Salt Lake City. October 15. Anti-Government News Bureau. The immense power of the federal justice department was on display as “the Free Capitalist,” Rick Koerber, received his sentence on Tuesday.
Rick Koerber rose to prominence throughout the early 2000s as a libertarian radio host and investment guru. Rick educated thousands around the American west. But when the real estate market collapsed in 2008, Rick’s investment business—and his investors—lost millions.
Rick called investors, kept them informed and spent a year liquidating assets to make the investors as close to whole as possible.
But Rick’s enemies in the government tried to bring criminal charges against him repeatedly. Several grand juries looked into Rick’s investment business and refused to indict him. The State of Utah investigated and concluded no crime was committed.
Prosecutors committed prosecutorial misconduct and several judges pronounced the claims against Rick dismissed with prejudice. But when federal prosecutors saw Rick working as a paralegal for the Bundy defense team in Oregon in 2016, they renewed their attempts to convict Rick of investment fraud.
After three trials, a jury convicted Rick Koerber in 2018. Now a federal judge brought in from New York sentenced Rick to more than 14 years in federal prison.
“Fraud” allegations are about deceiving victims. Prosecutors admitted they sent letters to all purported victims of Rick’s investment business, but that no purported victim showed up to speak for the prosecution. There were several who showed to speak for the defense, however. They had lost money but wanted to inform the court that Rick had treated them honestly.
Faculty from Lysander Spooner University were in the audience to support Rick, who had been a keynote speaker at LSU’s “The Struggle for Freedom” symposium in downtown Las Vegas on December 16, 2017. We watched as each ‘victim’ tried to tell the court they had not actually been victimized at all. The judge, Frederick Block of the Eastern District of New York, stopped and silenced each of them. Block told each ‘victim’ they could not speak at all unless they said they were a victim.
Finally, one witness, Jason Vaughn, stepped to the podium and said he was indeed a victim—OF THE PROSECUTION!. The judge immediately silenced him and marshals dragged him from the courtroom in front of shocked observers. Judge Block then halted all further discussion by victims, scolding defense lawyers that it was “insulting.”
After silencing all voices of the public and turning the hearing into a stage presentation about fictional “Ponzi schemes,” Judge Block sentenced Rick Koerber to more than 14 years in federal prison. The judge denied requests to release Koerber pending the outcome of his appeal.
We stand in support of Rick Koerber and demand justice for him.