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Tom Martino apologizes (sort of) to "waste of skin" ex-pal after lawsuit dismissed

Update:Consumer advocate Tom Martino, who filed for bankruptcy last year, has been unhappy with our coverage of a lawsuit taken out against him by a former friend he dubbed a "waste of skin;" get details about a dare regarding my balls below. However, he was kind enough to let us know the matter has now been dismissed with prejudice. Continue to see the ruling and get reactions from Martino and his ex-pal.

As we've reported, the plaintiff in the case is Sheldon Chrysler, who describes himself as being "a victim of multiple economic crimes," as well as being "an 'at risk' disabled senior citizen and military veteran...dealing with mental health issues" prompted in part by the passing of his twin brother, Barry.

From a book Sheldon Chrysler wrote about himself and his late twin brother, Barry.
From a book Sheldon Chrysler wrote about himself and his late twin brother, Barry.

Chrysler's suit accuses Martino of harassment via phone calls and e-mails over a series of years. Here's an example of one such e-mail, from May 2009...

By the way. Fuck you for believing a piece of shit over a friend of 20 years. It is no wonder you ruined your relationship with your twin. Don't blame Ron. It was all you. You are a negative failure and should deal with it.

...and another from October 2011:

Sheldon,

I regret ever knowing you. You are a two-faced piece of shit.

I found out that you continue to perpetrate your lies about me being the "master-mind" behind that loan you got with Chris Kane. You even tries to get me in trouble with the US Department of Justice during my bankruptcy.

What a pitiful sorry pieve of shit you are.

You are a lonely, nasty, grumpy excuse for a human and a waste of skin.

I am sorry you got involved with Kane and it resulted in you losing your building. But I had nothing to do with it. How dare you try to ruin me and my family. But you will not prevail. I have never lied to you or anyone. I live my life by that code.

I have helped countless people -- including you. Or do you forget the loans I made you? Did you forget the $3,000 I GAVE you?

Your entire life has been living off of others. You think you have helped so many people and that you are selfless. But you are a sorry piece of shit.

I never want to see or hear from you again. My wife and I were shocked that you would try to ruin us in our darkest hour. But it during times like this that you get to know who your real friends are.

You are not my friend. And you are not a fried to anyone.

You are a bitter, selfish, evil person to the core.

That is why your brother died hating you. That is why everyone talks behind your back and know what a dirt bag you are.

I WAS your friend. Thank God I found out what you sare really made of -- shit -- to the core. I hope I never see you face to face. You won't like the results.

Tom

Mean? Sure. But Chrysler needed to prove that Martino's words qualified as "outrageous conduct," and in the view of Denver District Court Judge J. Eric Elliff, he didn't manage to do so. Elliff writes:

The level of outrageousness required for conduct to be considered "outrageous conduct" and create liability is extremely high.... "Mere insults, indignities, threats, annoyances, petty oppressions, or other trivialities are insufficient. Only conduct that is so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency and be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community, will suffice."

While the language of the e-mails is certainly unkind and insulting, the Court finds that Defendant's conduct does not rise to level of outrageous conduct required. Even accepting as true Plaintiff's allegation that Defendant was aware of Plaintiff's chronic depression, the Court stills finds that Defendant's conduct was not sufficiently extreme or outrageous to support a claim for relief.

As such, Elliff granted Martino's motion for summary judgment and dismissed with prejudice a trial set for December 17.

Continue for the reactions of Martino and Chrysler to the suit's dismissal.

When asked for his response to the judge's decision, Martino e-mailed the following statement:

This should have never risen to the level of a lawsuit. It was simply a disagreement between people. Sheldon sued me out of anger because I discovered he was a two-faced friend and called him out on it. However, I took the wrong approach. I should not have written such a mean-spirited letter. It was childish and wrong. It obviously hurt his feelings and I am sorry for that. I harbor no resentment and will not be seeking legal fees.

