This is Part 8 of my continuing coverage of the legal plight of Bruce Aristeo of Camden, New Jersey originally begun with a relationship breakup and civil dispute with Jody Raines and subsequently escalated to the Camden County (NJ) Prosecutor’s Office.
(NOTE: Because I have written numerous articles on the Jody Raines – Camden County Prosecutors vs. Bruce Aristeo Legal Saga, there is now an article index I refer new readers to read and catch-up. I highly recommend you read the articles in chronological order to get the full, complete story with the proper context.)
The burning question that many people have is, “How the hell did the situation between Jody Raines and Bruce Aristeo get so bad that got Bruce arrested, indicted, and sit in jail for six months?” There were no accusations of physical violence, just a lot of complaints of annoying, socially and professionally “harassing” speech.
Both parties thought the legal system would fix their problems. All it did was escalate matters to unimaginable proportions. Up to now, Bruce has paid the highest price in all of this and so successfully destroyed her ex-boyfriend personally and professionally. I suspect, that over time, the scales will eventually tip against Jody Raines when the Streisand Effect kicks in. I cannot predict when the Streisand Effect will take effect but I am confident it will.
Having interviewed Bruce extensively, I asked Bruce to provide me his timeline of events with Jody Raines. Keep in mind I have done my best to stick to tangible issues that could be supported in the form of legal, court, and police documents. However, there is little I can do to corroborate Bruce’s side of the story beyond the legal, court, and police documents. I was not there. I have never met or communicated with Jody Raines. I have no opinion of her except the impressions she has left from what I have uncovered so far. Clearly, I am only getting Bruce’s side of the story.
The timeline of events below is from Bruce’s perspective, records, and recollections peppered with a few of my own side remarks and comments.
Significant 2011 Events
- February 4, 2011: Bruce ended the dating relationship with Jody.
- February 27, 2011: Bruce ended his business relationship with Jody. [Bruce said he was trying to finish up outstanding projects.]
- March 05, 2011: Jody falsely reported to New Jersey Unemployment that Bruce was self-employed, which terminated his benefits and educational assistance.
- March 28, 2011: Jody began contacting various local business organizations and reported Bruce as “not worthy of membership.” [This marks the start of Jody’s negative publicity campaign against him.]
- March 28, 2011: Jody employed a man named Bobby to call and threaten Bruce not to attend business events in South Jersey. [This is slightly thuggish behavior.]
- March 29, 2011: Jody made false allegations of domestic violence to the Voorhees Police Department causing Bruce’s arrest several days in advance of a business-networking event.
- March 30, 2011: Jody had Bruce arrested again for Violation of TRO for retaining her ex-husband’s attorney. [Not a very bright move on Bruce’s part given that there are probably hundreds of lawyers in New Jersey]
- April 1, 2011: Jody employed a company to obtain a 60-page investigative consumer report about Bruce, the report contained personal information about Bruce and his family. [Understandably, Bruce was not happy about this.]
- April 6, 2011: Jody began emailing and Facebook messaging the report to various people and organizations to have Bruce barred from membership. [Understandably, Bruce was not happy about this negative online campaign.]
- April 19, 2011: (TRO Hearing) Jody coerced Bruce into signing a no-contact civil agreement by stating she would testify Bruce made sexual passes at her daughter.
- May 06, 2011: Jody had barred Bruce from various Internet discussion groups while he was a member.
- On or about June 1, 2011: (Harassment Hearing) Jody alleged Bruce yelled at her on the phone. After Jody learned Bruce recorded the call, and the recording demonstrated Bruce did not raise his voice, Jody claimed her daughter needed to make a statement.
- June 22, 2011: Jody had Bruce removed from the Mt. Laurel (NJ) Business Networking event, she falsely alleged to the police and members that she had a restraining order against Bruce.
- July 15, 2011: Jody joined a business-networking event three weeks after Bruce, then contacted the event coordinator to have Bruce prohibited from attending.
- November 12, 2011: Jody had Bruce arrested and TRO issued for registering to the Mt. Laurel HubSpot Business-Networking event, which was scheduled 3 days later.
- November 21, 2011: After the TRO probable cause hearing, Jody had Bruce arrested for violation of TRO alleging Bruce drove next to her and waved his finger angrily.
- December 06, 2011: Jody made false allegation having Bruce charged with stalking.
Significant 2012 Events
- January 18, 2012: Jody called and e-mailed a Rotarian President, and represented that Bruce was under a TRO, “not a person of quality”, and should be “prohibited” from joining Rotary.
- January 25, 2012: Jody and Bruce attended a joint public Philadelphia and Camden Chamber of Commerce business networking event where over 300 people attended. Jody saw Bruce and called Camden County Park Police falsely alleging Bruce was prohibited from attending because he was harassing her. Bruce was escorted from the event by police.
