This is the first time Randy has been able to share his story since his arrest in June, 2016. He was arrested, tried and convicted by a corrupt Judicial System in Lee County FL and we will be providing detailed information on his blog site weekly concerning his case and sentencing.

In the meantime Randy has provided a very brief overview of his take pertaining to what occurred from the day of his arrest up until his sentencing between June 28,, 2016 thru September 13, 2019. It is a story of hatred, racism, quest for power and an assault on our beloved Constitution and Bill of Rights. If you consider yourself part of “We the People”, it is time to open our eyes and protect our God Given Rights.

While it will be difficult to comprehend all of the details right away evidence will be provided to confirm what we believe is true. Watch and connect the dots with us. What was done should never happen to anyone.

Since Randy is now incarcerated in the St. Lucie Jail which was prompted by Lee County, he is unable to speak freely. I am his Mother and I have been very active in his case, please, if you have any questions or something to add, feel free to make a comment.


Randy speaks on charges
Randy take on Sovereigncitizenship


The Lee County propaganda machine continues to poison the public with lies and fake news stories. For me it began three years ago when they falsely reported that I was charged with forging real estate documents for several homes in three different Florida counties, a blatant lie that had nothing to do with the actual charges.

By denying my due process rights and not providing me with a fair trial, Judge George C. Richards, with the help of several local judges, the state attorney’s office and some friends at the FBI, had me wrongfully convicted and given a life sentence on a bunch of bogus charges. Even after getting all they wanted out of me the fake news continues to spread its lies.

On the day of my sentencing the Lee County news media reported that I created a fake court system. This false allegation sounds pretty serious, and is a great way to convince the public into thinking I am a very bad man who got what he deserved. The corrupt state attorney’s office is counting on people to believe the lies by the news networks and just taking their word at face value without pulling back the curtain to see the truth. What they won’t tell you is that the International Court of Commerce (aka “ICC”) is nothing more than a private organization used for commercial arbitration under the authority of Article 9 of U.S. code, the Federal Arbitration Act. It does not have people arrested or hand out jail sentences, but is simply a forum for alternative dispute resolution. Most importantly, the state of Florida has no jurisdiction over this private organization, as stated in writing by multiple local attorneys, one who was an alleged victim in my case. A document from the ICC does not fall under the definition of legal process, as it was not isued by a court of the state or United States, and it cannot exercise jurisdiction or represent a claim in a court of this state or the United States. So, not only did I not create this private organization, there is no crime regardless.

What they also won’t tell is that the news stations are paid to run the stories dictated to them by the state attorney’s office and local law enforcement. This is not real reporting and the facts are not questioned or even verified. That is the only reason to explain why WINK News invoices appear on court dockets or many cases, something I was shocked to learn when reviewing my discovery.

For years I’ve been begging people to pull back the curtain and examine my case because the state has failed to meet the elements of the charges, violating due process as supported by the 14th Amendment. None of the charges I was convicted of meet the elements of the allegations. I have been charged with simulating the legal process (843.0855) by allegedly filing documents the state considers fraudulent. First off, 16 of the 19 charges I have been accused of involve documents that do not even match the definition of legal process. And none of the documents in question meet the definition of being fraudulent as defined by the statute. Forget the fact that I am being blamed for the actions of other people (based on 777.011 – the principal statute) and had all of my evidence blocked from the jury, the accustations don’t even line up with the charges.

Unfortunately no local attorney would dare represent me and go up against the same judges they have to stand in front of on a daily basis in courtrooms those judges control. Even my court-appointed attorney is feeling the heat and being ostracized by the Court and its judges for filing post-conviction motions to attack the Court’s actions and calling the trial unfair. How dare he do his job stand up for justice! I mean, doesn’t he know where his bread is buttered?

Now I can only pray that my voice will be heard and my case will get the proper attention by judges in the District Court of Appeals, the Florida Supreme Court or the federal courts. I’ve lost my faith that justice exists in the state of Florida, and with me being targeted as an enemy of the state by the top officials here, I may not get a fair shake until it reaches the United States Supreme Court.

I also pray that a real reporter from an honest news outlet is willing to do a proper investigation and not simply report what they are paid to say. I am a 46-year old man without a criminal history and now looking at spending the rest of my life in prison because the local people in power have subjectively used their system to settle a personal vendetta. If I was a millionaire with a high-powered attorney this would have been considered a misunderstanding (at best or not charged at all) and I would have walked out of jail years ago without a criminal record. I guess that is reserved for the rich and famous who have committed real crimes and never seen the inside of a jail cell.

