- Report: #1065319
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: State Farm
State Farm2590 N. First Street San Jose, California USA
State Farm Bad Faith San Jose California
*Author of original report: SEC Whistleblower
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June 25, 2013 T
ACXIOM AND TRANS UNION DATA THEFT, WIRE AND SECURITIES
FRAUD, TAX EVASION AND EVIDENCE DESTRUCTION
VALUATION OF $1.10 PER SINGLE FILE ACCESS
In 2000, Cliff Mortensen hired Bruce MacLeod of Hennigan, Bennett and Dorman (now McKool, Smith, Hennigan) in Los Angeles, CA to represent him in a wire fraud, data theft and computer hacking federal lawsuit against Trans Union LLC, 555 W. Adams, Chicago, IL and Acxiom Corporation (ACXM) 601 E. 3rd Street, Little Rock, AR 72201. Trans Union was represented by Michael O’Neil of DLA Piper, Chicago, and Acxiom was represented by Amy Stewart of the Rose Law Firm (Hillary Clinton’s former employer) of Little Rock, AR. Mortensen and his companies were represented in a trademark SLAPP and data theft lawsuit by Steve Baron and Steve Mandell, intellectual property and trademark experts at the law firm of Mandell Menkes, Chicago, IL. This representation was funded by Mortensen’s insurance carrier, State Farm, 2590 N. First Street, San Jose, CA 95131, 408.503.4505. Mortensen had a comprehensive business policy including a provision for theft with State Farm. Steve Baron and Bruce MacLeod both failed to file a theft loss claim under Mortensen’s State Farm business policy. The policy limit was 3 million dollars. (Steve Baron was being paid by and directed by State Farm). The claims adjuster for this claim is Stephanie Pastor, Salinas, CA. The attorney representing State Farm is Dean Pappas of Ropers, Majeski, Kohn and Bentley, Redwood City, CA. State Farm never paid the theft claim and failed to acknowledge it in 2001. That claim with State Farm has been re-opened and officially denied by State Farm on April 30, 2013. Mortensen is presently pursuing a “bad faith” action against State Farm Insurance Company. State Farm is one of the worst rated insurance companies for bad faith practices in the United States. State Farm aggressively tries to avoid paying significant valid claims. They have one of the worst records for “bad faith claims”. State Farm refused to provide Mortensen with his insurance file when he requested it.
Acxiom and Trans Union had been secretly stealing and hijacking billions of dollars worth of credit data from Cliff Mortensen and his companies, Credit Bureau of Carmel and Pebble Beach, Inc., Credit Research, Inc. and many other independent Trans Union credit bureau franchisees (unregistered) across the country for at least fifteen years. Trans Union and Acxiom called it “data mining”. Cliff Mortensen’s lawyers called it “conversion, theft and fraud”. It is the largest data theft, computer hacking, securities fraud, tax evasion and wire fraud crime in United States’ history. Trans Union during this period was controlled by the Marmon Group and attorneys Penny Pritzker and Robert Pritzker (d.) of Chicago, IL. These are significant litigation and material facts which should have been disclosed to The Securities and Exchange Commission by Trans Union and Acxiom and their subsidiaries. It has never been reported in any required public disclosures including SEC Forms S-1, S-4, 10K, and 10Q.
Since no taxes were paid during these data burglaries and subsequent free disbursements, the United States Treasury was deprived of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. This is tax evasion on a grand scale.
The case number (filed under protective order) was 00 C 3885 Northern District of Illinois, Judge James B. Moran (d.). This was a peremptory filing by Trans Union for venue choice, jurisdiction, filing position and “gag order” friendly judges (Remember Operation Greylord in the early 80’s concerning corrupt judges in Chicago?). This filing was an unfair business move by Trans Union to bankrupt Cliff Mortensen to prevent him from asserting his legal rights against Trans Union. Cliff Mortensen was a defendant and a counter plaintiff in this SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) suit. Dr. George “Rock” Pring of the University of Denver was the first to identify and name this SLAPP form of malicious prosecution lawsuit which abuses the court process.
The data hacking and data hijacking occurred on IBM super computers at Trans Union facilities in Chicago, IL, Emeryville, CA, and Fullerton, CA, as well as Acxiom facilities in Westlake, CA, and Little Rock, AR, during routine daily database maintenance and “batch processing”. This data theft conducted on IBM super computers occurred in terabyte quantities at nanosecond speeds. Acxiom managed (and managed to steal) the data files which were resident on the Trans Union Cronus (franchisee) database computers at these and other Trans Union locations. Ten subsidiaries of Acxiom and twenty-five Trans Union subsidiaries were granted unlimited access to hundreds of millions of data files most of which were not the property of the grantor, Trans Union. These files were the information root of hundreds of millions of Trans Union and Acxiom target marketing lists and credit reports which were sold to most banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and the United States Government for credit making decisions and identity verification. These privately owned credit files were subject to the copyright laws of the United States of America. They were the intellectual property of the individual credit bureau owners and were subject to royalty payments per contract @ $1.10 per single file access. These files were stolen property. Acxiom paid Trans Union for this stolen data with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stock warrants (ACXM). The total number of warrants was in excess of six million shares. Acxiom never reported to the capital markets, the Securities and Exchange Commission or the data owners that these hundreds of millions of dollars worth of illicit payments were disguised payments for the stolen data provided by Trans Union without informing investors of the actual theft or the identity of the rightful owners of the data.
Trans Union had a fiduciary responsibility to insure the integrity, ownership and safe handling of this data and to redistribute the shared revenue with the lawful owners of this data, the independent Trans Union affiliated credit bureau owners across the United States. Trans Union referred to the affiliation as “The Partnership That Works” (The key word being “partnership”). It appears that the management of Trans Union and Acxiom believed that if the data theft, computer hacking, wire fraud and tax evasion were conducted on IBM super computers in “batch processing” at speeds faster than the eye could see, it wasn’t really provable theft or tax evasion and no taxes were due.
Database theft is a unique crime. It leaves no evidentiary “footprint” no matter how often the data is copied, transcribed or illegally accessed (stolen) and Trans Union and Acxiom knew it. Trans Union passed this stolen data “tax free” through to its 25 subsidiary companies and to Acxiom’s 10 subsidiaries with no payment to the rightful owners of the data, the independently owned credit bureaus. It was the “perfect burglary” crime. Trans Union wanted to acquire complete ownership of the entire Trans Union affiliate-owned database without paying anything for it. They wanted to steal it and they did. The entire database was eventually sold by the Pritzkers for 3.2 billion dollars in early 2012. The true owners of the data were swindled out of 1.6 billion dollars. They stole their franchisees “blind” and paid no income or transfer taxes during the transfers of these billions of credit data files. Penny Pritzker and Robert Pritzker got their money the “old fashioned way”-they just stole it when they thought no one was paying attention!
These actions violated the published code of ethics at Acxiom Corporation, the Code of Business Conduct of Trans Union, federal credit reporting law and common decency. (When one is stealing billions of pieces of data, one would certainly not want to appear “unethical”).
This data theft began to occur after Trans Union installed many new IBM mega-computers in Chicago, just as Allen J. Flitcraft, formerly with IBM, was leaving his position as president of Trans Union. Charles Morgan was president of Acxiom Corporation and Harry Gambill was president of Trans Union during this period of wire fraud, data theft, securities fraud, tax evasion and insider trading cybercrimes. Harry Gambill was also on the board of directors of Acxiom Corporation, a publicly traded company, while he was President of Trans Union.
