Oregon man scams veterans out of wages, some left destitute

 
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Oregon man scams veterans out of wages, some left destitute

I said yesterday to some people that this guy is the worst person in the world.  That might be hyperbole, but he’s certainly the worst person I can think of right now.  I realize this video is long, but at least watch long enough to see what this guy did to his veteran employees.

Let’s start with Leatherby.  When he says that the governor of California hates him, the immediate reaction from knowing that the guy lies incessantly is to assume that that also is made up.  It may or may not be in this case.  Leatherby was a sort of guest of the governor for a while, if you consider being incarcerated by the state, and then filing a frivolous million dollar lawsuit against the state.  It seems Mr. Leatherby did time in the California Penal system, and alleges that it was because the state manufactured evidence against him, falsified documents and generally conspired against him.  In a show of remarkable ineptitude he employed himself in the roll of attorney, and the judge eventually tossed the entire thing because he kept failing himself as a lawyer.  (He neglected twice to actually serve the Defendants.)  So off he goes to Oregon.

 But his trail of disaster also branched out into Florida, where he allegedly scammed his father in law, a veteran himself, out of $15,000:

John Tillis is a Vietnam veteran, retired for 37 years. He says his son-in-law stole $15,000 from him.

"A Navy chief is usually pretty sharp. Maybe I've lost a little bit of it over the years, but I'm really embarrassed," Tillis, from Cape Coral, said. "He can lie so good and he researches it."

It all started with an idea and a plumping tool.

"He had planned he would assemble them up on the farm in Ohio using nothing but veterans," Tillis said. The company is called Leatherby Tools, run by Tim Leatherby.

Leatherby told the former Navy chief he wanted to give back to those who served with him.

 That seems consistent with this Youtube video Leatherby has posted up where he talks about this invention:

Now, this all came about because of an email from one of the workers in Oregon that contacted me.  Joe Lane is a Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran (and deployed to Qatar later) who was one of the victims in this case.  I absolutely loathe talking on the phone, but as soon as I got a chance I called up Joe, and the story he told me had be absolutely incensed.  It will likely surprise no one that Mr. Leatherby also lied about his military career.  I’m still researching that side, in hopes that a federal charge will be added to what the state of Oregon is going to do to this guy.  Leatherby does appear to have been a Marine at one point, based on the info supplied to me by a private detective.  But Leatherby is not a Silver Star recipient, something he told all of the men who worked for him.  In fact, he used his fake bona fides to get the guys to come work for him.

And it wasn’t just Joe, the former infantryman and transport soldier who is still on reserve status, I also talked to Larry Dye, a two-time Vietnam Navy veteran who worked landing craft for beaching Marines.  It was at least partially the fact that Leatherby was a Marine that Larry went to work for him.  But more so it was a chance to get back on his feet.  After being without work for quite a long time, Larry looked to get back on the right track by working as the construction foreman on the jobs in Salem.  Thanks in no small part to what happened here, Larry is now not only unemployed, but he and his wife are living in a mobile home at a camping area, trying to do the best they can to find work.  Larry’s truck gets about 8 miles to a gallon of gas, but he already lost his more fuel efficient truck when he couldn’t pay for it.  Meanwhile his wife is taking baby-sitting jobs as she can, and Larry continues to look for work.

The stories are heartbreaking.  And as I listened, I got madder and madder.  I called the state of Oregon and spoke with Virginia at the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI).  If there is a nicer lady in the state of Oregon, I don’t know who that could be.  All the guys praised her over and over, saying they talk to her daily, sometimes several times.  And she was just as helpful with me.  One good thing is that this happened in Oregon.  That state has a special fund (the “Wage Security Fund”) set up specifically for this type of thing.  Virginia tells me that of the 30 workers (28 men and two women) 21 have already applied for benefits, and they are moving to get them paid as soon as they can. Thankfully for everyone, Larry was a meticulous note keeper, and the State has all the info to get these people paid what they are due. 

And there’s another good guy in Oregon, local businessman John Bartolf:

A man has stepped forward to donate $10,000 to veterans who said they were cheated out of their wages.

John Bartholf saw the story on KATU News and wanted to help.

