Mr. Shaw had just started an iraqi dinar – selling business in the United States. And I know it’s kind of unique, that why somebody in the United States buying iraqi dinars, but, believe it or not, these people would actually fly to Iraq, pick up actual dinars, which is their dollar, pack it up in suitcases, and bring it to the United States and tell folks in the United States that this piece of paper is going to appreciate.
The United States Attorney states that “Sterling’s revenues have been considerable, for since 2004, Sterling has earned over $600 million in gross sales or receipts”.
Before I summarize my Lawsuit involving Sterling, let me first share statements we discovered promoting the Iraqi Dinar on Ty Rhame and SterlingCG websites, which we submitted to the court.
Why would someone in the United States Buy Iraqi Dinars?
Below are statements telling folks that the Iraqi Dinar is going to appreciate, one going as far as calling those that don’t invest, fools. These statements, promoting Sterling Currency Group, claim that Iraq’s currency is an investment of a lifetime, a jackpot for investors and that your investment can only go up in value and guaranteed to never fall.
[Note: when you follow the links below, you’ll be taken to Internet Archive’s digitally preserved copy of the webpage where the statement is found; this Archive takes historical snapshots of websites at a point in time and used in many court cases; because of its popularity it may be slow loading but worth the wait]:
- “People are getting large returns who invested in Iraqi dinar” – by sterlingcg showing a picture of Tyson Rhame.
- “This emerging currency is going to be a jackpot for the investors” – by sterlingcg showing a picture of Tyson Rhame.
- “You must invest in Iraqi dinar” – Shows Ty Rhame along with a photo on “Pure Volume”, a place for sharing your personal music likes. Notice the post titled “General: Does Iraqi dinar assures promising investment?” promoting Sterling Currency Group and also sterlingcg.jimdo.com.
- “The dinar will be soon revalued” – by sterlingcg on DevHub.
- “This is the only currency in which you should invest and if you miss out this opportunity then you will be fool” – By “Youssef el Hodaigui (Youssef el) | blog on Myspace”.
- “The investment of a lifetime. It’s difficult to find something comparable” (*see page 11) and, “The same exact investment in a mutual fund with above market average returns of 11% year after year, would fall short of this mark” and “If the Iraqi dinar were to climb to a dime, you’ve got two hundred thousand dollars under your bed. What if it were to reach a dollar or approach its peak value of over $3.00?” and “The “All-time Low” of the Iraqi Dinar appeals to sophisticated investors – Sterling’s website.”
- “This currency will only rise and rise. No chance to go down” and “Advantage of investing in Iraqi dinar is that you will never lose money” and “I would like to tell you that this is not scam” – by “Youssef el Hodaigui (Youssef el) on Myspace”.
- “If you watch Iraqi Dinar Reviews regularly then you will be rich one day” – by “Youssef el Hodaigui (Youssef el) | blog on Myspace”. Also shown on Youssef’s FriendFeed and Youssef’s Twitter page.
- “Iraqi dinar will not only give you back your money but also make you happy with revenue” – Shows Ty Rhame with photo on “Pure Volume”; notice the “buy iraqi dinar” link pointing to a non https version of sterling currency group, we’ll talk about that later.
- “If you are aiming to gain profit through the currency exchange market then you should also invest in the Iraqi dinar” – shows Ty Rhame with photo
- “For an ideal investment, you should go for a Sterling Currency Group’s dinar dealer who will help of in making money. With the help of this article, you will come to know the truth and future of Iraq’s currency. Now you can invest freely and wait for big profit.” – by “YOUSSEF EL HODAIGUI”, notice the term “Dinar” targeted by the author? Also notice the article “Earn bucks by buying dinars” which starts off with “Do you want to earn big bucks?Are you interested in investing in foreigncurrencies? Do you want to get rich soon? If yes, then you have a good opportunity in these days.”
- So it is a dinar win-win situation isn’t it. I hope that you will take the advantage of this situation and make sure that you get the benefit out of it. it is the best time that you act now, it may be too late. – discovered on a “Calling Card” website registered by Sterling’s Currency Group’s marketing agent Youssef El Hodaigui linking the term Dinar to a Sterling.
