Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Adam Winter - rich reality star, and entrepreneur, or impoverished blackmailer?

I haven't watched much reality TV since about season 4 of the US Big Brother, so I missed this episode of the Millionaire Matchmaker when it came out in February. The show's host, Patti, wrote about one millionaire:

[M]y other client is a young Southern boy from Tennessee. I call him “the Beverly Hillbilly” because like on the TV show, he’s just picked up and moved to Beverly Hills. Well, he made a lot of money in green transportation. He’s a smart kid, Adam. The problem is he isn’t sure what he wants. He made his money out in LA, the big city, but his heart is back in Tennessee. So he needs a modern city girl who also has one foot planted in the country.

The reference to "green transportation" is a reference to Adam Winters' company Green Technology Transport. And if he wasn't wealthy enough from that, he recently launched an app called Shipey.

Shipey, Inc. (pronounced ship’ ee) was founded in 2013 by entrepreneur Adam Winters. Shipey’s first smart device app launches in May 2014. Shipey is an app that allows almost anyone with a vehicle act as a transport driver.

So what does this Beverly Hills guy with a new business servicing San Francisco do in his spare time? Well, for that we'll turn to that noted business publication called The Smoking Gun.

Adam Winters, 25, was named in a May 23 criminal complaint charging him with attempting to extort money through an interstate communication, a felony....

As detailed in the criminal complaint, Winters earlier this month sent an e-mail to the firm that manages and operates the Y-12 National Security Complex, a Department of Energy facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee that produces and refurbishes nuclear weapons components and stores nuclear material....

[His] slides--“from the 1940’s-1980’s”--contain “enough documentation that shows enough evidence where this could win tons and tons of lawsuits if they were to get out,” Winters wrote in the e-mail, which he also sent to the FBI’s Knoxville office and Vice President Joe Biden. The correspondence, which included Winters’s name and phone number, concluded with the warning, “You have 48 hours to respond before these go to Auction.”

So Winters arranged to meet with someone to sell the slides, but that someone was an undercover agent who arrested him.

Oh, and The Smoking Gun mentioned one other thing.

[A] federal magistrate ruled that Winters was eligible for a court-appointed lawyer since his sworn financial affidavit revealed that he “does not have the funds to retain an attorney.”
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