Whitaker began fielding angry complaints from customers

And don’t let Matt Whitaker try to tell you he thought the company was on the up and up.

(And even if he really did think that, it would be no excuse, because he should have done due diligence.)

He knew damn well it wasn’t.

Months after joining the advisory board of a Miami-based patent company in 2014, Matthew G. Whitaker began fielding angry complaints from customers that they were being defrauded, including from a client who showed up at his Iowa office to appeal to him personally for help, records show.

Yet Whitaker, now the acting attorney general, remained an active champion of World Patent Marketing for three years — even expressing willingness to star in national television ads promoting the firm, the records show.

I guess the deal with these guys is that they admire a successful con. (Maybe they all think they’re Henry Gondorff.) They think it’s smart and impressive and – as Trump so wisely said today – “cool.”

Internal Federal Trade Commission documents released Friday in response to a public records request reveal the extent of Whitaker’s support for World Patent Marketing, even amid a barrage of warnings about the company’s behavior.

The FTC eventually filed a complaint against World Patent Marketing, accusing it of cheating customers and falsely promising that it would help them patent and profit from their inventions, according to court filings. Some clients lost their life savings, the agency alleged.

Last May a federal court ordered the company scam to to pay a settlement of more than 25 million and shut the scam down. When the Feds subpoenaed Whitaker for his records he missed the deadline, and when they caught up with them he explained he was working for the Justice Department now so that’s why he forgot his homework and how he’s very important. He never did give them any records, saying they were privileged because legal matters.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat and future chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the records show Whitaker was alerted early to the alleged fraud and should have taken action.

“These new documents suggest that Mr. Whitaker was personally aware of allegations of fraud by World Patent Marketing and its CEO at the same time he was receiving payments as a member of the Advisory Board,” Cummings said in a statement. “If true, this is extremely troubling and raises serious concerns about his fitness to serve as acting Attorney General and whether he was properly vetted for this critical position.”

In other words it’s just one more giant can of sleaze that we’ve got oozing all over us.

As the FTC was investigating the company, agency officials examined whether Whitaker played a role in trying to help the company silence critics by threatening legal action, as The Washington Post previously reported.

When investigators learned about Whitaker’s new posting in Washington, they were stunned, the new records show.

“You’re not going to believe this,” James Evans, an investigator in the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection wrote in late October 2017, several weeks after the agency issued Whitaker a subpoena. “Matt Whitaker is now chief of staff to the Attorney General. Of the United States.”

And now he’s the Acting AG! Is this a great country or what?!

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