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Some Capitol rioters try to profit from their Jan. 6 crimes: ‘I hope to turn it into movie. I plan on having Leonardo DiCaprio play me’ | NEWSRUX

Going through jail time and dire private penalties for storming the U.S. Capitol, some Jan. 6 defendants try to revenue from their participation within the lethal riot, utilizing it as a platform to drum up money, promote enterprise endeavors and enhance social media profiles.

A Nevada man jailed on riot fees requested his mom to contact publishers for a e book he was writing about “the Capitol incident.” A rioter from Washington state helped his father hawk garments and different merchandise bearing slogans reminiscent of “Our Home” and pictures of the Capitol constructing. A Virginia man launched a rap album with riot-themed songs and a canopy {photograph} of him sitting on a police car outdoors the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

These actions are typically complicating issues for defendants after they face judges at sentencing as prosecutors level to the profit-chasing actions in looking for more durable punishments. The Justice Division, in some cases, is attempting to claw again cash that rioters have made off the riot.

In a single case, federal authorities have seized tens of hundreds of {dollars} from a defendant who offered his footage from Jan. 6. In one other case, a Florida man’s plea deal permits the U.S. authorities to gather earnings from any e book he will get revealed over the subsequent 5 years. And prosecutors need a Maine man who raised greater than $20,000 from supporters to give up among the cash as a result of a taxpayer-funded public defender is representing him.

Many rioters have paid a steep private worth for his or her actions on Jan. 6. At sentencing, rioters typically ask for leniency on the grounds that they have already got skilled extreme penalties for his or her crimes.

They misplaced jobs or whole careers. Marriages fell aside. Buddies and family shunned them and even reported them to the FBI. Strangers have despatched them hate mail and on-line threats. They usually have racked up costly authorized payments to defend themselves in opposition to federal fees starting from misdemeanors to severe felonies.

Web sites and crowdfunding platforms set as much as accumulate donations for Capitol riot defendants attempt to painting them as mistreated patriots and even political prisoners.

An anti-vaccine medical physician who pleaded responsible to illegally getting into the Capitol based a nonprofit that raised greater than $430,000 for her authorized bills. The fundraising enchantment by Dr. Simone Gold’s group, America’s Frontline Medical doctors, didn’t point out her responsible plea, prosecutors famous.

Earlier than sentencing Gold to 2 months behind bars, U.S. District Decide Christopher Cooper known as it “unseemly” that her nonprofit invoked the Capitol riot to boost cash that additionally paid for her wage. Prosecutors mentioned in court docket papers that it “beggars perception” that she incurred anyplace near $430,000 in authorized prices for her misdemeanor case.

One other rioter, a New Jersey fitness center proprietor who punched a police officer in the course of the siege, raised greater than $30,000 in on-line donations for a “Patriot Aid Fund” to cowl his mortgage funds and different month-to-month payments. Prosecutors cited the fund in recommending a advantageous for Scott Fairlamb, who’s serving a jail sentence of greater than three years.

“Fairlamb shouldn’t be capable of ‘capitalize’ on his participation within the Capitol breach on this means,” Justice Division attorneys wrote.

Robert Palmer, a Florida man who attacked law enforcement officials on the Capitol, requested a buddy to create a crowdfunding marketing campaign for him on-line after he pleaded responsible. After seeing the marketing campaign to “Assist Patriot Rob,” a probation officer calculating a sentencing suggestion for Palmer didn’t give him credit score for accepting accountability for his conduct. Palmer conceded {that a} submit for the marketing campaign falsely portrayed his conduct on Jan. 6. Acceptance of accountability might help shave months and even years off a sentence.

“If you threw the fireplace extinguisher and the plank on the law enforcement officials, had been you performing in self-defense?” requested U.S. District Decide Tanya Chutkan.

“No, ma’am, I used to be not,” Palmer mentioned earlier than the decide sentenced him to greater than 5 years in jail.

A bunch calling itself the Patriot Freedom Mission says it has raised greater than $1 million in contributions and paid greater than $665,000 in grants and authorized charges for households of Capitol riot defendants.

In April, a New Jersey-based basis related to the group filed an IRS utility for tax-exempt standing. As of early August, an IRS database doesn’t checklist the inspiration as a tax-exempt group. The Hughes Basis’s IRS utility says its funds “principally” will profit households of Jan. 6 defendants, with about 60% of the donated cash going to basis actions. The remaining will cowl administration and fundraising bills, together with salaries, it provides.

Rioters have discovered different methods to counterpoint or promote themselves.

Jeremy Grace, who was sentenced to 3 weeks in jail for getting into the Capitol, tried to revenue off his participation by serving to his dad promote T-shirts, baseball caps, water bottles, decals and different gear with phrases reminiscent of “Our Home” and “Again the Blue” and pictures of the Capitol, prosecutors mentioned.

Prosecutors mentioned Grace’s “audacity” to promote “Again the Blue” paraphernalia is “particularly disturbing” as a result of he watched different rioters confront law enforcement officials on Jan. 6. A protection lawyer, nevertheless, mentioned Grace didn’t break any legal guidelines or earn any earnings by serving to his father promote the merchandise.

Federal authorities seized greater than $62,000 from a checking account belonging to riot defendant John Earle Sullivan, a Utah man who earned greater than $90,000 from promoting his Jan. 6 video footage to at the very least six corporations. Sullivan’s lawyer argued authorities had no proper to grab the cash.

Richard “Bigo” Barnett, an Arkansas man photographed propping his ft up on a desk within the workplace of Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has charged donors $100 for pictures of him along with his ft on a desk whereas beneath home arrest. Protection lawyer Joseph McBride mentioned prosecutors have “zero grounds” to forestall Barnett from elevating cash for his protection earlier than a December trial date.

“In contrast to the federal government, Mr. Barnett doesn’t have the American Taxpayer footing the invoice for his authorized case,” McBride wrote in a court docket submitting.

Texas actual property agent Jennifer Leigh Ryan promoted her enterprise on social media throughout and after the riot, boasting that she was “changing into well-known.” In messages despatched after Jan. 6, Ryan “contemplated the enterprise she wanted to arrange for because of the publicity she acquired from becoming a member of the mob on the Capitol,” prosecutors mentioned in court docket paperwork.

Prosecutors cited the social media exercise of Treniss Evans III in recommending a two-month jail time period for the Texas man, who drank a shot of whiskey in a congressional convention room on Jan. 6. Evans has “aggressively exploited” his presence on the Capitol to broaden his social media following on Gettr, a social media website based by a former Trump adviser, prosecutors wrote earlier than Evans’ sentencing, scheduled for this coming Tuesday,

A couple of rioters are writing books in regards to the mob’s assault or have marketed movies that they shot in the course of the riot.

A singular provision in Adam Johnson’s plea settlement permits the U.S. authorities to gather earnings from any e book he will get revealed over the subsequent 5 years. Photographs of Johnson posing for pictures with Pelosi’s podium went viral after the riot. Prosecutors mentioned they insisted on the supply after studying that Johnson intends to write down a memoir “of some kind.”

Ronald Sandlin, a Nevada man charged with assaulting officers close to doorways to the Senate gallery, posted on Fb that he was “understanding a Netflix deal” to promote riot video footage. Later, in a name from jail, Sandlin informed his mom that he had met with right-wing writer and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza and was in touch with podcaster Joe Rogan. He additionally requested his mother to contact publishers for the e book he was writing in regards to the “Capitol incident,” prosecutors mentioned.

“I hope to show it into film,” Sandlin wrote in a March 2021 textual content message. “I plan on having Leonardo DiCaprio play me,” he wrote, including a smiley face emoji.

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