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Third-Party Complaint Against Truong



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 6th 09, 11:41 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
Mr.Vidmar[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 365
Default Third-Party Complaint Against Truong

Apologies for the formatting.


Defendant and Third-Party Plaintiff the United States of America Chess
Federation, Inc.
(the “USCF”), brings this Third-Party Complaint against Hoainhan Truong
a/k/a Paul Truong
(“Truong”) an individual, and alleges as follows:
INTRODUCTION
1. This case is about an executive board member of the USCF engaging in
a pattern
of fraud over the course of years, causing hundreds of thousands of
dollars in damages to the
USCF and, more importantly, tarnishing the reputation of the USCF.
2. The list of Truong’s known misconduct is lengthy, and a few examples
are as
follows:
a. First, during an election for the USCF executive board, in which Truong
was running, Truong impersonated a sitting member of the USCF executive
board in over 2500
separate Internet postings (hereinafter, the “Fake Sam Sloan” postings).
Truong continued
impersonating this and other individuals after Truong was elected to the
executive board. The
Fake Sam Sloan postings contained racist, sexist, homophobic and
generally vile content, and
were published with the intent to influence the election of executive
board members.
b. Second, Truong made numerous false statements in his campaign for
election to the executive board, including that he had earned an MBA and
PhD, and that he had
“retired” after making his fortune working in multiple executive
positions with billion-dollar
companies. These statements were false. In fact, during the time of the
election process and
during the time he was making such statements, Truong failed to disclose
that he had filed for
bankruptcy protection for a second time. Even more egregious, in the
bankruptcy petition, it is
believed that Truong engaged in bankruptcy fraud by swearing, under
penalty of perjury, that he
was unemployed at the time of his bankruptcy filing when, in fact, he
was employed by Texas
3
20080491.20080491/511874.3
Tech University at the time. Further, Truong failed to disclose that he
was married to Plaintiff
Polgar, who was also a candidate for the executive board.
c. And third, Truong violated his fiduciary duties to the USCF by, among
other conduct, refusing to cooperate in the investigation into his
misconduct, refusing to assist,
protect, investigate and stop other people from harming the USCF,
including another Executive
Board member from doing various bad actions hurting the USCF, and for
all of his other illegal
and/or improper behavior that has tarnished the reputation of the USCF.
3. As a result of Truong’s misconduct, the USCF has been significantly
harmed.
Among multiple types of harm incurred by the USCF, as a result of
Truong’s actions, the USCF
was sued by Sam Sloan in a case styled Sam Sloan v. Hoainhan “Paul”
Truong, et al., 573 F.
Supp. 2d 823 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 28, 2008). Also as a result of Truong’s
actions, the USCF was
sued by Gordon Roy Parker in a case styled Parker v. Goichberg, et al.,
Civil Action No. 08-CV-
829 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 2, 2009). The lawsuits and other legal issues have
caused the USCF to incur
and/or expect to incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, costs
and expenses.
PARTIES
4. Defendant and Third-Party Plaintiff, the USCF, is an Illinois
not-for-profit
corporation in good standing, with its principal place of business in
Crossville, Tennessee. The
USCF is governed by a seven-person executive board (“Executive Board”)
5. Third-Party Defendant Paul Truong is an individual residing in
Lubbock, Texas.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
6. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this Third-Party
Complaint on the
basis of diversity of citizenship of the parties under 28 U.S.C. §1332
because the Defendants on
4
20080491.20080491/511874.3
the one hand, and Truong on the other hand, reside in different states,
and because the amount in
controversy exceeds $75,000.
7. This Court has personal jurisdiction over Truong because Truong
resides in
Texas.
8. Venue is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. §1391(a) because Truong resides
in this
judicial district.
TRUONG’S MISCONDUCT
9. The USCF is the official, not-for-profit U.S. membership organization
for chess
players and chess supporters of all ages and strengths, from beginners
to Grandmasters. The
USCF represents the United States in the World Chess Federation (FIDE),
connecting U.S.
members to chess players around the world. Founded in 1939 with the
merger of the American
Chess Federation and the National Chess Federation, the USCF has grown
to over 80,000
members and 2,000+ affiliated chess clubs and organizations today. The
USCF sanctions
thousands of tournaments with over half a million officially rated games
annually. Twenty five
USCF-sanctioned National Championship events award titles to both
amateurs and professionals,
ranging from elementary school students to senior citizens. Over fifty
USCF-member
Grandmasters (one out of every eight Grandmasters in the world)
represent the U.S.
internationally, and USCF supports the participation of Americans in
official FIDE
championship events at all levels. USCF also publishes the award-winning
monthly magazine
Chess Life and the bimonthly Chess Life for Kids.
10. The USCF is governed by a Board of Delegates, composed of a seven-member
Executive Board, Delegates at Large, and 125 Delegates apportioned among
U.S. states. The
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20080491.20080491/511874.3
seven-member Executive Board functions as a “board of directors,” tasked
with managing the
affairs of the USCF.
11. In 2007, both Plaintiff Polgar and Third-Party Defendant Truong, ran
for election
to the Executive Board and won four-year seats on the Executive Board.