My co-defendant, Joel Soucy, was accused of the very same actions as me, yet he plead guilty to different charges altogether and was set free. I’m not sure how identical actions can be considered different crimes with vastly different punishments. There are dozens of issues with my case that baffle me, and unless they are reviewed by honest attorneys, judges and news reporters I will never know the answers.

Until then I will spend my time seeking truth and justice through the proper legal channels and hoping that the system won’t continue to let me down. I can only stay faithful and pray that I will one day experience freedom again.


After a long and drawn out dog and pony show by the State of Florida, and much help from the Circuit Court of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit of Florida in Lee County I was convicted on 19 fabricated changes of simulating the legal process. They piled on a mountain of so-called evidence, much of it having nothing to do with the actual charges. Judge George C. Richards a Charlotte County judge from the same 20th Circuit, was given the special assignment to ensure I was completely railroaded. They piled on a mountain of so-called evidence, much of it having nothing to do with the actual charges. Judge George Richards, a Charlotte County judge from the same 20th Circuit, was given the special assignment to ensure I was completely railroaded. He lined me up so the State could finish me off with a bogus conviction. The first judge, Margaret Steinbeck, removed herself from the case in December of 2018, after cancelling the previously scheduled trial in November of 2018 at the State’s request, and just one day prior to the scheduled start date. Steinbeck was the judge on my case for more than two years, and while I felt that I was being treated unfairly by her, she was an angel next to Judge George Richards. It was clear that Richards had it out for me from the first time I stepped into his courtroom on February 8, 2019.  That day he denied my motion to reduce bond, keeping my excessive bond at a whopping $1.5 million, twenty times hirer than the county’s standard bond schedule. He also entered multiple orders (2/12/19 and 6/17/19) stating that as an indigent pro se defendant I was not entitled to access to a law library or free legal research. So much for meaningful access to the law.

Judge Richards also denied my motion to disqualify judge in accordance to Rule 2.330 of Florida Rules of Judicial Procedure, he denied my motion to change venue due to unfair bias toward the alleged victims, who are his judge colleagues, he denied my motion to suppress evidence for an unlawful search, and he denied every other motion I filed. He even blocked and limited due process services to keep me from investigating the State’s discovery evidence. He allowed the State to use unauthenticated email evidence but refused my own email evidence. When all was said and done, I was unable to enter a single piece of evidence during my case-in-chief.

The jury clearly didn’t understand the charges, and the state misused the statute with their own interpretation. The jury was never properly explained the charges, they were only told I was guilty. Because I am not a trial attorney and felt I had no option except to represent myself, I made some procedural errors that kept me from putting up a stronger defense. However, it is hard to see that it would have made any difference because my standby counsel (who I brought on for assistance during trial) was shut down by the Court as well. On July 18, 2019, I was found guilty on all charges, and on September 13, 2019 I was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Without a criminal history, the State successfully created a case using a newer statute and piled on a ton of charges to inflate my points from 0 to 560 in order to take my life away. Case closed.

Needless to say, I have begun the appeal process, but I do have concerns that the corrupt judges from Lee County have friends at the 2nd District Court of Appeals who will uphold their crimes against me and force me to the higher courts. I feel there are a ton of grounds for appeal, including wrongful conviction and illegal sentence. I was denied the right to face my accusers, with five of the alleged victims failing to testify at trial, and no sworn written statements provided by any of them. I was convicted on those five counts anyway.

All of the charges against me were for simulating the legal process, which first requires a legal process to exist. I was charged with Florida Statute 843.0855, which provides a clear definition of what a legal process is. The accusations in the charging Information do not fit the description of legal process. It all should have stopped right there. but the state continued using is endless resources to create something that doesn’t exist. Here is the definition of “legal process”:

A document or order issued by a court or file or recorded with an official court of this state or the United States or with any official governmental entity of this state or the United States FOR THE PURPOSE OF exercising jurisdiction or representing a claim against a person or property, OR for the purpose of directing a person to appear before a court OR tribunal, OR to perform or refrain from performing a specific act. “Legal Process” includes, but is not limited to, a summons, lien, complaint, warrant, injunction, writ, notice, pleading, subpoena or order.