"Before the story even ended, I was picking up the phone, calling you guys. I didn't even give it any thought,” said Bartholf.

Bartholf is CEO of a company called Coverall of Oregon, which sells cleaning franchises. He is not a veteran, but he is grateful for their service.

"These people gave their lives to this country and we're going to say, 'Oh, well?' It's not going to work that way," said Bartholf.

And others in the community are helping as well

KATU viewers saw the stories about the veterans' plight and donated money to help, including one man who gave $10,000. With so many veterans in need, each family received a small amount of the $10,000 donation, but many said it gave them hope. Other people donated food, clothes, and more.

One group showed up at Browne's house with a surprise, a very large donation of food. Browne and his wife, Amanda Horsley, were overwhelmed. Then they decided it was their turn to give.

"I impulsively made the decision, 'We're going to feed people,'" said Browne.

They found other families who had bare cupboards and children to feed, and delivered the food to them, just in time for Christmas. They said they were able to help three families, including one with two small boys who were so eager to eat that they dug into the turkey as soon as it was brought in.

"I know there's a lot of people hurting much worse than us. I'm just so thankful that we have what we have," said Horsley. "We are blessed."

That really is heartwarming, and it makes me want to go to Oregon, where people look out for one another.  Joe tells me that the State isn't that big, and the sense of community is great.  Which makes Leatherby's lies all the more bizarre.  He didn't think any of them would realize that the Attorney General was not a man?  Who brings actors to a luncheon pretending to be someone of the opposite gender?

But now the guys (and girls) just want Leatherby to pay, if not in money, atleast in time as a guest of the State of Oregon, like he was in California.  After a while Joe and others started to realize that Leatherby's claims were ridiculous, and they wouldn't get paid.  "For a small group of us involved," says Joe "it became less about the money and more about making sure he wasn't able to hurt anyone else."

After the story initially broke the state Department of Justice went after Leatherby, and had a meeting wherein they signed a compliance agreement that Leatherby would pay the workers, and avoid charges under the labor issues.  (But NOT avoiding any criminal charges.)  I spoke with a person at the DoJ in Oregon who stressed to me that the agreement was just an attempt to get him to pay quick so they could get it to the workers.  Although not a veteran himself, this DoJ employee expressed to me how sad and angry the entire Attorney General’s office was over what happened to the vets.  And he promised they would do their all to exact a pound of flesh.

And it should surprise no one at this point that Leatherby defaulted on that agreement.  He paid the DoJ a grand total of $800, which they promptly turned over to BOLI to disburse to the workers.  The DoJ is pursuing criminal penalties, and I’ll update you when something happens. 

This case goes on and on, and I am not finished telling the whole story, but I wanted to get this up today.  If you feel like helping these veterans, especially if you live in Oregon and know someone who can help find these guys employment, contact...(See update)

 

UPDATE:  New contact to help:

Thank you Mark for your support of this endeavor! We wanted to let you know that donations for the Veterans affected by this story are now being made through the Easter Seals Employment Office in the Salem area. Impact NW was asked by KATU to help with the initial pathway of this project to ensure the Veterans received the right support and we have partnered with Easter Seals to make sure they receive the services they need. For more information or to make a donation, please contact Catherine Todd at Easter Seals at 971.678.7463 or 971.678.7463. Thanks! 

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Comments

Naaaahhhh. That would be too good for him!

What a piece of garbage! Hopefully my fellow Correctional Officers in Oregon will be seeing him soon...

So why is this guy still alive ?

Probably because he made himself real scarce real quick. Warm your heart at what he will confront in prison.

Sad a veteran would fall for a scam. If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

Sounds to me like this guy has more than just an issue of lying and cheating. He has deliberately targeted military veterans and their families and used them for his nefarious dealings, and he should be nailed for that and made to answer for it. It isn't likely he will ever pay the wages he has stolen from these warriors but he could sure be locked up and kept away from other potential victims in some other scam. Any property and equipment he owns should be confiscated by the state and sold to help recover those wages. Following that, the state should revoke his contractor's licensing and prohibit him from ever operating another business involving employees.
On that apartment complex remodel; how much was he paid by the owners for the work done, and when? Did the owner do any kind of background check into his business, insurances, licensing and bonding, and contractor status? If he were licensed and bonded, a lawsuit against that bond should recover something. Were there any references or recommendations? How is the IRS and Oregon taxing authority dealing with him and his business practices? Chances are, he paid no taxes in either.