As Executive Board
members both Polgar and Truong serve as fiduciaries for the USCF and owe
the USCF a duty of
care, diligence, stewardship, and ethical conduct.
12. After being elected, Truong made various representations that due to
his business
experience, contacts, savvy and networking skills he would be able to
bring in “millions” of
dollars in sponsorships and/or grants. For example, Truong many various
representations that
due to his connections with “billion dollar” companies, he should be in
charge of handling such
marketing/fund raising duties for the USCF. Based on said
representations, Truong was named
“VP of Marketing”. Truong has not done as he represented, and in fact,
due to his improper
actions, Truong has caused the USCF to lose sponsorships, lose members
and caused numerous
other damages as mentioned herein. Plus, as a result of Truong’s
actions, the USCF was faced
with trying to make various decisions when one of its seven Executive
Board members was
being accused of improper behavior. What made it even more difficult is
that Truong refused to
cooperate to try to defend against such claims. The USCF is still having
to defend against many
specific allegations against a current board member.
A. The “Fake Sam Sloan” Internet Postings Made by Truong
13. New York resident Sam Sloan was elected to the Executive Board in
July 2006.
Starting on approximately June 28, 2005 and continuing until
approximately September 26,
2007—well into Sam Sloan’s tenure as an Executive Board member—Truong
posted over 2,500
messages into the Internet USENET service (accessible via
http://groups.google.com and many
6
20080491.20080491/511874.3
other providers of access to Internet newsgroups) purporting to be Sam
Sloan and several other
individuals in the chess community. Because a majority of the posts were
under the name Sam
Sloan, the individual responsible for these Internet posts—i.e.
Truong—became known as the
“Fake Sam Sloan.”
14. The Fake Sam Sloan postings are vile, hateful, racist, sexist and
homophobic. A
small sampling of the postings of the Fake Sam Sloan is attached hereto
as Exhibit A. The real
Sam Sloan and the others impersonated in these postings have claimed
significant damages as a
result, and some have even brought suit against the USCF. Furthermore,
the Fake Sam Sloan
postings defamed not only the purported authors, but also present and
former USCF presidents,
officers, committee members, employees, volunteers and sponsors, and the
USCF. The Fake
Sam Sloan postings defamed the USCF directly, by stating false and
damaging statements about
the USCF. The Fake Sam Sloan postings also defamed the USCF
derivatively, by attacking the
USCF’s principals, and thereby tarnishing the operations, management,
and ethics of the USCF.
15. As a result of the Fake Sam Sloan postings, Truong has fundamentally
tarnished
the reputation of the USCF. The USCF survives based on its ability to
generate publicity and
goodwill in order to help it run chess tournaments and obtain donations.
As a direct result of
Truong’s Fake Sam Sloan postings, members and non-members of the USCF became
disenchanted with the USCF as a chess institution and public-service
organization. The public’s
perception of the purpose, mission, and ethics of the USCF has
deteriorated as a direct
consequence of Truong’s Fake Sam Sloan postings. Indeed, one of the
Executive Board
members resigned, and one or two others have decided not to run in the
future as a result of
being associated with the perception of the organization created by
Truong’s defamatory
postings.
7
20080491.20080491/511874.3
B. Forensic Evidence Has Demonstrated that Truong Is the Fake Sam Sloan
and Made
the Defamatory Fake Sam Sloan Postings.
16. Truong left digital footprints that conclusively show that he is the
Fake Sam
Sloan. As a limited example, for the thirty sample Fake Sam Sloan
postings in Exhibit A, each
posting was made on a certain day, at a certain time, and at a certain
Internet access point (aka an
Internet protocol address, or IP address).1 The IP addresses for the
posts in Exhibit A are all
owned by one entity, XO Communications, Inc. in Nashville, Tennessee.
When the USCF
requested information about who used the IP addresses at the dates and
times of the postings, XO
Communications responded by stating that an account holder at United
Online, Inc., with the
username, ,” had used their IP addresses at
issue at those particular
dates and times.
17. Thereafter, the USCF requested information from United Online, Inc.
about the
“dial-up” account that uses the “chessspammer” username. United Online,
Inc. responded by
providing the full name and contact information for the customer who
uses this username (aka,
“Member ID”). United Online’s response identified the Fake Sam Sloan as
Truong.
18. Moreover, the account holder of the American Express card associated
with this
United Online account is, on information and belief, Susan Polgar,
Truong’s wife. Furthermore,
on information and belief, Truong is the card holder of this American
Express card associated
with his wife’s account.
19. Additionally, a comparison of the Fake Sam Sloan postings and
Truong’s logins
and posts to the USCF member Internet forum also demonstrates that
Truong is the Fake Sam
Sloan. Truong logged in to the USCF member Internet forum numerous
times, under his own
1 An Internet access point, such as a desktop computer or a laptop,
allows access to the Internet using a unique
numeric address called an Internet Protocol (IP) address. An IP address
used to access the Internet must be
unique by definition and by function, or else data—like information on
web page—could not be delivered to the
particular computer requesting the information.
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20080491.20080491/511874.3
name, freely commenting to the USCF membership in his own name, and
leaving behind a great
number of digital footprints in the form of the IP addresses he used.
