Monday, March 26, 2012

Virginia Man Scams Wife and Father-in-Law (Beware of People Selling Patriot Mythology)




Abingdon, Virginia – On March 23, 2012, Angela Smith was sentenced to three years in Prison by Federal Judge James P. Jones for one count of conspiracy, 214 counts of wire fraud, and 22 counts of money laundering - to all of which she is factually innocent.
Angela was married to Ron Smith, who got involved in a business called Safeguard 30/30. Smith had bought into “UCC” myths and misguided common law practices that have trapped and ruined many Americans over the past 30 years. What Smith was actually involved in was a well-disguised Ponzi scheme.
A Brief History
Smith had his wife and her father, Charles Duty, totally deceived with his new “business venture.” Angela and her Father thought that Ron possessed professional investment skills, as he had worked for Golden Mortgage Corporation, and had been trained to handle fairly large investments.
In short order Ron persuaded Charles Duty to finance a new home for him and Angela on a portion of Charles’ property, and they started building it, mainly with Mr. Duty’s money.
Angela had little time to spare as she was raising her two sons and she trusted her husband to take care of their finances. However, Ron did have Angela handle some bank matters for his business, such as being the authorized signatory for the business account. He told Angela there was trading rules and guidelines and that according to these regulations he could not be on the account. She signed checks at his direction and went in to the bank to sign for a wire. Ron Smith primarily handled all wire transactions from his home computer.
Ron and some of his co-conspirators were arrested on March 10, 2010 and charged with Conspiracy, Wire Fraud, Money Laundering, and making and distributing a false document. Angela was informed at this time that she was also being targeted for prosecution.
Government Tastes Blood
At this juncture, Angela’s world turned upside down and she hired Attorney Michael Bishop, who assured her everything would be fine and that if she was arrested he would make arrangements to have her turn herself in. He would then “take care of her” and quickly resolve any misconceptions by law enforcement.

Charles Duty
Charles Duty, one of Ron Smith's victims
Angela was finally arrested, but Bishop didn’t appear and she was reportedly forced to handle her arraignment on her own. The rest of her case went pretty much the same. She went to trial completely unprepared. In this writers opinion, Michael Bishop completely malpracticed Angela Smith and she was convicted in short order by a jury who never got to hear the truth about her involvement, or lack thereof, in her husband’s scheme. From meetings at “Burger King” with Bishop, to demanding that he call her husband as a witness at her trial, Angela’s pleas for help fell on deaf ears.
Angela is currently preparing for an appeal, attempting to find care for her sons and wondering if she will be able to find a public defender who will listen to her, and then straighten-out the tragic situation that her husband and the thieves he worked with created.
The US Attorney’s Office in Virginia has also charged Charles Duty with crimes, and they are currently attempting to take his property from him. US Attorneys Jennifer Bockhorst and Zachery Lee are also reportedly holding onto the property of Angela’s two minor children.
Charles Duty, who was clearly a major victim of Ron Smith and his gang, is now facing 2 counts of Perjury. His trial is scheduled to begin on April 9, 2012. Assistant United States Attorney Zachery Lee is the Prosecutor, Attorney Randall Eads is the Defense Attorney and James P. Jones is the judge.
We should note that Mr. Duty has been diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s disease, and we are concerned that he will have the proper medical testimony given to his jury. We are also very concerned about Judge Jones hearing his case due to the fact that Jones obviously holds disdain for both Ron and Angela Smith.
The US~Observer is investigating this more than obvious travesty of justice and will inform our readership on the results. Anyone with information on any of the people involved in this case is urged to contact Edward Snook at 541-474-7885 or by email to editor@usobserver.com.

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