- This is dinar really good this surely is really the best that you may ever have, it is a chance that you the American people have why not avail it. Go get the Iraqi dinars and make your future secure and safe as you like. – Notice that the statement is emphasized? Wayback machine shows website which was registered by Sterling’s marketing agent promoting Sterling Currency Group, Tyson Rhame’s Online Art Group and on page two (click the “Older Posts” link at bottom of webpage), Tyson Rhame and James Shaw’s Fairfield Funding website fairfieldfunding.com
These are some of the statements promoting Sterling Currency Group / Dinarbanker that we discovered and included in our court exhibits when we counter-sued Sterling. Statements like these spread throughout the internet are what gave me a false sense of urgency to buy dinar. That was a long time ago, and yet, even with all the warnings now sweeping the internet, people still rely upon statements like those above without verifying such claims.
The State of Oklahoma warns people considering buying Iraqi Dinar, be it from a dealer or individual:
Oklahoma residents are seeing an increase in solicitation for investment opportunities in Iraqi Dinars, the currency of Iraq. The Oklahoma Securities Commission (Commission) and Oklahoma Bankers Association caution Oklahoma investors against making uniformed decisions regarding Iraqi Dinar currency exchange investments.
Oklahoma residents have been offered unsubstantiated claims for extraordinary returns on Iraqi Dinar investments. High pressure sales techniques are used when offering the investment including stating this is a time sensitive investment that requires immediate action. The majority of these investments result in the Oklahoma investor’s complete loss of principal.
These investment offerings require careful research. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not true, nor will it be profitable to anyone but the promoter. Investors should do business only with registered brokers* and investment advisers. Investors should report any suspicion of investment fraud to the Commission.
*a registered Broker is NOT the same as a dealer who has registered with the U.S. Treasury as a Money Service Business (MSB). Registering as an MSB is something that dinar dealers are required to do by law and often use to give the appearance of being a registered Broker.
– read the entire warning from the State of Oklahoma.
*Note: The quotations by Sterling and the statements made by the Oklahoma Securities Commission and Oklahoma Bankers Association are not to imply that Sterling is being referenced by the Oklahoma warnings or that the Oklahoma Securities Commission is aware of any statements Sterling may have made.
Update – the United States Attorney has since filed a lawsuit against Sterling Currency Group, see link to read more.
Forbes: “Throwing good money at a very bad idea”, as stated by Forbes writer Robert Laura:
In my opinion, they don’t fit anywhere! Let me reiterate that; the Iraqi dinar and the Vietnamese dong do not fit into a retirement portfolio in any way, shape, or form. Both monetary units are often referred to as “scam” currencies for good reason. Countless warnings and blood soaked war stories are prevalent online, but to my surprise investors continue to fall for it, throwing good money at a very bad idea.
As it turns out, the scams success is based on a powerful combination of greed, apparent inside information, and the ability to see, feel, and touch the currency. In fact, the most compelling part of situation is that both the Iraqi and Vietnamese currencies are legitimate and tangible. Investors can not only hold them, but also show their spouse, friends and even fold them up and put them in their wallets. Furthermore, they are part of a regulated industry and available for purchase at a few major US Banks. All factors that seem to make investing in either of them a very credible and enticing opportunity to outsmart Wall Street, best fellow investors, and get rich quick by uncovering secrets the government doesn’t want us to know.
Yet, as you already know, if it sounds too good to be true…investors should run like heck. I reached out to several currency exerts to help me explain the ins and outs of this ridiculous business in an effort to help retirees and other investors avoid falling victim to this and similar currency scams going forward.
– read the full article on Forbes!
Want to find out what we presented to the court? Then read on!
Review of Sterling Currency Group Lawsuit
Sterling Currency Group tried to sue us in Georgia for alleged hyperlinks they considered bad; they claimed the links were a form of Google Bowling which harmed Sterling’s rankings and that because their domain is trademarked, the hyperlink is a form of trademark infringement. Sterling sued us using Trademark Law and allegedly provided a copy of the lawsuit to Google to restore their ranking.
We denied the allegations and filed an abusive litigation notice against their attorney David Lilenfeld PC. Sterling lost the case on jurisdiction and filed again in Michigan. Having performed our own electronic discovery (not ordered by the court), we counter-sued Sterling for $20 million claiming in part:
28) For years, Sterling Currency Group d.b.a. dinarbanker.com / sterlingcurrencygroup.com tried to beat Iraqidinar.org’s ranking.