- February 11, 2012: Jody emailed Bruce’s clients TRO, violations, harassment and stalking charges, and other sensitive and court-sealed documents.
- April 10, 2012: Jody entered a restaurant where Bruce was having lunch with a friend. Jody called the police and falsely alleged Bruce was prohibited from being around her and requested he be arrested and a violation of TRO be issued.
- April 24, 2012: Bruce received an anonymous threatening letter containing references only Jody would have knowledge of.
- April 27, 2012: Jody posted on Internet social networks threatening comments related the anonymous letter.
- May 25, 2012: Bruce received anonymous phone calls and voicemail that sounded like Jody.
- July 10, 2012: Jody falsely testified at the November 26, 2011 violation of TRO, regardless of her statements, Bruce was found not guilty.
- August 02, 2012: Jody committed fraud/deceit before a Judge by signing a civil agreement that she included false information and was incapable of complying with. The false information coerced the indefinite TRO against Bruce.
- August 03, 2012: Jody continued restricting Bruce’s registrations to LinkedIn groups, including those where the group owners were clients of Bruce.
- November 30, 2012, January 10 & 24, February 08 & 22, March 08 & 25, 2013 Jody certified false information was true before several judges during a motion hearing.
Significant 2013 Events
- March 27, 2013: Jody provided to Camden County Prosecutor’s Office through Investigator Christopher Auletto a taped false statement, false documentation, and certified that said information is true.
- April 16, 2013: Jody participated in an undercover surveillance and entrapment operation alleging Bruce follows her. [Only found out much later upon discovery request.]
- April 25, 2013: Jody begins to engage in harassing communications to Bruce under several anonymous social network accounts.
- May 17, 2013: Bruce was arrested, his property searched and seized on the merits of Jody’ statements. [His Mac computer worth $1,700 is being claimed as an Asset Forfeiture.]
- May 17, 2013 through November 22, 2013 (approx. 6 months): Bruce was arrested and incarcerated due to Jody’s complaints and subsequent actions taken by the Camden County Prosecutors Office.
- During Bruce’s incarceration, he lost his residence, business, financial standing, personal and business reputation, and suffered significant emotional distress.
- Jody caused Bruce to spent over $100,000 in legal fees and expenses for her false allegations. [Bruce said he ultimately had to cash out all his retirement and savings accounts and sell his car and motorcycle for cash. He was also evicted from the apartment he lived in because couldn’t earn money to pay any bills during his six months in jail.]
When you read through the timeline, you can see that it got very ugly and contentious. What is not in the 2011 timeline is that Bruce filed two civil lawsuits against Jody. One for approximately $4,500 for non-payment of services rendered. The other for approximately $12,000 for the alleged sale of his intellectual property creations. Personally, I think it was something he should have let go once he found out that Jody might be a crazy woman. At one point, things were so contentious, there were competing restraining order applications filed in court. Bruce tried to stop her negative publicity campaign
If what Bruce states is true in this timeline of events, Jody pulled out all the stops to engage in a very ugly, aggressive, negative publicity campaign against him. It is beyond the pale and says a lot more about Jody than it does Bruce. She comes off as the stereotypical woman scorned, the type of woman that men should get never involved with to begin with but run away fast when you do. Jody appeared to push the local court system into action by her persistence. While I largely agree with Bruce’s position, he did himself no favors in a few instances.
I have gotten a taste of Bruce’s personality. He is an intelligent, articulate, talented, credentialed, and well-educated individual but he is somewhat misguided and occasionally made bad decisions. He is what I call a “right-fighter” and willing to “fight to to the death to be right” even if it kills him figuratively (“dead right” as the expression goes). I told him I never saw someone who spent so much money on lawyers and still ended up so far on the losing stick. I told him I didn’t need to spend $100,000 to lose as badly or as much as he has. It tells me he absolutely didn’t know how to hire and find the right lawyers. He foolishly and blindly the advice that was being told to him. He put all his eggs in the lawyers basket when he should have found real advocates that were sympathetic to his plight. He admitted that his lawyers saw him as an ATM machine and milked him until he had nothing left in his bank account.
Jody Raines absolutely plastered and destroyed Bruce Aristeo on the credibility front. Nearly everyone who had any power to put a stop to this nonsense decided to believe and support Jody with no regard to the First Amendment or Bruce’s free speech rights. It appears to have been entirely ignored in Camden County, New Jersey.
Regardless of what anyone might think of Bruce on a personal level, it is very clear to me that Bruce was well within his rights to attend business meetings and events. He had the right to make YouTube videos as a response to Jody’s negative publicity campaign against him and he should not have been arrested or indicted for it. What he wrote on his websites and said in his YouTube videos was nowhere close to being “true threats” or any other exception to the First Amendment. And that outrageous “indefinite” restraining order that he signed should not be enforceable anywhere in the United States.
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