Remember when P.T. Barnum charged rubes a quarter to see the “egress” and they paid it over, not knowing what the word meant? Caveat emptor and all that? Barnum was a rank amateur, now we have Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to play for us the finer arias in the con game concerto, of which he and Trump are both virtuosos. Dan Friedman, Mother Jones:
In November 2014, a Miami Beach-based firm, World Patent Marketing, announced the “marketing launch” of a “MASCULINE TOILET,” which boasted a specially designed bowl to help “well-endowed men” avoid unwanted contact with porcelain or water. “The average male genitalia is between 5″ and 6″,” the firm’s press release said. “However, this invention is designed for those of us who measure longer than that.”
The special toilet was not the firm’s only notable offering. It marketed a slew of oddball inventions, including a “theoretical time travel commodity tied directly to price of Bitcoin.” Called Time Travel X and marketed as “a technology, an investment vehicle and a community of users,” the cryptocurrency never materialized. The firm also pitched Sasquatch dolls, promoting them with a video claiming that “DNA evidence collected in 2013 proves that Bigfoot does exist.”
High credibility outfit, huh? With this introduction to World Patent Marketing’s compendium of treasures, it will come to you as no surprise that it was shut down after the Federal Trade Commission fined it $26Mil for having “bilked thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars” in fees it charged, based on the pie-in-the-sky illusion that there were big patent deals to be made. And who profited directly from this scam, but Matthew Whitaker.
The company’s advisory board, which included a former presidential candidate in the Central Africa Republic and an Israeli-born mixed martial artist, gave it a patina of legitimacy. And between 2014 and 2016, as World Patent Marketing was hawking an array of dubious products and allegedly fleecing aspiring inventors, the company paid Whitaker at least $9,375. Whitaker was no passive board member. He defended the firm against critics, solicited new business, appeared in at least one promotional video for the company, and he seems to have acted at times as outside counsel for the firm. Unlike other advisory board members, he has not returned the payments he received from World Patent Marketing.
This raises the touchy issue of whether a man who was on the advisory board for a bogus company who was busted, should be the nation’s top law enforcement official.
In a report on the site, [ripoffreport dot com] a writer claimed to have duped the firm into offering to help him get a patent for a fake idea: a fried chicken and waffle sandwich. “You cannot make a patent on a sandwich, yet they approved it,” the person wrote.
Now why would people be upset with this? Yet when they were, here’s what Whitaker did:
In an August 2015 email, Whitaker invoked his status as a former US attorney to threaten a man who was planning to file a Better Business Bureau complaint against the company. “There could be serious civil and criminal consequences for you,” Whitaker wrote in the email, first reported by the Miami New Times.
So he’s a goombah as well as a fraudster — what a skills set for an attorney general!
The FTC’s investigation, which did not name Whitaker, concluded that World Patent Marketing suppressed complaints about the company through “threats, intimidation and gag clauses.”
Trump must have jizzed when he heard this. Shades of Roy Cohn. A killer at last, it’s about time.
In any event, Democratic Reps. Elijah Cummings, Jerrold Nadler, Frank Pallone and Adam Schiff sent a document request to Whitaker, because “serious questions are now arising about your fitness to serve in this position of trust.” For his part, Whitaker says, “As a former US Attorney, I would only align myself with a first class organization.”
Right. That’s why you want to go to work for Donald Trump.