34) The overwhelming evidence uncovered to date reveals that Sterling’s true purpose in filing its Complaint is: a. To answer to Google with a cover up that involves intentionally and wrongfully blaming Counter-Plaintiffs for Sterling’s own violations of Google, Microsoft’s Bing, and other search engine policies for legitimately ranking in search engine results; (a) As Sterling’s agent explains, he has been penalized many times in the past and needs a way to cover their tracks (Exhibit B, pp. 36-39, 42). and at the same time, b. To silence Iraqidinar.org’s warnings about buying Iraqi dinar. (a) Using Counter-Plaintiffs as Sterling’s fall guy also serves to silence protected free speech including warnings about the Iraqi dinar scheme and damage Iraqidinar.org’s search engine rankings so that people searching for information about the Iraqi dinar scheme will never find it.
See Case 1:13-cv-00878-RHB Doc #11 Filed 09/18/13 Page 32 of 72 Page ID#79
80) There are at least 70 separate unlawful uses (each constituting numerous violations of law) of Counter-Plaintiffs’ copyrights and trademark since July 2011 as outlined in the Infringement Reports of Exhibit F. a. Sterling unlawfully used these copyrights and trademarks in blatant disregard of conspicuous notices of copyright / trademark; (a) Despite the conspicuous notice, the stolen property is then used in a deceptive network of webspam and illegal marketing.
See Case 1:13-cv-00878-RHB Doc #11 Filed 09/18/13 Page 49 of 72 Page ID#96
We presented 70 copyright infringement reports many of which were used on websites registered by Sterling’s marketing agent “Youssef El Hodaigui” to promote Sterling more than a year before the initial lawsuit.
*see document 11 page 34, 35
Only one exhibit of an alleged bad link was presented in support of Sterling’s case, it was a single page pdf of the term “dinar”; that term was located in the footer of a website about animals and claimed to be hyperlinked to Sterling’s website, which they called a “bad link”, in part because it was on an off topic website (animals rather than dinar); the website was not owned or controlled by us and the alleged hyperlink was said to point to a website address that didn’t exist stating that “the url is HTTP not HTTPS even our site has been SSL since day one!”.
[You’ll notice however the user Ty Rhame on purevolume links to that very same website address (http rather than https) below his statement “if you are looking for the best profit out of your currency investment, you must invest in Iraqi dinar”].
During our own discovery, the same “bad link” was found on numerous websites containing our copyrighted images taken without our permission and surrounded by webspam with links pointing to Sterling’s website, such as Charlotte SEO, an animal website and the footer link on Moroccan Cuisine, all websites actually registered by Sterling’s marketing agent Youssef El Hodaigui (who was listed as Marketing Director for David Lilenfeld (Sterling’s attorney and business partner in Sterling Funder)); there are many such sites, not including free hosting sites, such as Youssef’s Myspace blogs.
Forbes mentioned Sterling Currency Group’s Ty Rhame and Youssef El Hodaigui in their article titled “Iraqi Dinar Soars Again?”.
There were 14 counts listed in our complaint against Sterling Currency Group, shown below:
- Count One: Copyright Infringement
- Count Two: Circumvention of Copyright Management Information in Violation of 17 U.S.C. § 1201 et seq.
- Count Three: Federal Trademark Infringement in Violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1114
- Count Four: False Designation of Origin/False Advertising/Unfair Competition in Violation of 15 U.S.C. §1125(a)
- Count Five: Federal Trademark Dilution in Violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c)
- Count Six: Common Law Trademark Infringement
- Count Seven: Common Law Unfair Competition
- Count Eight: Violation of Michigan Consumer Protection Act (MCL§§ 445.901 – 445.902; § 445.903)
- Count Nine: Violation of Michigan Trademark Act (MCL §§ 429.31 – 429.36; § 429.42)
- Count Ten: Common Law Tortious Interference
- Count Eleven: Common Law Civil Conspiracy
- Count Twelve: Respondeat Superior
- Count Thirteen: Abuse of Process
- Count Fourteen: Frivolous Lawsuit
In all, we presented hundreds of pages in our exhibits that included a variety of topics such as Black Hat SEO techniques and content spinning allegedly used by Sterling’s agent Youssef (aka “Khidma”) to promote Sterling’s lucrative dinar sales business. For example, websites mentioned in Exhibit A page 13; another example of content spinning can be found in an article published by a user named Ty Rhame on scribd.
