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Debunking the 'Russian Conspiracy' hoax perpetrated by Brian Melton

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  • Debunking the 'Russian Conspiracy' hoax perpetrated by Brian Melton

    A dishonest member of the fig community, Brian Melton, pushed a hoax about me last year, claiming I was part of a Russian conspiracy of ebay scammers and that nothing you get from me will be accurate. The full hoax will be quoted below. Brian is associated with the organized crime cartel that is headed by Wills Cottrell and centers at Wills' ourfigs.com forum.

    Last year, after the hoax had already become widely circulated and caused enormous financial losses for me, I was tipped off by some good Samaritans who had seen it floating around on the other forums. I was furious at this blatantly illegal defamatory attack, which was just the latest in a long line of other illegal attacks against me by Wills, Brian, and their associates. I confronted Brian about his hoax, and he eventually apologized, said he had tears in his eyes, and that he would correct the record. So I didn't sue him. But now, a year later, I see that Brian lied, and that rather than correcting the record he posted a wildly misleading thread on ourfigs.com that provides a perfect example of how the cartel lies by misrepresenting reality.

    I feel forced to post our entire conversation, with the words entirely unedited, in order to correct the record and show the dishonest way in which Brian and the Wills/ourfigs cartel consistently lie to the fig community and defame me.
    ************************************************** **************************************************



    Originally posted by GreenFin
    Sat 6:50 PM (10/27/2018)
    Care to defend this completely misleading and libelous garbage? It's such a sick and delusional misrepresentation of everything that has gone down, and it's lame that you're gossiping and spreading false rumors/narratives about the actual good guy in this. Quit carrying water for the psychopathic profiteers who have ILLEGALLY interfered in a multitude of ways to sabotage the philanthropic project I did for the fig community. Why are you supporting them? Is it because you yourself are a corrupt person, or is it because you're just completely ignorant and brainwashed? Here’s the quote I’m referencing:

    Originally posted by Brian Melton
    "Ben he has ruined the fig community and it’s finally rebuilding. In a nutshell he promised trees and took money upfront. He failed to deliver and has had charges brought upon him from the DA. He owes me my money from 2015 still. Please wait until winter for cuttings from the reputable sellers. And warning you will here people recently receive what they ordered but they aren’t part of the fiasco as he changed his business name etc. stay away"


    Have you sent me an invoice like I asked, so that I can pay your refund? I don't see it. I see you spreading hate about me not paying your refund, but I don't see your invoice. Why is that?
    Originally posted by Brian Melton
    Sat 10:46 PM
    James it’s been so long there is no record of it on my end. I’m sure you can find it if you can go back to 2015. And I will stand by my statements until every single customer is repaid. Until then you will stay on the scammers list.
    Originally posted by GreenFin
    Sun 1:26 AM (10/28/2018)
    Here’s another quote from you that’s going around:
    Originally posted by Brian Melton
    Fig Scammers that sale on eBay by Brian Melton

    Reposted by DAVE SERRICCHIO SR•FRIDAY, JANUARY 12, 2018

    Hello my fig nuts, had a little extra time tonight and decided to check out eBay. I noticed the scammers are in full force right now and selling lots of cuttings. These are the same Russian crew that lead back to the name Ser Snit in Moscow Pennsylvania. EBay just let's them do there thing, taking your money. Here are the current scammers:
    1.Bunny3536
    2.77Peony
    3.pots-more
    4.korina77-2008
    5.dausername1
    6.garden951
    7.robrod815
    8.vasyus4
    8.Modernstylish
    9.vasyus4
    10.vasyl_svet
    11.radyslava
    12.korina-2009
    13.growgr.55
    14.bernard*sweety
    15.200rarefigtrees
    16.gardenpots-007
    17. evanrose
    18. textmexdecors
    19. James Sperman aka Greenfin FigCuttings.com & FigForums.com
    20. Mnedelcu /Marius
    21. Kamel Ben Abderrazak

    If you purchased from them your cuttings will be fake. They have made a living off of scanning sellers of there trees and saying they arrived dead. They then world keep the tree and also the refund. They will show you the leaf shape in the photo but that's it. They will send you phony cuttings, sometimes not even Ficus Carica. They have cost some good sellers quite a bit of money with this scam. Hope this can help.