I am also a disabled veteran & cannot believe the deceit this piece of /#$@% has given to these MEN. Can we shoot him in the leg & let him hobble around for a couple of days without food or shelter so he can think about what he has done to these MEN.

I would like to have about 5 minutes with this creep, and I could show him what a mad Vietnam vet thinks of him.

Mr. Lanning, lets teach him how to hunt for land minds till he finds one!!!

I'd suggest letting this A**HOLE babysit an IED until it 'spoke'.

This is a treacherous, prime example of obsession with sheer avarice and/or greed, trumping the brotherhood of our fellow warriors, (active, reserved, retired or Guard), our "brothers [and sisters] in Arms"; and his betraying the trust of those whom confided in Leatherby's smooth, seemingly convincing speech of his objective, and, as it turned out, it's being deceitful and subtle. This quotation "... by MOTHAX" dated "January 30th, 2014" is especially outrageous and provocative to conscientious, active duty Marines (and former Marines myself included) from the above text, and cited here as follows:

"Leatherby does appear to have been a Marine at one point, based on the info supplied to me by a private detective. But Leatherby is not a Silver Star recipient, [this is clearly suggestive of 'Stolen Valor' by Leatherby's false assertion], something he told all of the men who worked for him [as earning something that he did not.] In fact, he used his fake bona fides to get the guys to come work for him."

While this investigation of Leatherby's background continues to be ongoing as of the date of this article, his implicated actions to date, are a disgrace to the Marine Corps and its Latin motto of "Semper Fidelis [or 'Semper Fi'] " translated in English as "Always Faithful." His actions are UNFAITHFUL to his former and current fellow Marines, and his other brothers and sisters in Arms in the other military services and academies, whom may have recognized and respected him as a fellow warrior serving his country loyally and faithfully. A mutual committed trust, once betrayed, is extremely difficult (if at all) to reconcile or redeem. Leatherby, by his intentions and behavior has come to be perceived by the military community, as an unconscionable outcast, devoid of admirable recognition and respect, and whom has perhaps, irreparably ruined his reputation.

Since he is allegedly a veteran, maybe some time (like 30 years) at Ft. Leavenworth, Ks working amongst the rattlesnake infested area.

I have sent this email to my former employer, VFW, Orange county register, L.A. Times, San Diego newspaper, I just want my story to be heard:

Hello Angela,

I have heard some disturbing news, I just found out that the last veteran in that scanning department was just chased out. Ever since Josie Campos took over that department in 2012, she has systematically got rid of all the veterans in her department. She did not care. I am an 8 year Marine Sgt veteran, 2 honorable discharges with a Navy Achievement Medal veteran, my wife is bi-polar we have been married for over 27 years, she has been diagnosed during our whole marriage. My youngest daughter has "Tunner Syndrome", I am a Red Cross volunteer donating platelets, again, none of this mattered to her. Should it? You tell me. We have done nothing wrong, she just does not like veterans. Why? When I asked her she was silent. This is why I walked away from that company after the last Veteran's day in 2013. We were not even recognized. They much rather celebrate an employee birthday than to wish there veterans' a Happy Veterans Day. That was the last straw and I walked. I was there for almost 4 years, and in each one of those years the veterans' were not recognized. I know nothing will done of this because I know AppleOne is getting paid very well to supply temporary employees there, I do not want to be part of a company, or any of its support companies that do not even support its veterans. I just wish I could warn any other veteran going to that company to stay clear and not go there. Currently I still am unemployed, but I would rather be homeless, unemployed and broke than to put up with that disrespect. I protected this country from ALL enemies, foreign and domestic, to be treated by someone or to be part of a company that does not care of this countries greatest defenders, there is something definitely wrong here. R.C.O.C. treats people with learning disabilities, but it does not care if there own employees have mental issues or their spouses. I just wanted to say my peace. In this day and age where men and women are still laying there lives on the line over seas, to be treated so disrespectfully is uncalled for. And no other veteran should have to put up with this. We have done our time in hell, that is more than I can say for the people that do not even care about this countries military personnel or there families. God has a special place for people like that and they will have to answer to him, not me. I am done here.

