Show me the money: Lawyers in libel lawsuit seek to examine finances of Andrew Anglin’s company and Daily Stormer
Having a donation to an antisemitic and racist website pop up on a credit card probably isn’t ideal for most people.
So, Andrew Anglin runs the Daily Stormer donations through a company called Moonbase Holdings.
Now, though, that funding source is coming under scrutiny and attack in a libel lawsuit.
Dean Obeidallah, a prominent Muslim satellite radio host who is pursuing damages from Anglin after a default judgment in a defamation lawsuit, is asking a judge to allow him to examine Moonbase Holding’s finances, corporate structure, links to the Daily Stormer and to identify any officers or people with a connection to the company.
If successful, a default judgment could cut off Anglin’s access to Moonbase Holdings as source of donations to Daily Stormer and potentially drain any bank accounts tied to either the company or the website.
A false claim
Obeidallah sued Anglin in federal court, accusing the neo-Nazi blogger of defamation for an article claiming Obeidallah "masterminded" the May 2017 bombing attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.
The article included carefully doctored images from Obeidallah's Twitter account which seemed to show the comedian confessing to his involvement and saying he hoped the injured survivors would die in hospital.
The Daily Stormer published its post about Obeidallah a day after the Daily Beast published his column entitled, "Will Donald Trump Ever Say the Words 'White Supremacist Terrorism'?"
Obeidallah’s attorneys requested that Anglin remove the story from the website and that the comedian was receiving a variety of threats because of it. The request went unfulfilled.
So, Obeidallah, a New Jersey native, sued Anglin, saying the false story invaded his privacy and caused “emotional distress.”
Neither Anglin, the Daily Stormer, or Moonbase Holdings filed a response to the lawsuit in federal court. Under the rules of procedure, failing to respond to a lawsuit results in a forfeit and allows the person suing to seek damages through a default judgment.
That’s what Obeidallah did. The clerk of court entered a notice of default, allowing Obeidallah and his attorneys to request that U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus enter a default judgment and award damages.
Before seeking damages, though, Obeidallah is asking the judge to allow an examination of the finances of Moonbase Holdings and the Daily Stormer, as well as to determine who else besides Andrew Anglin may be involved in the two enterprises.
“Defendant Moonbase is integral to the Daily Stormer’s operations, having processed monetary contributions used to fund its publications and registered the web domain at which the defamatory article was initially published,” Obeidallah’s attorney, Abid R. Qureshi, wrote in a motion asking for the examination.
Anglin, who is from the Columbus, Ohio area but claims to be out of the country, used Moonbase Holdings to solicit donations to the Daily Stormer. On the website, Anglin wrote:
“Also, finally, it won’t say ‘Daily Stormer’ on your credit card bill, but instead say ‘Moonbase Holdings,’ which either sounds like a hobby shop or a multilevel marketing scheme run by reptoids. Anyway, it looks innocuous on your statement. I thought that was a neat trick.”
The mailing address is currently gone from the Daily Stormer website, despite Anglin saying, “all we have is cash and bitcoin.”
The site does have a bitcoin code for donations, but no other way to give money (multiple fundraising platforms have barred Anglin and Daily Stormer). It is unclear when Anglin took down the physical mailing address for donors to send checks or cash.
At one point, Moonbase Holdings received about $3,400 a month from credit card donations through the alt-right fundraising site Hatreon. Hatreon has not been processing new donations since February 2017, making it unclear how much Anglin has raised since.
Anglin has used at least three different mailing addresses for Moonbase Holdings and Daily Stormer, with his father, Greg Mark Anglin, handling the paperwork.
A review of records from the Ohio Secretary of State’s office shows at least one of the mailing addresses matches that of Greg Anglin’s business, another matches an accounting firm and a third is a post office box.
Qureshi said in court documents that Greg Anglin is the person with the authority to retrieve mail from that post office box.
Greg Anglin also served as the original registrant of the Daily Stormer’s domain name on GoDaddy before the hosting service dropped the website.
Anglin is a defendant in at least two other federal lawsuits — one filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of Tanya Gersh, a Montana real estate agent, who alleges that Anglin coordinated a deluge of antisemitic threats and messages to her family, including her 12-year-old son.
The other stems from Anglin’s involvement in the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August.
But, Obeidallah’s lawsuit isn’t just a hazard for Anglin.
Along with Andrew Anglin and Daily Stormer, Obeidallah also named a series of “John Doe” defendants in the lawsuit.
Obeidallah’s attorneys hope to identify those “John Doe” defendants and determine if they are liable for any of Anglin’s behavior.