Transcripts of bullying voicemails left by porno copyright troll to ex-caretaker and alleged identity theft victim

If you've been following the sad saga of the porno copyright trolls Prenda Law, you'll know that Alan Cooper is the former caretaker of John Steele, who is apparently the man behind a spiraling series of ever-scammier attempts to get people to pay money in order to keep their names out of embarrassing court filings over alleged illegal porn downloading. And you'll know that Alan Cooper has says that John Steele stole his identity and put his name down on various corporate and legal filings, identifying the former caretaker as the head honcho of the whole corrupt empire.

Now, a new filing in the court docket includes transcripts of threatening, bullying voicemails that Steele left for his alleged victim, trying to scare him into silence. Here's a taste, courtesy of TechDirt, which has more context:

From second voicemail:

It's like if you refuse to, you know, return my calls or -- or engage in mandatory conference, then I'm going to have to be forced to ask the judge to, you know, force you to do things and it just gets ugly from there.

So if you do decide to get an attorney in either of those matters or in the other cases which we're filing against you in the upcoming weeks, please let them -- have them give me a call. This number's fine. Otherwise, I expect to hear from you shortly.

From third voicemail

Alan, this is John Steele again.

You have not responded or contacted me regarding litigation you're involved in. I know you've been served with a third lawsuit. And there are more coming. Don't worry about that.

Well, obviously, if I don't hear from you, I'm going to start filing for certain default motions and start getting relief that way.

I can assure you that just ignoring legal matters, it's not going to go away. I can guarantee you, I'm not going away.

So I highly recommend you at least, you know, follow the rules.... otherwise your life is going to get really complicated.

I don't know what's more amazing -- the sheer gall of threatening this poor guy, or the sheer stupidity of doing so on a recorded voicemail system.

Transcripts Of John Steele's Phone Calls To Alan Cooper [Techdirt]



  1. By the way, in evaluating what Steele’s intent was in leaving these messages, consider this:  he’s implying that Cooper is somehow in default or failing to respond to legal process in a timely fashion.  But Cooper wasn’t.  Cooper, through counsel, timely removed the three state cases to federal court.  He wasn’t late on any response to the lawsuit or discovery responses.  (Indeed, once it was removed to federal court, where discovery is strictly controlled, Steele couldn’t just hustle him into a deposition.)

    It’s patently bogus and a transparent attempt to intimidate a witness.

  2. I Am Not A Lawyer, but something tells me that dictating your threats to a recording device might not be the smartest possible thing to do, particularly when you’re engaged in litigation and have already committed some possibly criminal acts. As I say, I have no legal training, but I have a feeling that this type of behavior could end up hurting you somewhere down the line.

    Still, at least Steele’s decision-making has the merit of consistency.

  3. Is it this John Steele, who claims specialities in legal ethics and in “Professional Responsibility”? If so, this kind of irony is no longer funny to me. It’s just par for the course, and actually kind of sad.

    I know this “ex-caretaker” was a kind of property manager he’d hired for some houses he owned out of state, but every time I hear the term I can only image a kind of professional babysitter for out-of-control adults.

    1. Wrong John Steele. This John Steele is based in Illinois, his firm was Steele|Hansmeier, PLLC but is now Prenda Law.

  4. So I highly recommend you at least, you know, follow the rules…

    Mr. Steele is a little like Alice In Wonderland: he gives very good advice but seldom follows it.

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