When contacted about this development, Chrysler shared an e-mail sent to him by Martino under the subject line "YOUR LAWSUIT WAS DISMISSED." It reads:

Sheldon,

I am attaching the Court Order dismissing your lawsuit against me.

I want you to know that I harbor no resentment toward you nor will I be seeking legal fees. The matter is closed. I also forgive you of any loans I have given you in the past.

Going forward, it is my true desire that you come to grips with your past failures and work toward taking responsibility for your actions. As I have said in the past, you should not have kept refinancing your real estate to a point of "no return." It was a warning I gave to you many times.

I also warned you about losing your home. I recommended year ago that you try to do a reverse mortgage or take other steps to address an future crisis. Unfortunately, you chose to blame me and others for all of your problems.

It is only through true self-examination that one can improve their lives.

I apologize for writing that nasty e-mail to you. Even though, at the time, I thought I was justified -- it was wrong.

Sincerely,

Tom Martino

Here's Chrysler's e-mail reaction to the personal note:

Matino states in his e-mail letter to me that he forgives me for any loans. Fact is, any and all loans made to me by Martino were repaid! Verifiable.

Martino also states that he'd warned me about taking out loans on my property, and to do a reverse mortgage on my house.

Yes, this is true. He did warn me about it. However, you see, I had no choice. I'd asked Martino to help me to get gainful employment, and he did not. So, what's left? Wouldn't I need employment anyway just to survive and pay bills? How does Martino do it? I don't need Martino's help to fail. I need it to succeed! It's called "Income."

The money I'd borrowed on my property I'd used for burying my twin brother, doing his estate that come to about $100,000, make upgrades, and comply with EPA standards for my commercial building that come to about $50,000 +. I wasn't receiving any help from Martino or anyone else, so what choice am I left with except to borrow money?

More generally, Chrysler adds:

Unfortunately, bad people get rewarded with the best things in life, while others suffer the consequences of the ill deeds of these bad people.

I lost most everything because of people similar to Martino and his "Money buddies." I have to vacate the house that I've lived in for over fifty years by the end of this month. Where am I going to go? I have an option to buy back the house. However, I have no way to get the word out to advertise the house to people who'd be interested on buying it.

Those interested in contacting Chrysler in regard to the house can reach him at 303-355-4872 or speakbeakb@msn.com .

Here's Judge Elliff's order.

Tom Martino Sheldon Chrysler Judgment

Continue to read our previous coverage of the Sheldon Chrysler-Tom Martino dispute.

Update, 5:55 a.m. November 19:No one can accuse consumer advocate and self-described Troubleshooter Tom Martino of backing down from a fight. The KHOW radio personality, who made headlines last year after filing for bankruptcy, reacted to a post updating a lawsuit filed by a former friend he described as a "waste of skin" by dismissing he ex-pal as mentally ill, branding Westword "substandard" and questioning the integrity of this reporter. Details below.

Our post noted that Sheldon Chrysler, who confesses to what he calls "mental health issues," is suing Martino for harassment regarding phone calls and e-mails that refer to him as a "bitter, selfish, evil person" and a "dirt bag," among other things; get more information in the update, seen below.

In response, Martino sent yours truly a letter implying that Westword's coverage of what he sees as a non-story is part of an unsuccessful campaign to bring him down. Along the way, aspersions are cast on Chrysler and the newspaper as a whole, among other things.

Some clarifications about claims made in the note: Martino's letter implies that the post below was published as part of a physical media column, The Message, which hasn't appeared in print since 2008. In addition, the e-mail excerpts about which he complains initially turned up in this space in March. When he was asked for a response to Chrysler's suit and allegations at that time, he asked that a blog post explaining his point of view be printed in its entirety, which it was -- and the same item was also included here.

Here's Martino's letter, followed by interrogatories from the case provided by Chrysler. (The latter are handwritten, because Chrysler does not have an attorney at this time.) Below them is the previous update.