Charles Morgan of Acxiom stated at his deposition in 2007, “Hell, if I had known that data was stolen I never would have paid for it”! He did not say he would not have used it; he just “wouldn’t have paid for it”. He stated that he “did not know the data was stolen”? He stole it and he knew it was stolen! He was replaced at Acxiom shortly thereafter in 2007. He first became aware of his own ongoing theft beginning in 1992 when Acxiom and Trans Union fabricated the “Database management” scheme to disguise hundreds of millions of dollars worth of illicit stock warrant payments to Trans Union for credit data access. Charles Morgan was abruptly replaced in 2007 when this criminal activity lawsuit was settled with Cliff Mortensen for 11 million dollars. He had been at the helm of Acxiom Corporation for thirty years when he was released in 2007, the year Trans Union and Acxiom settled their secret lawsuit with Cliff Mortensen. Harry Gambill has been replaced at Trans Union LLC and is no longer on the board of directors of Acxiom Corporation. Robert Pritzker, a former Acxiom board member is now deceased. General Wesley Clark (ret.) was formerly a paid lobbyist for Acxiom and has now been replaced on the Acxiom board of directors. Most all of senior management at Trans Union LLC and Acxiom Corporation have been cauterized and replaced after exposure of this data theft criminal enterprise.
On May 16, 2007, Acxiom announced a planned sale to Silver Lake and ValueAct Capital for $3.0 billion. The transaction ultimately failed to consummate.
RECIPIENTS OF STOLEN DATA IDENTIFIED
INCLUDING ACXIOM AND TRANS UNION SUBSIDIARIES, THE
CIA, THE NSA AND THE FBI
Trans Union has been a major stockholder in Acxiom Corporation since 1992. At one point, they were the largest single stockholder. In Acxiom’s 10-Q for June 30, 1994, they listed Trans Union’s ownership of Acxiom stock at 16.31 % of outstanding shares. They had interlocking directorates and non-public information about the stolen nature of the credit data in their main database. Harry Gambill of Trans Union was on the board of directors at Acxiom. Trans Union was the primary source for the very current credit data content in Acxiom’s database. It was a clone of the database at Trans Union which was a patchwork of stolen privately owned and corporate owned databases. The payback to Trans Union for the stolen data was in the form of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Acxiom stock warrants (six million shares), unbeknownst to their shareholders or the ultimate owners of the data who were the independent Trans Union credit bureau franchisees, most of whom are clueless today that they have been the victims of the largest data hijacking cybercrime in U. S. history.
Trans Union subsidiaries which had unlimited free and tax-free access to the purloined data are:
Trans Union International Inc.
Source USA Insurance Agency, Inc.
TransUnion International Holdings LLC
TransUnion HealthCare LLC
Diversified Data Development Corporation
Financial Healthcare Systems, LLC
TransUnion Teledata LLC
Decision Systems, Inc.
TransUnion Exchange Corporation
TransUnion Reverse Exchange Corporation
TransUnion Intelligence LLC
TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions, Inc.
TransUnion Consumer Solutions LLC
Trans Union Content Solutions LLC
TransUnion Interactive, Inc.
Title Insurance Services Corporation
Trans Union LLC
TransUnion Marketing Solutions, Inc.
Trans Union Real Estate Services, Inc.
Visionary Systems, Inc.
TransUnion Financing Corporation
These twenty-five Trans Union subsidiary companies all had “free and tax free” access to the stolen data. The U. S. Treasury was deprived of income taxes due on these felonious transfers of billions of bytes of data. Each of these companies required fresh credit data in their daily operations. They received the stolen data directly from the parent company, Trans Union LLC, a criminal enterprise, which stole the data from the independent credit bureau owners while the data was resident on Trans Union computers for daily “maintenance” and updating. Trans Union operated the largest tax free, stolen data “fencing operation” in the world. The amount and value of data Trans Union gave to their subsidiaries is almost incalculable. Trans Union never acknowledged nor reported anywhere the amount of stolen data given to their subsidiaries. Barry Botruff, data manager at Trans Union, boldly stated at one Cronus (franchisee) meeting, “after thirty days in our possession the data belongs to us (Trans Union)”. He later retracted that statement which was truly a Freudian slip. It is easy to grow a database dependant business quickly to twenty-five subsidiaries when start-up data costs are zero!
Acxiom subsidiaries which had similar access to the stolen data are:
Acxiom, CDC, Inc. AR
Acxiom, CH, Inc. DE
Acxiom Digital, Inc. DE
Acxiom Direct, Inc. TN
Acxiom Direct Media, Inc. AR
Acxiom Dutch Holdings, LLC. DE
Acxiom Identity Solutions, Inc. CO
Acxiom Information Security Services, Inc. AR
Acxiom/ May and Speh, Inc. DE
Acxiom RM-Tools, Inc. AR
Trans Union, LLC is a corporate fraud and tax evader “par excellence” which defrauded over 100 Trans Union credit bureau owners, credit grantors, investors, The United States Treasury and the truth sensitive capital markets out of billions of dollars. In 1992 Trans Union had the audacity to sue the U. S. Federal Trade Commission. Trans Union lost that battle but it allowed them years of extra marketing time and extra hundreds of millions of dollars of profits. When the federal government began to impose a $2500.00 penalty per name, per violation of the F.T.C. Order regarding sales of target marketing lists, Trans Union decided it would be prudent to stop violating federal law. Trans Union had no regard for Federal Law, the Federal Trade Commission or the ownership rights of the data owners.
Trans Union and Acxiom should have reported and identified all end users which accessed the stolen data for legal, permissible purposes at the end of each credit report. Leaving a footprint or a record of inquiry would have allowed for traceability of all legal uses of the data for determination of all permissible purposes, ownership and accountability. That is federal law.
The governmental agencies which had secret access to the credit data of all adult U.S. citizens were the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, Central Security Service, Social Security, the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Secret access by these agencies violated the constitutional privacy rights of all adult Americans. Again, the rightful owners were not paid for access and there were no required disclosures of the end users which should have been reported on each of the credit reports. Trans Union and Acxiom billed these entities and were paid by these agencies secretly. There was no payment or accounting to the rightful owners of this data nor access disclosures to the subjects of the credit reports.
The major national banks, financial institutions, large credit data brokers and data users, including the United States government, which unknowingly purchased the hacked and stolen data from Trans Union, its subsidiaries and the subsidiaries of Acxiom Corporation were Chase Bank, Citibank, Bank of America, Wells-Fargo Bank, HSBC, Capital One, Bank One, American Express, U. S. Bank, Discover Card, LexisNexis, and most banks which issued credit cards including First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO). None of these data purchasers performed “due diligence” or certified the rightful owners of these billions of data files. The original acquisition (theft) and free disbursement of this stolen data to their subsidiaries was unaccounted for and “tax evaded” and therefore “tax free”.
Trans Union has a bountiful history of data theft and tax evasion in the building of their ill-gotten database. “Theft” is always a “tax free” transaction particularly at nanosecond speeds. In 1997, FNBO received a $23,000,000.00 court judgment against Trans Union for data theft and breach of contract, case number 8:95CV-57, United States District Court District of Nebraska (Allen Rugg, Esq., of Powell Goldstein for the plaintiff; Roger Longtin, DLA Piper, for the defense). The data theft at FNBO was discovered during a “sting operation” where FNBO seeded their database with the names of Disney and Warner Brothers cartoon characters with the addresses of FNBO bank branch managers. They then gave the tapes to Trans Union monthly for “credit file updating” only. Shortly after Trans Union got their hands on FNBO’s customer computer tapes, the FNBO bank managers (“Daffy Duck, Porky Pig”, ad nauseum) began to receive credit card solicitations from competing banks. Trans Union fell right into the “briar patch” trap and began to illegally access (steal) and sell FNBO’s data files without permission or payment. Trans Union’s data theft breach of contract cost Trans Union a $23,000,000.00 judgment which they paid. FNBO had a penalty clause of $100.00 per stolen name. Trans Union has never reported this satisfied judgment or data theft in any of their public filings. This is information investors and the capital markets needed to know.
