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Author Topic: Hi, my name is Sonny Vleisides  (Read 24866 times)
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September 20, 2012, 08:36:36 PM
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Hello, my name is Sonny Vleisides.  I've been involved in technology and libertarian focused ventures for most of my adult life.  I believe very strongly in freedom, honesty and personal responsibility.

I decided to drop university studies at UMKC back in 1991.  My mother wasn't very happy about it, but with youthful ambition and no sense, I set out to travel the world instead.  I've lived in Russia, Indonesia, Latin America, Europe etc...  Mostly seeking opportunity while trying to learn what I could.  Along the way, libertarian ideals became more interesting than any other and looking back, it's clear that's the attraction that's pulled me through life from one focus to the next.  The internet was an exciting development.  I started webspawner.com in 1995.  It was my focus for many years.  Do a search for 'free webpages' on google.  I'm currently president of that company, not BFL.

In the late 90's, I found myself face to face with a great new concept.  It was called jurisdictional arbitration.  That's where you're able to leverage technology to profit from differences in law from one jurisdiction to another. The hotbed of it was in offshore gaming where a Costa Rican license could be used along with satellite telecommunications to offer gaming services to clients all over the world, even in the United States.  I thought this was pretty cool, so I started a software company to provide the back end for these systems.  We operated services as Sportsbook Solutions and the SportsPulse platform.  It was a lucrative and fun time.  I saw it as a libertarian adventure in challenging the authorities of the world while earning a good living.

I came to know my real father only as an adult.  So when I got the opportunity to know him better, I was eager and curious.  His name was James Ray Houston (the focus of the indictment).  He was very charismatic and had a wild past from having ran for governor in Nevada.  At one time he had a Lear jet with his picture on the tail.  He'd gone broke and rich several times since and had a zillion GREAT stories to tell.  I was completely enamored.  At that time he had been building a business bundling lottery tickets and selling shares of ownership in their potential winnings.  He moved to simply guaranteeing the ticket results on his own via re-insurance pools (US Patent application number US 2004/0058726 A1).  At some point after that it became clear to him that he could use a sportsbook license to clarify legality and allow his customers to bet on the outcome of a lottery without buying a lottery ticket.  So instead of "I bet the Giants win by 7", it's "I bet the NY Lottery pick 3 is 4-7-2".  He built international lottery products like this and took them to market.  I helped him.

It was a roaring success.

It's fair to say the US Government didn't like it much in spite of the legal basis.

After several years, indictments suddenly rained down on all forms of offshore gaming.

That year (2007), about 30% of the larger offshore sportsbook/poker/lottery gaming companies were indicted with mail fraud and money laundering related accusations including betonsports.com, sportsbook.com, sportingbet plc.  Later it was Bookmaker.com, 2Betsdi.com, Funtimebingo.com, Goldenarchcasino.com, Truepoker.com, Betmaker.com, Betgrandesports.com, Doylesroom.com, Betehorse.com, Beted.com....  and many more.

Each case was different and this one was particularly unusual because it wasn't a standard sportsbook model.  In fact, this case was started by the IRS.  Why the IRS?   It's not my place to say, but it's worth any reader taking a moment to think about.  The core of their argument was that if a customer didn't buy the ticket from the government, then they were being victimized.  Consequently, it was decided that all economic activity by James Houston's company was fraudulent and that forms the basis of the indictment. However, the customers bought ticket funds and were paid their appropriate winnings as promised.  Only the government lost out.  This may have made the case hard to prosecute.  In fact, the government ended the case without any obligation to repay anyone anything.  No restitution.

My role was mostly as a software & license supplier, However, I became more involved over time...  enough so that my name was included in the indictment.  

Everything was fine until one day I was picked up while traveling in Florence.  It was a sealed indictment, so I had no idea what was going on.  I spent the next two years fighting extradition.  The case went all the way to the Italian Supreme Court.  In the end, I was extradited after the US was made to drop half of the charges. That's all they could do for me, but they really helped.  I'll always be thankful to Italy for that.

In the US, I was preparing for my case.  It had been a long slog. My finances had dwindled to zero, leaving me with a free court appointed lawyer from the legal pool.  He showed me that the US federal system had a 97% conviction rate...  higher than the Russian courts under Stalin.  He calmly informed me that I was facing full life without possibility of parole as a first time white collar defendant.

Yes..  really.  This is no joke.  It's called the federal sentencing guidelines implemented in 1984.  It's the point system that determines the sentence, not the judge.  My points totaled 43.  Life in prison.  Look it up and prepare to be amazed.

After two and a half years preparing, we neared trial.  The prosecutor calls for a meeting and offers me a deal.  I can go home if I accept a single count of mail fraud and skip the trial.  They would drop 23 charges and leave me with a simple postal violation (lesser count of mail fraud).  I thought about it and it didn't take long for me to agree to get the shackles off.  I signed and went home to my Mother's house in Kansas City.  I sat there looking at the wall for a long time.  I didn't feel like leaving the house much.  It was difficult to get over the emotional loss.  My life was ruined.  Mom got me an account on match.com and encouraged me to date.  I met a wonderful girl and we had a little boy.  We named him Indy.  My life continued and I started to look for a new project to begin again.  A fresh start.  I'm on a good track now, trying to put the past behind me.

http://communityhosting.net/ih/images/sfamj.jpg


Somewhere along the way, I got involved with the BFL project.  (No one from the indictment is involved in this company, in fact two of them have since died including my father.)  With regards to BFL, I'm proud to have played a role in it's start up and focus on the current products, but I am not a majority owner.  The company has 22 employees who are all dedicated and focused on delivering a truly amazing best in class product.

The bitcoin community and it's success are important to me and my past isn't a threat to it or to the BFL corporation.  I hope you can see that.

Thanks for your time in reading this.

Kind regards,
Sonny Vleisides
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September 20, 2012, 08:44:31 PM
 #2

I'm satisfied.
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September 20, 2012, 08:45:51 PM
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Im gonna assume this story is mostly correct, and just wish to congratulate Sonny on his bounce-back.
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September 20, 2012, 08:59:25 PM
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I'm satisfied.

I'm not.

Please elucidate your connection to Laissez Faire City, James Orlin Grabbe and the KGB.
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September 20, 2012, 09:03:36 PM
 #5

Im gonna assume this story is mostly correct, and just wish to congratulate Sonny on his bounce-back.

Oh man you are really easily being had....the nice little baby...all it takes to imprison your ability to percieve facts
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September 20, 2012, 09:07:29 PM
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Quote
The case went all the way to the Italian Supreme Court.