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    ^^^ I count 8 false claims in that post I just quoted that are all legally actionable. When I read about the very worst cases of defamation online, the ones that have $50 million awards, the defamers are saying crap like what you say there. It's completely indefensible, and I could absolutely sue your shorts off for it. It would be a slam dunk case. Do you understand? Do you have an attorney or know one? For the love of god, go to them with these printouts so that they can educate you on the extreme financial liability you're causing yourself. I'm done letting crap like this slide. I have tried to be as patient and civil as possible despite the inhuman treatment I've received from the likes of you and the rats at ourfigs, but that is over. I will now hold you financially accountable. You have 48 hours to make SERIOUS amends, or I'm going to sue you for all you’re worth plus some. Correct the record, drop your support of the false narrative, delete all your defamatory posts, and then post a public letter of apology stating that you were wrong and that I don't in any way deserve to be grouped with those ebay scammers. Man up and do the right thing, and discuss it first with your wife if you're planning on doing otherwise, because she may not be all that thrilled with losing her house and her life savings just because you want to wrongly bully and defame me online. YOU ARE BREAKING THE LAW TO AN EXTREME DEGREE.

    You are the corrupt scammer here, not me.

    You're hoping the law says this: "It's okay to wrongly defame and make tons of false libelous statements about someone if even one of their customers has not yet received their order, regardless of extenuating circumstances." But it doesn't. The law says nothing like that. No judge is going to grant that nonsense to you. When we go to court, the rules we'll be judged by are the actual laws, not the delusional fantasy clauses you're trying to rely on.

    How many of your claims do I have to show to be false in order to win? One. That's all. It isn't the case that you can be like, "Oh, well sure I got some things wrong, but some were right!" That's not how it works. If any of the claims of fact that you have made against me are demonstrably false (and MANY of them are), then you lose your shorts. Now look back through those things I've quoted, and think about how easy that's going to be for me to do. You have completely screwed yourself by wrongfully and maliciously spewing false claims of fact about me. I'm serious: it's time for you to sit down with your wife and your attorney, right away.

    We can have all of your pm's and emails seized, too, not just all of your posts. Have you ever discussed me via pm/email with anyone and passed along these same kinds of false claims of fact? Every single instance of that is an actionable instance of libel. Go ask your attorney, you'll get the same answer. We could probably find many dozens of such instances, couldn't we? That's a pretty strong pattern, isn't it?

    BTW, you realize that deleting those emails and pm's won't help, right? A forensic specialist will just retrieve them, and then you'll face the additional charges related to hiding/destroying evidence. The felonies could really pile up if you go that route.
    When you decide on a lawyer, pass along their contact info to me so that I can just have my lawyer speak with yours.
    You have 48 hours.
    Sun 11:07 AM
    Originally posted by Brian Melton
    James I’m sorry you are on the list. You have made many people feel like they were ripped off. This list is to help buyers in there purchase decision. Did you ever deliver my plants? The three I purchased in 2015? What about all the others James? Why do they have to come to you? Shouldn’t you start from day one and ship promised and paid orders?

    James I personally don’t have any vendetta against you. I started this list with the intent to keep new figgers safe. It was after so many complaints and public pressure you were added.

    And like I said, where are MY trees or a REFUND from 2015?
    Originally posted by GreenFin
    Here are answers to your questions: 1&2) not yet, and you know why if you'd bother to read my actual updates instead of getting info 2nd/3rd/80th hand, and you'd also know that every single delay was perfectly legit and can be verified as so by all sorts of people who are actually in a position to do so; 3) almost everyone has been taken care of already, but you're in a position of near total ignorance on that, so you get to lie to yourself and pretend that the numbers are however you want to pretend they are...which isn't going to fly in court, at all; 4) they don't have to come to me, that's one of the false narrative lines being pushed in the giant defamation campaign against me; those lies originate from Wills, and I've already printed off multiple threads/posts that prove it; 5) I've been growing/shipping/completing this PHILANTHROPIC propagation process as fast as I possibly can, and have poured literally 70-100 hrs/wk into it for multiple years now, along with subsidizing the project with tons of my own money (everything I have), literally all out of the goodness of my heart. And you're so wicked and ignorant that you're spinning that and completely misrepresenting everything.

    I've been doing everything exactly as a panel of sober judges would have deemed best, this whole time, even in the face of unbelievable setbacks/bad luck, and despite a wildly illegal defamation campaign of which you are a financially liable part.