For fifteen years, Trans Union, LLC and Acxiom Corporation shared the ill gotten proceeds without paying the rightful owners of the data, the hundred or so local Trans Union franchisees across the United States including the bureau owned by Cliff Mortensen. This wire fraud, conversion and data theft continued for at least fifteen years before Trans Union admitted to it during settlement of one of the many federal cases against Trans Union. Trans Union admitted to their criminal activity and they wanted all settlements to be “secret” to avoid scrutiny by The Securities and Exchange Commission, the capital markets, other franchisees and the Internal Revenue Service.
Eric Holder, (appointed by Barack Obama), of the Department of Justice, Andrew Cuomo (Attorney General and now governor of New York), Kamala Harris (Attorney General of California) and the F.B.I. have failed to prosecute these crimes by these Pritzker- owned entities. Penny Pritzker is part of the notorious Pritzker family of Chicago (Hyatt Hotels, Trans Union Credit, Trans Union Healthcare, the Superior Bank collapse and the Marmon Group). Penny Pritzker’s grandfather and great-grandfather were lawyers for organized crime in the early days of Chicago. Penny Pritzker is a graduate of Harvard University and Stanford University Law School. Penny Pritzker was the finance chair for President Obama’s campaign in 2008 and was considered for but not offered the cabinet position of Commerce Secretary in 2009. At this writing, Penny Pritzker has been nominated for the Secretary of Commerce Cabinet position (again-subject to Senate confirmation). The Obama-Pritzker connection has been validated. They are longtime Chicago cronies.
In 2002 Penny Pritzker was a defendant in a RICO (Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations) lawsuit filed against her in the Superior Bank (Chicago) collapse. For that debacle Penny Pritzker and other Pritzker family members agreed to pay $460,000,000.00 (with a fifteen year payback) to the federal government. Mortensen asked Bruce MacLeod (now with Mc Kool Smith Hennigan, Los Angeles, to file a RICO action against the Pritzkers and Trans Union for wire fraud, extortion and anti-trust crimes. Bruce MacLeod refused to file a RICO or organized crime action against Trans Union and Penny Pritzker on several occasions. The subject was even discussed in Judge Moran’s chambers.
CONFLICTED WORKING RELATIONSHIPS
OF LAW FIRMS
Mr. MacLeod was referred to Cliff Mortensen by his attorney Ralph Wegis, a pioneer in SLAPP lawsuits, of Bakersfield, CA. Bruce MacLeod evaluated the case for twelve months before he decided to accept it. This was a major delay that benefitted Trans Union, Acxiom and DLA Piper. Mr. MacLeod had a prior working relationship with opposing counsel, DLA Piper of Chicago. Both firms worked together successfully on the 1994 bankruptcy of Orange County, CA and later (without Mortensen’s knowledge) worked together representing John Hancock Life Insurance Company (v. Bank of America) on the international Parmalat (Italy) bankruptcy case. Both firms have represented the Catholic Church in the United States. Michael Hennigan represented the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in the defense of hundreds of pedophilic priests. Michael Hennigan and Bruce MacLeod had mutual friends at DLA Piper. Mortensen was not aware of this ongoing conflicted friendship and dual working relationship until August 15, 2012. Mortensen would have never permitted it and would have terminated Bruce MacLeod and Michael Hennigan had he known.
ABUSE OF PROCESS
Initially, Michael O’Neil of DLA Piper sued Cliff Mortensen in a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) lawsuit to quell Mortensen’s impending lawsuit for data theft, fraud and breach of contract. This was a malicious prosecution case filed by DLA Piper to bankrupt and stifle Cliff Mortensen’s legal claims and damages. This was abuse of the court process. The $222,000.00 cost to defend this malicious prosecution lawsuit was paid for by Cliff Mortensen’s insurance carrier, State Farm. Cliff Mortensen was represented by Steve Baron and Steve Mandell of Mandell Menkes of Chicago. This case settled for $19,000.00. There were no SLAPP Back, malicious prosecution or punitive damage lawsuits filed on Mortensen’s behalf. Neither Steve Baron nor Steve Mandell of Mandell Menkes, ever attended the global settlement conference. He said “State Farm would not authorize it”! They made no claim to State Farm for theft of data on Mortensen’s behalf.
On the first discovery trip to Chicago, the home of Trans Union, Bruce MacLeod mentioned to Cliff Mortensen that if his case were only worth $4,000,000.00 or less his firm would not be interested in representing him. He then excused himself for a lunch meeting with his old pals at DLA to establish a case trajectory.
Bruce MacLeod later indicated the case was worth in excess of $100,000,000.00 per appraisal by Monica Ip, a forensic accountant, at HemmingMorse, San Francisco, due to contract breach and fraud. Crucial to this valuation was a royalty fee of $1.10 per single file access per contract. This appraisal value did not consider the billions of data files which were “passed through” (tax free) to the twenty-five domestic Trans Union subsidiaries with no royalty payments to the rightful owners of the data including Cliff Mortensen and his companies. At a settlement conference in 2004, Anthony Piazza suggested that the case was only worth $400,000.00. Ralph Wegis and Bruce Mac Leod were at that settlement conference. Steve Baron was not present and offered no guidance regarding case value.
CASE SECRECY AND PROTECTIVE ORDER
TO HIDE INSIDER TRADING, STOCK FRAUD
AND TAX EVASION
Bruce MacLeod, Michael Hennigan and Ralph Wegis allowed the case to be filed “under seal” with a protective order (against the strong protestations of Cliff Mortensen). Mortensen told Bruce Mac Leod on several occasions that he did not approve of this secrecy strategy, yet Bruce Mac Leod insisted on secrecy. He said this would hasten settlement (seven years). This protective order only protected Trans Union LLC and it’s 25 subsidiaries, Acxiom, Penny Pritzker and the Pritzker family from public exposure of their data theft, wire fraud, stock fraud, tax evasion and anti-trust crimes. Wall Street investors, the capital markets and The Internal Revenue Service would have benefitted from public exposure of these crimes. Bruce MacLeod was asked by Mortensen on at least fifteen occasions to remove the case from protective order, to unseal the filings and to amend the complaint to include anti-trust and RICO pleadings against Trans Union and Acxiom. Bruce MacLeod always refused to amend and would become very irritated whenever the subject was broached by Cliff Mortensen. He stated that the “appropriate people” knew how to access the case file through Lexis Nexis and Pacer case tracking systems. He had an “unhealthy” fixation with secrecy fueled by lawyer greed. This case should have been in the public realm. Mortensen preferred “daylight and openness” not “the mushroom treatment” in his litigation. This secrecy and failure to amend only accommodated MacLeod’s friends’ wishes at DLA Piper while ingratiating himself with them for amicable and profitable working relationships while ignoring the demands and best interests of his clients, Cliff and Pat Mortensen.
Secrecy weakened the case and settlement position for seven years. It fortified Trans Union’s and Acxiom’s position by delays and statute of limitations constraints. Secrecy of Mortensen’s fraud case facilitated “insider trading and willful securities fraud” by allowing Trans Union to sell out their overvalued position in Acxiom stock at around $40.00 per share. Acxiom stock today trades in the $20.00 range. Investors have lost fortunes. If Cliff Mortensen’s theories of data theft were so “misguided”, as Michael O’Neil of DLA Piper stated, why was secrecy paramount in Trans Union’s and Acxiom’s strategy? The answers are “insider trading, wire fraud, securities fraud and income tax evasion”.