This is no place to be vague. Either link to the case documents already available online or put them online and link to them.

Quote
Yes..  really.  This is no joke.  It's called the federal sentencing guidelines implemented in 1984.  It's the point system that determines the sentence, not the judge.  My points totaled 43.  Life in prison.  Look it up and prepare to be amazed.

It's not a matter of it being a joke, it's a matter of it being a lie that's under consideration. I am looking it up, I still fail to see how a first conviction for fraud amounts to life without parole. Again, this is no place to be vague, you are the convicted felon, not us. Do your homework, don't expect us to do it for you.

In general, yes the US Govt is a despicable piece of shit, always looking to hassle and possibly convict perfectly innocent bystanders on trumped up charges. Cases such as Dominique Strauss Kahn or Julien Assange readily spring to mind. However, this does not mean that every two bit fraudster is now a political target. It's an age old ploy, of course, that's how the couple forgers imprisoned in the Bastille got themselves out in 1789.

Nice tearjerker with the orphan kid meeting Dad and so forth. Please apply yourself more diligently to the actual points.

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September 20, 2012, 09:17:04 PM
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At some point after that it became clear to him that he could use my company's software system and sportsbook license to clarify legality and allow his customers to bet on the outcome of a lottery without buying a lottery ticket.  .  So instead of "I bet the Giants win by 7", it's "I bet the NY Lottery pick 3 is 4-7-2".

It was a roaring success.


Welcome to a mob-style numbers racket.

Sonny, I really only have one question for you.  Your parole conditions place restrictions on you operating certain types of businesses and soliciting funds without the express permission of your parole officer.  Can you provide evidence that your parole officer is aware of your involvement in BFL and has given express permission for you to undertake all activities associated with it?  If you're truly "turning your life around", then I would presume that you have no wish to violate your parole conditions.  Evidence that you're complying with those conditions might reassure people that your intention truly is to make a fresh start in a legitimate business enterprise.

All I can say is that this is Bitcoin. I don't believe it until I see six confirmations.
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September 20, 2012, 09:17:35 PM
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In general, yes the US Govt is a despicable piece of shit, always looking to hassle and possibly convict perfectly innocent bystanders on trumped up charges.

Nice tearjerker with the orphan kid meeting Dad and so forth. Please apply yourself more diligently to the actual points.


Both good points.

Anyone that cares to take this seriously should read, in full, the government's findings on the case.  There is much detail on the mechanics of the operation that one needs to read prior to being taken in by an 'appeal to emotion' post like this.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=110805.msg1206567#msg1206567


Trying to 'put a face' on the issue is fine - but one should not be ignorant of the court's findings.

Maybe the US Gov't really screwed over Sonny and got it's facts all wrong.  Maybe not.  Read and decide for yourself.
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September 20, 2012, 09:20:48 PM
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I'm only disturbed by his visual similarity to Bruce Wagner. Is that the smile of a psychopath? I do not know.

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September 20, 2012, 09:22:25 PM
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Let's go easy on the witch hunting. Even though the Pirate thing is fresh on our minds, and BFL is kind of a sketchy company...even if this guy involved did actually intentionally defraud people in his past, they *are* delivering products at this time.
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September 20, 2012, 09:29:29 PM
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Sonny, can you comment on the following?
Quote
18. When interviewed, PJ and Michael Swink stated the following:

a.   PJ Swink stated that her company, Western Internet, worked for Sonny VLEISIDES. The work PJ Swink did for VLEISIDES included printing as well as stuffing and mailing envelopes. VLEISIDES gave her instructions regarding the preparing, printing, and mailing of lottery solicitations. Western Internet had done this work for VLEISIDES, or his father, "Rex Rogers," since 1993. Since 2000, all of the work PJ Swink had done for VLEiSIDES and "Rex Rogers" had been related to the lottery.

b.   PJ Swink was unaware of the exact name of VLEISIDES' company, because it has had multiple names over the years. Based on conversations and other communications with VLEISIDES over the years, she believed "The Shamrock Agency" and "World Expert" were companies related to VLEISIDES. She believed VLEISIDES also used the name "Atlas Informaticos." Michael Swink stated that VLEISIDES told him that VLEISIDES was a licensed broker for these companies in Europe. PJ Swink and Michael Swink have met VLEISIDES in person.

c.   PJ Swink provided a business card with contact information for VLEISIDES. The information on the card said "SONNY VLEISIDES." The address was in Costa Rica. The email address was sonnv[-BAD-OCR-]city.com . However, PJ Swink later identified a further email address for VLEISIDES of sonnv@atlasinformaticos.com.

Quote

Victim Statements

8. Clarence Enge

Amy Von Freyman stated that her grandfather, Clarence Enge, who is in his 80s, received letters via the United States mail from companies soliciting his participation in foreign lotteries.
Since 1997, Enge had sent $600-$1200/month to such companies, including to OLD AMSTERDAM and SHAMROCK AGENCY. In order to continue his participation he refinanced his home.

9. Paul Greven

A letter addressed to Greven stating it is an "Official Announcement of Winning Tickets in the 2003 Irish Sweepstake Triple Crown." The  letterhead indicated it was from "The Shamrock Agency" and claimed it had been a "Certified Service since 1959." The letter stated: "Millionaires by the score! We have just finished round one of the verification process of the Triple Crown 118 major Jackpot winning tickets. Enclosed is a list of the winning numbers. Congratulations to the jackpot winners.. . ." The letter informed Greven to be patient for "round 2 of the winning verification process" but encouraged him not to "... delay in getting the 'Jump' on next year's Triple Crown millions (order form enclosed)." It also stated that the Triple Crown was unlike any other lottery because players could be sure there is no ". . . 'Inside corruption' or 'secret trick' . . . ." The letter was signed by "Sir William Winfield, Northup Manor, Shannon Ireland."

10. Paul Wood

When interviewed, Paul Wood stated that he had been involved with WORLD EXPERT for about five years. He had played lotteries with them and obtained a form of life insurance from WORLD EXPERT. Woods stated the insurance from WORLD EXPERT FUND was known as the "Gold Reserve Fund." For this he sent $29 per month to the Netherlands to pay for retirement/life insurance. Statements he had received showed that he had approximately $4,000 in his account.


What was your relationship with World Expert and The Shamrock Agency, as well as Western Internet/ The Swinks?