    Shouldn't you stop playing judge and jury? Shouldn't you stop pretending you're above the law in that regard? Shouldn't you wake up to the fact that this entire defamation campaign against me--which started literally on day ONE of my $7 tree offer and has been based on demonstrably false lies this entire time--is the true crime being perpetrated here? Shouldn't you get on the side of the good guy who was actually trying to help the community (rather than profiteer off of it) and who has actually followed through (despite your seeming near total ignorance about that fact)? Shouldn't you stop making idiotic straw man arguments against me that you're basing on a delusional and false narrative? Shouldn't you contact your lawyer and ask him/her whether you really get to operate outside the law like this? And when you do, shouldn't you be honest with that lawyer and tell him that I refute your false account and have loads of evidence and witnesses on my end that can verify everything, whereas you have nothing that actually verifies the false narrative?

    Shouldn't you wake up to the fact that being late on ESTIMATED delivery dates for a massive project like this does not constitute fraud/scamming/etc unless there was some sort of intent to do something nefarious? If you have even the slightest bit of evidence in favor of a delusional 'James was being nefarious' narrative, shouldn't you actually bring that forth, since you're gambling your family's entire finances on it being true? Have you read the explanations at figforums.com explaining (with pictures as proof) how all of my claims for projected propagation rates were completely reasonable? Don't you think you should do that, since the judge and jury will?

    You have less than 48 hours.

    You best warn the rest of your coven, too. When I sue one of you, I'm suing all of you. Everyone who has been in a position of authority pushing these lies about me is financially liable: that includes every mod, not just Wills. In addition, everyone who has made any posts about me that have contained or implied any material fact that is demonstrably false will be held financially liable (there are hundreds+ such instances).

    And finally, Wills, the mods, and the people who have posted physical threats of violence towards me and my family will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Those are felonies, and there are at least a handful of separate such instances that have been allowed to stand, never deleted, and in fact legitimized by having authority figures like Wills/Kelby/mods posting later in the thread. If you have any decency in you whatsoever, you'll sever ties with that criminal cabal immediately.

    How can you support such violent lawlessness? You’re playing judge/jury/executioner, with no regard whatsoever for due process or a fair hearing (quite the opposite, since you and the others spin/skew/misrepresent/lie in an attempt to wrongly rile up that sort of misplaced anger). It's sick and wrong. Even if I were actually guilty of that crap (which I am NOT), you'd be completely out of line and acting illegally; but since I'm actually innocent, and in truth am a long time do-gooder with an extensive and well-documented history of such good-hearted acts and no history whatsoever of dishonesty/scamming/etc, your behavior is utterly despicable. You should be ashamed.

    Every single idea you have about me that you think warrants this sort of 'vigilante justice' treatment is false and has been intentionally put there by the ourfigs cabal to protect their profits. They're after me because I'm a threat to their profit margins. These people are psychopathic profiteers with millions of dollars in potential sales at stake who are willing to lie/defame/incite violence/illegally mess with my customers/illegally mess with my relationships with my financial institutions (call-in campaigns pushing a false narrative)/illegally push people to steal from me (keeping a refund check that was inadvertently sent to the wrong person)/commit fraud against me (identity theft attempts)/push people to commit perjury by submitting false claims of fact about me/violate Fair Business Practice laws like they're nonexistent/etc.

    Their side is so blatantly the 'bad guy' in all this that it just baffles me that anybody can possibly be so brainwashed as to not see it. It's a sad commentary on the power of authority figures and controlled media to brainwash people.

    Redeem yourself, Brian. Don't go to your maker someday having to explain why you vilified/demonized/screwed over the innocent good guy who has gone to heroic ends to do a good deed and help others. You might as well start trashing Mother Theresa and spinning/misrepresenting/lying about everything she did and said. It's possible to smear anyone, especially someone who can't fight back because he's working 16+ hrs/day on the actual hands-on backbreaking profitless work that needs to be done in order to complete the project.
    Originally posted by Brian Melton
    James show me the threats? If you can show me threats of violence against you then I may reconsider my stance.
    I do not condone violence
    Originally posted by GreenFin
    Of course I can show you those. But now for just a second first, consider how utterly weak your reply was. If I can show threats of violence, then you "MAY reconsider" your stance? Are you kidding me? As if the other incredibly long list of actual crimes wasn't enough? All that other highly illegal stuff is okay (since you're apparently above the law in your head??), and it's only at threats of violence that you start to 'maybe' start to reconsider things? Do you hear how crazy your stance sounds?

