Prenda 'Porn Troll' Attys Charged With Fraud Scheme

Law360, New York (December 16, 2016, 3:08 PM EST) -- The ringleaders of Prenda Law, a group long accused of so-called porn trolling, have been arrested and charged with running an elaborate scheme to extort millions in fraudulent settlements.

Paul Hansmeier, 35, and John Steele, 45, were hit Wednesday with an 18-count indictment in Minnesota federal court, according to an announcement Friday by U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger. Both men were arrested Friday morning.

The criminal charges largely echo what judges in civil cases and opposing counsel have said for years about Hansmeier and Steele: That they extorted millions by filing thousands of sham copyright lawsuits between 2011 and 2014, leveraging the...

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