Did you merely provide a software platform for people to bet on the outcome of foreign lotteries, or did you send out unsolicted mail for people to send you checks/wires in order to participate in foreign lotteries?
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September 20, 2012, 09:36:51 PM
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great read, timing could not have been better.  this has restored a bit more faith in BFL to me, although I wish they would post a few pictures showing some progress.

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September 20, 2012, 09:40:24 PM
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I'm only disturbed by his visual similarity to Bruce Wagner. Is that the smile of a psychopath? I do not know.

Bruce Wagner also tried to hand-wave away his previous convictions for fraud with ridiculous stories.
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September 20, 2012, 09:46:54 PM
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Im gonna assume this story is mostly correct, and just wish to congratulate Sonny on his bounce-back.

Oh man you are really easily being had....the nice little baby...all it takes to imprison your ability to percieve facts

I havent "been had" yet.  A dying breed in bitcoin land.
Common sense goes a long way.  It doesnt take genius to tell 5% per week "investment opportunities" are ponzi's, nor does it take a lot of faith to see BFL is actually producing state of the art products, making a shitload of money legitimately. There is also nothing unbelievable about them being able to produce asics, there are now 4 other companies claiming the same capability in roughly the same time frame and they all have far less resources and far less proven trackrecord.

Is it possible Sonny is running another con? Sure, but he would be an idiot to run off with your money with after already having spent 2 years in jail, a criminal record and with his name out in the open. Especially when he can make a crapload of money by just running his business as he has been doing.

TL'DR  It makes absolutely no sense to assume this is a scam.
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September 20, 2012, 09:48:46 PM
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Thanks for your story. I'm satisfied.
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September 20, 2012, 09:50:01 PM
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he would be an idiot to run off with your money with after already having spent 2 years in jail, a criminal record and with his name out in the open.

That might make sense in the real world... but bitcoin.

(pirate's stolen over 5 million USD, and I don't forsee any jail in his future considering there's not even a police report right now)
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September 20, 2012, 09:51:36 PM
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Let's go easy on the witch hunting. Even though the Pirate thing is fresh on our minds, and BFL is kind of a sketchy company...even if this guy involved did actually intentionally defraud people in his past, they *are* delivering products at this time.
Do you not forget the following earn model wich we saw in the past.

1) Start a company
2) Get known
3) Get trusted (by delivering some kind of service or product)
4) Get money

5) Claim that you have been hacked or come up with some bad excuse.
6) Profit

BFL now is at phase 4 since they have the money.
So we will see now how this story plays out.


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September 20, 2012, 09:54:07 PM
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he would be an idiot to run off with your money with after already having spent 2 years in jail, a criminal record and with his name out in the open.

That might make sense in the real world... but bitcoin.

(pirate's stolen over 5 million USD, and I don't forsee any jail in his future considering there's not even a police report right now)

Last time I checked, Pirate didnt have a registered company, didnt accept credit cards, didnt have a parole officer looking over his shoulder,  nor have I seen any shred of evidence of any real business activity. Even if there were, there would be no sensible explanation for why he would borrow at >3000% APR.  Pirate and BFL have nothing in common.

If you want to shout down scams on this forum, there are plenty to chose from, this isnt one.
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September 20, 2012, 09:57:23 PM
 #19

I truly thank you for your efforts. However people always seem to criticize everything "haters gonna hate"

There is no way to 100% co-oberate anything that is posted on the internet.

Only time will tell.

Sonny, there are optimists and pessimists. You are an optimist much like myself.

I would like to add that your post will help me to avoid the difficult to please, "Negative thinking People" on the forums.
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September 20, 2012, 10:00:52 PM
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BFL are from the real world, they proved that already. Never seen them promising free money, like that boat guy.

Sonny, thanks for your story.

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September 20, 2012, 10:19:50 PM
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Thanks for posting your side. It's a little light on details in some places (which a few others have asked for - whether you answer or not is up to you) but I would give you the benefit of the doubt. The government does indeed get pretty pissed any time they get cut out of the action.

One thing I would like to know is what your job at BFL entails...merely because I'm curious.

I see plenty of people on my ignore list have replied as well - I'm sure everything they said was constructive and unbiased.  Roll Eyes

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September 20, 2012, 10:21:06 PM
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Quote
Yes..  really.  This is no joke.  It's called the federal sentencing guidelines implemented in 1984.  It's the point system that determines the sentence, not the judge.  My points totaled 43.  Life in prison.  Look it up and prepare to be amazed.

It's not a matter of it being a joke, it's a matter of it being a lie that's under consideration. I am looking it up, I still fail to see how a first conviction for fraud amounts to life without parole. Again, this is no place to be vague, you are the convicted felon, not us. Do your homework, don't expect us to do it for you.

Ok, I did part of the homework on the points. Assuming $19 million stolen, and some other facts about the case, I get between 41 and 45 points, so just about right. 43 points or higher gives a guideline sentence of life (per this table).  I don't see where it says the judge has no say in the sentence, and must do exactly what the table says. Of course, IANAL, I'm a fizzisist.

That said, life in prison seems about fitting for the crime he was charged with. NOT for the crime he claims he was both guilty of and convicted for in this post.

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September 20, 2012, 10:25:36 PM
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Especially when he can make a crapload of money by just running his business as he has been doing.

TL'DR  It makes absolutely no sense to assume this is a scam.


Just because a business is taking in a crapload of money doesn't mean that it's profitable.  We have no idea what financial obligations BFL has, so you can't assume that they're making a ton of money based on the amount they've collected for pre-orders.  Most new businesses don't become profitable for a number of years.

The non-disclosure about Sonny's past wasn't an oversight.  BFL knew damned well that people would be less likely to place pre-orders with the company if they knew of Sonny's past transgressions.  So the question of whether there's anything else they're hiding now arises and it's a legitimate one.

Maybe they're legitimate and maybe they're not, but the onus is now firmly on them to provide proof of their legitimacy and especially to back up their previous statement that pre-orders are not being used to fund ASIC development.  If there's any way in which BFL customers have been misled (and it appears that they have been regarding quality control), now is the time to come clean.  People will forgive any past deceptions if the whole truth is revealed now and BFL delivers their product up to standard and on time.  They'll be far less forgiving if the product doesn't live up to expectations and it's later revealed that the company's responses to user questions were either misleading or outright untrue.

All I can say is that this is Bitcoin. I don't believe it until I see six confirmations.
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September 20, 2012, 10:36:16 PM
 #24

he would be an idiot to run off with your money with after already having spent 2 years in jail, a criminal record and with his name out in the open.

That might make sense in the real world... but bitcoin.