    And will you also pay me for the time it takes to do this errand for you? Because it sure seems exactly like blackmail: you're going to keep doing illegal stuff against me unless I sacrifice my own time/money (time=money when you have more work than time) in an attempt to get you to maybe possibly think about reconsidering your support of a criminal cabal? lol
    Originally posted by Brian Melton
    You are making accusations without proof.
    Originally posted by GreenFin
    Took about a minute to find a reference to me being shot, with Wills legitimizing it by letting it stand: https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...com-scam/page2

    YOU have been making accusations against me without proof!

    YOU are the major offender in that regard. Are you being serious?

    60 more seconds to find a baseball bat reference (incited by the false narrative, of course): https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...and-a-bit-poed
    Would you also like me to copy-and-paste a quote from Wills basically admitting to the defamation campaign and making thuggish threats about being able to use his forum to manipulate everyone against me?

    Here's an excerpt from an email exchange he started (by being a belligerent a-hole) way early when he was trying to pressure me into quitting. He makes his threat of what lies ahead, and he makes it loud and clear, just like a mobster telling a business owner, "I could break your legs and beat your wife and destroy your inventory, but do I do that? No, haha, I can be a reasonable man." Here's his actual quote:

    Originally posted by Wills Cottrell
    "I was not happy when I took your thread down, I was not happy when you posted that snarky reply when I did so. If I wanted to blast you and get people angry at you don’t you think I could or at least try? I have my own site to do that from with 1000 members, I could make threads, posts, hell send out an email to the entire membership that slants everything against you, see politicians do it all the time, not lies, just spin. I could use a proxy and make an account or several of them and whip it up at f4f also to at least sow seeds of doubt."


    And then a short while later after I refused to quit the propagation project, he made a public post on his forum, directed at me and speaking directly to me, where he formally announced that he’s going all in on that campaign and doesn’t care who knows it (he’s even applauded by many for it, since they’re so brainwashed into thinking the project is a scam and that I’m Satan).
    See the monster you're supporting?
    Originally posted by Brian Melton
    I do
    Originally posted by GreenFin
    Thank you. How about a hug? I could really use one these days.

    You know, in the very beginning of all this, my original plan was to do it all as one big fundraiser for you. I was thinking about charging just a little bit more ($10 instead of $7) so that there would be a very small profit margin, and I was going to give you half or all of the proceeds, I don't remember which right now. A guy named LouNeo talked me out of it, saying it would be twisted against me and against you. I thought he was being paranoid at the time, but I still took his advice and just went the profitless route. Little did I know how right he would be about the project getting twisted into something bad. I wonder how things would have gone differently, if at all, if I had followed through with my original plan and tried my best to help you.
    Originally posted by Brian Melton
    Sorry man it must be rough.
    You took on an enormous project
    Originally posted by GreenFin
    I have to check out of this discussion for now because I have a bunch of cuttings work I need to go take care of outside. I usually just come inside to eat and check email/print off orders. I don't have a smart phone, so I can't check messages again until I come in again. Thank you for saying sorry, I sincerely appreciate it.
    Originally posted by Brian Melton
    James I am sorry and in the beginning I was on board and thrilled with your project. I was not much involved as I was fundraising for my multiple Sclerosis treatment in Russia. I didn’t know you had intentions to help. I am greatful you thought of me as I had no idea. I will get you removed from the list I want to help you.
    (continued in next post below)

  • #2
    (continued conversation from post above)


    GreenFin:
    I looked up the email exchange I had with LouNeo about helping you. I'll paste it here, though it might be hard to read due to loss of formatting. Here is what I wrote to him:
    On Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 11:56 AM, GreenFin Gardens <[email protected]> wrote:

    Hi Lou

    May I ask your thoughts on something? I just now saw a thread about an auction on f4f to help Brian Melton, and just now learned about his situation. By coincidence, I just received a Grise de St. Jean from him a few days ago. I want to help, and I was thinking about how to best do so. I was thinking that I could announce in my cuttings sale thread that for the next week I will donate 50% of sales toward Brian's operation. A best-case scenario (unrealistic, I know) would be for $100k of sales so that we could give Brian the $50k he needs; in that best-case scenario, I would then have to use the other half of that money to immediately build a few more full-size commercial greenhouses in order to grow that much extra wood by Feb, which would be a challenge but doable. My concern is this: would giving half of sales be considered a good thing, or would I be attacked for not giving 100%? The problem is that I can't give 100%, because if I did I wouldn't have the money to build the extra greenhouses necessitated by those extra sales; I think I could only give 50% and still be able to cover all the expenses. In my view, it should be viewed as a good thing since it might help raise lots of money that would not otherwise be raised, but I worry someone might attack me as being a profiteer, which would be totally false, off-base, and hurtful. And I also wonder, isn't helping Brian the right thing to do even if it results in me being attacked?