I was charged, convicted and sentenced in counts 1-8, which alleged that I created and/or file federal arrest warrants signed by Joel Soucy, and filed as an evidence exhibit into his civil case 15-CA-03512. According to the definition of legal process, the mere preparation and signing of Mr. Soucy’s federal arrest warrants is not a legal process. In order to simulate a legal process those warrants would have to be issued by a court of this state or the United states or with a governmental entity of this state or the United states. This is not the case, as they were issued by Joel Soucy and not a court or governmental entity.

During a November 20, 2018 hearing on my motion to dismiss, the state argued that these documents became a legal process when they were filed as evidence exhibits into Mr. Soucy’s civil case as stated above. The problem with that is that the definition of legal process states that a document would need to be “filed or recorded with an official court of this state or the United States FOR THE PURPOSE OF exercising jurisdiction or representing a claim against a person or property, OR for the purpose of directing a person to appear before a court or tribunal OR refrain from performing a specific act.” Mr. Soucy’s federal warrants as evidence exhibits can do none of those things. In addition, Mr. Soucy’s proposed federal arrest warrants have no jurisdiction in the state court and therfore cannot exercise jurisdiction, represent a claim, direct a person to appear before a court or tribunal or refrain from performing a spcific act. An evidence exhibit can only provide information supporting the document it is attached to, and I was not charged with that document. This argument was presented to the Court on November 20, 2018, but Judge Margaret Steinbeck denied the motion claiming that the exhibits provided by the State’s motion to strike were legal processes. This is not possible because the exhibits Mrs. Steinbeck referred to were not previously recorded into any court, except as an exhibit by the State. Wouldn’t this mean that the State actually simulated the legal process with fraudulent documents? In any event, Judge Steinbeck in her ruling made a special exception for the State and actually assisted them in misusing the statute for their personal vendetta.


In addition to not being able to face my accusers, and being wrongly charged, convicted and sentenced on a misinterpreted law, it appears that the Court has violated the double jeopardy clause. The State used a few single episodes and created 19 charges from them. Case law has ruled that a person can’t be charged multiple times for a single action and episode, even if there were multiple alleged victims. For example, the 8 federal arrest warrants I was charged, convicted and sentenced on were entered into Joel Soucy’s case as a single exhibit and single episode. So, even if the State and Court want to call this a legal process (despite the inability of those documents to exercise jurisdiction), this violates the double jeopardy clause and should not have been more than a single charge. That means that at the very least I was illegally sentenced on 7 of those 8 counts.

I won’t get into all of the details right now, but the same issues of legal process and double jeopardy exist in the remaining counts, 11-19. Not to mention that the state failed to prove exactly what made the documents fraudulent, and show any criminal intent existed. The case against me had a predetermined outcome, and the State and court did all they could to deny me my rights and guarantee that outcome.


The Lee County court system has labeled me as a so-called “sovereign citizen” and made many insinuations to that being a crime or some bad thing. They made this the focal point of their trial against me by associating being a sovereign citizen with being a domestic terrorist. They even went so far as to say that Timothy McVey, the infamous Oklahoma City bomber who was sentenced to death for bombing a federal building and killing innocent people, was a so-called sovereign citizen. They introduced FBI agents from some type of domestic terrorist task force to help put on a show to negatively influence the jury against me.

I’ve never referred to myself or considered myself as one of these so-called “sovereign citizens”, and don’t know exactly what the term means. It turns out that my persecutors don’t know what it means either, despite their focus on showing it in such a bad light. Sure, I’ve studied sovereignty and read about being a secured party creditor, but this term sovereign citizen just doesn’t resonate with me. I’m not aware of any laws against it, or laws that even reference being one of these sovereign citizens. If such a law exists, I certainly was not charged with, but it was a label they gave me throughout my trial.

Judges from the 20th Circuit Court of Florida could not even answer this question for me. The trial judge, Georg C. Richards, has called me a sovereign citizen and said that I don’t believe that federal or state laws apply to me. This label was used during my three- year incarceration prior to trial and it was used to describe me to the Jury. The prosecutor blatantly told the Jury that that a sovereign citizen is someone who believes the law doesn’t apply to them. That’s a lie and I’ve never said such a thing. I have no clue why this prejudiced judge would make this false statement. My record will reflect that I’ve gone my entire life without breaking the law, with the exception of making the mistake of driving while my ability was impaired as a teenager in 1991. I received a $250 fine and took a few classes. Now, nearly thirty years later, I am Florida’s number one public enemy and was handed a life sentence manipulated by its own judges who control the system. The same judges who can’t even tell me what crime was committed.