These IP addresses provide
reliable identifying data with which to compare all of the posting
information (IP addresses,
dates and times) related to the Fake Sam Sloan posts.
20. An IP addresses serve as a recognized and authoritative means to
identify a
person who has made a posting to the Internet. In fact, IP address
analysis is relied upon
regularly by law enforcement and in civil litigation to identify
offenders or civil defendants.
Because IP addresses cannot be faked or otherwise “spoofed,” due to the
way in which users
connect to, view and post information to the Internet and Usenet, IP
addresses serve as
particularly reliable forensic evidence.
21. Due to the reliability of IP address evidence, one can use a
“Matching Procedure”
to determine the identity of a person who has posted content to the
Internet. For example, if one
knows that an individual posted to the Internet at a certain date and
time, using a certain IP
address (Person A), and if there is another post to the Internet within
minutes or hours using that
same IP address (Person B), then there is a high likelihood that Person
A and Person B are the
same person. Furthermore, if one knows the identity of Person A, there
is a very high likelihood
that one would thus know the identity of Person B, with the use of the
foregoing “Matching
Procedure.” This likelihood increases significantly with each multiple
incident of matching.
22. Using this IP Matching Procedure, the USCF compared all of the IP
addresses,
dates and times for all of Truong’s logins and postings to the USCF
private forum, to all of the IP
addresses, dates and times of the Fake Sam Sloan posts. This comparison
revealed three IP
addresses were exact matches, namely: an IP address (24.90.223.35)
associated with Truong’s
Roadrunner ISP account in his former New York home, an IP address
(75.111.199.177)
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20080491.20080491/511874.3
associated with Truong’s Suddenlink ISP account in Texas, and another IP
address
(75.111.194.9) associated with Truong’s Suddenlink ISP account in Texas.
Truong used these IP
addresses to log in as himself to the USCF Internet forums, and then
used these same IP
addresses to post as the Fake Sam Sloan.
23. After Truong’s Fake Sam Sloan postings began to proliferate and
tarnish the
reputation of the USCF, the USCF began to investigate their source.
During this investigation,
the USCF Executive Board made specific inquiries on Truong. The USCF
engaged the firm of
Kronenberger Burgoyne, LLP to investigate such facts. Counsel for the
USCF sent Truong a
letter on or about November 29, 2007 and made demands that Truong:
a. Formally admit or deny, in writing, whether he was involved in the “Fake
Sam Sloan” postings, or had knowledge of who made such postings;
b. Provide the IP address of all of his home and work Internet connections
since 2005, or provide consent for the Board to obtain and cooperate in the
Board obtaining such IP addresses from ISP’s and other entities;
c. Provide all information that would support his argument that he was not
located at his computer(s) at the time of alleged Fake Sam Sloan postings,
to include information relating to his travel.
24. Truong refused the demands. Plus, in order to try to derail this
investigation and
to avoid implicating himself, Truong made several material misstatements
and omissions to the
USCF. Other times, Truong outright refused to comply with the demands on
the USCF and the
USCF’s legal counsel to assist in this investigation. Truong refused to
provide the USCF
information and documents that would establish or disprove his
culpability, Truong refused to
consent to have third parties disclose information about his computer
use (which information
would have linked him to the misconduct), and Truong refused to state
under oath, or even in an
unsworn written statement, that he had not made the Fake Sam Sloan Postings.
10
20080491.20080491/511874.3
25. Truong likely had other people assisting him in making some of the
postings to
try to demonstrate that he was purportedly not the Fake Sam Sloan. The
USCF also believes
Truong worked with various other people to further his overall scheme to
hurt and defraud the
USCF and/or its volunteers, employees, Executive Board members and/or
others. Plus, many of
the members of the USCF are minor children. Having an Executive Board
member make awful
internet postings has hurt the USCF.
C. Other False Statements by Truong
26. Truong engaged in fraudulent and dishonest conduct by making
numerous false
statements in his campaign for election to the Executive Board. During
his campaign for
election to the Executive Board, Truong touted his educational
background and business
successes as reasons he should be elected. Truong claimed that he had
earned a PhD. This
statement is false. Truong claimed that he earned an MBA, which
reflected in Truong’s resume.
This statement is also false. Despite his multiple personal bankruptcy
filings, Truong claimed
that due to his business success he had “retired sometimes (sic) in
2001.” Truong also stated that
in his career he had “saved companies or turned around companies” and
that the companies he
dealt with were all “billion dollar companies.” Truong further stated
that he had held multiple
high level marketing positions with billion dollar companies. All of
these statements were false.
27. In fact, during the time of the election process and during the time
he was making
such statements, Truong failed to disclose that he had filed for
bankruptcy protection for a
second time. Even more egregious, in the bankruptcy petition, it is
believed that Truong engaged
in bankruptcy fraud by swearing, under penalty of perjury, that he was
unemployed at the time of
his bankruptcy filing when, in fact, he was employed by Texas Tech
University at the time.
Further, Truong failed to disclose that he was married to Plaintiff
Polgar, who was also a
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20080491.20080491/511874.3
candidate for the executive board. As mentioned above, Truong had made
various fraudulent
statements, fraudulently failed to disclose many facts and/or tried to
hide various facts during the
election process and afterwards when Truong was named “VP of Marketing”.