(pirate's stolen over 5 million USD, and I don't forsee any jail in his future considering there's not even a police report right now)

Last time I checked, Pirate didnt have a registered company, didnt accept credit cards, didnt have a parole officer looking over his shoulder,  nor have I seen any shred of evidence of any real business activity. Even if there were, there would be no sensible explanation for why he would borrow at >3000% APR.  Pirate and BFL have nothing in common.

If you want to shout down scams on this forum, there are plenty to chose from, this isnt one.


Vescudero ?
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September 20, 2012, 10:37:49 PM
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Vescudero ?

Vescudero is down already. All of the HYIPs are.
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September 20, 2012, 10:41:00 PM
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you have lived in Indonesia which is my country Tongue
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September 20, 2012, 10:47:21 PM
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Vescudero ?

Vescudero is down already. All of the HYIPs are.

Put your money where your mouth is :  Wink   

http://betsofbitco.in/item?id=671
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September 20, 2012, 10:51:11 PM
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Not that it seems off topic...
any bets for sunny Sonny and BFL is a scam and won´t deliver anything useful when december comes?
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September 20, 2012, 10:52:11 PM
 #29

Not that it seems off topic...
any bets for sunny Sonny and BFL is a scam and won´t deliver anything useful when december comes?

You could use the one in my sig.
http://betsofbitco.in/item?id=446
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September 20, 2012, 10:54:16 PM
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I'm satisfied.

I'm not.

Please elucidate your connection to Laissez Faire City, James Orlin Grabbe and the KGB.

and Putin )

this is joke  Grin
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September 20, 2012, 10:55:24 PM
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Quote
Assuming $19 million stolen, and some other facts about the case


I didn't realise the guy walked off with $20,000,000 of other people's money. This'd be a little bit of detail that'd be germane to our entire discussion wouldn't you think.

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September 20, 2012, 10:57:35 PM
 #32

I'm satisfied.

I'm not.

Please elucidate your connection to Laissez Faire City, James Orlin Grabbe and the KGB.

and Putin )

this is joke  Grin

My question wasn't.
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September 20, 2012, 11:00:06 PM
 #33

I'm satisfied.

I'm not.

Please elucidate your connection to Laissez Faire City, James Orlin Grabbe and the KGB.

and Putin )

this is joke  Grin

My question wasn't.

no problem )
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September 20, 2012, 11:00:51 PM
 #34

Not that it seems off topic...
any bets for sunny Sonny and BFL is a scam and won´t deliver anything useful when december comes?

You could use the one in my sig.
http://betsofbitco.in/item?id=446

i could give you a picture of it right now Wink  and the bet would be lost?
without some proven superutility this bet is superfutility
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September 20, 2012, 11:07:12 PM
 #35

Not that it seems off topic...
any bets for sunny Sonny and BFL is a scam and won´t deliver anything useful when december comes?

You could use the one in my sig.
http://betsofbitco.in/item?id=446

i could give you a picture of it right now Wink  and the bet would be lost?
without some proven superutility this bet is superfutility
No one said the picture evidence would solely be a picture of the device.
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September 20, 2012, 11:13:31 PM
 #36

Quote
Assuming $19 million stolen, and some other facts about the case


I didn't realise the guy walked off with $20,000,000 of other people's money. This'd be a little bit of detail that'd be germane to our entire discussion wouldn't you think.

Yeah, that came from the affidavit, paragraph 5.

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September 20, 2012, 11:14:26 PM
 #37

I havent "been had" yet.  A dying breed in bitcoin land.
Common sense goes a long way.  It doesnt take genius to tell 5% per week "investment opportunities" are ponzi's, nor does it take a lot of faith to see BFL is actually producing state of the art products, making a shitload of money legitimately. There is also nothing unbelievable about them being able to produce asics, there are now 4 other companies claiming the same capability in roughly the same time frame and they all have far less resources and far less proven trackrecord.

Is it possible Sonny is running another con? Sure, but he would be an idiot to run off with your money with after already having spent 2 years in jail, a criminal record and with his name out in the open. Especially when he can make a crapload of money by just running his business as he has been doing.

TL'DR  It makes absolutely no sense to assume this is a scam.

OMG!!  Shocked Shocked Shocked A well thought out, reasonable post! Quoted for future proof.

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September 20, 2012, 11:21:58 PM
 #38

Not that it seems off topic...
any bets for sunny Sonny and BFL is a scam and won´t deliver anything useful when december comes?

You could use the one in my sig.
http://betsofbitco.in/item?id=446

i could give you a picture of it right now Wink  and the bet would be lost?
without some proven superutility this bet is superfutility
No one said the picture evidence would solely be a picture of the device.

but of Sonnys wife doing some naked swimming when the tide goes out in Thaiti? Huh Cool
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September 20, 2012, 11:23:59 PM
 #39

Let's go easy on the witch hunting. Even though the Pirate thing is fresh on our minds, and BFL is kind of a sketchy company...even if this guy involved did actually intentionally defraud people in his past, they *are* delivering products at this time.
Do you not forget the following earn model wich we saw in the past.

1) Start a company
2) Get known
3) Get trusted (by delivering some kind of service or product)
4) Get money

5) Claim that you have been hacked or come up with some bad excuse.
6) Profit

BFL now is at phase 4 since they have the money.
So we will see now how this story plays out.



Oh, I've said something similar here already. Can't disagree one bit. I wouldn't give Bitcoins for an unreleased product...
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September 21, 2012, 01:09:09 AM
 #40

I'm surprised no one has asked for his birth certificate to be posted. I know I'd feel a lot better about the company if we saw his birth record.

Seriously, the man shows incredible transparency here and some of you are grasping at straws to keep on bitching. Would this forum cease to exist if it was a discussion of ideas rather than a place to make up stories out of your head?
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September 21, 2012, 01:23:33 AM
 #41

I'm surprised no one has asked for his birth certificate to be posted. I know I'd feel a lot better about the company if we saw his birth record.

Seriously, the man shows incredible transparency here and some of you are grasping at straws to keep on bitching. Would this forum cease to exist if it was a discussion of ideas rather than a place to make up stories out of your head?

as long as you don´t post his birth certificate, your idea is a bitch of which you make up a story...sorry
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September 21, 2012, 01:42:14 AM
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It's interesting to watch the dirty laundry come out... BFL always gets it worst cause they're the clear leader.

