Porno copyright troll John Steele accused of identity theft -- by his mother-in-law

John Steele is one of the shadowy figures behind the notorious porno-copyright-trolls Prenda Law, about whom we've written rather a lot, as they are a colorful bunch of grifters. Steele had previously been accused of stealing the identity of Alan Cooper, the caretaker of one of his properties, making him the CEO of one of the shell companies behind which Prenda hides.

But that identity theft is hardly as damning as the latest revelation: Steele's mother-in-law has accused him of forging signatures in the course of Prenda's dirty business.

Cooper was questioned about March 18, 2011, the date he supposedly gave Lutz permission to sign his name. Cooper said he didn't remember anything about that date, but he knew he never gave Lutz such permission.

"What evidence do you have that you are identified as CEO of AF Holdings?" asked Hansmeier. Cooper didn't know. Someone had texted him and told that him his identity was stolen, and that he should contact a lawyer. Hansmeier pressed on that point, apparently seeking evidence that some Prenda lawyer he'd been up against had recruited Cooper as a client.

But the answer was something Hansmeier couldn't have predicted. As Hansmeier pressed, Cooper admitted he didn't want to answer. It could hurt the person if the name was revealed, Cooper said. The judge told him to answer, and he did: the texts came from a woman named Kim Eckenrode (spelling uncertain). She was John Steele's mother-in-law. It was Eckenrode who told him his identity was being used; it was she who told him he needed a lawyer.

Cooper was then examined by his own lawyer, who promptly admitted the Eckenrode text message into evidence. The exact message wasn't clear, but it told Cooper that Steele was using his signature, "works with porn companies based in Nevis," and sues downloaders for profit. It recommended an attorney, who ultimately led Cooper to Godfried.

At this point, Steele exhaled loudly.

Prenda’s John Steele: Accused of identity theft by his own mother-in-law