During trial, judges John Duryea and Joseph Fuller, alleged victims, could not even explain what a sovereign citizen was. Both men called the documents in question indicative to the sovereign citizen ideology and could not explain how or why. Judge Fuller said he didn’t know what a sovereign citizen was but stated that “they” file strange documents. Retired FBI agent, Robert Foley, who previously worked as a prosecutor for the state attorney’s office in Lee County, took the stand and testified that it was not against the law to be a sovereign citizen. If that is true, why was this term drilled into the jury’s heads and associated it with the most heinous acts?  Would they refer to a Muslim on trial as a terrorist?

LeeBy the way, if you are reading this, you must be thinking I did something terribly wrong, not so. Basically, I did a favor for a so called, client of mine. He owned various rental properties that were underwater as a result of the fall of the real estate market. h that I help him place them in a trust. While my business was that of a computer technician, I did do some Trusts on the side.  In the interim we shared some ideas on private arbitration. Let it be known that I never met this person until trial.  He proceeded to draw up papers which were filed into the court as exhibits. While he pleaded guilty, the state charged me for his actions. He took a plea for 10 years and agreed to testify against me.  How could I be responsible for his action? It was his property and to involve me is wrong as whatever he filed did not involve any gain for me whatsoever.  s, it’s like killing someone and saying someone else told ou to do it. I don’t know why they tried me in Lee County since all victims were members of the 20th Judicial Circuit and my Judge had already made up his ind pa Next thing you know the so called victims(judges and clek of court) are now testifying against me.  I never met them until trial and never had any interaction.  It would appear that they just wanted to create a big case nd a big win for their own professional advantage. It took them three years to create a case against me, silenced from showing evidence, and convicted me of 40 years.  Whatever transpired between me and Joel Soucy was just shared ideas, I never told him to do anything, whatever he did was of his own free will.  He played the part as victim as well on trial and what appeared to be an intelligent person when i\I interacted with him came across as a old man not knowing what he did. How could this b he filed his own handwritten motions from jail, wrote me handwritten letters stating he should not have done this and next thing you know he’s free and I get 40 years.  Bravo for Lee County, their acting couch put on a great show. Please read my other blogs if you are at all interested in my situation and would like the complete story.

As I’ve continued to say all along, the allegations against me are a complete fabrication that fail to meet the elements of the charges. I deserve a fair trial in a non-biased venue that won’t block my evidence and tie my hands to keep me from defending myself. The alleged victims, who suffered no financial or physical damages, have abused their power by using the court they control to manipulate the outcome.  This is an absolute injustice.  

Do you think it is fair that I have been called a terrorist to influence the jury with information that is untrue and has nothing to do with the charges?


n Robert Foley’s bio page on his website, the former FBI agent nearly dislocated his shoulders from patting himself on the back with both hands! The newest partner for the Fort Myers law firm, Aiken, O’Halloran & Foley, just can’t get enough of himself. In less than 2 years Foley went from FBI Agent to state prosecutor and now criminal defense attorney and law firm partner. He joined with Peter Aiken and Sean O’Halloran so he can get paid boat loads of money to free the people he spent over 20 years of his career convicting. If anyone knows the ins and outs of the system it’s this guy. And he’s not afraid to boast about his accomplishments. I think he’s even managed to cure cancer along the way.

So, what is Robert Foley’s secret? Its quite simple. He knows how to “engineer” a case to ensure people are convicted, but as your defense attorney he can “reverse engineer” a case so you go home. Provided you pay him enough money of course. I guess that government salary just wasn’t cutting it for ole Bob any longer. He needed a taste of the big bucks, and his new friends Pete and Sean made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. There’s nothing better for a criminal defense attorney than having someone on the inside. He spent just long enough working as a prosecutor in Lee County’s 20th Judicial Circuit to learn the trial process and how to defend a case. This is where he “honed” his trial skills and “how to identify flaws, weaknesses and holes” in cases. See the excerpt from Robert Foley’s attorney profile as seen on the Aiken, O’Halloran & Foley website:

“As an FBI Special Agent for 20 years, I learned how to piece together complex criminal cases. I presented a countless number of these cases to Federal Prosecutors and 100% of the cases indicted resulted in a conviction. I bring this skill to your defense. Because I can engineer a case, I know how to reverse engineer one. I know where to look, what to focus on, common issues and problems, and how to identify flaws, weaknesses and holes. In addition, I was a state prosecutor. I worked as an Assistant State Attorney in the 20th Judicial Circuit. There I honed my trial skills. I know how cases are tried and consequently, defended. My experience as an FBI Agent and as an Assistant State Attorney provides me, as your defense attorney, with a combination of skills you will not find anywhere else.”

