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Letter Alleging Misappropriation at WikiLeaks
Internal Administrator
Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011
Joined: 10/12/2010
Posts: 5780

Posted: 7/10/2010 7:39:56 AM

By: David Marchant

The letter below can be found at

An Open Letter To: The Prime Minister of Iceland:

Mdm. Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir
150 Reykjavik

Tel. +354 545 8400
Fax: +354 562 4014

Madam Prime Minister,

We are a group of WIKILEAKS activists who are very displeased about the manner in which our organisation is been run by Julian Assange. We have published our concerns on a website similar to, but older, and with a much more consistent track record than WIKILEAKS.

Our concerns are not about the philosophy of WIKILEAKS, or indeed Iceland's desire to become a depository of information available from diverse and sometimes restricted sources. On the contrary we applaud this initiative, and WIKILEAKS original philosophy and purpose.

What we are very concerned about is Julian Assange's misappropriation of WIKILEAKS donor funding order to finance personal international travel, and numerous personal expenses. We explain at how WIKILEAKS internal structure resembles a one man band, from editorial oversight, website development, and unaccounted financial expenditures and disbursements. We also explain how only Assange has direct access to WIKILEAKS bank accounts, and that there are is no accounting of outgoing disbursements. Assange dismisses out of hand the suggestion that we should appoint a firm of trusted accountants to audit our expenditures and provide some transparency as to how our organisation spends donor funds. Many respected NGO's operating in politically challenging situations manage to do this, without compromising the source of their funding, or placing their staff in danger.

We estimate (no visible accounting) that Assange misappropriated approximately $225,000 form April 2008 to April 2009 and that from 1 May 2010 to date approximately $52,000. These are disbursements with no receipts and with no audit trail. See:

Lack of a credible a due diligence review led to WIKILEAKS been passed over for the KNIGHT FOUNDATION AWARD of $537,000, even though WIKILEAKS had the majority of support from advisors to the award committee.

We feel that Assange's financial mismanagement of WIKILEAKS may one day seriously damage Iceland's credibility concerning providing an international data haven. We would suggest that Iceland continues to support such a bold and courageous initiative, however, to be cautious and very aware of WIKLEAKS potential exposure to financial mismanagement issues.

Best Regards

A Wikileaks Insider

Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011

Posted: 7/11/2010 8:54:40 AM

By: David Marchant

Re. "... the way you describe Wikileaks [lack of transparency, no accountability], heck, you could be describing your website ..."

Mr. Neshanian, your capacity to post inane messages appears to know no bounds.

As disclosed at, OffshoreAlert is owned by KYC News, Inc., which is a Florida corporation formed in November, 1996 that is controlled and managed by me. This information can be verified at, which is a free service operated by the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations.

My full employment history can be read at

That's pretty transparent.

Regarding accountability, I am accountable to the law, like any other business. I and/or my company have been sued seven times for libel, all of which we have successfully defended, spending more than half a million dollars in the process on our own legal fees and costs.

Given the above, your claim that we are not transparent or answerable to anyone is simply the latest evidence over several years that you have no meaningful comprehension of what words mean and little or no ability to process information sensibly.

The background to this is that, several years ago, I posted an innocuous message that your arch-enemy (Howard Fisher) was not a significant person in the offshore world (which he isn't) and that triggered you off on a life-time of stating the opposite of anything that I post here, regardless of what I post or how much sense it makes.

It is a symptom of mental illness and, as I've stated before, I cannot fathom how you are able to function as an attorney in California, where you operate Neshanian Law.

It comes as no surprise to me that, four-and-a-half years after creating the domain name, your law firm's web-site at, like your mind, is devoid of useful content.

Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011

Posted: 7/11/2010 1:41:53 AM

By: socheesy

Mr. Mercant, the way you describe Wikileaks, heck, you could be describing your website. Now, that's funny.

Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011

Posted: 7/10/2010 10:00:36 AM

By: jurisper

Some context, fwiw:

Whole thing seems like a snake-pit; I'd hate to have to choose a side.

Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011

Posted: 7/10/2010 7:52:53 AM

By: David Marchant

It is ironic that a web-site devoted to transparency and holding others accountable for their actions is itself cloaked in secrecy and apparently operated without accountability to anyone, not even internally.

Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011

Posted: 7/12/2010 3:28:52 PM

By: Hah!

Sounds like he is the perfect attorney that you would really want . . . . on the other side.

Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011

Posted: 7/11/2010 10:44:50 PM

By: David Marchant

If my memory serves me correctly, after a judge ruled against him in his mother's case, Neshanian accused the judge of bias and served subpoenas on the judge to testify. The subpoenas were later quashed.

That's how big an idiot he is.

Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011

Posted: 7/11/2010 3:45:29 PM

By: HF

His website holds himself out being an appellate attorney, although it appears that the only appeals he has been involved with are those involving his mother, and those seem to be mostly -- if not all -- significant failures.

There is a reason that he is practicing in Irvine and not Beverly Hills!

Search Results - Supreme Court

Search by Attorney

Last Name: neshanian
Law Firm: 1 - 6 of 6 Records Found.

Click on the case number for more information about a case.

Supreme Court
Case Number Court of Appeal
Case Number Trial Court
Case Number Attorney
S151613 Eric Marcus Neshanian
Attorney at Law
S132378 E037638 S132378 Eric Marcus Neshanian
Attorney at Law
S132378 E037638 RIFIP1311 Eric Marcus Neshanian
Attorney at Law
S132212 E037567 S132212 Eric Marcus Neshanian
Attorney at Law
S132212 E037567 RIP13111 Eric Marcus Neshanian
Attorney at Law
S095290 Eric Marcus Neshanian
Search Results - 4th Appellate District Division 2

Search by Attorney

Last Name: neshanian
Law Firm: 1 - 6 of 6 Records Found.

Click on the case number for more information about a case.

Court of Appeal
Case Number Trial Court
Case Number Case Caption Attorney
E049308 RIPIP13111 Laura Dewey v. Claris Fisher Eric Marcus Neshanian
The Neshanian Law Firm
E048475 RIPIP13111 Jerry Wengerd v. Claris Fisher; Laura Dewey v. Claris Fisher Eric Marcus Neshanian
The Neshanian Law Firm
E037638 RIFIP1311 Claris Fisher v. Superior Court; John Ryan et al. Eric Marcus Neshanian
E037638 S132378 Claris Fisher v. Superior Court; John Ryan et al. Eric Marcus Neshanian
E037567 RIP13111 Claris Fisher v. Superior Court; John J. Ryan et al. Eric Marcus Neshanian
E037567 S132212 Claris Fisher v. Superior Court; John J. Ryan et al. Eric Marcus Neshanian

Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011

Posted: 7/11/2010 2:27:15 PM

By: David Marchant

What is striking is that, for all his whining about others allegedly not being transparent, even when, in reality, they are transparent, Eric Neshanian has no standards whatsoever regarding his own transparency and conduct, e.g. he routinely posts messages anonymously attacking Howard Fisher without disclosing that he has a vested interest.

The hypocrisy is staggering.

Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011

Posted: 7/11/2010 1:13:04 PM

By: HF

Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 2, California.


Jerry Wengerd, as Conservator, etc., Petitioner and Respondent,


Claris Fisher, Objector and Appellant.

No. E040107.
(Super. Ct. No. RIP IP 13111).
Feb. 22, 2007.

APPEAL from the Superior Court of Riverside County. Thomas H. Cahraman, Judge. Affirmed.
The Neshanian Law Firm and Eric M. Neshanian for Objector and Appellant.

Joe S. Rank, County Counsel, and Robert M. Pepper, Principal Deputy County Counsel, for Petitioner and Respondent.


1. Introduction FN1

FN1. All statutory references are to the Probate Code unless stated otherwise.