    (The $100k best-case scenario is unrealistic, but is useful in this conversation for highlighting the general problem of needing to use part of the proceeds to grow extra wood, a problem that exists proportionately at all sales levels.)

    Best regards,
    James/GreenFin


    Brian Melton:
    James I never knew this
    I’m actually tearing up

    GreenFin:
    Here was his reply, which gave me cold feet and caused me to lose courage:
    LouNeo:
    As for the piece with Brian, its unfortunately one of those things that we both know will happen. No good deed goes unpunished in todays world. 50% is 50% more than he would have gotten towards his goal if you dont do it. 100% is unrealistic when you talk about volume like that. There are going to be people that complain if you give 50%, those same people would complain if you gave 100% for 1 day. They would say you are just doing it to advertise your business, or they would complain that you arent giving 100% of shipping or free shipping too, then they will complain when it takes you an extra day to ship. Me personally, if you wanted to do the 50% which I think is extremely generous because you are willing to do something. I would start a very honest post saying that you were moved by his situation and wanted to help, that unfortunately 50% is all you can afford to give but you wanted to do something, as much as you were able to. I would say that you are excited to be able to give 50% over the weeks worth of sales to get Brian that much closer to his goal! I would then also make sure Brian posted, thank you anything and everything you are able to do. that should make most of the people stop whining. They will also of course demand transparency in your orders for the week, they will also then complain about how much money you are actually making. Its a never ending cycle when people get jealous of success.
    -Lou

    GreenFin:
    I hope you got the treatment you needed. I'm sorry I got scared/weak and didn't help.

    Brian Melton:
    James I am in shock. Yes I had the treatment and have been indebted to the forum for there help.
    You don’t need to repay me I see the good deed you intended on.
    Sun 7:41 PM
    James I talked to another moderator and we have removed you from the scammer list.
    7:32 AM

    GreenFin:
    Thanks Brian, I appreciate it.

    I’ll still pay you back (sending me an invoice for the refund amount would be the fastest/easiest way), but I appreciate the offer.

    p.s. -- you can also just receive whatever baby trees you want (you can swap out varieties if you no longer want the ones you originally ordered), but I can’t ship to you in California until my Jan-April window that the USDA has recently granted me. I posted an update about that a while back: the USDA has officially licensed me to start shipping baby trees undisturbed in their rooting cups (i.e. no bare-rooting necessary) to all West Coast states so long as the trees are newly created (rooted that winter) and as long as I ship during that late winter/early spring window.

    Comment


    • #3
      But did Brian Melton follow through and correct the record? Nope. Instead he made a very dishonest thread on ourfigs where he misrepresented our discussion and further trashed me.

      Here is a link to the thread that he started on 11/10/2018 after our conversation above: https://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-h...-james-sperman

      Brian Melton is a dishonest coward who engaged in unbelievably egregious defamation against me (for years!!), and then when I confronted him about it, he feigned compunction, but then he scurried off to the cartel's home forum and had the gall to paint our confrontation as if he's the victim and I'm harassing him!

      Brian Melton is like a rapist who cries foul because the woman he's raping angrily tells him to stop raping her. The sheer lunacy of his mindset is breathtaking.

      Brian's delusional thinking reminds me of the same sort of attitude espoused by another member of the criminal cartel, Kelby Taylor. Kelby is like Brian in that he is another grossly dishonest person hoping to profit off of high fig prices, and he's willing to lie/cheat/steal to do so. Kelby has made many false and hateful defamation attacks against me, and when I confronted him and told him that I'd sue him if he didn't stop breaking the law, he then lied to everyone about it and claimed that I was committing extortion against him.

      Kelby Taylor is like a rapist who cries "Extortion!" when a woman he is raping tells him to stop raping her. Kelby doesn't seem to understand that telling a rapist, "Stop raping me or I'll sue you!" is not extortion. That's as dumb as thinking it's extortion for a homeowner to threaten to call the cops on a burglar or arsonist.

      When people engage in illegal abusive behavior, as Kelby and Brian have definitely done with their libelous attacks and reckless disregard for the truth, then they don't get to cry foul when the victim confronts them, tells them to stop, and threatens to involve the legal system if they won't stop.

      Stop breaking the law, Brian Melton, and stop being such a despicable human being. And that goes double for Kelby Taylor and triple for Wills Cottrell.

      Comment

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