28. As an Executive Board member, Truong owed various duties to the USCF,
including fiduciary duties to protect, support, and better the USCF. His
many improper actions
have instead harmed the USCF. It has incurred hundreds of thousands of
dollars in investigating
the accusations against Truong and defending and protecting itself and
others from claims that
have arisen from Truong’s various improper actions. The USCF’s insurance
carrier recently
elected to not offer to renew existing insurance coverage. As mentioned
herein, the USCF has
suffered additional damages, including lost sponsorships, lost
membership, lost revenue as a
result of decreased participation, and had various influential members
lose interest and/or decide
not to participate. Its reputation has been damaged and the USCF asks
this Court to award it all
damages for Truong’s improper actions. The USCF is seeking all damages
requested herein and
expects such amounts to vastly exceed one million dollars.
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
DEFAMATION
29. The USCF incorporates by reference all of the above Paragraphs.
30. Truong, in his Fake Sam Sloan postings, and in various other
internet postings
under his own name made false statements about the integrity,
organization, operations of the
USCF and/or that tarnished the reputation of the USCF.
31. For example, Truong in his Fake Slam Sloan postings, made false
statements
about the integrity, behavior, sexual practices, and ethics of
principals of the USCF, which
statements inured to the USCF. Other examples were provided above.
12
20080491.20080491/511874.3
32. Truong’s false and defamatory statements have been viewed by countless
individuals, including both members and non-members of the USCF, and
directly affected their
perception of the USCF.
33. As a result of Truong’s false and defamatory statements, the USCF
has suffered
significant harm, including but not limited to harm to its reputation
and goodwill.
SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY
34. The USCF incorporates by reference all of the above Paragraphs.
35. As a member of the USCF Executive Board, Truong owes a fiduciary
duty to the
USCF.
36. Through his numerous incidents of misconduct, directed expressly at
the USCF,
Truong breached his duty of care, diligence, stewardship, and ethical
conduct owed to the USCF.
37. As a direct result of Truong’s breaches of his fiduciary duty, the
USCF has been
substantially harmed. Plus, the actions of Truong have had significant
adverse consequences on
the ability of the USCF to operate efficiently and achieve its corporate
objectives.
THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
FRAUD
38. The USCF incorporates by reference all of the above Paragraphs.
39. As a member of the USCF Executive Board, Truong made numerous material
misrepresentations and omissions to the USCF and its principals. These
misrepresentations
include over 2500 Internet postings where Truong impersonated third
parties; misrepresentations
or omissions to the USCF regarding during the USCF’s investigation of
Truong; and
misrepresentations to the USCF about Truong’s educational degrees and
work experience.
13
20080491.20080491/511874.3
40. Truong was aware that these material misrepresentations and
omissions were false
at the time he made them, and in fact, made them for the purpose of
misleading the USCF, the
USCF delegates, and USCF members.
41. The USCF relied on Truong’s misrepresentations in deciding how to
conduct the
USCF’s operations.
42. As a result of Truong’s misrepresentations, and the USCF’s reliance
on Truong’s
misrepresentations, the USCF has been substantially harmed.
FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION
CONSPIRACY AND CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD
43. The USCF incorporates by reference all of the above Paragraphs.
44. As discussed herein, Truong was a member of a combination of two or more
persons, the object of the combination was to accomplish an unlawful
purpose, or a lawful
purpose by unlawful means. The members had a meeting of the minds on the
object or course of
action. One of the members committed an unlawful, overt act to further
the object or course of
action, and the USCF suffered injury as a proximate result of the
wrongful act.
REQUEST FOR JURY TRIAL
Defendant and Third-Party Plaintiff, the United States of America Chess
Federation, Inc.
hereby demands a trial of this action by jury.
PRAYER
WHEREFORE, USCF prays that this Court enter judgment in its favor on
each and every
claim set forth above, and further prays an award to the USCF of:
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20080491.20080491/511874.3
1. A preliminary and permanent injunction and judgment enjoining Truong
and his
agents from making false and defamatory statements about the USCF, its
subsidiaries, affiliates,
officers, or employees;
2. An award of compensatory and/or statutory damages in an amount to be
determined at trial;
3. Punitive and exemplary damages to serve as punishment and deterrent
in light of
Defendant’s substantial wrongful acts;
4. A public retraction by Truong relating to all false and defamatory
statements
made about the USCF;
5. The USCF’s costs and attorneys’ fees in this action;
6. Pre-judgment and post-judgment interest; and
7. Such other further relief to which the USCF may be entitled as a
matter of law or
equity, or which the Court determines to be just and proper.
  #2  
Old March 6th 09, 05:50 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 60
Default Third-Party Complaint Against Truong

Has this complaint been filed?
Is it a defense to failure to cooperate, if defendant claims advice of
counsel as an excuse?

David Ames
  #3  
Old March 6th 09, 07:08 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
Mr.Vidmar[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 365
Default Third-Party Complaint Against Truong

wrote:
Has this complaint been filed?
Is it a defense to failure to cooperate, if defendant claims advice of
counsel as an excuse?