Sterling Currency Group answered the counterclaim denying all liability.
Toward the end, I emailed Tyson Rhame trying to explain what was in the exhibits but Rhame responded with threats of financial ruin for the rest of my life and stated he never read a word of the lawsuit and never will. I sent him another email expressing my concern about the threats and received an offer to settle; the case was settled shortly after.
This is a relationship diagram to help you understand the companies mentioned in the lawsuit.
And this is Page 2 of Exhibit A showing the people involved in each company mentioned in the lawsuit. Listed are Tyson Allen Rhame, James Shaw, David M Lilenfeld, Youssef El Hodaigui and Frank Bell.
Timeline of Events and Lawsuit
“Khidma” is an online alias used by Sterling’s marketing agent Youssef El Hodaigui.
Sterling’s attempt to buy IraqiDinar.org:
Sterling Currency Group tried to buy this website in 2009 but Sterling’s marketing agent (Stefano Grossi) was turned away. Then, in 2011, Grossi again offered to buy my website, this time for a million dollars and claimed more could be made per month selling Dinar. For reasons I’ll explain later, the offer was refused.
In 2011, my copyrighted images were taken without permission and used on websites registered by Sterling’s marketing agent Youssef El Hodaigui’s (aka “Khidma”). These images were surrounded by webspam and used to promote Sterling Currency Group, Youssef’s employer.
A year later attorney David Lilenfeld (Lilenfeldpc – Georgia Bar No: 452399) called my wife explaining that he needed to talk with me and that it was nothing to worry about. As we stated in our Abusive Litigation Letter to David Lilenfeld:
Mr. Maurer called you back and answered your questions about whether he had ever bought currency from Sterling (no), whether he worked for Mr. Grossi (no), and whether he had posted bad links (no). When speaking with Mr. Maurer, you also told him that he “needed to come clean” or else a lawsuit will be filed. We know, of course, that your threat was fulfilled in that the Lawsuit was subsequently filed. And you told Ms. Walsh, when you spoke by phone with her on October 24, 2012, that “unless your client cooperates,“ there will be trouble with his employer. These threats were not well received by Mr. Maurer or Ms. Walsh, and to me, they are highly unprofessional. If my clients have to proceed with claims for abusive litigation, these threats will be relevant as to Sterling’s vexatious intentions with the Lawsuit.
My attorney advised that a settlement (fair or not) may be better than a costly and emotional court battle (although Jim’s a tough trial attorney, he also believes in presenting you with all the options). Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t cave in to the pressure! Had a settlement agreement been reached in Georgia, I would not have discovered those images infringed upon by Sterling’s agent Youssef, the elaborate network of webspam, Black Hat forum discussions and other material that formed the basis of my counterclaims.
In my letter to Tyson Rhame shown in Exhibit A Page 2, I refer to a request made by Lilenfeld. That request prompted us to analyze Sterling Currency Group’s online operation which eventually led to us filing exhibits containing hundreds of pages in the 14 count counter complaint against Sterling for $20 million dollars. Excerpt of our allegations presented to the Court from our Counter Lawsuit, page 30 of 72 shown below:
24. The evidence reveals that Sterling Currency Group, and its principals, employees, officers, managers, members, directors, owners, agents or associates utilize and benefit from unethical and unfair trade practices delineated in Exhibits A- K, such as: Webspam; tier networks; false advertising; deceptive and misleading statements; fake websites, review sites social profiles of endorsers, and endorsements; stealing and spinning the content of others; stealing others copyrights and trademarks; and filing frivolous and abusive lawsuits. The enormous number of bad acts prevent their enumeration. A few specific examples are referenced as follows and in the pages below:
- Webspam: e.g. Exhibit B, p. 16; Exhibit D, p. 13; Exhibit G, pp. 20, 38, 44;
- Tier networks: e.g. Exhibit A, p. 3; Exhibit D, pp. 2, 13; Exhibit J, p. 23;
- False advertising / deceptive and misleading statements: e.g. Exhibit A, pp. 10-14; Exhibit B, pp. 5-8, 12; Exhibit K, p. 18;
- Fake websites, review sites and social profiles: e.g. Exhibit A, p. 14; Exhibit B, p. 7-15; e.g. Exhibit B, pp. 30, 37, 40;
- Deceptively using agent websites to build links and promote Sterling Currency Group: e.g. Exhibit D, pp. 1, 13; Exhibit G, pp. 20, 38;
- Stealing content, copyright and trademark e.g. Exhibit B, pp. 26-27; Exhibit F; and
- Filing frivolous and abusive lawsuit to silence protected speech: e.g. Within Complaint; Exhibit B, pp. 19, 34, 43; Local Civil Rule 83; State Bar of Michigan Rules of Ethics; State Bar of Georgia Rules of Ethics.
