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Showing posts with label SWOP fundraisers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SWOP fundraisers. Show all posts

Monday, April 24, 2017

DANGERS OF SWOP FUND RAISERS

One of the reasons why it was not such a good idea that "non-sex workers" take over SWOP, or Sex Workers Outreach Project, as they have since Robin died is because they clearly have no idea how our world works in reality.  

As a result, they're going to get a lot of people hurt.  Either that, or they are aware and this is some kind of deliberate set-up.  I don't know because their "new management" won't even speak to me when I call and try to.  Older members of SWOP who were chased out of SWOP after Robin died told me they were cautioned to "not to Jody".  So I don't know what's up with them.   

I'm referring to the practice of "fund raisers" to retain a private attorney for someone who has been arrested on a prostitution or madaming charge.  Since SWOP doesn't want to seem to listen to my cautions against this practice - let me explain it to you here.  

In my day, in the 1980's, if you were an attorney who tried to represent anyone on such a charge, or a drug charge - you wound up being threatened by the police to stop.  If those threats didn't work, then they'd start the harassment and raids.  If that didn't work, then the Bar would come in auditing your firm.  If that didn't get you to stop, or get you disbarred, then the prosecutor would come at you demanding to know the source of all of your money.  Especially where the money came from to defend the sex worker, or criminal they didn't want defended.  

If your retainer for these clients came from drug or prostitution money, they would confiscate the money and prosecute the attorney accordingly for receipt of the money, including money laundering charges.   If this type of harassment didn't stop the attorney from representing you, and they couldn't get the attorney disbarred - then they'd offer some kind of "sweet deal" to sell your case down the river.  

Many attorneys got disbarred - look at Jeane Palfrey's attorney, Montgomery Sibley for one example.  I can name you countless others who were disbarred while trying to defend one of us.

All of this was one of the reasons why we originally called our 12 step program "Prostitutes Anonymous".  Using laws grandfathered in by Alcoholics Anonymous, if arrested for prostitution, or pimping, or madaming - all one had to do was to ask the court to send them to a meeting of ours as an "alternative to incarceration".  Even if there was a mandatory jail sentence - the court had to honor this request as 12 step programs can be substituted in for jail or prison.  NOT a "meeting" but a "program".  Yes there is a difference.  If the court objected, I could threaten them with a discrimination lawsuit and complaint.  

Why?  If an alcoholic is allowed to get treatment instead of jail as is an addict - why can't we?  Besides, usually when you're arrested the cops take every penny you got and if you do have money left the prosecutor starts demanding to know "it's source" which can just get you into more trouble.  By us helping the sex workers without being paid - we bypass all of this.

This system allowed many of us to avoid jail while not having to deal with these problems with attorney's. 

Does that mean you can't get an attorney?  SWA has a list of attorney's who are more than willing to help our members, but who aren't willing to be labeled as a "hooker attorney" by being named on the court records, and also possibly in the press and on the internet.  What they do is "advise anonymously" through a public defender who is not going to get themselves jacked up in the same manner as a private attorney would helping one of us.  Or they can advise in other non-direct ways how to handle this case if there needs to be.  

After Robin died, I started seeing this practice of "fund raisers" to get private attorney's for some of us and I was mortified.  Let me explain why - it's a common practice if a prostitute is arrested that the cops will arrest whoever bails her out, then demand to know the source of this money.  That's why I personally used to have an arrangement with a good bail bondsman who wouldn't have this problem.  

In other words, if you give money to help a sex worker through bail or an attorney's retainer you may be targeted by law enforcement for investigation.  Again, talk to Montgomery Sibley who can let you know the nightmare he went through trying to defend Jeane Palfrey.  

These SWOP fund raisers are done through a 501c3 nonprofit.  Meaning that they will identify donors to their fund raisers to the IRS.  The sites they use to collect the donations are not safe guarded in any way for confidentiality.  Meaning if the IRS or law enforcement goes to these sites with a warrant, even a letter, demanding to know the names, bank information, etc., of the donors - they will give it to them.  They can also match it to the tax records that SWOP has admitted they file with IRS on "anyone they give a grant to".  Meaning they also file with the IRS, and in public record, the legal information on who they're giving the fund raiser to also.  Very cheap way to find out personal bank information on someone if you ask me.  

Are we different?  Hell yeah.  The PayPal account for www.sexworkersanonymous.com is my personal bank information.  I am an ordained minister.  My private taxes are not published as part of public record like 501c3 tax records are.  

As a 12 step program we are afforded the same confidentiality rights as an attorney, priest, or doctor being because of laws grandfathered in by AA who allowed that when a man confessed to murder in an AA meeting that speech was "privileged".   

Between the layer of 12 step confidentiality laws, my right to privacy as a private person, and the fact I have the double protection of being an ordained minister - anyone who buys a book or donates a dollar to SWA is guaranteed complete confidentiality.  Their records are not published with the IRS or anyone for that matter.  I've had warrants and subpoenas come to me over the years and I've refused them.  In other words, no one knows the banking information and identity of people who either buy products from us or who donate to us.  

Now do you think this doesn't happen to attorney's any longer who defend people the cops don't want defended?  Think again.  Look up Mitchell Stein who got 17 years in prison when not one person had filed a complaint against him.  He was completely railroaded by the Attorney General's office for defending people who had been illegally foreclosed upon in the 2008 economy crash.

Here's a recent case in point - http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/pappas-to-ocrowley.pdf  

Note from this article how the law firm defending this dispensary was being harassed by law enforcement and prosecutor's office.  

If the money from these fund raisers SWOP is holding are going to private attorney's to help individual sex workers - I not only can guarantee there's problems - I've heard of problems.  

For one, I've heard from sex workers the attorney's were paid for by SWOP, and therefore a "third party".  Meaning their client is SWOP and NOT the individual sex worker.  What does that mean?

It means the only person they're concerned with please is their CLIENT WHO PAYS THEM - not who they're representing in court.  

Why don't you read up on what Teofil's attorney did to him who wasn't paid for by him to answer the  question "what harm could that do?"  

https://www.queerty.com/convicted-sean-cody-extortionist-jarec-wentworth-speaks-out-from-prison-alleges-massive-conspiracy-20160415

https://www.razoo.com/404?url=%2Fstory%2FSwopusa&reason=not_published