Infamous porn troll, Paul Hansmeier, has finally been brought to justice

Infamous porn troll Paul Hansmeier was finally sentenced to 14 years in prison.


June 18, 2019

Q: Hey whatchya in here for? 

A: Porn fraud.

These words may soon be muttered often by Paul Hansmeier, a Minneapolis lawyer recently sentenced to 14 years in the clink for an elaborate downloading scheme involving porn.

In short, Hansmeier uploaded porn vids to file-sharing networks for users to download. Then, when somebody took the bait — he sued their a**ses.

Prosecutors say Hansmeier and associates pilfered more than $6m from copyright settlements this way between 2010 and 2013.

The warning flags came up early…

Ars Technica reported Hansmeier was the head of a “porn trolling operation” under a shell organization, Prenda Law, in 2012.

As part of Prenda’s strategy, the firm sought settlements of a few thousand dollars; small enough not to be financially viable for victims to fight in court — not to mention hilariously embarrassing.

But eyebrows began to raise. Judges around the country dug into past Prenda-related cases where they found more and more fraud examples. 

*cues fall from grace*

For years, Hansmeier tossed other lawyers under the bus, lied to the courts and destroyed evidence. But the pile grew faster than he could demolish, and eventually it spilled over.

By 2016, Hansmeier and Steele were arrested for federal fraud, perjury, and money laundering. By 2017 Steele crumbled and pleaded guilty, leaving Hansmeier up porn creek without a paddle. 

And by August 2018, he finally accepted his fate. Now, he’s got 14 years to think about the time he almost got away with defrauding horny middle-aged men in his prime.

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