This is taken from

His profile may be altered or removed by the time you see this but I have copies of the original write-up as shown above.

There you heard it from Robert Foley himself. He can engineer or reverse engineer a case to manipulate the outcome. It has nothing to do with crime or right and wrong. Mr. Foley in his own words is telling us that he has the skills to determine whether somone is convicted or whether they go home. If you pay him enough money he will reverse engineer your case and find the holes and weaknesses so you can go home. With me, the State used him to “engineer” or invent a case to give the illusion of a crime, and he used his FBI resources to make it look like a big deal. Granted, there are no federal allegations or charges, but it makes for a good show. It turns out that as an FBI agent Foley has testified in many cases in the 20th Judicial Circuit to put on a show. These cases were not federal in nature, but it looks good when a big FBI guy takes the stand. His friends at the 20th Judicial Circuit in Lee County liked him so much they asked him to join the team. It’s pretty obvious that at the time of my arrest and during their so-called “investigation” he was already set to begin working as a prosecutor for the Lee County State attorney. He likely already filed his retirement papers with the FBI and had an official job offer from his new employer at the 20th Circuit. This was no accident or coincidence.

If you take the time to investigate Robert Foley and the inner workings of the 20th Judicial Circuit in Lee County, I’m sure you will find plenty of interesting stuff. In my case for instance, he is a witness and primary investigator, with the alleged victims being the very judges he was a prosector in front of. I’m certain that Foley prosecuted cases in front of Judge Joseph C. Fuller, an alleged victim and criminal judge here. I’m sure he has also prosecuted cases in front of my trial judge, Margaret O. Steinbeck. As a prosecutor these judges have an impact on his career. But as you dive deeper into the rabbit hole you will find the same names popping up over and over. The same judges, the same prosecutors, and even the same defense attorneys. They team up to decide a defendant’s fate. This is why Judge Steinbeck kept forcing this crooked defense attorney, Sebough Gourian, on me. He is a court-appointed defense attorney, but he might as well be working for the state attorney’s office. The same goes for Steve Smith, Sebouh Gourjian’s friend and associate. These guys are defense attorneys who work for the court to get their “clients” convicted. Steve Smith was the attorney for the co-defendant, Joel Soucy, but Judge Steinbeck refused to recognize the conflict of interest when I made many attempts to have Sebouh Gourjian removed as my attorney. They share the same office address and phone number, and even share a secretary. But according to Steinbeck they are not affiliated because they keep their desks locked.

The point I am making is that these same names keep showing up on many other cases. You see, if you cant afford an attorney the court will provide one for you. They will appoint an attorney from the public defender’s office. If there is a conflict because of a co-defendant or any other reason, you will be given an attorney from the Office of Regional Counsel. For example, two defendants on the same case can’t both use the public defender, so one will have a public defender and one will have regional counsel. There is really no difference because neither office is going to work very hard to defend you. In fact, they may be working more for the State’s agenda. However, if you have a conflict with the public defender and regional counsel you get a prive court-appoined attorney. This is the situation with me. It sounds pretty good but it is actually worse than either of the other two options. Because they are appointed by the court they do what the court wants them to do. That’s what Steve Smith and Sebouh Gourjian are. They are appointed by the court to get convictions for the State, and in my case for the Court. They are all friends. So, the alleged victims like Judge Fuller, Judge Duryea and Linda Doggett are the same people who appoint and pay Sebouh Gourjian and Steve Smith. I’m sure Judge Fuller is the judge in many cases with Gourjian and Smith, and the man who appointed them to those cases. Now he’s the alleged victim in a case with them? If that is not a conflict of interest I don’t know what is!

