Discussion in 'Site Announcements' started by Rhed al'Tere, Jan 24, 2015.
Watch yourself Nikki keep your mits off my man meat!
I actually fully agree with Eleyan Sedai and I think her point of view is just as valid as anyone here arguing about Riley's fate. I certainly want the full course of justice to be exercised upon him, but I don't think that outcome is up to me or any member here arguing one way or another. Riling (that word has a new meaning for us now ) yourselves up about it is futile and only causes division when we should all just be unified in looking to the process to take its course.
Anyway, I want to thank the administration for this update. I appreciate and thank you for all the work being put into this. It is a testament to your commitment to our community and the justice we all deserve. Thank you.
Personally, I think that it is cathartic for people to post their desired outcome. I also think it is healthy for a reasonable level of debate to ensue. I think that this should not be discouraged, since it's the first chance many have gotten to discuss the issue in years. If directed attacks begin, then I would expect that the administration would step in per our rules, but if the desire was that this not be discussed, then I'm surprised the thread was not created locked.
I agree with what most of the people here have mentioned. Those who have been here longer may feel more emotionally tied. Those who have worked along side Riley may feel more betrayed personally, others may not. I think the comment in regards to how different countries view the penal system is valid. I think those who would be more liberal versus conservative in their views may think another way. In my humble opinion, I feel that Eleyan, who started the site and was on the Board when Riley was chosen, may have more emotional vested interest than I.
I am basing my questions to Hammar on what I wish to know about the next steps. What the ramifications of the next steps are to the site and to Riley. I am glad that the Board will have a say in the penalty phase. I have the upmost respect for those on the Board to represent everyone here in this matter fairly and compassionately. I feel that they will take into consideration the expressed grief, betrayal, and even leniency that has been posted if and when they are asked to write something for the penalty phase.
Some may not like the questions I am asking because it goes against their beliefs or their feelings. I feel that I and anyone here has the same rights to ask whatever questions they wish without condemnation by other members. It doesn't matter how long they have been here, what position they did or didn't hold, etc. We are the membership. All of us. None of us stole the money. None of us helped Riley take the money. None of us should be vilified for our expressions. Just my two cents for what they are worth.
Personally, I am awaiting any legal answer to my questions as they were honestly put forth. While the judge will ultimately decide the penalty, I am truly curious about the repayment as several of our members put up their own money to pull us out of debt. Have they even been repaid yet or is Tarvalon.net still trying to pay them back? Thank you for your time and consideration to my questions.
I want to make it clear that the admins are not trying to shut down any conversation. The only time we will do that is if the conversation veers into territory deemed inappropriate by our code of conduct -- ie, personal attacks. No one has crossed that line, and no comments from administration in this thread should be taken as a reprimand.
I agree with Eleyan in that talking about might-maybe-should-could isn't productive, but I also agree with Sela in that it can be cathartic and help membership in general work through some of the feelings. We're all entitled to our opinions, and opinions about others' opinions. Feel free to continue the discussion, so long as it stays respectful.
Miridy, they are paying the people that fronted the cash back. It's been in the annual financial reports. They're on track to pay it off next year, IIRC.
In addition to that, even if the judge orders repayment, it's not like he's going to have over $20k in a bank account he can just write a check from. From what I've read, assuming he's found guilty, after his time in jail, and his fines are paid, then the garnishing of wages goes to paying the victim back if restitution is ordered.
Can they not force the sale of his assets (like house, car, electronics, furniture etc.) if he doesn't have the cash to pay? I know that's something that can be done here (although I'm a little hazy on the specifics of it - but there are rules like that their primary place of residence can't be sold but a secondary property can; if they own a car valued over a certain amount, it can be sold and they can replace it with a car below the value threshold, and the surplus profits go to paying off their debts etc.).
That's how I understand it too, but you can't squeeze blood from a stone. If an asset check shows nothing there, there's a chance we may not be repaid. Bear in mind I work in auto insurance, and that's something we see often, especially if the person in question is in bankruptcy. However, this is a legal case, not a civil case, so I may be wrong that's it's a possibility.
My law's a little hazy but I think a court would have to order that, so there would need to be a judgement on the matter, but I think it also depends (and I think this is the case, that US law is similar to UK law in this way) that it depends what type of case is brought against him - Civil or Criminal (although it may be possible to do both?)
My understanding is that a criminal conviction is generally penal - there's nothing in that about compensating the victims, and the reverse is true of civil.
I think a criminal case could be brought re: theft and a civil tort re: fraud ?