An inside story about somebody who hates BFL -- this is fizzisist. He's pretty well-respected around here, at this point. He has been a strong BFL opponent from the beginning (for obvious $ reasons). When I started the X6500 with Li and fpgaminer, I invited fizzisist onboard. From my dealings with him, the guy came off as a real scumbag. The backstabbings came quickly. At one point he tried to drop the heatsinks off our boards to gain a few bucks profit off each, when heatsinks had clearly been promised. Anyways, I soon found myself on the outside of the group I had started. And the X6500 launch was delayed for a few months due to incompetence and bickering...

What's the moral of the story? Take your pick:
-Nothing whatsoever
-A public persona isn't always what it seems
-Scumbags can still sell good hardware
-It's always interesting to watch the pot call the kettle black.

All of that being said, my opinion is that BFL is probably safe to buy from. Personal identities are known, they've been visited in person, and they have a track record that's as good as any hardware maker (except maybe Ztex, his rep seems to be flawless). Clearly they're going to get rich either way... why wouldn't they choose the route that doesn't involve jailtime?

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September 21, 2012, 01:47:18 AM
 #43

Good response.

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September 21, 2012, 01:57:14 AM
 #44

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Abagnale
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Mitnick
I think everyone deserves a second chance. Sometimes they even make movies about them  Smiley

The fact Sonny can make a lot of money legitimately and bfl has an understandable business model makes me lean toward giving him the benefit of the doubt. Its not like hes offering 7% returns with no visible business model.



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September 21, 2012, 02:41:01 AM
 #45

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Minkow
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September 21, 2012, 02:50:17 AM
 #46

In the US, I was preparing for my case.  It had been a long slog. My finances had dwindled to zero, leaving me with a free court appointed lawyer from the legal pool.  He showed me that the US federal system had a 97% conviction rate...  higher than the Russian courts under Stalin.  He calmly informed me that I was facing full life without possibility of parole as a first time white collar defendant.

I hope you know that comparing Stalin to Feds is beyond retarded?
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September 21, 2012, 02:54:25 AM
 #47

I want to say to Sonny, that you and your company kind of deserved all this negative attention. The facts are, you lack any updates, no photos of equipment, no real specs, unknown location, and the best one, you hire (IMO) a jackass for public relations whose responses lack any good customer service skills and only add fuel to the fire for your company.

However, I am also satisfied with your response and I feel a little better about my money invested with you. People deserve second chances in life. Your older now, have a family, and I assume you realize that a longterm business is far more rewarding than a long con. Good luck to you and BFL !!!
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September 21, 2012, 03:05:50 AM
 #48


I hope you know that comparing Stalin to Feds is beyond retarded?



Stalin would have been envious of what the NSA and other agencies setup in the Federal system. Hell, the president even has the legal power now to kill American citizens without due process. Not even Stalin had that.
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September 21, 2012, 03:08:50 AM
 #49


I hope you know that comparing Stalin to Feds is beyond retarded?



Stalin would have been envious of what the NSA and other agencies setup in the Federal system. Hell, the president even has the legal power now to kill American citizens without due process. Not even Stalin had that.

Not sure if serious...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Purge
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September 21, 2012, 03:33:45 AM
 #50


Stalin's crimes against humanity were a result of his abuse of extra-legal power. The Executive Branch's abuses of power are utterly "legal" under US law.
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September 21, 2012, 03:38:09 AM
 #51

Hello, my name is Sonny Vleisides.

...

Kind regards,
Sonny Vleisides

This is exactly the kind of thing somebody pretending to be Sonny would say.

Prove it or you don't exist.

And, when my super computer arrives next week I expect it to power itself.
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September 21, 2012, 03:44:40 AM
 #52


Stalin's crimes against humanity were a result of his abuse of extra-legal power. The Executive Branch's abuses of power are utterly "legal" under US law.
The concept of extra-legal power is rather meaningless in a dictatorship, whether it is in communist Russia or any of the "Democratic Republics" out there. While I won't speak to whatever points you might think give the president the legal power to kill US citizens without due process of law, saying that Stalin would be envious of the powers of the POTUS is laughable. Call back when term limits are revoked, the entirety of the GOP is wiped out, the Clinton, Kennedys and other prominent democratic figures disappear or are executed on trumped up charges.
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September 21, 2012, 04:32:17 AM
 #53

It's interesting to watch the dirty laundry come out... BFL always gets it worst cause they're the clear leader.

An inside story about somebody who hates BFL -- this is fizzisist. He's pretty well-respected around here, at this point. He has been a strong BFL opponent from the beginning (for obvious $ reasons). When I started the X6500 with Li and fpgaminer, I invited fizzisist onboard. From my dealings with him, the guy came off as a real scumbag. The backstabbings came quickly. At one point he tried to drop the heatsinks off our boards to gain a few bucks profit off each, when heatsinks had clearly been promised. Anyways, I soon found myself on the outside of the group I had started. And the X6500 launch was delayed for a few months due to incompetence and bickering...

What's the moral of the story? Take your pick:
-Nothing whatsoever
-A public persona isn't always what it seems
-Scumbags can still sell good hardware
-It's always interesting to watch the pot call the kettle black.

All of that being said, my opinion is that BFL is probably safe to buy from. Personal identities are known, they've been visited in person, and they have a track record that's as good as any hardware maker (except maybe Ztex, his rep seems to be flawless). Clearly they're going to get rich either way... why wouldn't they choose the route that doesn't involve jailtime?

I love it! Comparing me to a convicted felon that stole at least $19 million dollars from little old ladies in an elaborate international scheme. Instead of signing my emails under a false name, I always use my full name. Our company is registered under my name. All public information is freely available to anyone that looks for it. We have never represented our company as anything other than exactly what it is. Furthermore, I have never been convicted of a crime.

On the other hand, I understand that it might appear my motives are tainted by the fact that our company is a competitor. The truth is simply that I am appalled by this crime and even more appalled that very few people on this forum seem to have the reading comprehension to see that it does not match Mr. Vleisides' description in the least. If this turns out to be a scam, I would like to know that I did what little I could to help the community make an informed decision. The same goes for my early posts in the 1 GH/s, 20W, $499, is it for real? thread, when I made the case that their claims were outlandish and their website seems to represent themselves as something they are not. In the end, I and many others were correct, because they ended up delivering a markedly different product than they had promised, and still haven't delivered those "medical imaging" drivers for the Bitforce Single.

I truly hope that Butterfly Labs isn't running a long con here. The impact it would have on the bitcoin community, especially right after the Pirate fiasco, would be devastating. I care much more about that than our little business of selling mining hardware.