In Robert Foley’s attorney profile he even speaks of his experience with “sophisticated investigative techniques”, including wire-taps. Interestingly enough, my soon to be ex-wife has provided sworn written statements acknowledging that Mr. Foley and his former colleague, Robert Nichols, had informed her that they had been listening to our phone conversations for months. Of course the men deny this on the record because the wire-taps were illegal and done without a warrant. In my recorded interview with Nichols and Foley I informed them that I was aware of the wire-tapes on my phone, in which case Nichols denied my allegations and told me that I wasn’t that big of a deal. Really? I’m not a big enough deal to conduct illegal wire-taps, especially with a wire-tap expert like Robert Foley involved, but apparenty I’m a big enough deal for Foley to call in favors from his FBI friends around the country.

What is interesting is that Robert Foley called on FBI agents in areas where he once worked. This includes using Robin Bairstow, an agent in the Washington, DC field office, where Foley was the Special Agent in Charge. Agent Bairstow was likely Foley’s subordinate so it was easy for him to call in a favor. Then you have Robert Bllington, an agent in Michigan. Foley just so happened to be the Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Office, which he considers the highlight of his career. I could bet that Agent Billington was a subordinate of Foley, or was a colleague of some sort during his time there. Either that or Foley used his clout and past experience to call in another personal favor.

He is very proud of his work in Detroit, where he supervised high-profile police corruption cases, including a case against the Mayor of Detroit and a Michigan Supreme Court Justice. Both were convicted. He also boasts of his work leading to the federal convictions of 29 police officers in Puerto Rico, for a corruption case involving cocaine trafficking. I find it ironic that this man is so proud of his work fighting police and judicial corruption, when he is the star player in the corruption and conspiracy in my case, involving FBI agents, police officers and judges. He led an unlawful search in New York, directing New York FBI agents and police officers, all to gain favor with corrupt judges in Lee County Florida, whose courtrooms he was planning to spend the rest of his career in. Sounds like Robert Foley is a bit of a hypocrite. Maybe he should investigate himself and his Lee County friends, and then add that to his resume.

On another note, I was just watching the news the other day and the prosector James Miller and defense attorney Steve Smith had another major case together that resulted in a conviction. Surprise Surprise! Sebouh Gourjian is representing another defendant yet to go to trial. Meanwhile, 4 co-defendants from this case hired expensive private attorneys and were found not guilty in a separate trial a few months ago. That just goes to show you that it’s all about money. Just like Robert Foley said, as your defense attorney he will reverse engineer your case so you can go home. There is nobody more qualified than him. He can convict you or he can set you free. He was likely an investigator or involved with that case in some fashion. I really wish Robert Foley was my attorney because I would surely be home with my family this Christmas.

I am seeking a private investigator to assist with this continued investigation. Everything I’ve found so far has been from inside a jail cell with only the help of my 74-year old mother. and I can’t imagine what a real private investigator will find when they dig into this ugly mess. I am in the process of having the PI’s fees approved by the court as I am entitled to as an indigent defendant.

If you have any questions about my situation, would like to share your thoughts, or even offer useful information that may help me, please contact my mother, Patricia Moore, at 806-724-8035 or through my email at Your communication will be kept confidential at your request. You can also communicate with me directly at Lee County Jail, where I am being held captive, by locating me at If you have any questions about my situation, would like to share your thoughts, or even offer useful information that may help me, please contact my mother, Patricia Moore, at 806-724-8035 or through my email at Your communication will be kept confidential at your request. You can also communicate with me directly at Lee County Jail, where I am being held captive, by locating me at If you have any questions about my situation, would like to share your thoughts, or even offer useful information that may help me, please contact my mother, Patricia Moore, at 806-724-8035 or through my email at Your communication will be kept confidential at your request. You can also communicate with me directly at Lee County Jail, where I am being held captive, by locating me at

Where Do We Draw the Line for Being Too Nice?

preying on you

Have you ever had a friend so generous that they would give you the shirt off of someone else’s back? You know, one of those people who is always happy to help at the expense of another? I have a friend/colleague who is just like that…let’s say his name is “Dan” to protect his identity. Dan and I have known each other for about 15 months or so. It took me a long time to gain any trust for Dan because I felt from the beginning that he was taking advantage of me. It seemed clear the day we signed a lease for an office space for our business, which he agreed to run for us.