SECURITIES FRAUD AND INSIDER TRADING
Public exposure of their willful securities fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion crimes terrified the management and owners of Trans Union and Acxiom (ACXM), a publicly traded company (NASDAQ). Penny Pritzker eventually planned to take Trans Union public (TRUN). The secrecy and delays benefitted Trans Union and Acxiom by keeping the other franchised credit bureaus, Wall Street investors, The Internal Revenue Service, the capital markets and the Securities and Exchange Commission uninformed about their blatant data theft, wire fraud, willful securities fraud, “insider trading”, anti-trust and tax evasion schemes. Public exposure of these crimes would have resulted in more lawsuits, sanctions, penalties, possible “de-listing” from the Exchanges, potential prison sentences, profit disgorgement and significant financial loss for Trans Union and Acxiom with subsequent erosion of stock value in those securities and potential corporate dissolution. Trans Union was paid hundreds of millions of dollars in stock warrants by Acxiom for unlimited tax free access to stolen data which should have included the royalty fee of $1.10 per single file access to the data owners. In 2000, Trans Union “cashed in” their Acxiom stock warrants for hundreds of millions of dollars with an Acxiom stock price around $40.00. They had insider non-public material knowledge that the data was stolen and therefore worthless. Other investors were not similarly enlightened. Today, Acxiom stock trades in the $20.00 range, a loss of over 50% of Trans Union’s “unload price” of around $40.00. Investors have lost billions of dollars of stock equity. This constitutes willful securities fraud and insider trading based non-public information.
Public companies are required by The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to report on their 10-K annual and 10-Q quarterly forms to disclose all significant litigation in which a public company is involved. They are also required to report if their base product belongs to another entity or is stolen. Acxiom and Trans Union failed to disclose this major litigation and the contested data ownership on their 10-K, 10-Q, S-1, and S-4 forms for several years. They were willfully violating federal securities statutes by these omissions.
Significantly, after Cliff Mortensen exposed these federal crimes, Trans Union’s planned IPO was withdrawn February 17, 2012 and Acxiom began buying back $50,000,000.00 more of Acxiom stock in early 2013 for a total repurchase of $200,000,000.00! This is an unusually high and abnormal percentage of stock repurchase.
Bruce MacLeod was accommodating Trans Union and Acxiom to Mortensen’s peril. Cliff Mortensen’s lawyers by their secret filings enabled Trans Union and Acxiom Corporation in their criminal theft “cover up” and securities fraud of copyright law protected credit data files, privately owned intellectual property and tax evasion. Even the lead Judge James B. Moran (d.) said he was tired of the ongoing, senseless secrecy.
SCOPE OF THE DATA THEFT AND BRUCE MAC LEOD’S FAILURE TO FILE WIRE AND SECURITIES FRAUD
CAUSES OF ACTION
After an error filled initial filing, Bruce MacLeod eventually did some extensive legal discovery work regarding Mortensen’s claims of fraud, breach of contract and data theft in a first amended complaint. He found that Trans Union and Acxiom had stolen billions of dollars worth of data from individual Trans Union credit bureau franchisees across the United States and over $100,000,000.00 from Cliff Mortensen alone. Mr. MacLeod called it “fraud”. He never claimed “wire fraud or securities fraud”. These are felonies and some people could have and should have gone to prison. Bruce MacLeod accessed SEC cross filings of Trans Union and other NASDAQ and NYSE listed companies and downloaded 800 pages of EDGAR filings in 2000. These filings showed license agreements with hundreds of companies that bought stolen data from Trans Union including Acxiom. The $1.10 royalty fee per single name access was avoided on billions of transactions.
Bruce Mac Leod should have filed a RICO action which should have included: Conspiracy to monopolize, anti-trust, trade secrets violations, tortious interference with business, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, tortious interference with contract, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of statutory duty.
Again, Mr. MacLeod was protecting the upper management and owners of Trans Union LLC and Acxiom Corporation. He should have been more concerned with his own clients, Cliff and Pat Mortensen, The Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, The I. R. S., The U. S. Treasury, the capital markets and securities investors who lost hundreds of millions of dollars in this stock manipulation scheme.
Mr. Roger Longtin of DLA Piper told one of the court reporters in Chicago that Bruce MacLeod had “cracked the data theft case” but he (Roger Longtin) would deny it if queried. Roger Longtin, Michael O’Neil, Bruce MacLeod, Michael Hennigan, Amy Stewart, Ralph Wegis and Steve Baron are officers of the Federal Courts. Not one of them reported any Securities and Exchange Commission “willful violations” by Acxiom or Trans Union.
MacLeod demanded to see the personal computer hard drives of Cliff Mortensen, his son, Cliff Mortensen, Jr., his wife, Pat Mortensen and all of their business computers plus all of Mortensen’s personal tax and corporate tax filings. Cliff Mortensen asked Bruce MacLeod for discovery reciprocity from Robert Pritzker, Penny Pritzker, Trans Union LLC and Acxiom Corporation. Bruce MacLeod flatly refused Cliff Mortensen’s requests. Had Bruce MacLeod done this, the depth of Trans Union’s fraud and theft would have been discovered. Investors, the I. R. S. The capital markets would have been saved or collected hundreds of millions of dollars. As an officer of the courts, Bruce MacLeod was obliged to expose this massive stock and tax fraud as federal crimes. He failed to do that.
Bruce MacLeod allowed Trans Union and Acxiom to take Mortensen’s personal videotaped deposition on ten (abusive) different occasions, yet he never deposed Robert Pritzker (d.) nor Penny Pritzker, the “de facto” owners of Trans Union. Had he done that, the securities fraud and the depth of the theft would have been exposed much sooner.
ANTI-TRUST CYBERCRIMES AND
CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT FRAUD
In an anti-trust move, Experian denied database access to Cliff Mortensen in 2000. Trans Union, in a similar anti-trust move, denied Cliff Mortensen access to his own database in July of 2001. He was forced to terminate twenty employees. This was an extortionate, fraudulent, monopolistic and illegal attempt to force Cliff Mortensen to drop his lawsuit against Trans Union and Acxiom. Trans Union and Experian, which is a British owned company, then aggressively pursued Cliff Mortensen’s customers in a blatant anti-trust and unfair competition move. Cliff Mortensen asked Bruce MacLeod to enjoin Trans Union from denying Cliff Mortensen access to his own database. Bruce MacLeod refused as it would be “too much legal work”. It would have also provided cash flow to Cliff Mortensen’s struggling companies. There was a conspiracy between Trans Union and Experian to destroy Mortensen’s businesses. They succeeded. Bruce Mac Leod accommodated them by inaction.
Today there are only four major credit bureau companies in the United States. It is a virtual oligarchy. There are no local credit bureaus remaining. 600 independent credit bureaus have been closed. The destruction of competition was complete within seven years. The Federal Trade Commission did not intervene. Fait accompli! Co-incidentally with the destruction of all local credit bureaus and the introduction of automated credit reporting, the financial meltdown of the U.S. financial system began its infamous demise.
