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EarthLink – News
Neo-Nazi website founder accused of ignoring $14M judgment
By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN | Fri, December 11, 2020 05:13 EST
A Montana real estate agent who secured a $14 million judgment against a neo-Nazi website publisher for orchestrating an anti-Semitic harassment campaign against her Jewish family is seeking a court order compelling the man to disclose information about his assets and finances.
Tanya Gersh’s attorneys said in a court filing Friday that Andrew Anglin, founder and operator of The Daily Stormer, hasn’t paid any portion of the August 2019 judgment and has ignored their requests for information about his whereabouts, his operation of the website and other assets.
Anglin, a native of Ohio, has claimed to be living outside the U.S. But his current whereabouts are unknown.
U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen in Missoula, Montana, ordered Anglin to pay over $4 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages to Gersh, who is represented by lawyers from the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center. The court entered the default judgment against Anglin after he failed to appear for his scheduled deposition by Gersh’s attorneys.
Gersh’s lawyers also on Wednesday asked the court to sanction Anglin for his “continued lack of cooperation.” They’re seeking details about recent financial transactions, donations, and debts as well as documents related to his bank accounts, cryptocurrency holding and domain name holdings.
“Obtaining information on Anglin’s assets is crucial to the post-judgment phase of litigation, and the benefits of obtaining such information through discovery far outweigh the minimal burden on Anglin that producing this information would entail,” the attorneys wrote.
Anglin isn’t represented by an attorney in the case. He didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Gersh says anonymous internet trolls bombarded her family with hateful and threatening messages after Anglin published their personal information, including a photo of her young son. In a string of posts, Anglin accused Gersh and other Jewish residents of Whitefish, Montana, of engaging in an “extortion racket” against the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer.
Gersh says she had agreed to help Spencer’s mother sell commercial property she owns in Whitefish amid talk of a protest outside the building. Sherry Spencer, however, later accused Gersh of threatening and harassing her into agreeing to sell the property.
Gersh’s April 2017 lawsuit accused Anglin of invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and violation of the Montana Anti-Intimidation Act.
Other targets of Anglin’s online harassment campaigns also secured default judgments against him after he failed to respond to their respective lawsuits.
In June 2019, a federal judge in Ohio awarded $4.1 million in damages to Muslim American radio host Dean Obeidallah, who sued Anglin for falsely accusing him of terrorism. Obeidallah said he received death threats after Anglin published an article that tricked readers into believing he took responsibility for the May 2017 terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert
In August 2019, a federal judge in Washington entered another default judgment against Anglin and awarded just over $600,000 in compensatory and punitive damages to the first Black woman to serve as American University’s student government president. Taylor Dumpson’s lawsuit said Anglin directed his readers to “troll storm” her after someone hung bananas with hateful messages from nooses on the university’s campus a day after her inauguration as student government president.
Anglin and others also face a possible default judgment in a federal lawsuit filed in Virginia by victims of violence that erupted at a white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. For months, The Daily Stormer struggled to stay online after Anglin published a post mocking the woman who was killed when a man plowed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters in Charlottesville.
Anglin’s site takes its name from Der Stürmer, a newspaper that published Nazi propaganda. The site includes sections called “Jewish Problem” and “Race War.”
Kunzelman reported from College Park, Maryland.