Dan is very close with his family, specifically his oldest brother and mother, who all live together. They were all together when my wife and I showed up at the office to meet with the building manager and review the lease. Confused as to why there was a posse of people waiting for us to seal the deal on the office, we rolled with it as best as we could. After signing the documents and handing the check to the property manager, we invited the group to join us for a celebratory lunch for our new venture. We met at a casual tiki bar along the water to sip some wine and enjoy some Caribbean food.

We arrived first with Dan’s group a few minutes behind us. When they sat down I thanked them for joining us, and his mother replied, “Dan was going to take us home but I told him that you invited all of us so we were going!” Don’t get me wrong, she was pleasant and wasn’t trying to be rude, but it made me start to analyze the thought process. The bottom line was that we did invite them and the gesture was certainly sincere, but when you get response that doesn’t feel like gratitude but more of a feeling of “I knew you were paying so of course I was showing up to eat!”, it makes you cock an eyebrow…at least it did for me and my wife. Not to mention that Dan and his brother acknowledged that they don’t normally drink wine but thought they would have some that day since we were already celebrating. Regardless of my mind wondering whether or not I just made a mistake inviting this man to represent our company, the lunch was quite enjoyable and the weather was perfect.

As we finished lunch and continued to enjoy some wine, Dan, holding the menu in his hand called the waitress over to answer a few questions about some specific items. We couldn’t hear the conversation over the music and since the rest of us were in discussion and nobody was paying attention anyway. Then it all started to come together. After pouring some more wine into mine and my wife’s glasses, I put the bottle down on the table and Dan quickly picked it up to examine how much was left. He kind of mumbled something about not being enough wine left, which was confusing to me since he had barely drank anything that was already in his glass. Unable to understand what he was trying to say, I asked him what the problem was and he then notified me that his lady friend, whom we had never met before, was joining us for lunch. Apparently his unexpected guest was also a fan of red wine, so he wanted to be sure there was enough to accommodate her, hence the need to order another bottle. Oh, and that little conversation with the waitress was Dan ordering his girlfriend’s lunch, which was timed perfectly since the food was ready in time for the arrival of our unknown guest.

Despite feeling like I just got mugged in public, I did my best to keep my composure while Dan’s girlfriend finished eating her lunch and drinking her wine. What’s worse is that this woman was not pleasant at all, almost to the point of being rude. I could feel my wife’s energy as she sat next to me, and after 13 years together we can practically read each other’s thoughts in these situations. Except my wife wears her emotions on her sleeve and is still struggling with the concept of the poker face. Actually, as I am writing this I remembered the text messages we exchanged at the table so I pasted it below…LOL!

moocher So, we made it through lunch and had plenty to talk about during our trip home. About a month after renting the office I was approached by the property manager regarding Dan. She informed me about a complaint from one of the receptionist staff, a young female, who felt that Dan had made some inappropriate comments to her. This was certainly not a good representation of our business, and a huge potential liability, especially with Dan being a 41-year old man. To save our reputation in the building I addressed the situation head-on with all parties so it didn’t escalate. Fortunately they acknowledged that the receptionist could have taken things out of context, but we still weren’t convinced that Dan was innocent either. He seemed to be spending more time in the business of the other tenants than actually bringing in clients for our company as he had promised.

In the months ahead I was never bashful about telling Dan what was on my mind. I didn’t feel that his performance was up to speed and I let him know. When I thought he might be using my office for personal business I let him know. When he asked for advances on commissions I reminded him of our investment in him and told him he didn’t deserve it. I beat up Dan whenever I thought he deserved it and that was often. I thought he would have walked out for sure but he had a thick skin. I began to respect him more because he knew I didn’t trust him and I made it clear, but he still wanted to win me over. As we began working together on other projects Dan’s contribution improved. He brought ideas and people to the table that could help us in some other business ventures we began working on. He started to prove his dependability and loyalty, which meant a lot to me. We could always count on Dan to check our mail when we travel, make bank deposits, and handle other helpful tasks for us. He really earned his trust with us after a very rocky start. I consider him to be a good friend.

So, let’s fast-forward to last Friday, August 29th, the start of Labor-Day Weekend. Dan called me at around 4:30pm. We speak nearly every day and several times on certain days. We frequently share new ideas or situations that have occurred to see what opportunities can arise from it. He generally brings the people and ideas to the table and I handle the execution. He was so excited when I answered the phone and was talking fast and it took me a second to even comprehend where it all was going…

“Bro, bro…do you have a cape handy? And your shirt with the “S” on the chest, is that folded up and ready to go? I can get it out of the dry cleaners for you!”