25. The evidence reveals Sterling Currency Group and its principals, employees, officers, managers, members, directors, owners, agents or associates, utilize the same Internet marketing agent, Youssef El Hodaigui, who utilizes on their behalf, “black hat” or negative, search engine optimization techniques to promote their businesses. The evidence in the attached Exhibits of the black hat activity and unethical and unfair trade practices is overwhelming.
26. The overwhelming evidence attached shows a total disregard for the law, fair trade and commerce, the public, and the individual by Sterling and its principals, employees, officers, managers, members, directors, owners, agents or associates.
Take Exhibit A page 13 below for example, showing websites containing my copyrighted images taken without permission and used in an elaborate network of webspam to promote Sterling’s online operation. Note that all these websites, registration information and more are listed in Exhibit F Part 1,2,3,4 and 5 titled “Infringement Reports”:
In the exhibit we presented to the court above, you’ll see a number of websites. You can click on the link below to take you to the digitally preserved site where you can view materiel promoting Sterling Currency Group. You’ll also see work performed on Tyson Rhame’s Sterling Funder, Online Art Group and others.
David Lilenfeld’s connection to Sterling and Youssef El Hodaigui Discovered
Sterling Currency Group’s Attorney, David Lilenfeld, was discovered to be Sterling’s salaried employee, owner and business partner of Sterling Funder with Tyson Rhame, James Shaw, and also manager of Youssef El Hodaigui (‘Khidma’) who we claim worked at manipulating Google for James Shaw, Tyson Rhame and David Lilenfeld, such as LilenfeldPC.com,
SterlingFunder.com, OnlineArtGroup.com, SterlingCurrencyGroup.com, DinarBanker.com, FairfieldFunding.com and more. On a website about John Thomas Shaw you can see use of a hidden link by Youssef’s Web Stromz.
As you read the case, the topic of “Content Spinning” is mentioned repeatedly, an example of Content Spinning can be found in Exhibit A of the “Motion for Protective Order Preventing Sterling from deleting evidence”, page 14 of 26 (27) titled “Stolen Content from Atlanta Attorneys Used to Promote David Lilenfeld’s Atlanta Law Practice, LilenfeldPC.com“.
In Exhibit A page 9 Section V we alleged:
V. Additional evidence of Collusion / Conspiracy lies in that you, David Lilenfeld, with your employee, Youssef El Hodaigui, are stealing the copyrighted articles of other Atlanta attorneys, removing copyright ownership identification and/or credits, taking claim to their material, spinning it, and accordingly causing a reduction in their rank to boost your legal website rank, representing a pattern attributable to your employer, Sterling Currency Group.“
See our page showing a number of articles promoting LilenfeldPC.com and associated author information that led us to make these allegations to the court.
“Sterling Currency Group’s True Purpose” – Page 30
The Sterling Currency Group complaint was filed against IraqiDinar.org AFTER I rejected Sterling’s offer to buy my website and AFTER sites registered by Sterling’s agent Youssef began using my images from IraqiDinar.org for Sterling’s benefit WITHOUT my permission. Exhibits claim that David Lilenfeld gave Google a copy of the lawsuit to remove a Google penalty and restore sterlingcurrencygroup.com’s ranking. In our countersuit, on page 30 titled “Sterling Currency Group’s True Purpose in filing its Complaint against IraqiDinar.org”, it’s explained why we believe the Federal Court was used as a tool to remove a Google Penalty:
28. For years, Iraqidinar.org ‘s message was loud and clear with the website naturally ranking #1 in the search engines for the terms “IRAQI DINAR” and in 2011, the website having achieved a business value of twenty million dollars ($20,000,000.00).
29. For years, Sterling Currency Group d.b.a. dinarbanker.com / https:// sterlingcurrencygroup.com tried to beat Iraqidinar.org ‘s ranking.
