Chad Haber faces two felony charges for petition perjury. Since he says he has no money and is listed as representing himself on the Hughes County grand jury indictment, I’d like to offer some free legal advice on how to keep the law from falling on him like a ton of bricks.
The case against him is as open and shut as it was against his wife, convicted felon Annette Bosworth. So serious legal advice has to focus not on avoiding the inevitable guilty verdict but on minimizing the sentence.
While reviewing the few court documents posted on Haber’s upcoming October 26 court appearance, I also paged through the documents available at the courthouse on Bosworth’s trial and sentencing. The state’s presentencing memorandum included several exhibits intended to support the state’s argument that Bosworth deserved a stiff sentence.
The state’s presentencing exhibits included images and transcripts from the wild online content that Peter Waldron and others generated on Bosworth’s behalf prior to trail and sentencing in hopes of swaying the public and the judge. Among the most provocative were images and text from the Waldron video that compared Bosworth to Jesus, complete with stigmata and the sensationalist statement that “Dr. Bosworth’s life may depend on these videos reaching millions of Americans before it’s too late.” Such wild propaganda from Bosworth’s camp actually played into the state’s hands, helping them portray as a confabulator who did not deserve leniency. And indeed, the court denied Bosworth the suspended imposition of sentence she requested.
Recommendation #1, Mr. Haber: discourage your allies from waging a propaganda war before trial and sentencing. It will only make you look worse.
The state’s presentencing exhibits also included this June 30, 2014, letter from Division of Consumer Protection director Jody Swanson to Bosworth and Haber’s attorney at the time, Joel Arends. (I know, Chad, you say you’re going to grind Joel’s bones to make your bread, but calm down and listen a moment.)
As we know, Haber and Bosworth’s non-profit (hee hee!) Preventive Health Strategies sold numerous raffle tickets in 2012 and maybe 2013 and never held drawings for the prizes. The Attorney General’s office was able to shake five refunds of thousand-dollar land tickets out of PHS, but as we know from Attorney General Marty Jackley’s testimony before the 2015 Legislature, at least thirteen ticketholders remain unrefunded. The June 30, 2014, letter from DCP doesn’t mention Bosworth by name; it mentions Haber and PHS employees confirming receipt of payment, then stonewalling refund requests. But the state considered Bosworth’s association with this raffle scam relevant to determining her sentence. It will likely do the same with Haber.
Recommendation #2, Mr. Haber: refund all those ticketholders immediately. You say you have no money, but you found money this summer to send your kids on overseas trips and your family on another posh fishing trip to Alaska. A three-day Alaska fishing package can run about $4,000 per person. Those trips documented by Bosworth this summer for the five people pictured could easily have costs more than the $13,200 in outstanding refunds itemized in the DCP letter. If you want to keep the judge from imposing the maximum sentence, you had better dig up another couple bags of money and clear those raffle claims before the first gavel raps.
Of course, Haber could save himself and the public all sorts of money, follow the lead of ultimately sensible petition fraudster Clayton Walker, and plead guilty. Haber’s press conference yesterday suggests that Haber remains determined to do the absolute opposite of anyone’s good advice. Oh well. Don’t say I didn’t try to help, Chad.