During this access denial period David Emery, Chief Financial Officer of Trans Union at that time (affectionately known as “Thief Financial Officer” by the bureau owners), asked Cliff Mortensen if he was “ready to talk about signing the contract amendment now”? David Emery was clearly committing extortion against Cliff Mortensen. Bill Rogers, V. P., said Trans Union would withhold revenue (which they already were doing) unless Mortensen signed the amendment. This also was extortion. Signing the amendment would have allowed Trans Union, LLC and Acxiom Corporation to continue with their data theft. Mortensen refused to sign any amendments. Alice Conlon of Trans Union was the credit bureau liaison for the independent credit bureaus and worked for Jay Frank, Jr. (d.), V. P. of Trans Union during this period. She is still employed at Trans Union. She threatened (attempted to extort) Cliff Mortensen with the statement that “If you don’t do what Trans Union wants you to do by amending your contract, they can do plenty to you”. They did.
Jay Frank, Jr., V.P., cautioned the independent bureau owners during the annual Cronus (franchisee) meeting in Chicago that the databases belonged to the individual franchisees; that it was the franchisees’ main asset and not to underestimate the value of the asset. He was terminated shortly after that cautionary speech. He retired to Florida.
RACKETEERING INFLUENCED CORRUPT
ORGANIZATIONS (RICO) AND TAX EVASION
Trans Union and Acxiom are corrupt organizations which have used extortion, theft, wire fraud, securities fraud, computer hacking, tax evasion and perjury to achieve their profit goals and revenue streams by stealing billions of credit records from individual credit bureaus in tax evading transactions. This clearly qualified as a RICO (Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations) action. This is the largest data theft, wire fraud and tax evasion scheme in history. Trans Union would file fraudulent computer “green bar” printout reports (wire fraud) with Cliff Mortensen’s credit bureau offices in Salinas, CA (and other franchisee locations) on a daily basis for fifteen years. Trans Union freely dispensed the stolen credit data to their twenty five subsidiaries and Acxiom. Acxiom in turn passed the data to their ten subsidiaries. It was theft compounded. They did not disclose to the Securities and Exchange Commission their stock manipulation, securities fraud, wire fraud, major compound data theft, pending or past litigation or tax evasion.
Mr. Hennigan belittled the value of the Mortensen’s case on many occasions. He stated the case was “only worth $400,000.00”; Ralph Wegis said the same case was worth $20,000,000.00; MacLeod said the case was appraised at more than $100,000,000.00.
When queried, Bruce MacLeod did not have an explanation why one of the Pritzker companies, Conwood Smokeless Tobacco, prevailed in a similar unfair competition and anti-trust lawsuit against United States Tobacco for 3 billion dollars including punitive damages (Upheld at U.S. Supreme Court and satisfied). Perhaps it was just superior lawyering with no conflict of interest. United States Tobacco was forced to issue stock to fund this upheld award. Conwood Tobacco v. U.S. Tobacco was an anti-trust case as was Mortensen’s. Bruce MacLeod and Michael Hennigan refused on several occasions to include an anti-trust, RICO or criminal pleading in his case. Again, their lack of action protected Trans Union and Acxiom and kept the revenue streams flowing.
Cliff Mortensen was so disappointed in his legal representation at this point that he contacted the law firm of Boies, Schiller and Flexner, LLP for representation. Mr. Boies declined Mortensen’s case for “a variety of reasons”.
In a 2006 mediation, John Blenke, chief counsel at Trans Union offered Mortensen $7,000,000.00 to settle with “secrecy”. Mortensen rejected that offer. This offer was made in the presence of Ralph Wegis (telephonically) and Bruce MacLeod. John Blenke closed the meeting with the statement to Cliff Mortensen “Cliff, you can call me at any time to discuss settlement”! Cliff Mortensen was taken aback. He thought he had his own legal counsel. What were Bruce Mac Leod and Ralph Wegis being paid for? This was unethical for John Blenke to address Cliff Mortensen as he did. It was equally unethical for Bruce MacLeod and Ralph Wegis not to object and say nothing. Steve Baron of Mandell Menkes was also not present at this mediation. Either he had no interest or State Farm was paying “on the cheap”!
Since Mortensen’s case was under seal, Trans Union and Acxiom had no motivation to “true up” with Cliff Mortensen and settle for their data theft and wire fraud. They did not admit to their theft and wire fraud until seven years later at settlement. Then they wanted a secret settlement as their admission of wire fraud crimes would “be embarrassing to Penny Pritzker and the Trans Union organization”. It also would have exposed their securities fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion actions to the capital markets. Bruce MacLeod and Michael Hennigan were always willing to oblige DLA Piper’s secrecy wishes even when criminal activity was involved and should have been exposed.
Under Bruce MacLeod’s guidance the case was progressing very slowly through the courts. Mortensen had large financial obligations and he informed Bruce MacLeod of his dire financial condition for years, yet Bruce MacLeod still deliberately kept the case progression slow and under seal. He suggested that Mortensen borrow $200,000.00 from Ralph Wegis to help his financial position. That money only lasted six months. Bruce MacLeod also suggested that Cliff Mortensen allow all of his real estate investments to go into foreclosure. He was insolvent by 2007 and forced into a weak settlement position. On settlement day, Mortensen was in debt approximately $5,000,000.00 and had already liquidated about $3,000,000.00 of his personal assets. Bruce MacLeod had copies of Cliff Mortensen’s tax returns. MacLeod has extensive accounting expertise and he understood Cliff Mortensen’s untenable financial and emotional position. Bruce MacLeod’s actions had “broken” Mortensen emotionally and financially. He set him up for minimal settlement. Five years before settlement, Bruce MacLeod had Mortensen petition the Court to explain his financial position to a special master.
DUAL CONFLICTED REPRESENTATION
Incredibly, prior to settlement, Bruce MacLeod suggested that he (Bruce MacLeod) “become employed by opposing counsel, DLA Piper, or Trans Union to facilitate settlement”. His stated theory was that it “would entice Trans Union to settle” as Bruce Mac Leod would then be barred from accepting any new cases against Trans Union or Acxiom. He told Cliff Mortensen he did not want to litigate with Trans Union or Acxiom again. (Mortensen believed that successful litigation was the “traditional” way lawyers got paid). MacLeod stated that it would be illegal for him to decline other similar cases unless he was employed by opposing counsel and/or Trans Union.
Cliff Mortensen was flabbergasted! He believed Bruce MacLeod was either breaking the law or at least violating California State Bar ethics. He could not believe what Bruce MacLeod was saying. Cliff Mortensen told him “absolutely not”! Mortensen felt this would be legal malpractice and certainly not in his best interest. He no longer had any trust in Bruce MacLeod, Michael Hennigan or their law firm. He began to believe that the fraternal relationship with DLA Piper was even “cozier” than suspected. On August 15, 2012, Mortensen discovered that both firms had been working together for the John Hancock Insurance Company on the Parmalat (Italy) bankruptcy case and Catholic Church litigation for years. Had Mortensen known this, he would have terminated Hennigan, Bennett and Dorman “post haste”.
LACK OF TRIAL PREPARATION
Mortensen was forced into a weak settlement position particularly when Bruce said “Don’t start believing your own bullshit” (not very encouraging). Still, there were no “trial ready” motions or “at issue memoranda” filed on Mortensen’s behalf by any of his attorneys. Bruce MacLeod never demanded a “true up” of what was owed to Mortensen. This would have exposed the free and “tax free” pass-through of stolen data to the 25 subsidiaries of Trans Union and 10 subsidiaries of Acxiom. The delays accommodating Trans Union and Acxiom Corporation continued for years. The case was not positioned for serious settlement negotiations by either Bruce MacLeod or Steve Baron of Mandell Menkes. Cliff Mortensen was financially broke and emotionally broken and unable to continue with the stalled litigation.
Cliff Mortensen’s hacked and stolen data was valued in excess of $100,000,000.00 (per contract breach) by forensic accountant and appraiser Monica Ip of HemmingMorse, San Francisco, CA. This figure did not include the value of the stolen data given directly to the twenty-five Trans Union subsidiaries (with no accounting or tax payment). There were at least one hundred other Trans Union franchised bureaus in similar situations.
