Judge Orders Massive Settlement in Defamation Case
An Australian judge has ordered two media outlets to pay Peter Schiff, an American economist, a sum of more than half a million dollars for defaming him. The judge's decision comes after a bizarre scandal in which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and five other governments joined forces to target Schiff with the "biggest tax evasion investigation in the world."
Schiff, who is a frequent guest on conservative media, became the target of the investigation when government agents leaked its existence to the New York Times and two Australian media outlets, The Age and 60 Minutes, both owned by Australian media giant Nine.
The media outlets ran stories that suggested Schiff's advocacy for low-tax policies was evidence of his intention to break tax laws. This led to a series of events that resulted in the closure of Schiff's bank, Euro Pacific, by a Puerto Rican regulator. The IRS, apparently taking credit for the closure, falsely claimed that it was due to money laundering and tax evasion. However, the investigation found no evidence to support these accusations.
In response to the false reporting, Schiff sued the journalists who had worked on an over-the-top video segment about the investigation, as well as an associated article. The Australian judge ruled that the television segment was defamatory, but the article was not.
Today I won my defamation case against Nine, The Age, Nick McKenzie, Charlotte Grieve and Joel Tozer.
Justice Jackman of the Federal Court of Australia entered judgment in the sum of $550,000 against each of them in my favour, which is in excess of the statutory cap for damages…
— Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) November 21, 2023
According to court documents, the journalists appeared to work closely with the government to craft a narrative against Schiff and his bank. They conducted interviews with former employees and customers of Euro Pacific Bank, who all spoke highly of its compliance procedures. However, the journalists disregarded these statements and used clever editing techniques to make it seem like the witnesses were saying the opposite.
They also attempted to tie Schiff's bank to organized crime, tax evaders, and other criminal activities, despite their sources stating that the bank was very careful about vetting customers and had never come across any suspicious activity.
The media outlets even resorted to hounding a man who had once been questioned by police in Thailand but was never arrested or charged with anything. The individual had used an account at Schiff's bank for mundane expenses, but the journalists tried to spin this as evidence of criminal behavior.
I've waited almost three years to post this interview. The Nine Network actually went to court last week to get an emergency injunction to prevent me from posting it as they argued the public shouldn't be allowed to see the "inner workings of broadcasters."https://t.co/jolYoXCZG2
— Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) November 28, 2023
Discovery in the lawsuit revealed the lengths to which the media went to push this false narrative against Schiff and his bank. When the media outlets tried to prevent the evidence from being made public, the judge warned them that it would not go well for them and they withdrew their emergency injunction.
This is not the first time Schiff has been targeted by the media and government agencies for his beliefs in low-tax policies. He believes that this case shows how the government and media work together to demonize those who do not share their ideology.
Schiff plans to hold the IRS accountable for their actions and hopes that this ruling against the media outlets will serve as a warning to others who may try to harm his reputation. He also believes that this case serves as a warning to the public that what they see on TV is not always the truth.