"Widows Sons Alliance" members to face lawsuits, possible criminal charges for conspiracy to commit fraud, theft, perjury!
The President of the "Widows Sons Alliance" Andy Reynolds of the Kings Guard Grand Grand Chapter NY had illicitly acquired a federal trademark for the Widows Sons logo and has currently been engaging in fraudulently selling Trademark Assignments to various chapters and states by falsely claiming ownership of the logo. The logo remains under federal copyright protection which has not been cancelled, invalidated, or made null by the illicit trademarking of the logo by Mr. Reynolds. Mr. Reynolds is aware that his trademark of the logo is not enforceable and should he attempt to enforce it through civil action it would lead to the revocation of the trademark and subject him to federal charges of perjury and fraud for registering a copyrighted image in bad faith. We know that he is aware of this because Mr. Reynolds had sent a letter to the chief officer of the Low Twelve Masonic Bikers Association, Brother Dave Danielson, and threatened to sue and fine the LTR if they did not cease to use their logo or patch which is a derivative work based on the Widows Sons logo. Brother Danielson employed a local trademark attorney, presented him with documentation that the LTR had received permission to use their patch design by the copyright owner of the Widows Sons logo, Brother Fred Broecker in 2008. Brother Danielson's attorney checked for the existence of and status of the copyright and determined that Brother Danielson and the LTR had full rights to the use of their patch and that Mr. Reynolds had no legal basis for demanding that the LTR discontinue its use. The attorney further stated that should Mr. Reynolds attempt any legal action it would fail and result in the revocation of the trademark. Brother Danielson's attorney sent Mr. Reynolds a letter of response explaining the legal deficiencies of his claim and invited him to pursue legal action against his client if he wished. Neither Brother Danielson or his attorney have heard from Andy Reynolds since he received their response.
Most recently, Andy Reynolds also tried to threaten Brother Rick Casada of the newly chartered Missouri Grand Chapter by stating his chapter was not recognized by The Alliance and would not be allowed to use the trademarked logo. Brother Casada consulted a copyright attorney who also compared the trademark documentation with the copyright registration and informed Brother Rick that it was abundantly clear that Mr. Reynolds did not have a legal leg to stand on and has exposed himself to a lawsuit for copyright infringement, fraud, and registering a trademark in bad faith. It took Brother Casada's attorney only 10 minutes to look up the documentation and compare the dates of both the copyright assignment and the issuance of the trademark, and determine that Mr. Reynolds had perjured himself by claiming under oath that he owned all rights to the mark (image), and that to the best of his knowledge no other person or business was already using it. The following image is a available online at the United States Patent Office and is the sworn affidavit and application signed on behalf of Andy Reynolds by his attorney.
The USPTO has on file the original application which is not depicted in the link above whereby both Mr. Reynolds and his attorney hand signed the application stating that the applicant (Andy Reynolds / Kings Guard Grand Chapter Inc.) owned the mark (image) and that it was not being used by any other person, association, or entity. Andy Reynolds had full knowledge of the copyright ownership by Brother Broecker and that he had no legal or moral right to claim the work as his own. All of the documents related to the false registration may be viewed in full at the following link: http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=4848846&caseSearchType=US_APPLICATION&caseType=DEFAULT&searchType=documentSearch
While the applicant is listed as the Kings Guard Grand Chapter of New York Inc. the registration was initiated by Andy Reynolds on behalf of his chapter. The listed address of 1190 Harris Road, Webster New York is Andy Reynold's place of business (A Reynolds Design & Remodeling). By submitting a registration in bad faith in the name of his chapter, Mr. Reynolds has also exposed his chapter and particularly the executive officers of the Kings Guard Grand Chapter to future pending litigation, fines, attorney & court fees, and damages.
We have printed out hard copies from the Alliance's Web Forum where various members of the Alliance were discussing means by which they could challenge Brother Broecker's copyright and force him to surrender it. In one forum posting, Jay Campbell the President of the Massachusetts Grand Chapter made the statement that Brother Broecker was financially distressed and they could violate his copyright because Brother Broecker could not afford to sue them. Shortly thereafter Andy Reynolds reported back and announced that he had filed for a trademark of the logo and he would soon own it on everyone's behalf and for their benefit. We have evidence that Andy Reynolds with other leaders of the Alliance had entered into a conspiracy to fraudulently deprive Brother Broecker of his intellectual property rights by seeking their own federal trademark of the logo. His co-conspirators (Scott Frum, Jay Campbell, John Pawlowski, Wally Mayberry, Dan Akers, Michael Wade, etc) will also be exposed to the liabilities, criminal charges, fines, and damages associated with this case if depositions reveal that Mr. Reynolds received support, advice, guidance, or financial assistance from others. The Alliance leadership has also been soliciting donations from the Widows Sons membership to reimburse Andy Reynolds for the expenses he incurred for acquiring the illicit trademark. The soliciting and receiving of funds for reimbursement coupled with the sale and attempted sale of Trademark Assignments constitutes a willful act and attempt to gain profit. A potential patch vendor stated that Mr. Reynolds had also requested a royalty or licensing fee to produce the patches.
Contained in the documents of the trademark listed in the link above, Brother Broecker had filed an opposition to the trademark application and the opposition documents may be examined in full by following the link listed above. The opposition was denied due to a rule whereby the USPTO does not deny trademarks based on copyright claims unless a civil case regarding copyright infringement had been filed and adjudicated prior to the application. In order for the opposition to have been successful, Brother Broecker would have had to file a copyright infringement suit prior to the trademark application but was unable to do so before the expiration of the opposition period. However the trademark can and will be invalidated upon completion of the upcoming lawsuits. Brother Broecker has retained an attorney and a federal copyright violation suit will be filed against Mr. Reynolds in Federal District Court.
The penalties for willful
copyright infringement are severe. Fines may be levied up to a
maximum of $150,000 per occurrence, statutory damages, costs and
legal fees, and a maximum of 5 years in prison. The penalties are
listed in detail at the following links:
The body of evidence that has been collected against Andy Reynolds and his co-conspirators is overwhelming and undeniable. Updates regarding this case will be posted as they become available. It is highly recommended that all concerned parties within the Widows Sons decline to purchase the illicit Trademark Assignments or contribute to Mr. Reynolds reimbursement as any member, chapter, state board, or vendor which has done so may be subpoenaed to give depositions regarding their purchases and contributions, and the names of many brethren may be entered into the court records as a result. We urge everyone to distance themselves as far away as possible from this scandal.