At the suggestion of Michael Hennigan, the third mediation took place at the law offices of Anthony Piazza of Gregorio, Haldeman, Piazza, Rotman, Feder and Frank, 201 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA, 415.543.3366. This was the first time Mortensen had ever met Michael Hennigan. During mediation, Cliff Mortensen stated to his lawyers that he wanted Trans Union to offer a settlement figure before he did. They all said “no” that Cliff Mortensen “would have to come up with a figure first”. Cliff Mortensen felt this would be bidding against himself and not good strategy. His lawyers gave no guidance in developing a settlement strategy or case settlement value during or prior to mediation. Mr. Wegis said Mortensen had “fought the good fight” but it was “time to settle” even though there were no “at issue memoranda” filed. Mortensen’s lawyers were silent during the Anthony Piazza meeting. Cliff Mortensen felt he had been set up and “railroaded” into settlement. Bruce MacLeod, Michael Hennigan, and Ralph Wegis offered no counsel or guidance during the mediation. Mortensen was forced to fend for himself with three of his “high powered” attorneys present and silent as lambs. Mortensen’s State Farm Insurance paid defense costs of $222,000.00+ to attorney, Steve Baron of Mandell Menkes, Chicago, IL, who was absent. State Farm “in bad faith” paid nothing for the theft loss with a policy limit of $3,000,000.00. Amy Stewart of the Rose Law Firm representing Acxiom Corporation was absent as well. Acxiom had an indemnity clause from Trans Union regarding liability. This should have been disclosed in public disclosure filings for Acxiom and Trans Union. It was not.
As of this date, Mortensen has not been provided a copy of the signed settlement document from Acxiom Corporation.
SETTLEMENT AND FAILURE TO
CLAIM DISGORGEMENT OF PROFITS
Eventually, during the mediation, Cliff Mortensen proposed a settlement figure of $15,000,000.00. Anthony Piazza said “No” he “would not present the offer to Trans Union”. This refusal violated negotiation protocol. Anthony Piazza said the figure was “too high” but he did not say on what he based his conclusion. He just pulled a number out of the air with no consideration for the professional forensic appraisal of Monica Ip at HemmingMorse. Attorney Anthony Piazza was supposed to be a neutral mediator. His bias toward Trans Union and Acxiom and his lack of neutrality cost Mortensen a fortune. He then beat Cliff Mortensen down to $10,000,000.00. Cliff Mortensen’s lawyers were silent and did not advocate his position at all. The smirk on Michael O’Neil’s face revealed the incongruity of the settlement.
Bruce MacLeod did not inform Cliff Mortensen of the massive similar cyber crimes litigation in which Trans Union was involved or the fact that Trans Union gave free access of Cliff Mortensen’s database to all twenty-five of Trans Union’s subsidiaries and ten of Acxiom’s subsidiaries without payment to Mortensen. During mediation, Bruce Mac Leod made no demand for disgorgement of profits from Trans Union or Acxiom. Disgorgement of profits is the legal remedy for theft and fraud.
The case settled on October 31, 2007 for $11,000,000.00. The settlement called for forgiveness of all transgressions “known or unknown” and global settlement with a non-disclosure (complete secrecy) clause and a $500,000.00 penalty for secrecy breach clause. The phrase “known or unknown” must have related to the undisclosed sales to Acxiom and the free stolen data access and tax free access Trans Union provided to its subsidiaries. This allowed Trans Union to profit from Cliff Mortensen’s database in present and future undisclosed credit products. Trans Union operated the largest tax free data “chop shop fencing operation” in history.
Mortensen received $6,000,000.00 net and his lawyers received $5,000,000.00. From Mortensen’s proceeds he repaid Mr. Wegis the $200,000.00 loan from his retirement fund plus interest. He also paid Wood & Porter Attorneys (referred by Bruce MacLeod) $125,000.00 for tax advice since Michael Hennigan said during the mediation that his firm “did not dispense tax advice”. Bruce MacLeod cautioned Cliff Mortensen to “be very conservative with any settlement money as it may be needed it to pay federal taxes”. Bruce MacLeod and Michael Hennigan knew it was a “net negative” settlement. Yet, they remained silent. So much for Super Lawyers and their personal agenda!
Nowhere has this settlement of data theft and secret settlements been publicly acknowledged in required 8-K, 10-Q, 10-K and S-1 filings for Trans Union LLC and Acxiom Corporation or elsewhere. This violated Security and Exchange Rules of Disclosure and kept the investors and capital markets uninformed of this data theft litigation. This also violated Internal Revenue Statutes. It is classic tax evasion on a grand scale.
John Blenke, chief counsel for Trans Union, initially offered Cliff Mortensen $7,000,000.00 in 2006 to settle secretly. This should have been public information to protect investors and the capital markets. John Blenke’s signature is on the forms 8-K, 10-K, 10-Q and S-1 filings for Trans Union all of which omitted the legal disclosure. Acxiom Corporation had similar filing requirements under Securities and Exchange Commission regulations. Trans Union benefitted from insider knowledge and insider trading of Acxiom stock. Trans Union was not forthright in disclosing their data theft and criminal fraud lawsuits and settlements in their initial public offering of Trans Union stock (TRUN). That initial public offering was withdrawn February 17, 2012.
The day Cliff Mortensen settled for $6,000,000.00 net, he was bankrupt by three million dollars and Bruce MacLeod knew it. He, Ralph Wegis and Michael Hennigan settled Cliff Mortensen into bankruptcy. Bruce Mac Leod had earlier petitioned the Court on Mortensen’s insolvency yet he denied knowledge of Mortensen’s finances when he was queried recently by Mr. Eli Morgenstern of the California State Bar, Los Angeles, CA. This was not Mortensen’s plan for successful prosecution of his case. Cliff Mortensen subsequently defaulted on seventeen real estate loans (mostly government insured) totaling millions of dollars. He felt he was forced to settle as his lawyers had no plans to take his case to trial and the opposition knew it. Cliff Mortensen was not “made whole” and the subject was never mentioned by Bruce MacLeod, Ralph Wegis, Michael Hennigan, Antonio Piazza, Michael O’Neil or Steve Baron.
Two weeks after the mediation and prior to final settlement Cliff Mortensen asked Bruce MacLeod if the mediation was binding. Cliff Mortensen wanted to cancel it as he realized the incongruity of it. Bruce MacLeod prevaricated when he stated that the mediation was indeed “binding and could not be cancelled”. This was not true. Cliff Mortensen relied on Bruce MacLeod’s false statement. This is unethical and malpractice.
DESTRUCTION OF COURT RECORDS AND EVIDENCE
There was a confidentiality agreement on the Acxiom and Trans Union settlement with a $500,000.00 penalty clause if Cliff Mortensen divulged the settlement terms. DLA Piper demanded that Cliff Mortensen destroy all personal court records, documents and digital records of the legal proceedings and evidence. Criminal evidence destruction is a criminal act. Cliff Mortensen did not destroy his litigation records. Bruce MacLeod maintained all of his legal records and case log history on his computer. He has that digital record today. Two years after settlement Ralph Wegis returned to Cliff Mortensen all legal documents in his possession. Bruce MacLeod refused to do the same when requested. He destroyed them against Cliff Mortensen’s wishes. This is destruction of evidence of criminal activity. This is a criminal act. Steve Baron of Mandell Menkes never returned Mortensen’s litigation file.
INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING CANCELLED
BY TRANS UNION
In April of 2011, Cliff Mortensen posted the details of the case on Yahoo! Finance message boards. Within 72 hours he received a disturbing telephone call from an irate Bruce MacLeod, of McKool Smith Hennigan, who threatened Cliff Mortensen with legal repercussions from DLA Piper and demanded that he “take down” the offensive posting immediately. Mortensen informed him that he would not remove the posting. Oddly, Bruce MacLeod stated that he “did not and could not represent Mortensen any longer”. He had attorney Andrew Swartz of Spiering, Swartz and Kennedy of Monterey call Mortensen. Mr. Swartz stated that Bruce MacLeod requested that he call as Mortensen was in need of representation. Mr. Swartz was clueless about the call. Mortensen thanked him for his concern and told him he had no legal issues presently.
The next day Mortensen received another disturbing call from equally irate opposing counsel, Michael O’Neil of DLA Piper. He threatened to sue Mortensen for $500,000.00 and to enjoin him from breaching the confidentiality agreement. He demanded that Mortensen take down the Yahoo! Finance posting. Mortensen informed Mr. O’Neil that he had every legal right to discuss any federal crimes committed against him at anytime and anywhere he chose. Michael O’Neil of DLA Piper queried maniacally “Why now”? He followed up his request in email format at Cliff Mortensen’s request. Trans Union was in the process of an Initial Public Offering at $325 million and a financing issue of $645 million. This theft and fraud case secret settlement was potentially a disclosure issue of concern at the Securities and Exchange Commission. The capital markets would have been exposed to one billion dollars in fraudulent securities issuance. Cliff Mortensen’s actions alerted the capital markets, The Securities and Exchange Commission and The Internal Revenue Service of significant tax evasion and securities fraud.
Hennigan, Bennett and Dorman (Los Angeles) merged with McKool and Smith (Dallas) in September of 2011 to form McKool, Smith and Hennigan in Los Angeles.
The S-4 filing for Trans Union Financing LLC Exchange Offer dated March 1, 2011 was for $645,000,000.00 at 11.375% due 2018. The registration fee of $74,884.50 was paid. The co-registrants were: Diversified Data Development Corporation, Trans Union Healthcare, LLC, Trans Union LLC, Trans Union Interactive, Inc., Trans Union Financing Corporation, Trans Union Rental Screening Solutions, Inc., Trans Union Teledata, LLC, and Visionary Systems, Inc. The address for all co-registrants and the agent for service is John Blenke, 555 W. Adams Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60661. Nowhere in this S-4 filing is there any mention of the stolen data status of Trans Union’s database and the secret lawsuits that were settled regarding same. Again, John Blenke’s name surfaced on those documents.
On July 5, 2011, Ernst and Young filed a Consent form S-1 for Trans Union’s Initial Public Offering (TRUN). John Blenke’s name was listed on that filing as Executive Vice President and Corporate Counsel for Trans Union. The underwriting investment banks, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase, Credit Suisse, BofA Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley were published and the registration fee of $37,732.50 had been paid. The proposed maximum aggregate initial offering was for $325,000,000.00. In this IPO filing there was no specific mention of the legal issues with the disputed ownership and past secretive litigation of the database, Mortensen’s paid settlement of $11,000,000.00 and other paid claims.
The Trans Union IPO (TRUN) was withdrawn February 17, 2012. Apparently there was fear of potential trouble at the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding undisclosed criminal legal matters at Trans Union.
The 10-Q for Trans Union was that was filed August 7, 2012 and was signed by Samuel A. Hamood, EVP and Chief Financial Officer and Gordon E. Schaechterle, Chief Accounting Officer of Trans Union. It was certified by Siddarth N. Mehta. It contained no mention of the disputed ownership of the data in the main database of Trans Union.
In August of 2011, four months after Cliff Mortensen “went public” on Yahoo! Finance Message Boards about Acxiom, Acxiom Corporation announced the planned buyback of $150,000,000.00 worth of Acxiom stock. In February of 2013 they raised the amount of Acxiom stock buyback to $200,000,000.00, an unusually high percentage of “buyback” stock!
CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP
AND THE PLAYERS
In 2010, Trans Union was sold to a partnership of Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC. Trans Union was sold again to affiliates of Goldman Sachs’ GS Capital Partners and Advent International for 3.2 billion dollars in early 2012, shortly after the IPO was withdrawn. Cliff Mortensen’s actions alerted the capital markets and saved the capital markets from more severe damage due to willful securities violations and fraud. The database of Trans Union is the result of massive criminal data theft and wire fraud. The Marmon Group and the Pritzkers wanted to distance themselves from the criminal activity they condoned at Trans Union. The Marmon Group (excluding Trans Union) had earlier been sold to Berkshire Hathaway, the company headed by Warren Buffett. The sale was handled by GoldmanSachs. Warren Buffett paid $4.5 billion for 60% control of The Marmon Group (not including Trans Union) in 2008.
Trans Union and Acxiom Corporations have recently “cleaned house” of upper management. Trans Union has terminated “Bobby” (Siddharth) Mehta, Trans Union’s former president; Oscar Marquis, Trans Union’s former Chief Counsel; David Emery, Trans Union’s former CFO and COO and Harry Gambill (former president of Trans Union and board member of Acxiom). Gambill is now on the board of directors at Black Oak Partners, of Little Rock, AR, and not affiliated with Trans Union or Acxiom. Charles Morgan (former CEO of Acxiom Corporation) has been replaced. Most all of upper management at both Trans Union LLC and Acxiom Corporation have been cauterized. Jim Peck is the president of Trans Union today, a position he has held since December, 2012. He is the former CEO of Lexis Nexis, a large customer of Trans Union and a recipient of the data in question.
Chet Wiermanski, former Global Chief Scientist at Trans Union has recently departed Trans Union. While at Trans Union he was responsible for the algorithmic conversions of Trans Union’s stolen credit files to credit “appends of attributes” and “characteristics”. He is currently employed at Black Oak Partners where he is the expert on Credit InsightTM Solutions. Chet Wiermanski is also a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Board in Philadelphia.
Cliff Mortensen has never heard from DLA Piper, Amy Stewart, the Rose Law Firm, Penny Pritzker, Michael O’Neil, Bruce MacLeod, Ralph Wegis or Michael Hennigan ever again.
- 1. Bruce MacLeod allowed the case to be filed “under seal” with a protective (gag) order against the wishes and demands of Cliff Mortensen. This kept The Securities and Exchange Commission and The Internal Revenue Service uninformed about Trans Union’s and Acxiom’s data theft, securities fraud and major tax evasion.
- 2. Bruce Mac Leod failed to include causes of action for wire fraud, RICO, anti-trust, SLAPP Back, stock fraud or malicious prosecution lawsuits.
- 3. Bruce MacLeod failed to file a claim with State Farm Insurance Company for “theft of data”. Cliff Mortensen had a business policy with State Farm Insurance Company, which would have covered up to $3 million of his theft loss. This would have provided immediate cash flow to Mortensen.
- 4. Bruce MacLeod failed to disclose that both Bruce MacLeod and DLA Piper (adversary) both represented John Hancock Life Insurance Company v. Bank of America in the Parmalat bankruptcy.
- 5. Bruce MacLeod failed to disclose that DLA Piper and Hennigan, Bennett and Dorman both represented the Catholic Church and were involved in the Parmalat litigation.
- 6. Bruce MacLeod allowed ten depositions of Cliff Mortensen (abusive) and no depositions of Penny Pritzker or Robert Pritzker, the “de facto” owners of Trans Union. They owned hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Acxiom securities. Cliff Mortensen protested to Bruce MacLeod that this was not fair nor in his best interest.