30. Sterling tried to beat the rank by utilizing illegal marketing and “black hat” search engine optimization (“SEO”) efforts which did unnaturally increase their website rankings, but prevented them from rising to Iraqidinar.org ‘s #1 natural rank.
31. Unable to beat Iraqidinar.org ‘s ranking and not wanting its message to prevail, Sterling offered to purchase Iraqidinar.org, however, the offer was rejected.
32. Google was catching on to Sterling ‘s bad SEO activities and notified them of their awareness of Sterling ‘s unnatural links. Having learned about some of their black hat search engine activity, Google notified Sterling Currency Group ‘s websites that they may lose any value given to them from unnatural links. Exhibit B, pp. 38-39. See also Exhibit K, a Case Study of a company using the same practices as Sterling Currency Group and Google ‘s response.
33. Thereafter, Sterling hatched a plan to ruin Iraqidinar.org and save face with Google.
34. The overwhelming evidence uncovered to date reveals that Sterling ‘s true purpose in filing its Complaint is:
- To answer to Google with a cover up that involves intentionally and wrongfully blaming Counter-Plaintiffs for Sterling’s own violations of Google, Microsoft’s Bing, and other search engine policies for legitimately ranking in search engine results;
- As Sterling’s agent explains, he has been penalized many times in the past and needs a way to cover their tracks (Exhibit B, pp. 36-39, 42). and at the same time,
- To silence Iraqidinar.org’s warnings about buying Iraqi dinar.
- Using Counter-Plaintiffs as Sterling’s fall guy also serves to silence protected free speech including warnings about the Iraqi dinar scheme and damage Iraqidinar.org’s search engine rankings so that people searching for information about the Iraqi dinar scheme will never find it.
35. Sterling accomplished its purpose by entwining the Counter-Plaintiffs in its massive world-wide “black hat” SEO and illegal marketing scheme originated to promote its websites and to induce investor consumers to buy its Iraqi dinar.
- Sterling entwined Counter-Plaintiffs by smearing their copyrights and trademarks throughout the Internet in its world-wide, massive, and intense negative linking campaign.
- In spite of their own bad acts, Sterling Currency Group responded to Google, by pointing the blame to Counter-Plaintiffs, filing the Georgia lawsuit, and sending notice of the lawsuit to Google, which then returned Sterling’s rank and penalized the falsely accused, Iraqidinar.org, causing over twenty million dollars ($20,000,000.00) in damage.
36. Google fell for Sterling’s ruse and the Counter-Plaintiffs took the blame with Iraqidinar.org falling drastically in the search engine results such that the their message has been silenced, while Sterling maintains its illegitimate ranking.
- Sterling Currency Group now enjoys the top position for people searching for “Buy Iraqi Dinar” while Iraqidinar.org which ranked #1 for years for the term “IRAQI DINAR”, is now buried 100s of results below, effectively removing it and its important public message from the search results.
37. The hundreds of pages of evidence and the within Complaint filed by Sterling Currency Group reveal that Sterling and its principals, employees, officers, managers, members, directors, owners, agents or associates, obviously will stop at nothing to rank at the top in search engines results for their desired keywords and to continue making hundreds of millions per year (twenty million per month ($20,000,000.00) as per court transcript except, Exhibit M) off unwary investors in unregulated markets and schemes over the Internet such as Iraqi dinar sales, crowdfunding, and structured settlement buyouts.
38. Sterling Currency Group intentionally and wrongfully acted against James Maurer, Monetizers, LLC and IRAQIDINAR.ORG, to promote Sterling ‘s businesses in its scheme, including its massive world-wide internet “black hat” SEO illegal marketing to induce investor to buy their Iraqi dinar while at the same time falsely accusing Counter-Plaintiffs in order to destroy them and deflect the attention of Google, Microsoft’s Bing and other search engines away from Sterling’s own violations of search engine policies created for legitimately ranking in results.
Protective Order Preserving Evidence against SterlingOn September 18, we also filed Exhibit A Titled “Defendants / Counter – Plaintiffs’ Motion And Brief In Support Of Protective Order Preserving Evidence” over concern about items such as the one below being deleted. Sterling denied this. In our Motion we claimed that:
14. A photograph relevant to my clients’ Answer, Affirmative Defenses and Counterclaims has been deleted. A screen-shot of the webpage on which the photograph was present, was included in the Answer, Affirmative Defenses and Counterclaims (see Doc #11, Exhibit B, page 36). It is claimed that this is a photograph used to identify marketing director Youssef El Hodaigui.
