My (Former) Employers + Feds

Federal Agents/
Mad ’cause I’m flagrant/
Tapped the cell/
Plus the phone in the basement…

So I have been a little busy over the past few weeks with my trip to Spain and just running around, but something happened a few weeks ago that I wanted to post about.

Porn-center offices raided in Center City

Yup, my former employers.
So, one of the myriad of things that makes this so interesting is not the fact that several federal agencies raided a former employer of mine, it’s the fact this is the second former employer that was paid a visit by the feds.

Gone Internet.net

This was my former employer from years ago. I had worked there for about six years and was subpoenaed to be a witness for the prosecution. (AKA: the government compelled me to testify against my employer.)

Here’s a few fun facts:

  • I was never a target of either investigation, at any point
  • I had no knowledge of any wrongdoings by either company
  • The owner of GoInternet was recently sentenced to twenty-three years in federal prison
  • I highly, highly doubt that there was anything illegal in the boxes of evidence from National.

Heres the thing about National: there are HUGE in the adult industry. A major player. The owner is an exceptionally smart businessman. He knows companies like his are always in the government crosshairs. As a result, and I know from my experience there, they do not want to push the envelope and they take as many preemptive steps as possible to avoid ending up in trouble. They are extremely proactive in not only doing what is legal, but having safeguards in place so that if/when certain laws or political waves change, they are ahead of the curve.

So, if that is the case, why did the feds show up? That I don’t know for sure. What were they after? From what I have read and people I have talked to I have a pretty good idea. And if they are correct as to what the government is trying -or going to- accuse National of, they are far, far off. It will be interesting though because the nature of it is the hot-button topic of cybercrime. I am guessing the government wanted to go after a high-profile company to make their case, but I am more than confident they picked the wrong one. It will be interesting though because it could turn out to be a landmark case both as far as the adult industry and doing business via the internet. The government sure has an upward battle and their work cut out for them if I am correct though. What’s interesting is that the feds have an amazing conviction rate. They don’t just randomly throw cases around. But when you pick on one of the big boys in an industry that makes rediculous amounts of money and has deep pockets and good friends to help them defend their case… It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

My guess? They find some small misstep somewhere, some small and non-sexy infraction, and National gets a slap on the wrist.

Other related items:

The thing that was sad about GoInternet was that it was a good idea and Neal had secured contracts with the Baby Bell’s to ensure payment for services. If he wasn’t greedy and let the company grow naturally instead of cutting corners (and stealing money), it would of been solid.

Where apparently GoInternet was dirty as hell, I would venture a guess that National is squeaky clean. I’m sure this is a headache now to deal with now, but all the publicity it is and will get will only help National once they are likely vindicated. (Didn’t the government learn anything with their shoddy case against Buttman? Granted, I think the nature of the two cases will be different, but going after major players in the industry who are smart enough to cross their “i”s and dot their “t”s probably won’t work out for them.)

So, it does all beg the question though:
What’s up with the companies I work for? Sure does create an interesting work environment.

At GoInternet I worked in the web design department and was completely insulated and removed (literally, physically and figuratively) from the bad bookkeeping and sales practices. At National I also have had no knowledge or done anything even seeminly illegal or suspect, not did I witness or have any inclination of such.

George is frequently encouraging me to write a book about my life. He thinks it’s intersting.

Maybe he is right.