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September 21, 2012, 06:51:10 AM
 #54

Let's go easy on the witch hunting. Even though the Pirate thing is fresh on our minds, and BFL is kind of a sketchy company...even if this guy involved did actually intentionally defraud people in his past, they *are* delivering products at this time.

Your the type of person that lets a convicted child molester babysit their kids arent you.
Its ok, he learnt his lesson - its all in the past - why would he ever do the same thing again ?

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September 21, 2012, 07:33:13 AM
 #55

Guess the only thing I was hoping to hear is my parole office knows all what I'm doing in this new business, and is fine with the business or something to that extent, with some proof we could believe. Fact is regardless of the story, he does still have rules he is suppose to be abiding by, right? With how he operating a business right now, doing pre-orders on a large scale for products would count as going against those.

I could go into, not all of his story adds up, I imagine since he left some important details out, but that has already been discussed.

I am admit I've spoken out against BFL a few times, Mostly on the aspect of poor factual errors and shipping times, promises broken etc. But they still delivered in large amounts eventually so they weren't all bad.
I didn't suspect it as a scam, maybe a poorly run company as any could be as first getting into the business it is understandable they wouldn't get it right first time round.

This story has not made feel any better about BFL as a company.

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September 21, 2012, 08:00:08 AM
 #56

12 MF hours I've been researching this, and nobody let me in on that this thread was a goin'. Hell, I found everything on page one of this thread within the first 30 minutes of hunting, but felt it didn't warrant a mention. I've even started another thread, which I wouldn't have done if this thread was mentioned at least once in that the thread.

Damn, I'm the one who bought up the Laissez Faire City connection which, BTW, I've only begun with that. Speaking of which, Sonny was the editor of Laissez Faire City Newsletter. Johann Gevers (CEO Monetas, building Open Transactions) also played a major roll concerning Laissez Faire City, and he's partners with fellowtraveler. The investors of said entity have been trying for over a decade to recover lost funds due that fiasco.

Hello, my name is Sonny Vleisides.

...

Kind regards,
Sonny Vleisides

This is exactly the kind of thing somebody pretending to be Sonny would say.

Prove it or you don't exist.

And, when my super computer arrives next week I expect it to power itself.

But...he posted a picture taken in China Missouri on Christmas 2010!  What more proof do you need?

Edit: unsigned numbers in EXIF parsers are bad!

+1

Remains of Mark Kendall Bingham calling his mom on 911:

Hello, mom. This is Mark Bingham. You believe me don't you?

Don't get me wrong, I truly believe in second chances. But the onus is squarely on Sonny to provide most everything requested of him (within reason, of course). proving to this community that the only thing we have to fear is what's in our fucked up minds, otherwise BFL is nothing but a Big Fuckin' Lie.

~Bruno~
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September 21, 2012, 08:05:35 AM
 #57

Let's go easy on the witch hunting. Even though the Pirate thing is fresh on our minds, and BFL is kind of a sketchy company...even if this guy involved did actually intentionally defraud people in his past, they *are* delivering products at this time.

Your the type of person that lets a convicted child molester babysit their kids arent you.
Its ok, he learnt his lesson - its all in the past - why would he ever do the same thing again ?

We are either animals who spend our lives making excuses for ourselves not to act like one, or we just need to learn to be able to love and be loved by others. I'd like to believe at least some of us who have made mistakes that have hurt others are finally able to make peace with ourselves.
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September 21, 2012, 08:14:44 AM
 #58

Laissez Faire City:  Queue forms for capitalist utopia 2 July 1995

Quote
"It is an amazing adventure, aimed at freeing the potential of the
world's entrepreneurs from the vice of collectivism," said Sonny Vleisides,
a computing consultant who is among the founders.
"If you want to dig a well
on your property and provide yourself with water, then you dig a well.
There's nobody to tell you your well is too deep, too wide, or interferes
with the water table."
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September 21, 2012, 08:40:29 AM
 #59

Clearly, the following shows that the lottery scheme was going on during the Laissez Faire City scheme.

Lottery scam indictment dismissed against California man

Quote
The company misrepresented itself as a government-backed or legitimate lottery company affiliate. Victims of the scheme lost approximately $20 million.

The scheme itself lasted for more than 15 years before federal agents shut it down in July 2006 according to an A.M. Costa Rica article published about the case on March 14, 2007.
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September 21, 2012, 09:04:59 AM
 #60

Meh, this community is full of an amazing amount of dicks.

In Sonnys case I can only go by my own experience.   When BFL first came on the scene and the same wannabe detectives were crucifying them for "definitely being a scam", Sonny was never anything more than professional to me in our email dealings.    He got my singles out when he said he would and went out of his way to specifically upgrade my unit with extra heatsinks to account for the Australian summer.

No scamming in sight, and he seemed like a nice enough guy.   He even referenced his father passing away during that time, and that was by way of apologising for not responding promptly for a week or so.  I honestly couldn't care less about his past, though I understand how it would turn people off.  If that's the case, simply don't give him your money.

I'm well and truly over this community, it's horrible.  Bitcoin has no chance while this place remains the way it is.  Shame on you all.

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September 21, 2012, 10:49:23 AM
 #61

Let people talk. My singles run fine since day one.

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September 21, 2012, 11:45:12 AM
 #62

Meh, this community is full of an amazing amount of dicks.

In Sonnys case I can only go by my own experience.   When BFL first came on the scene and the same wannabe detectives were crucifying them for "definitely being a scam", Sonny was never anything more than professional to me in our email dealings.    He got my singles out when he said he would and went out of his way to specifically upgrade my unit with extra heatsinks to account for the Australian summer.

No scamming in sight, and he seemed like a nice enough guy.   He even referenced his father passing away during that time, and that was by way of apologising for not responding promptly for a week or so.  I honestly couldn't care less about his past, though I understand how it would turn people off.  If that's the case, simply don't give him your money.

I'm well and truly over this community, it's horrible.  Bitcoin has no chance while this place remains the way it is.  Shame on you all.

+1

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September 21, 2012, 12:10:25 PM
 #63

I understand wanting to let the past be the past, and giving people second chances. I even hire ex-cons sometimes (nice guys/gals actually, lots of stories), but I wouldn't give them large amounts of money in non-reversible funds, over the internet without ever even meeting them.

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September 21, 2012, 12:13:53 PM
 #64

Meh, this community is full of an amazing amount of dicks.

In Sonnys case I can only go by my own experience.   When BFL first came on the scene and the same wannabe detectives were crucifying them for "definitely being a scam", Sonny was never anything more than professional to me in our email dealings.    He got my singles out when he said he would and went out of his way to specifically upgrade my unit with extra heatsinks to account for the Australian summer.