Tom Martino letter:

Michael,

I know we have had our differences in he past but your recent articles concerning Sheldon Chrysler's lawsuit against me (for intentional infliction of emotional distress) is nothing short of schlock gossip goading. Even a paper as substandard as Westword must, at the very least, have some modicum of journalistic integrity?

After reading your stuff, It doesn't take long to figure out why newspapers, like Westword, are dying across the country. Throwing color on it, changing the size and calling it a magazine can't prevent its inevitable demise.

How do you justify publishing e-mails from self-admitted mentally ill people (such as Chrysler) and making it seem like it's some kind of news or legitimate fodder your your column? Even by your own low standards, it seems wrong.

Is it really your modus operandi to simply take statements and e-mails on face value and publish them? Without taking any time to research truth, validity and circumstances?

Case in point: In numerous court documents and in deposition, Mr. Chrysler claimed to be clinically depressed and mentally disabled. Did it occur to you that his condition could also cause him to be paranoid, or see things in an exaggerated way or just plain false? Did it ever occur to you that you could be doing more harm than good when it comes to really helping him? (Yes, I get it -- you want to make me look bad. But at his expense?)

Case in point: DId you know that he has been mostly unemployed for the better part of 20-years and when he did have employment he was often fired or let go? If you researched this, you would see that I had nothing to do with his problems in that regard.

Case in point: Did you know that Chrysler has missed dozens (if not more) house payments over the past twenty-years, which lead to his foreclosure? If you researched this, you would see that I had nothing to do with his problems in that regard.

Case in point: Did you know that Chrysler inherited his commercial building free and clear many years ago? And that he continually put loans on it to meet his normal living expenses? And that I warned him NOT to keep refinancing it because he would eventually lose it? If you researched this, you would see that I had nopthing to do with his problems in that regard.

Case in point: Did you know that Chris Kane did not want to give him a loan on his building but Chrysler came to my office incessantly begging him for the loan because he was about to lose the building? Did you know, even after Chrysler defaulted on the loan to Chris Kane, Kane did not want to foreclose and gave him several chances to refinance it? Did you know that Kane eventually sold the "note" because he did not want to foreclose? And did you know the guy who bought the note also gave Chrysler a chance to repay it? If you researched this, you would see that neither Chris Kane or I have anything to do with his problems in that regard.

But you see, if you wrote the facts behind and surrounding Chrysler's story, it would not be so juicy. It would not make me look bad. So you continue to be lazy and call it journalism.

It is just too easy for you to publish statements, e-mails and accusations without any research or background checking. Isn't it?

It is too easy for you to simply toss your missiles and arrows without regard for truth. Isn't it?

You take solace in that "Hey, I'm not saying these things...I am simply reporting them." -- as you've told me in the past.

Good for you Mr. Roberts.

For years you have been taking shots at me. I'm still here. And now you've resorted to exploiting someone who is self-admittedly, mentally ill.

How about publishing my e-mail in it's entirely? Got the balls?

Sheldon Chrysler Interrogatories in Tom Martino Lawsuit

Continue to read our previous update of the Sheldon Chrysler lawsuit against Tom Martino.

Original post, 9:58 a.m. November 15: In March, we told you about a lawsuit filed against bankrupt consumer advocate Tom Martino by Sheldon Chrysler, an ex-friend who Martino described as a "waste of skin" -- and he subsequently sued Chris Kane, a former Martino associate who fronts Haystack Help, a consumer-advocacy website with a TV component on CBS4. But with the Martino court date just a month away, Chrysler has no lawyer and is fearful he'll be overwhelmed by the Troubleshooter's superior resources.

"I've never been as discouraged and disappointed in my life as I am now," Chrysler writes via e-mail. "I can't seem to get anything to work for me."

From a book Sheldon Chrysler wrote about himself and his late twin brother, Barry.
From a book Sheldon Chrysler wrote about himself and his late twin brother, Barry.