In response to our claim, Sterling Currency Group filed a signed Affidavit Declaration of Youssef Hodaigui as an attachment opposing our MOTION for protective order #34. In that affidavit, Youssef swears to the court that:
I state that my last edit to this profile (including deletion of my profile photograph) was on March 17, 2012, well before this lawsuit was commenced.
This is interesting for two reasons.
- Youssef confirms his trafficplanet.com profile picture and account (see Exhibit B part1 and 2 – amazing stuff!)
- His profile picture (alias “Khidma”) was not deleted and still active as of 3/8/2013, well after the lawsuit started (which was in 2012) as the dates on the images below show.
You’ll notice that the Gravatar (which Youssef calls a profile picture) used for Sterling’s marketing agent Youssef existed in 2013 and was then removed. The Gravatar is unique and ties into Black Hat World forum discussions where methods to fool Google are discussed along with purchase and transaction ID information:
In a lawsuit against Sterling Currency Group by Dinar Corp Inc., a motion was filed to disqualify David Lilenfeld PC – see section C titled “D. Counsel’s alteration of evidence.”
What Happened when we Filed our Counter-Lawsuit against Sterling Currency Group?
Sterling Currency Group answered the counterclaim denying all liability.
“Financial Ruin for the Rest of Your Life”
I sent an email trying to reason with Tyson Rhame and get him to look at the evidence we found but his response was nothing like I expected! Rhame responded by threatening financial ruin for the rest of my life and letting me know that he didn’t read one word of the lawsuit because he just doesn’t care. (bold added for clarity)
“I didn’t read the lawsuit (not 1 page or 1 word) and won’t because I don’t care what’s in it” – Exhibit A Page 4 of 25
and then goes on to issue the threats shown below:
We know you have very few assets and we know we could drive you into financial ruin for the rest of your life. – Exhibit A Page 6 of 25
We hire lawyers to handle issues like this. If David gets overwhelmed, we’ll pass it on to King and Spalding, etc until we get the resolution we think is appropriate — David will coordinate all legal activities — he works for us fulltime on salary. – Exhibit A Page 4 of 25
It’s not a worry to us, because you will run out of resources before we do. We don’t mind coming up to your neck of the woods for court or whatever else — we’re not worried and it’s not a hardship. Lawsuits are just a normal course of business and we don’t think about them for more than a minute when we know we’re in the right and will win. – Exhibit A Page 5 of 25
we’ll hire a firm to pursue any judgment for the rest of your life bankruptcy won’t protect you —hiding assets won’t protect you. – Exhibit A Page 4 of 25
Please take a moment to read the entire email, including others sent by Rhame found in Exhibit A.
On October 18th, I responded to Rhame’s emails expressing my concerns about his threats. Rhame responded, but this time a completely different tone and willing to settle.
After a year long battle in Georgia and getting the case dismissed on jurisdiction, Sterling Currency Group tried again in Michigan. Only a few months after we filed our counterlawsuit, the case was settled on December 17th.
This is only a small part of what was presented in the lawsuits. Take time and read the court exhibits, there is a lot of information in there.
Lilenfeld P.C. Offers Me a Consulting JobIn December of 2015, after numerous threats of a lawsuit by David Lilenfeld, Lilenfeld bypassed my attorney and contacted me directly, something attorneys are not allowed to do when that person is represented by an attorney. I didn’t respond and instead, forwarded the email to my attorney who then called Lilenfeld P.C.
David Lilenfeld told my attorney that he forgot my attorney represented me; he then went on to offer me a consulting job working for Sterling Currency Group. We rejected that offer and explained that I have no interest in working for Sterling Currency Group or anyone related to the company.
Follow the Federal Case Against Sterling Currency Group!
What’s next? Follow the Federal Case the United States Attorney has filed against Sterling Currency Group, Tyson Allen Rhame, James S Shaw, Carole Laurette Shaw, Frank Bell and others.
I’ll cover events as they happen so check back often. I’ll also be writing a book about my ordeal, so if you would like to be the first to read it, let me know and I’ll send you a purchase link when it’s completed – simply drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and email address.
- on Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:25 am
- Search in: GENERAL DISCUSSION
- Topic: James Shaw vacations to the Bahamas on Dinarians money.
- Replies: 12
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