No scamming in sight, and he seemed like a nice enough guy.   He even referenced his father passing away during that time, and that was by way of apologising for not responding promptly for a week or so.  I honestly couldn't care less about his past, though I understand how it would turn people off.  If that's the case, simply don't give him your money.

I'm well and truly over this community, it's horrible.  Bitcoin has no chance while this place remains the way it is.  Shame on you all.

Thanks TonyTrolloRolloBrownie for sharing your real life experiences with us.
As we know pirate has always been good to you and payb.tc topped even those australien summerfeelings by earning you your brownie -nose.
Now you found a new mate to go headfront all -in to sink your heat?
Thats really gonna ashame us all, who just came here for sight - seeing Wink

Bitcoin has all chances of this little blue planet, if only people like you would be able to recoil a step back to watch themselves in the rear-view-mirror, before
endeavouring to the next cheerleader hulahoop.

Ciao Ciao
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September 21, 2012, 12:36:14 PM
 #65

Meh, this community is full of an amazing amount of dicks.

In Sonnys case I can only go by my own experience.   When BFL first came on the scene and the same wannabe detectives were crucifying them for "definitely being a scam", Sonny was never anything more than professional to me in our email dealings.    He got my singles out when he said he would and went out of his way to specifically upgrade my unit with extra heatsinks to account for the Australian summer.

No scamming in sight, and he seemed like a nice enough guy.   He even referenced his father passing away during that time, and that was by way of apologising for not responding promptly for a week or so.  I honestly couldn't care less about his past, though I understand how it would turn people off.  If that's the case, simply don't give him your money.

I'm well and truly over this community, it's horrible.  Bitcoin has no chance while this place remains the way it is.  Shame on you all.

I agree that's why I am trying to start a forum with less FUD and Crap to go along with it, but iis seems people scoff at it from lack of users. But the the things is, it would not matter if they really wanted some change from the community.

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September 21, 2012, 01:19:30 PM
 #66

Sorry for my english and if I passed something in last posts.

1-Pirate post foto too !!!

Where is identity card(pasport)HuhHuh

2-" The company has 22 employees...."   WHAT WE HAVE---22 people=1 year=about 300 devices,Devices are USED FPGA. and wait 4 month.

3-What with--- "The defendant shall not transfer, sell, give away, or otherwise convey any asset with a fair market value in excess of $500 without approval of the Probation Officer until all financial obligations imposed by the Court have been satisfied in full."

4-You sell preorder on asics(as though will appear in october),BUT WHY I CAN ORDER The Single Huh
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September 21, 2012, 01:46:36 PM
 #67

The OP said that the only "victim" of their legal scheme was the Gov't. who couldn't get their grubby hands in on the action.

Some quotes from this article:

http://northridge.patch.com/articles/5th-defendant-in-lottery-scam-to-be-sentenced

(1) "The long-running scheme involved victims being offered ``positions'' in lotteries that would be grouped together or ``pooled'' to buy larger blocks of tickets, thereby increasing the chance of winning, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Funds taken from victims were not, however, used to purchase tickets, but to pay ``winnings'' to other victims, to fund the scheme and to benefit the defendants, court papers show...."

(2) "..an international fraud scheme that bilked thousands of people out of nearly $25 million by promising increased chances of winning foreign and domestic lotteries is scheduled to be sentenced today."

(3) "Victims were sent checks falsely represented as lottery ``winnings,'' but the amount was far less than what the victim had sent in, authorities said."

Doesn't necessarily mean the OP's lying.  When the gun-toting thugs charge you, they throw in all sorts of made-up crap.

But, thought people  should be aware of this..

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September 21, 2012, 02:09:32 PM
 #68

Sonny, thanks for sharing and welcome to Bitcoin Forum. I'm impressed with your BitForce Single, it performs as advertised.  No one else offers the equivalent of 832mh/s @ 80 watts for $633 delivered, although I did wait 52 days to get it.  Congrats on your success.

Everyone, let's not forget who's running the big scam in this country.  Who conned you into using government debt notes as money?  Whose executives never end up in jail?  I'll give it to you straight up - Banks run this country, not politicians.  The Federal Reserve owners run the real scam.  When you endorse private credit of Fed you come under their jurisdiction (federal districts overlaid on the states). FR notes/credit depreciate (10% last yr) and US Treasury carries first lien on everything you bought with it. Happens every week on the backside of your paycheck, signature endorsement, naked contract. Yet the biggest haul is the excise tax due for use of their money, more commonly known as The Income Tax.  I should think a 99-year scam qualifies as a "long con."

Fortunately, we have a way out of this banking cartel scam.  Remedy is written into law ".. they may be redeemed in lawful money on demand."  See here.  And here.  The way out is to redeem lawful money, use silver & gold, and use BITCOIN.  This is why I support bitcoin and BFL.

Peace & love
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September 21, 2012, 02:33:32 PM
 #69

I love it! Comparing me to a convicted felon that stole at least $19 million dollars from stupid little old ladies in an elaborate international scheme.

FTFY. Seriously, I'm surprised no one pointed that out. One old guy spent $600+ a month on this and even refinanced his house? WTF?! Just because you're older, doesn't mean people should expect you to be dumber and more vulnerable. The opposite in fact (more experienced). Not saying the scam was wrong, but there are A LOT of stupid people out there (plenty of examples on this forum), and their age really shouldn't matter.

The truth is simply that I am appalled by this crime and even more appalled that very few people on this forum seem to have the reading comprehension to see that it does not match Mr. Vleisides' description in the least.

Have you considered the possibility that most of the people read the first few posts describing the situation, read Sonny's reply, made up their own mind, and are simply keeping quiet, because, aside from the initial investigation documents and Sonny's reply, there is absolutely nothing more to add other than baseless speculations? Have you considered that everyone here IS actually as smart as you, figured all the things you mentioned on their own already, and aside from the factual info already given, most people just don't give a crap?

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September 21, 2012, 03:02:49 PM
 #70

Meh, this community is full of an amazing amount of dicks.

In Sonnys case I can only go by my own experience.  

People said the same thing about Pirate.  In short, if its too good to be true.. it probably is.

Let people talk. My singles run fine since day one.

Yeah, pirate's payments continued from day one too.. until they didn't.