David Ames

The complaint has been filed.
  #4  
Old March 6th 09, 09:41 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
[email protected][_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 37
Default Third-Party Complaint Against Truong

On Mar 6, 5:41*am, "Mr.Vidmar" wrote:
Apologies for the formatting.

Defendant and Third-Party Plaintiff the United States of America Chess
Federation, Inc.
(the “USCF”), brings this Third-Party Complaint against Hoainhan Truong
a/k/a Paul Truong
(“Truong”) an individual, and alleges as follows:
INTRODUCTION
1. This case is about an executive board member of the USCF engaging in
a pattern
of fraud over the course of years, causing hundreds of thousands of
dollars in damages to the
USCF and, more importantly, tarnishing the reputation of the USCF.
2. The list of Truong’s known misconduct is lengthy, and a few examples
are as
follows:
a. First, during an election for the USCF executive board, in which Truong
was running, Truong impersonated a sitting member of the USCF executive
board in over 2500
separate Internet postings (hereinafter, the “Fake Sam Sloan” postings).
Truong continued
impersonating this and other individuals after Truong was elected to the
executive board. The
Fake Sam Sloan postings contained racist, sexist, homophobic and
generally vile content, and
were published with the intent to influence the election of executive
board members.
b. Second, Truong made numerous false statements in his campaign for
election to the executive board, including that he had earned an MBA and
PhD, and that he had
“retired” after making his fortune working in multiple executive
positions with billion-dollar
companies. These statements were false. In fact, during the time of the
election process and
during the time he was making such statements, Truong failed to disclose
that he had filed for
bankruptcy protection for a second time. Even more egregious, in the
bankruptcy petition, it is
believed that Truong engaged in bankruptcy fraud by swearing, under
penalty of perjury, that he
was unemployed at the time of his bankruptcy filing when, in fact, he
was employed by Texas
3
20080491.20080491/511874.3
Tech University at the time. Further, Truong failed to disclose that he
was married to Plaintiff
Polgar, who was also a candidate for the executive board.
c. And third, Truong violated his fiduciary duties to the USCF by, among
other conduct, refusing to cooperate in the investigation into his
misconduct, refusing to assist,
protect, investigate and stop other people from harming the USCF,
including another Executive
Board member from doing various bad actions hurting the USCF, and for
all of his other illegal
and/or improper behavior that has tarnished the reputation of the USCF.
3. As a result of Truong’s misconduct, the USCF has been significantly
harmed.
Among multiple types of harm incurred by the USCF, as a result of
Truong’s actions, the USCF
was sued by Sam Sloan in a case styled Sam Sloan v. Hoainhan “Paul”
Truong, et al., 573 F.
Supp. 2d 823 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 28, 2008). Also as a result of Truong’s
actions, the USCF was
sued by Gordon Roy Parker in a case styled Parker v. Goichberg, et al.,
Civil Action No. 08-CV-
829 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 2, 2009). The lawsuits and other legal issues have
caused the USCF to incur
and/or expect to incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, costs
and expenses.
PARTIES
4. Defendant and Third-Party Plaintiff, the USCF, is an Illinois
not-for-profit
corporation in good standing, with its principal place of business in
Crossville, Tennessee. The
USCF is governed by a seven-person executive board (“Executive Board”)
5. Third-Party Defendant Paul Truong is an individual residing in
Lubbock, Texas.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
6. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this Third-Party
Complaint on the
basis of diversity of citizenship of the parties under 28 U.S.C. §1332
because the Defendants on
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20080491.20080491/511874.3
the one hand, and Truong on the other hand, reside in different states,
and because the amount in
controversy exceeds $75,000.
7. This Court has personal jurisdiction over Truong because Truong
resides in
Texas.
8. Venue is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. §1391(a) because Truong resides
in this
judicial district.
TRUONG’S MISCONDUCT
9. The USCF is the official, not-for-profit U.S. membership organization
for chess
players and chess supporters of all ages and strengths, from beginners
to Grandmasters. The
USCF represents the United States in the World Chess Federation (FIDE),
connecting U.S.
members to chess players around the world. Founded in 1939 with the
merger of the American
Chess Federation and the National Chess Federation, the USCF has grown
to over 80,000
members and 2,000+ affiliated chess clubs and organizations today. The
USCF sanctions
thousands of tournaments with over half a million officially rated games
annually. Twenty five
USCF-sanctioned National Championship events award titles to both
amateurs and professionals,
ranging from elementary school students to senior citizens. Over fifty
USCF-member
Grandmasters (one out of every eight Grandmasters in the world)
represent the U.S.
internationally, and USCF supports the participation of Americans in
official FIDE
championship events at all levels. USCF also publishes the award-winning
monthly magazine
Chess Life and the bimonthly Chess Life for Kids.
10. The USCF is governed by a Board of Delegates, composed of a seven-member
Executive Board, Delegates at Large, and 125 Delegates apportioned among
U.S. states. The
5
20080491.20080491/511874.3
seven-member Executive Board functions as a “board of directors,” tasked
with managing the
affairs of the USCF.
11. In 2007, both Plaintiff Polgar and Third-Party Defendant Truong, ran
for election
to the Executive Board and won four-year seats on the Executive Board.