As we've reported, Chrysler describes himself as being "a victim of multiple economic crimes," as well as being "an 'at risk' disabled senior citizen and military veteran...dealing with mental health issues" prompted in part by the passing of his twin brother, Barry. Sheldon lionized his sibling in a book entitled Life After Death of My Twin and Their FBI Story, with the latter referring to an investigation into the activities of Everett Francis Wann, who stole airline parts the brothers unwittingly resold through a business they operated. As is detailed in the 1994 Westword feature "Returning From Parts Unknown," the Chryslers lost an estimated $667,000 in their dealings with Wann.

His suit against Martino accuses the consumer advocate and radio host of harassment via phone calls and e-mails over a series of years. Here's an example of one such e-mail, from May 2009:

By the way. Fuck you for believing a piece of shit over a friend of 20 years. It is no wonder you ruined your relationship with your twin. Don't blame Ron. It was all you. You are a negative failure and should deal with it.

Even more hard-edged is this Martino-composed missive from October 2011:

Sheldon,

I regret ever knowing you. You are a two-faced piece of shit.

I found out that you continue to perpetrate your lies about me being the "master-mind" behind that loan you got with Chris Kane. You even tries to get me in trouble with the US Department of Justice during my bankruptcy.

What a pitiful sorry pieve of shit you are.

You are a lonely, nasty, grumpy excuse for a human and a waste of skin.

I am sorry you got involved with Kane and it resulted in you losing your building. But I had nothing to do with it. How dare you try to ruin me and my family. But you will not prevail. I have never lied to you or anyone. I live my life by that code.

I have helped countless people -- including you. Or do you forget the loans I made you? Did you forget the $3,000 I GAVE you?

Your entire life has been living off of others. You think you have helped so many people and that you are selfless. But you are a sorry piece of shit.

I never want to see or hear from you again. My wife and I were shocked that you would try to ruin us in our darkest hour. But it during times like this that you get to know who your real friends are.

You are not my friend. And you are not a fried to anyone.

You are a bitter, selfish, evil person to the core.

That is why your brother died hating you. That is why everyone talks behind your back and know what a dirt bag you are.

I WAS your friend. Thank God I found out what you sare really made of -- shit -- to the core. I hope I never see you face to face. You won't like the results.

Tom

Continue to read more about Sheldon Chrysler's lawsuit against Tom Martino.

Tom Martino pitching a product called Efusjon.
Tom Martino pitching a product called Efusjon.

Far from apologizing for such invective, Martino penned a blog post entitled "The Truth About Sheldon Chrysler," which can be read in its entirety below. In it, Martino stressed that the communication Chrysler cites was private in nature -- a fact that makes the suit a long shot.

Nonetheless, Chrysler says he and Martino, who were previously scheduled to meet about the suit on October 15, are now expected to face off at 8:30 a.m. on December 17 in Denver District Court, with Judge J. Eric Eliff presiding. But even before that date rolls around, Chrysler has plenty of challenges ahead of him. According to him, "I lost my house to foreclosure. The investors who'd bought the house are renting it to me up until next month. Then I need to vacate the house I've lived in for about 58 years.

"My rent is being paid by the military veterans association, since I'm broke," he adds.

The investors have given Chrysler the option to buy back the house, and he notes that "I have great friends who've been helping me with money for food and other essentials." However, he's "placed ads in Craigslist to try to find an attorney who'd help me on my cases against Martino and Kane on a contingency basis. No luck. I haven't received any calls at all."

Look below to see Chrysler's complaint against Martino, followed by Martino's aforementioned blog post about the suit.

