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Deception Of A Potted Palm

George Zimmerman

On 4/11/2012, George Zimmerman was arrested on charges of 2nd degree murder, and from jail, spoke to his wife about money donated to his defense fund.  By his instructions, Shellie Zimmerman spent money, transferred money, put money in a safe deposit box, and then lied to the court about her knowledge of that money.

When the prosecutors gathered evidence of the misrepresentation, they put their ducks in a row and filed papers in court asking that George Zimmerman’s bond be revoked.  In deciding to revoke George Zimmerman’s bond, Judge Lester stated to attorney Mark O’Mara:

“Does your client get to sit there like a potted palm and let you lead me down the primrose path? That’s the issue.”

George Zimmerman (GZ) was not required to testify in court during his bond hearing, but he was required to tell his legal counsel the truth.  Had he done so, there would have been no need for witnesses, such as Shellie Zimmerman, to testify about their finances.

That was not the first time that GZ sat like a potted palm.  In calendar year 2011, GZ received money in a legal matter and kept it secretive from a court of law. 

On May 10, 2006, GZ filed a complaint in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division.  That complaint was against Aames Funding Corporation, d/b/a Aames Home Loan (Aames).  That complaint alleged that GZ worked for Aames from 10/1/2005 to January 27, 2006, and that the company failed to pay him for overtime. (Complaint linked at bottom of page)

Paragraph 8 of that complaint sets forth that GZ retained the Pantas Law Firm to represent him in the matter and agreed to pay them reasonable attorney’s fees for its services.

On 5/5/2009, a “Suggestion of Bankruptcy” was filed in the case, setting forth that Aames had filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, requiring that the District Court enter a stay of proceedings in GZ’s case.   The court entered a stay of proceedings and thereafter, GZ’s attorney filed periodic status reports.

On 4/6/2012, a “Status Report” was filed in Case No. 6:06-CV-630-ORL-22JGG, George Zimmerman vs. Aames Funding Corp.    Attorney Pantas set forth in paragraph 3;

“Previously, the undersigned was informed that payment was expected sometime in 2012.  Recently, the undersigned has learned that said payment was actually sent to Mr. Zimmerman sometime in 2011. “

(Status report linked at bottom of page)

GZ did not inform his attorney that he received the money.  As set forth in paragraph 2, the attorney for the trustee in the bankruptcy case notified GZ’s attorney that an actual payment was made directly to GZ, and that;

“Mr. Zimmerman has since cashed the trustee’s check. “

Remember paragraph 8 of the complaint?  GZ agreed to pay reasonable fees to his attorneys. In the “Status Report” filed 4/6/2012, GZ’s attorney sets forth;

“No fees or costs were deducted, and Mr. Zimmerman retained the entire amount of the check.”

A copy of the check is attached to the Status Report, providing that it was issued to GZ on July 7, 2011 in the amount of $18, 219.71.

Maybe or maybe not by coincidence, on 4/9/2012, the Monday following the filing of that Status Report, GZ launched his website and although not charged with a criminal offense, asked for donations for his legal defense.   In about 8 months after receiving $18, 219.71, and although having a full-time job, GZ was financially broke.

On 4/10/12, attorneys Hal Uhrig and Craig Sonner held a press conference saying that they lost track of Zimmerman on Sunday when he stopped returning their calls.

According to Mark Osterman, after GZ killed Trayvon Martin, GZ spent about 6 weeks at his home in Lake Mary, FL.   In Sonner and Uhrig’s press conference, they stated that GZ was no longer in the state of Florida.  The six weeks that GZ spent at Osterman’s house suggests that he left right about the time when attorney Pantas notified the court that he was only recently made aware that  in July 2011, GZ received over $18,000.

GZ’s acts of desperation that weekend might not be solely related to the murder investigation that was taking place.  His wrong doing in not notifying his attorney in the civil case of receiving the check in July 2011, neither paying costs and fees, was now documented in court record.

For whatever reason, GZ could no longer remain at his best friend’s house in Lake Mary, FL.  GZ found it necessary to run, to stop communicating with his attorneys, and — he needed money.  GZ had sat like a potted palm for 8 months, leading his attorney down the primrose path.

GZ betrayed his legal counsel in the civil matter.  Is he also capable of betraying Mark O’Mara?

Zimmerman’s complaint against Ames

Status Report Filed 4/6/12