As Executive Board
members both Polgar and Truong serve as fiduciaries for the USCF and owe
the USCF a duty of
care, diligence, stewardship, and ethical conduct.
12. After being elected, Truong made various representations that due to
his business
experience, contacts, savvy and networking skills he would be able to
bring in “millions” of
dollars in sponsorships and/or grants. For example, Truong many various
representations that
due to his connections with “billion dollar” companies, he should be in
charge of handling such
marketing/fund raising duties for the USCF. Based on said
representations, Truong was named
“VP of Marketing”. Truong has not done as he represented, and in fact,
due to his improper
actions, Truong has caused the USCF to lose sponsorships, lose members
and caused numerous
other damages as mentioned herein. Plus, as a result of Truong’s
actions, the USCF was faced
with trying to make various decisions when one of its seven Executive
Board members was
being accused of improper behavior. What made it even more difficult is
that Truong refused to
cooperate to try to defend against such claims. The USCF is still having
to defend against many
specific allegations against a current board member.
A. The “Fake Sam Sloan” Internet Postings Made by Truong
13. New York resident Sam Sloan was elected to the Executive Board in
July 2006.
Starting on approximately June 28, 2005 and continuing until
approximately September 26,
2007—well into Sam Sloan’s tenure as an Executive Board member—Truong
posted over 2,500
messages into the Internet USENET service (accessible viahttp://groups.google.comand many
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20080491.20080491/511874.3
other providers of access to Internet newsgroups) purporting to be Sam
Sloan and several other
individuals in the chess community. Because a majority of the posts were
under the name Sam
Sloan, the individual responsible for these Internet posts—i.e.
Truong—became known as the
“Fake Sam Sloan.”
14. The Fake Sam Sloan postings are vile, hateful, racist, sexist and
homophobic. A
small sampling of the postings of the Fake Sam Sloan is attached hereto
as Exhibit A. The real
Sam Sloan and the others impersonated in these postings have claimed
significant damages as a
result, and some have even brought suit against the USCF. Furthermore,
the Fake Sam Sloan
postings defamed not only the purported authors, but also present and
former USCF presidents,
officers, committee members, employees, volunteers and sponsors, and the
USCF. The Fake
Sam Sloan postings defamed the USCF directly, by stating false and
damaging statements about
the USCF. The Fake Sam Sloan postings also defamed the USCF
derivatively, by attacking the
USCF’s principals, and thereby tarnishing the operations, management,
and ethics of the USCF.
15. As a result of the Fake Sam Sloan postings, Truong has fundamentally
tarnished
the reputation of the USCF. The USCF survives based on its ability to
generate publicity and
goodwill in order to help it run chess tournaments and obtain donations.
As a direct result of
Truong’s Fake Sam Sloan postings, members and non-members of the USCF became
disenchanted with the USCF as a chess institution and public-service
organization. The public’s
perception of the purpose, mission, and ethics of the USCF has
deteriorated as a direct
consequence of Truong’s Fake Sam Sloan postings. Indeed, one of the
Executive Board
members resigned, and one or two others have decided not to run in the
future as a result of
being associated with the perception of the organization created by
Truong’s defamatory
postings.
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20080491.20080491/511874.3
B. Forensic Evidence Has Demonstrated that Truong Is the Fake Sam Sloan
and Made
the Defamatory Fake Sam Sloan Postings.
16. Truong left digital footprints that conclusively show that he is the
Fake Sam
Sloan. As a limited example, for the thirty sample Fake Sam Sloan
postings in Exhibit A, each
posting was made on a certain day, at a certain time, and at a certain
Internet access point (aka an
Internet protocol address, or IP address).1 The IP addresses for the
posts in Exhibit A are all
owned by one entity, XO Communications, Inc. in Nashville, Tennessee.
When the USCF
requested information about who used the IP addresses at the dates and
times of the postings, XO
Communications responded by stating that an account holder at United
Online, Inc., with the
username, ,” had used their IP addresses at
issue at those particular
dates and times.
17. Thereafter, the USCF requested information from United Online, Inc.
about the
“dial-up” account that uses the “chessspammer” username. United Online,
Inc. responded by
providing the full name and contact information for the customer who
uses this username (aka,
“Member ID”). United Online’s response identified the Fake Sam Sloan as
Truong.
18. Moreover, the account holder of the American Express card associated
with this
United Online account is, on information and belief, Susan Polgar,
Truong’s wife. Furthermore,
on information and belief, Truong is the card holder of this American
Express card associated
with his wife’s account.
19. Additionally, a comparison of the Fake Sam Sloan postings and
Truong’s logins
and posts to the USCF member Internet forum also demonstrates that
Truong is the Fake Sam
Sloan. Truong logged in to the USCF member Internet forum numerous
times, under his own
1 An Internet access point, such as a desktop computer or a laptop,
allows access to the Internet using a unique
numeric address called an Internet Protocol (IP) address. An IP address
used to access the Internet must be
unique by definition and by function, or else data—like information on
web page—could not be delivered to the
particular computer requesting the information.
8
20080491.20080491/511874.3
name, freely commenting to the USCF membership in his own name, and
leaving behind a great
number of digital footprints in the form of the IP addresses he used.
