Thursday, February 23, 2012

Former Sachs VP, NY Corporate Crime Lawyer Behind So-Called “Occupy” 99% Declaration Attempt

A New York Corporation whose board of three members includes a former VP of Goldman Sachs and a White Collar Criminal Defense attorney has decided to hold its own, non-democratic “National General Assembly” in Philadelphia this July.

Recently, New York Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Pollok released to the press information regarding the 99% Declaration which touts the accomplishments of his corporation, and their affiliation with the Occupy Movement.

The release fails to mention the following:
The “People of Color” working group has particularly startling concerns which have yet to be addressed:

-The corporation claims affiliation with Move to Amend

Despite having been rejected by them.

-The corporation has applied for a trademark for the phrase “National General Assembly,” and has already threatened to sue those Occupiers who use it despite the fact that the phrase has been in use nationally for months.

-Because of the increasing public lack of support and the resulting low donations for his purposes (to him, $15K in 6 weeks was a miserable showing), Pollok threatened to resign and shut down the project on 12/21/11. Marcus, a fellow board member at the time, and another lawyer, convinced him to stay with the project by offering to donate 18K to the group’s work for education and outreach if he could raise the same from his group.

-Pollok and Marcus launched a campaign and the group raised another $18K, much from OWS members who would later not be granted refunds when requested.

During that time, Marcus stepped down from the board. She stated that her wish was to maintain a clear separation between her donation and her leadership of the project, and her desire to steer the project toward reconciliation with Occupy and other groups. At the time, she requested to remain anonymous in her donation so that she wouldn’t be suspected of attempting to manipulate the board.

-In February, Pollok took control of the corporation in a coup after a dispute regarding transparency of finances, allegations of misconduct, and a significant portion of the group voicing a lack of confidence in Pollok’s leadership.
-The corporation has consistently refused refunds of donations from supporters who believe that they have not been told the truth in regards to use of funding, good stewardship, and careful management.
-Dissenters to the process used by Mr. Pollok have been silenced by removal from discussion within the 99% Declaration online community as well as threats of litigation despite his clear knowledge of the standards of defamation yet one of the points of the declaration condemns any censorship of the internet.

-Mr. Pollok has been known to use derogatory statements in regards to both his financial and labor supporters, his vendors, and toward outsiders who express any concern at his method.,LtxHK,eCzW0,Iq1o4,A4To0,AP1yu,tZFHO,xivTB,vIR6e,JozfJ,J6O8F,RRFnD,NHhUj,KVQFE,swVZs,ShfRe,AH3vD#3

Pollok and Marcus argued because he wanted to use her money to pay for the Philadelphia Convention Center instead of her wish that it be used for outreach, but she refused to give it for that purpose.
Marcus indicated that she would withdraw her support if Pollok did not relinquish absolute control.,kh8zi#0

Pollok resigned on 2/3.,7rymy

On 2/4, Pollok promised to complete his resignation when $18K was transferred to the group by Marcus. He submitted an affirmation that he would not transfer the funds for any purpose unless specifically directed by the Board, and agreed only to operate in an advisory and funds transfer role to help the new board past the dispute.

Board Members and Co-Treasurers Kat Bragdon and David Mauriello ensured Marcus that funds will be used for Education and outreach, as requested and required by the donor on 2/5/12.

The money was transferred on 2/6.
Pollok assured Bragdon she would have control of funds on behalf of Board.

Pollok then publicly accused Marcus (referred to at the time only as “anonymous donor”) of reneging on her obligation to transfer the money.

On 2/11, wire transfer complete, Pollok unilaterally "Fired" the majority of the board, keeping all access to funds within his personal control.

Pollok launched a smear campaign against his donor and former supporters.
And the liars and the cheats, the renegers (sic), the alcoholics, gamblers who want to steal the donors' money, and the crazies that come out of the woodwork. “

A newly formed board replaced, at Pollok’s decision, the previously elected board in a coup.

Board member Adeline Malone, Esq is a former Vice President of Goldman Sachs.

There is only one other board member besides the two lawyers:
Robert Manning, a Vietnam Veteran and retired Firefighter from California with solid media connections.

-Pollok himself ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2009 on a platform which included the creation of a new bank as a solution to the mortgage crisis.

-Additionally, he is a criminal defense attorney who routinely defends heroin smugglers, child pornographers, tax evaders and pharmaceutical companies accused of engaging in Medicare fraud. When he was with Hoffman & Pollok the firm defended John Gotti and Sammy “The Bull” Gravano.  He boasts of it in his advertisements.

-Occupy Groups did not receive warning of the intention to send a press release affiliating the group with the Occupy Movement, nor have their permission asked, and Occupy Philadelphia is calling for a major protest of the event should it take place. “A million expected in Philly this July” is the phrase being passed via text message.