*1 Claris Fisher, the wife of conservatee, Meyer Fisher,FN2 appeals from a probate order settling the second account current filed by the Riverside County Public Guardian, acting as the successor permanent conservator for Meyer. (§§ 1300, subds.(b) and (f), and 1301, subds. (c) and (e).) Claris is being represented by her son, a lawyer, Eric Neshanian. Riverside County Counsel represents the public guardian. The main point of contention on appeal is whether the public guardian failed to list two notes for the sale of a business called Color Lab as the major asset of Meyer's estate.

FN2. For ease of reference, we use the first names of Claris and Meyer Fisher.

We deny Claris's request for judicial notice of items four through 14, composed of various newspaper and magazine articles. (Evid.Code, §§ 452, subd. (h), and 459; Vons Companies, Inc. v. Seabest Foods, Inc. (1996) 14 Cal.4th 434, 444, fn. 3.)

We hold the trial court did not err in denying Claris's motion for a directed verdict or in approving the second account current.

2. Factual and Procedural Background

The probate court first appointed a conservator for Meyer Fisher in 1992. The conservatorship has continued since that date. In 1997, Claris was appointed conservator of Meyer's estate and person. In August 2001, the public guardian was appointed as successor permanent conservator.

In October 2004, the public guardian filed the second account current and a petition for hearing. (§ 2620, subd. (a).) The public guardian reported that David Stanton, the obligee on the Color Lab notes, claimed he had overpaid and refused to make any more payments after June 2004.

Claris filed objections to the second account current. (§ 2622.) As to the Color Lab notes, Claris maintains the two notes were each for $272,500, a total of $545,000, and that each note should be paid monthly in the amount of $2,384.01 through 2015. Claris also asked the court to issue an order to show cause regarding Laura Dewey's legal representation of Meyers.FN3

FN3. Based on the record, we cannot tell if Laura Dewey continues to represent Meyer Fisher as she did in January 2001. (E026617.)

A major dispute exists regarding what, if any, balance is owing to Meyer on the Color Lab notes. Claris accuses the public guardian of not investigating and pursuing the Color Lab asset. She contends that, based on an amortization schedule prepared in 1995, the principal balance in July 2006 was $340,596.14. The public guardian claims it cannot obtain an accurate balance on the notes, that Stanton, the obligee, maintains the notes have been fully paid, and that Meyer's estate, the county, or the court lack funds to pursue investigation and litigation on the notes.

At a continued hearing in January 2005, the court, retired Judge Selim Franklin presiding, on its own motion ordered the appointment of a referee to investigate the assets of Meyer's estate, particularly the sale of Color Lab.

In February 2005, the court, the Honorable Stephen D. Cunnison presiding, set a review hearing to discuss payment of referee fees. At that hearing, on March 7, 2005, the court denied and struck the peremptory challenge filed by Claris. The court ruled there were no funds to pay a referee in the estate or available from the county or the court and struck Franklin's order appointing the referee.

*2 In December 2005, the court conducted the contested hearing on Claris's objections to the second account current. The court denied her oral motion for a directed verdict. Claris objected that the second account current omitted listing the Color Lab asset.

The deputy public guardian testified that the Color Lab asset was not included because neither Claris nor Stanton would provide information about the balance due on the notes and there was no money available to pursue the asset.

On December 22, 2005, the court made the order settling the second account current, which is the order from which Claris appeals.

3. Discussion

The thrust of Claris's argument is the probate court erred by placing the burden of proof on her to justify her objections rather than on the public guardian to justify its accounting, citing In re Guardianship of Cookingham (1955) 45 Cal.2d 367, 375, and In re Conservatorship of Hume (2006) 140 Cal.App.4th 1385, 1388 ( Hume II ). Additionally, Claris maintains the public guardian should be compelled to investigate the Color Lab asset and to include it in the second account current. ( Clark v. State Bar (1952) 39 Cal.2d 161, 173-174; In re Conservatorship of Estate of Hume (2006) 139 Cal.App.4th 393, 399 ( Hume I ).)