These IP addresses provide
reliable identifying data with which to compare all of the posting
information (IP addresses,
dates and times) related to the Fake Sam Sloan posts.
20. An IP addresses serve as a recognized and authoritative means to
identify a
person who has made a posting to the Internet. In fact, IP address
analysis is relied upon
regularly by law enforcement and in civil litigation to identify
offenders or civil defendants.
Because IP addresses cannot be faked or otherwise “spoofed,” due to the
way in which users
connect to, view and post information to the Internet and Usenet, IP
addresses serve as
particularly reliable forensic evidence.
21. Due to the reliability of IP address evidence, one can use a
“Matching Procedure”
to determine the identity of a person who has posted content to the
Internet. For example, if one
knows that an individual posted to the Internet at a certain date and
time, using a certain IP
address (Person A), and if there is another post to the Internet within
minutes or hours using that
same IP address (Person B), then there is a high likelihood that Person
A and Person B are the
same person. Furthermore, if one knows the identity of Person A, there
is a very high likelihood
that one would thus know the identity of Person B, with the use of the
foregoing “Matching
Procedure.” This likelihood increases significantly with each multiple
incident of matching.
22. Using this IP Matching Procedure, the USCF compared all of the IP
addresses,
dates and times for all of Truong’s logins and postings to the USCF
private forum, to all of the IP
addresses, dates and times of the Fake Sam Sloan posts. This comparison
revealed three IP
addresses were exact matches, namely: an IP address (24.90.223.35)
associated with Truong’s
Roadrunner ISP account in his former New York home, an IP address
(75.111.199.177)
9
20080491.20080491/511874.3
associated with Truong’s Suddenlink ISP account in Texas, and another IP
address
(75.111.194.9) associated with Truong’s Suddenlink ISP account in Texas..
Truong used these IP
addresses to log in as himself to the USCF Internet forums, and then
used these same IP
addresses to post as the Fake Sam Sloan.
23. After Truong’s Fake Sam Sloan postings began to proliferate and
tarnish the
reputation of the USCF, the USCF began to investigate their source.
During this investigation,
the USCF Executive Board made specific inquiries on Truong. The USCF
engaged the firm of
Kronenberger Burgoyne, LLP to investigate such facts. Counsel for the
USCF sent Truong a
letter on or about November 29, 2007 and made demands that Truong:
a. Formally admit or deny, in writing, whether he was involved in the “Fake
Sam Sloan” postings, or had knowledge of who made such postings;
b. Provide the IP address of all of his home and work Internet connections
since 2005, or provide consent for the Board to obtain and cooperate in the
Board obtaining such IP addresses from ISP’s and other entities;
c. Provide all information that would support his argument that he was not
located at his computer(s) at the time of alleged Fake Sam Sloan postings,
to include information relating to his travel.
24. Truong refused the demands. Plus, in order to try to derail this
investigation and
to avoid implicating himself, Truong made several material misstatements
and omissions to the
USCF. Other times, Truong outright refused to comply with the demands on
the USCF and the
USCF’s legal counsel to assist in this investigation. Truong refused to
provide the USCF
information and documents that would establish or disprove his
culpability, Truong refused to
consent to have third parties disclose information about his computer
use (which information
would have linked him to the misconduct), and Truong refused to state
under oath, or even in an
unsworn written statement, that he had not made the Fake Sam Sloan Postings.
10
20080491.20080491/511874.3
25. Truong likely had other people assisting him in making some of the
postings to
try to demonstrate that he was purportedly not the Fake Sam Sloan. The
USCF also believes
Truong worked with various other people to further his overall scheme to
hurt and defraud the
USCF and/or its volunteers, employees, Executive Board members and/or
others. Plus, many of
the members of the USCF are minor children. Having an Executive Board
member make awful
internet postings has hurt the USCF.
C. Other False Statements by Truong
26. Truong engaged in fraudulent and dishonest conduct by making
numerous false
statements in his campaign for election to the Executive Board. During
his campaign for
election to the Executive Board, Truong touted his educational
background and business
successes as reasons he should be elected. Truong claimed that he had
earned a PhD. This
statement is false. Truong claimed that he earned an MBA, which
reflected in Truong’s resume.
This statement is also false. Despite his multiple personal bankruptcy
filings, Truong claimed
that due to his business success he had “retired sometimes (sic) in
2001.” Truong also stated that
in his career he had “saved companies or turned around companies” and
that the companies he
dealt with were all “billion dollar companies.” Truong further stated
that he had held multiple
high level marketing positions with billion dollar companies. All of
these statements were false.
27. In fact, during the time of the election process and during the time
he was making
such statements, Truong failed to disclose that he had filed for
bankruptcy protection for a
second time. Even more egregious, in the bankruptcy petition, it is
believed that Truong engaged
in bankruptcy fraud by swearing, under penalty of perjury, that he was
unemployed at the time of
his bankruptcy filing when, in fact, he was employed by Texas Tech
University at the time.