Have you considered the possibility that most of the people read the first few posts describing the situation, read Sonny's reply, made up their own mind, and are simply keeping quiet, because, aside from the initial investigation documents and Sonny's reply, there is absolutely nothing more to add other than baseless speculations? Have you considered that everyone here IS actually as smart as you, figured all the things you mentioned on their own already, and aside from the factual info already given, most people just don't give a crap?

You should talk to Micon.  That same argument was used in the past and dismissed.  Sorry.

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September 21, 2012, 03:06:51 PM
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Meh, this community is full of an amazing amount of dicks.

In Sonnys case I can only go by my own experience.  
People said the same thing about Pirate.  In short, if its too good to be true.. it probably is.
Please tell me what's too good to be true? 4-5 different competitors have all announced ASICs, and they're all within similar performance and price ranges. BFL happened to be first, and I believe that's because they had the largest income from FPGAs.

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September 21, 2012, 04:48:57 PM
 #72

Hello, my name is Sonny Vleisides.

...

Kind regards,
Sonny Vleisides

This is exactly the kind of thing somebody pretending to be Sonny would say.

Prove it or you don't exist.

And, when my super computer arrives next week I expect it to power itself.

But...he posted a picture taken in China Missouri on Christmas 2010!  What more proof do you need?

Edit: unsigned numbers in EXIF parsers are bad!

Hmmmmm.

Code:
XMR: 44GBHzv6ZyQdJkjqZje6KLZ3xSyN1hBSFAnLP6EAqJtCRVzMzZmeXTC2AHKDS9aEDTRKmo6a6o9r9j86pYfhCWDkKjbtcns
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September 21, 2012, 05:07:09 PM
 #73

BFL_Sonny registered on September 20, 2012, 07:19:23 AM and requested to be whitelisted, started this thread on September 20, 2012, 03:36:36 PM, and hasn't been back since September 20, 2012, 11:27:21 PM, unless he's lurking cloaked. (see the time stamp of this post)

Sonny Vleisides has been involved with Bitcoin in some capacity or another since early last year, for one of his kinfolk registered with Mt Gox prior to their email dump. The address associated with said client used the same address in KC, MO, as is used for BFL's corporation. Besides photography and foundation repair, a myriad of other business types stem from the same address, most of which real personnel must be on hand to perform the various duties, like plumbing, etc.

I've read the OP of this thread three times, each time coming away with the I-like-this-guy feeling, yet something still doesn't smell right.

That said, Sonny should have no problem at all coming on this board and addressing most everything thrown at him by this crowd, for I'm pretty sure he's endured a hell of lot worse in some Dago prison. (at this juncture, I was going to insert a little prison humor, but thought better of it when I luckily recalled Sonny's nationality)

~Bruno~
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September 21, 2012, 05:48:48 PM
 #74

My Russian is a little rusty, but to me it reads as if some guy is trying to sell one of his kidneys to buy one of those $29K+ rigs: http://www.kharkovforum.com/showthread.php?t=2559118&page=3



(just a little humor to lighten the seriousness of this thread)

~Cackling Bear~
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September 21, 2012, 06:07:58 PM
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My Russian is a little rusty, but to me it reads as if some guy is trying to sell one of his kidneys to buy one of those $29K+ rigs: http://www.kharkovforum.com/showthread.php?t=2559118&page=3


Yep, it's definitely rusty. The guy is claiming he wants it to start a foundation for poor or orphan children or something like that, and others are making fun if him because he's refusing to be more specific, so they are telling him to sell a kidney. There's only one comment that a BFL product can earn back €20k euro easily, but it seems to be otherwise ignored.

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September 21, 2012, 06:25:16 PM
 #76

My Russian is a little rusty, but to me it reads as if some guy is trying to sell one of his kidneys to buy one of those $29K+ rigs: http://www.kharkovforum.com/showthread.php?t=2559118&page=3


Yep, it's definitely rusty. The guy is claiming he wants it to start a foundation for poor or orphan children or something like that, and others are making fun if him because he's refusing to be more specific, so they are telling him to sell a kidney. There's only one comment that a BFL product can earn back €20k euro easily, but it seems to be otherwise ignored.

I can't have any fun when this Ukrainian is around.  Grin

Back to business at hand. I just created this blog about ten minutes ago: http://notesfromlithuania.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/pics-of-the-goats/

Compare my blog with this one: http://sonnyvleisides.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/hi-mom/

Note the time stamps?

In a few minutes, Google will index my blog and the search results will look like the following with the predated time stamp:

Quote
Sonny Vleisides | sonnyvleisides - sonnyvleisides - Blog
sonnyvleisides.wordpress.com/author/sonofodi/Share
Jan 4, 2011 – Read all of the posts by sonnyvleisides on Sonny Vleisides.

~Bruno~
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September 21, 2012, 06:57:12 PM
 #77

The truth is simply that I am appalled by this crime and even more appalled that very few people on this forum seem to have the reading comprehension to see that it does not match Mr. Vleisides' description in the least.

Have you considered the possibility that most of the people read the first few posts describing the situation, read Sonny's reply, made up their own mind, and are simply keeping quiet, because, aside from the initial investigation documents and Sonny's reply, there is absolutely nothing more to add other than baseless speculations? Have you considered that everyone here IS actually as smart as you, figured all the things you mentioned on their own already, and aside from the factual info already given, most people just don't give a crap?

This pretty much describes me.  I don't feel like I have anything else to add that isn't here already.  There are definitely still inconsistencies between the official government documents and Sonny's account of things.  Some of the discrepancies would be cleared up if I saw an example of the letters he was sending out to people/victims, but so far I haven't been able to find any of them.  I'm sympathetic to the fact that the government can and does occasionally lie on court documents and trump up charges.  However, there are real scammers out there and they will lie to you too.

One thing I think people should consider is that it sounds like if there was any legitimacy to the lotto "scam"/ponzi at all, then Sonny and company did nothing that the governments running lotteries don't already do as far as winning/losing goes.  Selling what are essentially derivatives on lottery products is an interesting idea, but you'd have to be stupid to buy into that as a way to make money since lotteries are designed so that people lose money on them.  Were stupid people victimized?  Probably, but possibly no more (or not much more) than they are already victimized by government-sanctioned lotteries.  Was the scam (or "scam") something I'd consider moral?  Almost certainly not.  Was the scam something I think should be illegal?  I don't know enough about it to judge it yet.
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September 21, 2012, 07:13:37 PM
 #78

Thank you all for your comments...  both positive and negative.  I see many of our competitors in this thread pushing their agenda which isn't surprising but still, there are some very reasonable posts with deserving questions.  Overall, I appreciate the public's reason for concern and I will return and provide answers.
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