- 7. Bruce MacLeod demanded to see all of Cliff Mortensen’s personal and business tax records and none from Penny Pritzker, Robert Pritzker, Trans Union (and subsidiaries) or Acxiom.
- 8. Bruce MacLeod failed to include “extortion” claims against David Emery, Chief Financial Officer of Trans Union, Bill Rodgers, EVP TransUnion, and Alice Conlon, the credit bureau liaison for Trans Union.
- 9. Bruce MacLeod, Michael Hennigan and Ralph Wegis failed to advise that Trans Union provided free access to at least 25 Trans Union subsidiaries and to Acxiom Mortensen’s database without payment or acknowledgement.
- 10. Bruce MacLeod, Michael Hennigan and Ralph Wegis failed to force mediator, Anthony Piazza, to deliver Mortensen’s settlement demand for $15,000,000.00 to Trans Union during mediation.
- 11. Bruce MacLeod suggested that he go to work for Trans Union so that he “could never again sue Trans Union or Acxiom”. This dual representation of both plaintiff and defendant was not in Mortensen’s best interests. McLeod proceeded without Mortensen’s approval. Mortensen never agreed to this and it was never presented in writing as required by rules of the California State Bar.
- 12. Bruce MacLeod, Michael Hennigan and Ralph Wegis settled Mortensen into bankruptcy. Mortensen subsequently defaulted on 17 (mostly government insured) real estate loans.
- 13. When Mortensen wanted to cancel the settlement he asked Bruce MacLeod if it was binding, Bruce McLeod lied and stated that it “could not be cancelled and was indeed binding”. This was a lie that cost Mortensen dearly.
- 14. Bruce MacLeod let the case languish for seven years. At the time of mediation no “at issue” memoranda or “trial ready” motions had been filed with the court.
- 15. MacLeod was ordered by Mortensen to remove the case from protective order and unseal it. MacLeod refused on fifteen occasions. This was a fiduciary failure that weakened the value of Mortensen’s case.
- 16. Cliff Mortensen informed Bruce MacLeod of his insolvency and still he let the case languish for seven years. This benefitted Trans Union and Acxiom and forced Mortensen to settle the case which was a “bankrupt” settlement. Mortensen was not “made whole”.
- 17. Bruce MacLeod failed to notify the Securities and Exchange Commission of
“insider trading” and willful securities fraud at Trans Union and Acxiom.
He also failed to notify the DOJ of the wire fraud.
18. Bruce Mac Leod failed to claim “disgorgement of profits”
against Trans Union and Acxiom during settlement negotiations.
19. Bruce MacLeod failed to inform Cliff Mortensen that in 2004 Penny
Pritzker became chairman of the board of Trans Union.
Cliff Mortensen has alerted the Securities and Exchange Commission, The Internal Revenue Service and the capital markets of the securities fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion criminal activity secretly perpetrated by Trans Union and Acxiom and their subsidiaries. His public actions prevented further damage to the capital markets, investors and The United States Treasury. Trans Union has cancelled an Initial Public Stock Offering for $325 million and a financing issue of $645 million. Acxiom has begun a major stock repurchase program totaling over $200,000,000.00. Acxiom’s and Trans Union’s fear of public exposure and Securities and Exchange Commission accountability has protected the capital markets from further financial damage and exploitation.
Trans Union and twenty-five of its’ subsidiaries and Acxiom Corporation and ten of its subsidiaries stole billions of dollars worth of data from Trans Union franchised credit bureaus including the Credit Bureau of Carmel and Pebble Beach, Inc., which was owned by Cliff Mortensen, Pat Mortensen and Cliff Mortensen, Jr. Since this data was stolen, these billions of transactions were tax free and not a declared value transfer. This is tax evasion.
Trans Union, LLC and Acxiom Corporation willfully failed to disclose all serious litigation in which they were involved to the capital markets and the Securities and Exchange Commission as required by the Securities Exchange Act of 1933. This failure to disclose defrauded Wall Street investors of billions of dollars as this was a deliberate and willful securities fraud. The core data of the databases of Trans Union, LLC and Acxiom Corporation were stolen. Whenever Trans Union got caught in the act of stealing data and was subsequently sued, they would then settle all litigation in secret to avoid IRS tax liability and SEC oversight.
Bruce MacLeod and Michael Hennigan placed their own professional and profitable relationships with DLA Piper above Mortensen’s financial interests and well being. After a brilliant start Bruce MacLeod was side-tracked by the intensive Parmalat litigation, a referral from DLA Piper. Mortensen’s case was bartered to DLA Piper for economic gain. They deliberately stalled and cloaked the case in secrecy to Mortensen’s detriment and to the detriment of the capital markets, The IRS and The Securities and Exchange Commission. Their secrecy benefitted Trans Union and all their U. S. subsidiaries, Acxiom, DLA Piper and HBD Lawyers while they were working at the same time on the huge international Parmalat bankruptcy case where they represented John Hancock Life Insurance Company (v. Bank of America). HBD lawyers also worked on the Roman Catholic Church cases as well as DLA Piper.
Their actions caused Cliff Mortensen and his family great financial and emotional stress.
The damage to Mortensen’s credit is ongoing, yet Trans Union’s credit rating is unblemished after defrauding and destroying the businesses of over one hundred Trans Union credit bureau franchisees. The bureau owners lost billions of dollars. Trans Union’s criminal actions and the criminal actions of Penny Pritzker have depleted Mortensen’s substantial net worth and retirement fund. The Pritzkers “robbed the bank, split the booty and split” with $3,200,000,000.00 for their final sale of the Trans Union stolen database.
As of this date, more than 600 independent credit bureaus have been put out of business by the anti-trust and unfair business practices of Trans Union, Experian and Equifax credit companies. Most customer service divisions of these bureaus have been greatly curtailed or moved off shore. The Federal Trade Commission has been investigating the lack of customer service and rampant violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for eight years. “Sixty Minutes” ran a story on February 10, 2013, which exposed the disdain that Equifax, Experian and Trans Union have for the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the accuracy of consumers’ credit files. When local bureaus were privately owned the customer service was superior. Ten thousand American credit bureau customer service positions have been eliminated in the United States since the oligarchistic practices of Experian, Equifax and Trans Union were implemented. All local bureaus were put out of business. In seven years all competition was eliminated. Fait accompli!
Messrs. MacLeod and Hennigan can be reached presently at The Law Firm of McKool Smith and Hennigan, 865 Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90017, 213.694.1200. They are partners there. Mr. Hennigan can also be reached at Quail H Farms, 5301 Robin Avenue, Livingston, CA 95334, 209.394.8001.
Steve Baron, of Mandell Menkes, telephoned Cliff Mortensen at noon on March 14, 2013 and expressed extreme angst about his name appearing on “RipoffReport.com” regarding his representation of Mortensen. While claiming his dissatisfaction with the posting, he advised Mortensen that he had every right to exercise his freedom of speech. Mortensen concurred.
On June 24, Sean Mc Kessy, Chief of the Whistleblower Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission, called Mortensen directly to personally thank Mortensen for reporting Trans Union and Acxiom Corporations to the Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Program. After sending Mortensen seven letters thanking Mortensen for the reports and updates, he said the Whistleblower Program would take no action against Trans Union or Acxiom and that there would be no Whistleblower reward payment. Mortensen told Mr. Mc Kessy that he believed the decision was based on newly appointed Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker’s involvement with Trans Union and Acxiom. Mr. Mc Kessy had no comment.
Certified as true and correct, June 24, 2013
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/08/2013 02:51 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/State-Farm/San-Jose-California-95131/State-Farm-Bad-Faith-San-Jose-California-1065319. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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