Regards,
Felix Sarabia

Of course Mr. O did not DIRECTLY steal from Vets. He had the help of Congress. The BIG theft that
he will pursue is the raiding of the SS Trust Fund back in '64 by LBJ and the left. Mr. Mello would
certainly approve of it, revealing himself as one of them. Waiting for Mr. O to shed a speck of
credible evidence that he is, indeed, a US citizen and also reveal his college days, etc. OK?

Of course Mr. O did not DIRECTLY steal from Vets. He had the help of Congress. The BIG theft that
he will pursue is the raiding of the SS Trust Fund back in '64 by LBJ and the left. Mr. Mello would
certainly approve of it, revealing himself as one of them. Waiting for Mr. O to shed a speck of
credible evidence that he is, indeed, a US citizen and also reveal his college days, etc. OK?

It is terrible and unthinkable what this parasite has done to the Vets, but what people don't realize is that he is also screwing over unsuspecting women, mainly single mom's. He preys on their weaknesses, takes advantage of them, sucks them dry of every resource they have, then runs off. Leaving them holding the bag and paying the bills. He is a disgusting scum bag.

I have never known anything like this piece of #%^^(*^( but I have stepped in it a few times.

I can appreciate the fact that so many commenters here, veterans and otherwise, are angry. I am a Vietnam era veteran myself, actually was a single mother living on a shoestring raising 4 children after the war. It was beyond difficult. But I implore you all to put the sick people of this world out of the equation for the time it takes to cool down. I was a destitute veteran before it was recognized as the travesty it is. I had to accept public assistance for a time in order to feed my family, and there was a time in politics where mothers on "welfare" were vilified for being leeches. How do you think it felt for me to have served during a time of war, and then become the villain ? We have all had times when the injustice was overwhelming. Please don't become haters....just become stronger. If I can do it, we all can. There's so much more respect now for vets than there was in the 80's and 90's when my kids were small. Some female vets didn't even know they were eligible for VA services! I myself went 24 years not knowing I was. Bottom line, let the vengeance go. It serves no useful purpose, and in my heart I know he is ill. We will take care of our own, and this is a good lesson about how we need to become more active as a group. Brothers and sisters need to be able to do that.

I would rather not say how he was related however since he is gone from our lives I would like to say that he has taken 1000's of people for a ride. He has kids all over the country, none of which he pays for. How I describe him "if his lips are moving, he is lying". I pray to god that he will get what he so deserves! And yes I ask the same question as stated above in the comments section, why is this person still alive? Bless all the parties that try and get him.

Pathetic the havoc this moron has wrought in the lives of our American heroes in the Salem area, but truly heart-warming the act of kindness that surfaced from Mr. Bartholf. I just took a moment thank him by email for his wonderful act of generosity - and thank you, MOTHAX, for getting the story out!

His so called "business" website has been pulled down. Apparently the hosting provider is USMC and has just found out about this story, and Leathery's deceit in Oregon. The web hosting developer is attempting to setup a crowd-funding program for this - collected monies to got directly to the Salem Oregon Easter Seals setup specifically to help the Salem Oregon vets who have been ripped off, and vets who need help I can only assume.

Semper Fi.

QUOTE: General Jame Mattis
"Demonstrate to the world there is "No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy" than a U.S. Marine."

Please reply to this for suggestions.

a BUNCH OF US WOULD LIKE TO GET TOGETHER WITH THIS OLD BUDDY AND SPEND A LITTLE TIME WITH THIS SO CALLED usmc AND BE NICE TO SHOOT THE BREEZE AND DRAW STICKS TO SEE WHICH O

a BUNCH OF US WOULD LIKE TO GET TOGETHER WITH THIS OLD BUDDY AND SPEND A LITTLE TIME WITH THIS SO CALLED usmc AND BE NICE TO SHOOT THE BREEZE AND DRAW STICKS TO SEE WHICH O

Naw lets give him the poncho via treatment finishing off with having him play the Pinyata

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.