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Jared Fogle, former Subway huckster, turned to an indie Scientologist for failed ‘appeal’

[Jared Fogle and his jailhouse lawyer, Frank Pate]

We’ve seen numerous stories reporting that Jared Fogle, the disgraced former Subway restaurants pitchman, tried to pull a fast one with a bogus appeal written by a fellow inmate, a jailhouse lawyer, whose attempt to get Fogle’s conviction overturned on jurisdictional grounds didn’t fly with a U.S. district judge.

Fogle is serving 15.5 years in prison for receiving child pornography from Russell Taylor, a man who worked for Fogle at his foundation, and for traveling across state lines in order to procure sex with a minor. He’s been in prison since November 2015.

Most of the news coverage on this new appeal is focusing on a single line from it, which, the news coverage tells us, argues that Fogle’s conviction should be overturned because he’s a “sovereign citizen.”

Here’s how the usually reliable Courthouse News put it, for example: “Fellow inmate Frank Pate filed a motion for Fogle, claiming the court lacked jurisdiction over Fogle because of his status as a so-called ‘sovereign citizen’.”

That name, Frank Pate, immediately jogged a memory. We know that guy! He’s an “independent Scientologist” who was put in prison for 17.5 years after running a relatively small-scale Ponzi scheme that ripped off about $2 million from other indie Scientologists by promising to make them money investing in foreign currencies.


Curious about what Pate had actually submitted to the court on Fogle’s behalf, we got our hands on the document itself, rather than just the judge’s denial which most news organizations seem to be relying on. Sovereign citizen filings tend to be absolutely wacky, and we were hoping Pate might have dropped in a tell-tale bit of Scientology jargon here and there.

But that wasn’t the case. In fact, the document really took us by surprise, and we realized that the news coverage about it is all wrong. Pate wasn’t forwarding a “sovereign citizen” argument at all — in fact, that phrase never appears in the 23-page document, even though the Courthouse News put it in quote marks.

We’ll let you look at the document itself, below. Pate may be full of shit, but what he’s arguing is that Fogle shouldn’t have been subject to federal charges for what were admittedly horrific crimes.

In order to make it a federal case, it was argued that Fogle received kiddie porn images from his friend across state lines, but Pate argues that the two men were actually in the same city. (As an earlier appeal denial made clear, however, Fogle traveled a lot in his job hawking sandwiches and communicated with Taylor by email.) Pate also argues that when Fogle traveled, he was doing so for Subway, and not specifically to have sex with a minor. But that doesn’t really address the statute Fogle violated, and it’s an argument we wouldn’t expect the court to break a sweat denying.

However, U.S. District Judge Tanya Pratt based her denial on something else entirely: Pate’s use of the word “sovereign.”

Take a look yourself at how Pate used it in the appeal:

The Supreme Court offers more guidance on the issue of the sovereign party’s ability to exercise authority: “But whether a judicial judgment is lawful depends on whether the sovereign has authority to render it.” (180 LED 2D 765, 564 873 McUbtrye Ltd. v. NICASTRO)

If you look at that passage in context, it’s pretty clear that Pate, in referring to the “sovereign party,” is referring to the federal government and whether it had jurisdiction in this case.

But here’s what Judge Pratt says about it: “If Fogle is now claiming to be ‘sovereign,’ the Seventh Circuit has rejected theories of individual sovereignty, immunity from prosecution, and their ilk.”

Um, what? Did Judge Pratt simply see the word “sovereign” and roll her eyes and decide this was a “sovereign citizen” filing, missing the point that Pate was referring to the people who put Fogle away, and not Fogle himself?

We surely sympathize with the judge when it comes to bogus sovereign citizen claims clogging up the courts. We’ve looked into the phenomenon in some depth ourselves, and for a story we did on a case in Chicago, we pored through hundreds of wacky sovereign citizen court filings.

And because of that, we can say with some confidence that Pate’s appeal looks nothing like one.

Sure, it reads like a jailhouse lawyer filing, and it’s a bit pompous, and it may be completely full of shit, trying to get a disgusting sexual predator off on a technicality, but it really isn’t a sovereign citizen document, and we’re surprised the judge and the Courthouse News read it that way.

That said, we’re very happy that Fogle and Pate are doing time, and we’d like to see them stay right where they are.

But come on, people, learn how to read a document.

Here’s Frank Pate’s appeal on behalf of Fogle…


USA v. Fogle, amica by Pate by Tony Ortega on Scribd

And here’s Judge Pratt’s denial…


USA v. Fogle: Order denying motion by Tony Ortega on Scribd


Bonus items from our tipsters

Tampa will be cleared in no time!



Laura D has a trial date!

Late breaking news today. We’ve learned that an attempt by the Church of Scientology to prolong discovery matters in Laura DeCrescenzo’s eight-year forced-abortion lawsuit was denied this morning by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Samantha P. Jessner, who then did what she had planned to do for some time and gave Laura’s case to a long-cause trial judge, and set a trial date.

As of now, Judge Mark V. Mooney will handle the matter, which, if you remember, is going to be heard in a bifurcated, two-part trial. The first part, which will deal with whether Laura filed her 2009 lawsuit in time, will start on August 11, 2018. The second trial, on the facts in the case, which involve her allegations of abuse as a Sea Org member starting when she was 12 years old, will be heard in November 2018.

Sounds like a long way away yet, but at least Laura has something more definite.

Some of our past coverage of Laura’s amazing lawsuit, which has already been to the US Supreme Court and back…

Oct 11, 2013: How Scientology coerced a child to have an abortion: The Laura DeCrescenzo Files
Oct 23, 2013: Live From Los Angeles: Summary Judgment Hearing in DeCrescenzo Forced-Abortion Lawsuit
Jan 28, 2016: Scientology, in forced-abortion case: We treat people no worse than the Catholic Church does


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,934 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 80 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,143 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,917 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,691 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,037 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,531 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,571 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,283 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 809 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,898 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,038 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,358 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,333 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 689 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 4,991 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,097 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,500 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,373 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 954 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,459 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,703 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,812 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on November 15, 2017 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


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