Update (April 12, 2019): Disgraced Minnesota litigator and U of M Law graduate, Mr. Paul Hansmeier, is headed off to prison but for how long? Stay tuned. The government is asking for over ten years, arguing that “Hansmeier was greedy, arrogant, devious, mendacious, and consistently positioned other people to be damaged by his conduct, even as he enjoyed the proceeds of the scheme he orchestrated.”
Update (January 30, 2019): The “It Gets Better Project” came onto the scene in 2010 and it is an inspiring movement to reach out to LGBTQ+ adolescents who face such challenges in a society (and in much of the world) where they are treated with irrational fear and hatred.
It has nothing to do with Mr. Paul Hansmeier.
In his case, it gets worse. (Unsurprisingly, the Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility has filed a petition for his disbarment.)
The depth of his fall seems almost endless.
Original post (August 24, 2018): If you do not know the story of Mr. Paul Hansmeier’s meteoric “success” as a lawyer (that is, a fleeting financial success thanks to a multi-million dollar pornography-based shake-down scheme), followed by his precipitous fall into an almost bottomless abyss of ignominy, read about it here.
With his recent guilty plea on a number of criminal counts brought by the federal government against him, presumably Mr. Hansmeier has now hit bottom.
At one point, Mr. Hansmeier was participating in the production of porno movies and then suing people for downloading the movies from a website, which he and others had set up stealthily to enable the movies to be downloaded.
Mr. Hansmeier was scheduled to go to trial in early September. If you are curious to read his recently filed plea agreement, go here.
Mr. Hansmeier is apparently poised to plead guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. Under the plea agreement and the sentencing guidelines, it looks like Mr. Hansmeier will be going to prison for over 10 years although he has not yet been sentenced and the judge will have the discretion to deviate from the sentencing guidelines. (See here at p. 10.)
U.S. District Court Judge Joan N. Ericksen (D. Minn.) will issue the sentence.[Ed. note: A previous version of the post suggested that Mr. Hansmeier “starred” in the porno films that he “participated in” but a loyal Minnesota Litigator reader suggested that Mr. Hansmeier’s role may have been behind the camera rather than in front of the camera. Not having seen the films (nor having seen Mr. Hansmeier), we cannot say anything about who stars in the films aside from what is admitted in Mr. Hansmeier’s guilty plea, in which he admits to having “participated in filming pornographic movies.”]