Further, Truong failed to disclose that he was married to Plaintiff
Polgar, who was also a
11
20080491.20080491/511874.3
candidate for the executive board. As mentioned above, Truong had made
various fraudulent
statements, fraudulently failed to disclose many facts and/or tried to
hide various facts during the
election process and afterwards when Truong was named “VP of Marketing”.
28. As an Executive Board member, Truong owed various duties to the USCF,
including fiduciary duties to protect, support, and better the USCF. His
many improper actions
have instead harmed the USCF. It has incurred hundreds of thousands of
dollars in investigating
the accusations against Truong and defending and protecting itself and
others from claims that
have arisen from Truong’s various improper actions. The USCF’s insurance
carrier recently
elected to not offer to renew existing insurance coverage. As mentioned
herein, the USCF has
suffered additional damages, including lost sponsorships, lost
membership, lost revenue as a
result of decreased participation, and had various influential members
lose interest and/or decide
not to participate. Its reputation has been damaged and the USCF asks
this Court to award it all
damages for Truong’s improper actions. The USCF is seeking all damages
requested herein and
expects such amounts to vastly exceed one million dollars.
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
DEFAMATION
29. The USCF incorporates by reference all of the above Paragraphs.
30. Truong, in his Fake Sam Sloan postings, and in various other
internet postings
under his own name made false statements about the integrity,
organization, operations of the
USCF and/or that tarnished the reputation of the USCF.
31. For example, Truong in his Fake Slam Sloan postings, made false
statements
about the integrity, behavior, sexual practices, and ethics of
principals of the USCF, which
statements inured to the USCF. Other examples were provided above.
12
20080491.20080491/511874.3
32. Truong’s false and defamatory statements have been viewed by countless
individuals, including both members and non-members of the USCF, and
directly affected their
perception of the USCF.
33. As a result of Truong’s false and defamatory statements, the USCF
has suffered
significant harm, including but not limited to harm to its reputation
and goodwill.
SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY
34. The USCF incorporates by reference all of the above Paragraphs.
35. As a member of the USCF Executive Board, Truong owes a fiduciary
duty to the
USCF.
36. Through his numerous incidents of misconduct, directed expressly at
the USCF,
Truong breached his duty of care, diligence, stewardship, and ethical
conduct owed to the USCF.
37. As a direct result of Truong’s breaches of his fiduciary duty, the
USCF has been
substantially harmed. Plus, the actions of Truong have had significant
adverse consequences on
the ability of the USCF to operate efficiently and achieve its corporate
objectives.
THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
FRAUD
38. The USCF incorporates by reference all of the above Paragraphs.
39. As a member of the USCF Executive Board, Truong made numerous material
misrepresentations and omissions to the USCF and its principals. These
misrepresentations
include over 2500 Internet postings where Truong impersonated third
parties; misrepresentations
or omissions to the USCF regarding during the USCF’s investigation of
Truong; and
misrepresentations to the USCF about Truong’s educational degrees and
work experience.
13
20080491.20080491/511874.3
40. Truong was aware that these material misrepresentations and
omissions were false
at the time he made them, and in fact, made them for the purpose of
misleading the USCF, the
USCF delegates, and USCF members.
41. The USCF relied on Truong’s misrepresentations in deciding how to
conduct the
USCF’s operations.
42. As a result of Truong’s misrepresentations, and the USCF’s reliance
on Truong’s
misrepresentations, the USCF has been substantially harmed.
FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION
CONSPIRACY AND CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD
43. The USCF incorporates by reference all of the above Paragraphs.
44. As discussed herein, Truong was a member of a combination of two or more
persons, the object of the combination was to accomplish an unlawful
purpose, or a lawful
purpose by unlawful means. The members had a meeting of the minds on the
object or course of
action. One of the members committed an unlawful, overt act to further
the object or course of
action, and the USCF suffered injury as a proximate result of the
wrongful act.
REQUEST FOR JURY TRIAL
Defendant and Third-Party Plaintiff, the United States of America Chess
Federation, Inc.
hereby demands a trial of this action by jury.
PRAYER
WHEREFORE, USCF prays that this Court enter judgment in its favor on
each and every
claim set forth above, and further prays an award to the USCF of:
14
20080491.20080491/511874.3
1. A preliminary and permanent injunction and judgment enjoining Truong
and his
agents from making false and defamatory statements about the USCF, its
subsidiaries, affiliates,
officers, or employees;
2. An award of compensatory and/or statutory damages in an amount to be
determined at trial;
3. Punitive and exemplary damages to serve as punishment and deterrent
in light of
Defendant’s substantial wrongful acts;
4. A public retraction by Truong relating to all false and defamatory
statements
made about the USCF;
5. The USCF’s costs and attorneys’ fees in this action;
6. Pre-judgment and post-judgment interest; and
7. Such other further relief to which the USCF may be entitled as a
matter of law or
equity, or which the Court determines to be just and proper.


At last! A competently filed lawsuit which takes on the real issues
which (if, as I believe and fr which convincing evidence is summarized
above, the charges are true) make Paul Truong manifestly unfit to
serve on the board or hold other positions of trust in the federation.
Now it does not matter whether the Sloan filing is thrown out, and I
believe that Truong will have to admit to his bad behavior and face
the consequences.

Jerry Spinrad
 




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