Still not sure what the heck this guy was talking about I tried to hear him out. Between being caught off guard and his fast speak, I wasn’t sure what he was asking me to do until I heard him say, “Hey you don’t know if you don’t ask, right?”

He proceeded to tell me a story about his current girlfriend, let’s call her, “Jane”, who we met once a few months earlier. He asked if she could stay with us for a short time because she had to be out of her apartment in 3 days (at the end of the month) and the new apartment won’t be ready by the first because it didn’t pass the requirements for the government subsidized housing. Still trying to wrap my head around his whole Superman analogy and excitement as if I had won the lottery or something, I was speechless. Trying to keep my composure and fully comprehend the request, I said, “Ok, what exactly is the situation with Jane’s apartment?” Dan jumped in, “Let me just put her on 3-way and she can explain it to you.” Now he was pissing me off. “No Dan, don’t put her on the phone. I need to discuss this with my wife first. Give me a little while and I’ll get back to you.” Baffled at the request I just needed to get him off of the phone to sort it all out.

My wife overheard some of the phone conversation and I filled her in on the details. Despite our online presence and marketing for our businesses, we are extremely private people when it comes to our personal life. Outside of our local neighbors, we can count the number of people who know where we live on one hand because our property (houses, vehicles, etc.) are in trusts and we use private mailboxes. That’s just the way we are, we don’t like unexpected visitors and truly enjoy our privacy. Dan is very aware of this, and unfortunately in our experience with Jane we’ve found that she is quite the opposite. She likes to post selfies online at every opportunity and share lots of details about where she is and what she is doing. Not to mention her career-criminal, a 6’3″ 260-lb ex-boyfriend, who she has a restraining order against for calling her over 700 times in one month! Yes, could we please have that drama and nonsense come into our lives? We really appreciate that, Dan!

In speaking with my wife in more detail we just were not comfortable with Jane staying with us. It had nothing to do with her as a person, since my wife and Jane were friendly and kept in touch after meeting that one time. However, that doesn’t mean that we wanted her under our roof! We felt as if we were being put on the spot which made us both anxious. As promised I called Dan back to try and understand the details more clearly and how long it would be for. When I asked for specific details again to make my wife aware, Dan replied, “That’s why I wanted to put Jane on the phone with you earlier to explain everything.” Trying to keep my head from flying off of my body, I barked back, “I know Dan, but I don’t appreciate you putting me on the spot like that! I told you I wanted to speak to my wife, so show some respect!” Despite my frustration I allowed Dan to put Jane on the phone, but the details were still a bit vague since they didn’t have exact dates as to how long the situation would take to resolve. What I took out of the conversation was that it could be a few days but wouldn’t be more than a few weeks!

We reluctantly agreed but didn’t feel good about it at all. We both had a pit in our stomach from this and felt pressured. A few hours later I would receive a call from my friend Egedio…who I just refer to as “G”. G is one of my closest friends and much like a big brother to me. My wife adores G as well and we both respect his opinion highly. He met Dan before and said what many of you are probably thinking…”Why can’t Dan put his girl up in his place?” That would be the obvious question but Jane lives about an hour North of Dan and was much closer to us making it more convenient…for who though?

G went on to say, “Dan’s driving that nice Cadillac with the automatic starter but we can’t spring for a hotel for his girl for a few nights? Listen, you guys are too nice and that’s why you are feeling this way. Just say “no” so you can feel better and get back to your life.” This made all of the sense in the world…none of us should have to do anything we are not comfortable with and I needed him to be our voice of reason. He even offered the same idea that I had which was to pay for her to stay at a hotel for a few nights. I know, it’s not my problem but we were still in the off-season for Florida and the hotel rates were very reasonable. I figured spending a few hundred dollars to save a whole lot of headaches would be money well spent…and G agreed.

With Egedio’s advice resonating well with me, I called Dan and explained that we couldn’t help out but offered the hotel idea. It turned out not to be necessary, and while Dan seemed fine with everything I still have the feeling that he just doesn’t get it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care if he truly understands or not, but the question I have is…

In your opinion, do I still keep Dan around or is he someone I should keep at a distance or consider editing from my life?