I think - in the UK at least - whilst the police can process a criminal conviction if the victims press charges, the victims, i,e, TV.net would have to sue under tort law in a civil court to try and get reparations, but again - I'm ot a lawyer, and this is based on my very hazy knowledge of UK corporate law. Hammar might be able to confirm (the process, not whether or not TV plan to do that at this stage)
There may also be some difference depending on whether it ends up with the IRS/Federal charges or just some sort of local charges (ie ALabama only), both in terms of what can be ordered and who gets first pick of any money available.
I think that while it can feel good to speculate, most of us don't have any information other than the original post and what Hammar has since added, so we really have no idea about what could happen
Obviously, this whole debacle stirs up a lot of feelings for me. Riley was my Warder. Although he was bonded to multiple Aes Sedai over the years, he was, for me, my one and only Warder. We had (I thought) a very close relationship. I shared a lot of my deepest personal struggles and worries with him, (and I am a very private person) and he always seemed supportive and kind.
When all of this exploded, I was more shocked than anyone. I knew that Riley had some financial troubles. He was starting a new job, not yet bringing in quite the level of income he hoped, and he had a large number of dental bills that had to be paid. I even offered to loan him money, and he refused.
In the days following the exposure of his embezzlement, I too, had a lot of the feelings that some of the good-hearted people here have expressed. "Surely, he only took a small amount and meant to pay it back..." "Surely, he could repay this, and perhaps be forgiven." "Why on Earth didn't he ask for help? We help people here all the time!" As he and I continued to communicate through phone and e-mail, what struck me most was his utter lack of affect. He was not sorry. He was only sorry that he was caught.
I know it's nothing that will hold up in court. It's just my own impression, my own opinion, from phone calls, and hearing his "tone" of voice.
You guys. HE WAS NOT SORRY. NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT.
He tricked and lied to his closest friends. He stole an enormous sum of money, carefully siphoning it off over a long period of time, and nearly destroyed a get together that so many had contributed to financially.
I was deeply embarrassed and ashamed to be so closely affiliated with such an individual. I was incredibly disappointed that he hadn't shared any of this information with me before the scandal broke, that the trust I thought we had was not reciprocal, and that I too, had been duped, along with everyone else.
In the days following the scandal, I was contacted by multiple women, who all said they felt a special connection or closeness with Riley. That he'd hinted that if things opened up, he might even like to bond them one day. Each of them, in all sincerity, thought they were the only one that had this kind of close friendship with him. To me, it really felt like he was cultivating a harem of potentially influential women in the Tower. When Riley and I had first bonded, I was a member of Tower Administration, and for a time, Head of my Ajah and he'd expressed to me how proud he was to be affiliated with someone "influential." As I dealt with some real-life health issues, and decided to step back and "just" be an Aes Sedai, it seemed he was already grooming potential replacement(s) for me. That was extremely hurtful.
I haven't posted publicly about this until now, because it doesn't feel good to drag someone's name through the mud. It felt better to "take the high road" and take a break from the Tower for a bit. But, I see new people, especially, kind of floundering with what little information they've been given, and hoping to think the best of people, erroneously thinking that this isn't such a big deal. I felt I needed to say some things to set the record straight.
I can't offer an official diagnosis - is he a sociopath? a narcissist? I don't know. I don't feel that he is mentally healthy. One of my worst fears has been that this will all "blow over" and that he'd secretly return to the boards, likely with a new handle and a new avatar.
This organization has suffered from secrecy and a too-strict hierarchy probably since its inception, in large part because those are key features of the White Tower in the books. It makes for good drama - it makes for compelling reading - but in real life, it's no way to run an organization. I feel sad to say, that a scandal like this was probably just waiting to happen. Transparency is the enemy of dysfunction, and it's something that I think tarvalon.net needs a lot more of.
If Riley goes to jail, it won't be because we're being too hard on a friend. It will be because he earned his place there with his own misdeeds.
Thank you for those words, Ismene. All I can say is that I agree that more transparency is needed- and while the administration seems to be working towards that, there is a long way to go, I think.
Thank you Ismene, for sharing your thoughts and feelings.
I admit that the idea that he could come back with a new name, a new avatar has occurred to me many times. This being the internet, I don't think there is anyway to really prevent that from happening if he chose to do it. It's a real concern. Especially if as people have said his legal team could take requests for leniency from here and give them to a judge... and have them matter.
Please Hammar or others with more law experience, could that happen?
I would be more than happy to print any and all relevant TV threads out and enter them into evidence. Believe me when I say the reaction of a few members of the membership who say "man this sucks but I'd rather he not go to jail" is not adverse here.
There are other ways.
Yes, subject to certain rules.
I think you mean "criminal, not civil"?
Also, a civil case is not ruled out.
Civil cases do not end up with jail time (the burden of proof is lower in civil cases, so jail is out of bounds) but criminal penalties can include restitution, yes.
In addition to other claims, yes.
Separate names with a comma.