The CEO of a company providing online payment processing services for Gab.com pleaded guilty in 2007 to obtaining property by deception, passing bad checks and possessing false identification before later changing his middle and last names, records obtained by Hatewatch reveal.
Records show that Thomas Michael Troyer of Brooklyn, Michigan, formerly went by the name Thomas George Burger II. Burger was arrested on August 21, 2007, in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, on one felony and five misdemeanor charges before entering a guilty plea on all counts. He was sentenced to five years of probation.
Burger also has prior convictions in 2001 out of Bell County, Texas, for interfering in child custody and bail jumping, according to Sequoyah County (Oklahoma) Court records.
Troyer, along with two other men, formed two online payment processing companies in 2018 called 2nd Amendment Processing, LLC and Wholesale Processing Systems, LLC, both incorporated in Michigan. Neither Troyer nor his two companies returned repeated phone calls and emails seeking comment about his name change and a record of previous convictions when Troyer was known as Burger.
Gab bills itself as a “free speech” platform but has become a lightly moderated communications nerve center for white supremacists. The company lost its previous online payment processors after an October 2018 shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue left 11 dead. Robert Bowers, the man charged in the shooting, posted regularly on Gab. Federal prosecutors cited three of his Gab posts when Bowers was charged with federal hate crimes. A conviction could result in the death penalty.
The Pittsburgh massacre left Gab in a precarious position after its website registrar (GoDaddy), web host (Joyent) and online payment processors (PayPal and Stripe) severed ties with the hate-fueled website and the site was knocked offline for six days.
Gab reached agreements with Epik.com to be its website registrar and Sibyl System Ltd. to provide web hosting services in early November. Hatewatch reported in a January 24 post on Gab’s use of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) crowdfunding regulation to raise more than $2 million since 2017. In a February 14 post, Hatewatch reported that Gab was inflating its number of website users based on information provided by one of Sibyl’s managers.
Gab’s loss of its payment processors resulted in a 90 percent drop in subscription revenue, the company stated in SEC filings. The company announced in late January that it had reached an agreement with 2nd Amendment Processing to provide payment services. Gab released a statement in early February praising 2nd Amendment Processing for working with companies who have “difficulty securing payment processing services for political reasons,” according to a Talking Points Memo post.
It’s uncertain, however, which of Troyer’s companies is actually providing payment processing services to Gab.
Gab.com’s parent company, Gab.AI, Inc., provides conflicting information in its most recent SEC filing. Gab states it is relying on Wholesale Processing “to handle our payment processing” on page 19 of a Jan. 28 SEC filing. But in an attached exhibit to the same filing Gab included a copy of an unsigned 55-page agreement with 2nd Amendment Processing. Neither Gab nor the company’s attorney responded to requests for comment on why two different payment processing companies were identified in Gab’s SEC filing.
In a March 3 post on 2nd Amendment’s Facebook page managed by Troyer, the company states it can now accept cryptocurrency payments as well as credit card processing. Troyer’s personal Facebook pages are dominated by posts showing strong support for President Trump, gun rights, Fox News, hatred for Democrats, opposition to immigration. He frequently encourages followers to use Gab’s social media platform.
It is uncertain when Burger changed his name to Troyer. It appears the name change occurred when he married Jasmine Troyer, who kept her maiden name. Jasmine Troyer’s Facebook page states the couple was married on August 21, 2010. Her Facebook life events page makes reference to “the wedding” in 2012. The couple purchased a home in Brooklyn, Michigan, in October 2012 under the names Thomas Troyer and Jasmine Troyer. Court records show April 29, 1979, as the birth date for Burger and Troyer.
The 2007 Oklahoma police booking photo showing Burger and more recent photos of Troyer also appear to be the same person.
But it is an old, unpaid traffic ticket that provides the most convincing evidence Burger and Troyer are the same person.
In August 1996 Burger received a traffic ticket for running a stop sign and being involved in an accident, according to Lenawee County, Michigan, court records. Burger did not pay the $209 fine. About 20 years later, the unpaid ticket resulted in Burger, now known as Troyer, sending a Jan. 14, 2016, text message to the court stating that he had changed his name.
A Thomas Troyer txd claims he changed his name from Burger to Troyer. He claims this cas was PD. Advised him our records show no paymnts for this case. Became upset.
According to the same Lenawee County court record, Burger’s address in 1996 was 307 Knapp Highway, Brooklyn, Michigan. Burger’s last known address in his 2007 Oklahoma conviction file stated he moved back to 307 Knapp Highway in November 2007.
Taken together, the records show Thomas George Burger, who was charged with running the stop sign in 1996, was the same man convicted in 2007 in Oklahoma on financial crimes who then, in 2016, sent a text to the Lenawee County court stating he had changed his named from Burger to Troyer.
The 2007 Oklahoma case states that Burger told police he opened an account at the National Bank of Sallisaw with a $45,730 check. The bank told Burger he could not write any checks against the account until the deposit cleared. Burger, however, cashed four checks totaling $209.98 in the days immediately after the deposit.
The bank subsequently determined the $45,730 deposit check was counterfeit. Burger told police he had received “checks from people in New York” to cash and send the money back to a man named “Tommie Troyer.”
Police also discovered a counterfeit social security card in a window of Burger’s wallet while his actual social security card was in a wallet sleeve. The last two numbers had been changed on the fake social security card. The police report states that Burger had “prior convictions on his record involving Bogus Checks,” but the report did not cite specific cases.
In August 2000 Burger was charged with writing a $707.94 bogus check to a Sears department store in Sallisaw in October 1999, according to Sequoyah County (Oklahoma) Court records. Burger was arrested in November 2000 and posted a $2,500 bond to secure his release from jail. The court records provided to Hatewatch by Sequoyah County do not provide information on the disposition of the case.
Previous scrapes with the law include a Dec. 24, 2002, traffic stop in Lenawee County where Burger was charged with careless driving and driving on a suspended license. Burger did not appear in court or pay the associated fines and a bench warrant was issued in February 2003.
In March 2003, Burger paid the $150 fine on the careless driving charge. But he didn’t pay the fine for the suspended license. Burger was charged with contempt of court in March 2008, about five months after he returned to Michigan from Oklahoma. He paid $500 of the $790 fine in March 2008. He made a subsequent payment of $290 in June 2008 and the case was closed.
After changing his name to Troyer, he continued to attract police attention for driving on an invalid license. Troyer pleaded guilty to driving on a suspended license in Jackson County, Michigan in February 2014 and paid a $300 fine.
In April 2018, Troyer was named as a defendant in a small claims case in Lenawee County. A default judgment for $243.15 was entered against Troyer on April 24, 2018 in connection with an unpaid bill related to a garage door. It’s unknown whether Troyer has satisfied the judgment.
Meanwhile, the 1996 traffic ticket that resulted in Troyer disclosing to the court 20 years later that he had changed his name from Burger still remains unpaid.
In March 2017, Lenawee County contacted Troyer and asked him to pay the fine that had increased to $299. Troyer told the court “he will pay what he can consistently.”
Which, according to court records, turned out to be nothing.
The last entry in the court record indicates Lenawee County sent Troyer a text message on Nov. 3, 2017: “TXD LFT MESSAGE TO PAY”.
Photo illustration by SPLC