Our analysis begins with the premise that the judgment is presumed to be correct unless error is affirmatively shown. ( Denham v. Superior Court (1970) 2 Cal.3d 557, 564; Hume II, supra, 140 Cal.App.4th at p. 1393.) As stated in Cookingham: “The burden is upon the [conservator] to justify the items in his account.” ( Guardianship of Cookingham, supra, 45 Cal.2d at p. 375.) But the accounting is presumed to be correct. ( Neel v. Barnard (1944) 24 Cal.2d 406, 421.) The burden of proof then shifts to the objector to prove her objections. ( In re Ewing's Estate (1941) 42 Cal.App.2d 629, 631; Hume II, supra, 140 Cal.App.4th at p. 1388; Evid.Code, § 500.)

Because the second account current was presumed correct, there was no basis for the trial court to grant a directed verdict at the outset of the hearing before Claris had tried to prove her objections. ( Brassinga v. City of Mountain View (199 66 Cal.App.4th 195, 210; McMahon v. Albany Unified School Dist. (2002) 104 Cal.App.4th 1275, 1282.)

Furthermore, Claris did not successfully prove her objections. The second account current covered the period from June 6, 2002, through August 5, 2004. The accounting sought a court order approving six kinds of fees: current fees of $5,272.76; reserved fees of $775.75; periodic fees of $279; bond fees of $50; attorney's fees for county counsel of $600; and assessment fees of $250. The court's order ultimately approved all these items.

Claris filed objections to the current fees of $5,272.76; the periodic fees of $279; the attorney's fees of $600; and the assessment fees of $250. Claris also objected to the omission of the Color Lab asset. In addition, Claris raised a host of collateral objections about who received notice of the conservatorship proceedings; the issue of Laura Dewey's legal representation of Meyer; various orders made by Judge Cunnison over the years, including the order rescinding Franklin's order; and other tangential issues.

*3 We have reviewed Claris's objections and the evidentiary hearing on the second account current and conclude there was substantial evidence to allow a reasonable court to approve the accounting. ( Winograd v. American Broadcasting Co. (199 68 Cal.App.4th 624, 632.)

As to the various fees, Claris offers little argument on appeal about why they should not be approved. She also gives little attention to the collateral and tangential objections. We deem these objections waived by failure to support them with relevant argument and authority. ( People v. Stanley (1995) 10 Cal.4th 764, 793.)

In place of the other objections, Claris focuses on the Color Lab asset. We recognize that she contends several hundred thousand dollars may still be owed for the sale of Color Lab. But, other than to continue to make that bare assertion, Claris did not establish the indebtedness in the submissions to the court or at the evidentiary hearing. Instead, she persistently argued it was the public guardian's obligation to investigate the Color Lab asset and ascertain what, if any, balance is still outstanding.

Claris relies on Hume I, in which the court held a conservator has a duty to account “for all the conservatee's property, including out-of-state real property.” ( Hume I, supra, 139 Cal.App.4th at p. 399.) But in Hume I, there was no question the real property existed and generated income. ( Id. at pp. 395-396.)

In the present case, there is significant doubt about whether the Color Lab obligation still exists. Two of the previous conservators, Enzo Provenza and Claris, failed to identify the asset accurately. In January 2002, Stanton asserted the balance owing was only $64,116. Later, Stanton claims to have paid it off fully in lump sum payments. Claris and Stanton have both failed or refused to verify payments made on the loan. Claris did not make any showing contradicting these proffered facts.

Under these circumstances, the probate court did not err in accepting the conservator's essentially unrefuted representation that the Color Lab obligation is either extinguished or, in the alternative, unknown and unknowable, and in making the implied finding the public guardian had no duty to investigate further. Substantial evidence supported the second account current. No evidence supported Claris's objections.

4. Disposition

We affirm the order of the probate court. The prevailing party shall recover its costs on appeal.



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