Sheldon Chrysler Complaint Against Tom Martino
THE TRUTH ABOUT SHELDON CHRYSLER

Friday, March 09, 2012

By now you may of heard that Sheldon Chrysler is suing me for "inflicting emotion distress" on him. In fact, he wrote a "news release" about it and delivered it to all the major media outlets in Denver. He is taking this action because I sent him scathing e-mails. And by the way, I do not regret the e-mails I sent him. In fact, under the same circumstances, I'd probably do it again. But the story between Sheldon and me goes much deeper than e-mails. The story between Sheldon and me is about a friend (me) who tried to help someone (Sheldon) over a 30-year period and was ultimately "thrown under the bus."

First there is the issue of "free speech." My e-mails to him were private. I wrote them in anger. Have you ever been angry with a friend? Have you ever had harsh words for each other? Well, Sheldon would have you believe that he deserves monetary damages for my opinions. That is a frightening thought. Can you imagine how many lawsuits there would be clogging the courts if Sheldon had his way?

This was a private argument.

But since Mr. Chrysler has made our dispute public, I feel compelled to tell the whole story.

I first met Sheldon Chrysler around 30-years ago through his brother Barry. Barry was a pilot and we did some business together buying and selling aircraft parts.

At the time I met Sheldon he was unemployed. In fact he has been unemployed most of the 30-years I knew him. He lived with his parents until they died, then he lived alone while his brother Barry helped support him. Many years ago his brother grew tired of helping Sheldon. Barry told me on more than one occasion that he wished Sheldon would take care of himself. This friction eventually erupted into a full-scale family feud and Barry disowned his brother. He told me he wanted nothing more to do with him.

Tragically, that dispute, that rift, that chasm lasted until Barry passed away suddenly from a heart attack. Sheldon could not forgive himself. He often spoke about his brother. In fact, if you met Sheldon for the first time, within minutes you would hear the story of love and lament over and over again. It was obvious he that Barry died while they were still estranged. Sheldon's grief lead him to write a book about their life together as twins.

During the time I've known Sheldon he hardly ever worked. He blamed everyone else for his problems. And when he did find a job, he did not keep it for long. I tried to help him through the years by paying for his counseling (I actually sent him to my psychiatrist) and I gave him thousands of dollars along the way.

By the way, I am not the only one who gave him or loaned him money. Through the years many of his friends did the same thing. Why? Because we felt sorry for him. He seemed like a lonely soul. He seemed perpetually unhappy.

But Sheldon had a dark side....a side that blamed others for his trouble. He would often tell me that he resented people with money because they never helped others. He would often complain that his friends were not helping him enough. Sometimes he would become bitter about it. Often I had to remind him that no one owed him anything. I would try to encourage him to stand on his own two feet and tackle life head on.

A common theme in our friendship was Sheldon feeling down and I trying to encourage him. Sheldon was a frequent visitor in our home and we tried to include him in holiday celebrations when we knew he would otherwise be alone.

One of the biggest rifts we had was when I told him he was headed for financial disaster. You see, he inherited his home, his brother's home and a commercial building by his family. And over the years he took out loans on those properties to live on. Then when the loans were coming due, he'd refinance them to pay off the old loans and pull out more cash.

I told him this trend would eventually lead to him losing everything. I told him that he couldn't just keep borrowing on equity because the equity eventually runs out. Unfortunately, he did not listen.

In a desperate attempt to keep his commercial building he entered into a very high-interest, predatory loan. I warned him not to do it. Unfortunately, that was the last loan he would take on that building. He was unable to pay the loan back and he lost the building. He is also losing his brother's home and the home he lives in. He hasn't made payments in years.

Shortly after losing his building, things got really strange between us. For some reason Sheldon started fixating on me and blaming me for his financial trouble. He said I had money and could've prevented his financial ruin. He almost stalked me...e-mailing and calling daily complaining that I am not helping him. I even started hearing from friends and neighbors who told me he was saying bad things about me.

Then one day last year, Sheldon called me to say he was going to go public and he was going to expose me. He wanted me to pay him $150,000, or he said he would ruin me. That's when I told him to leave me alone. I told him I never wanted to hear from him again...and I did it in very colorful language.

In a last ditch effort to further cause me damage he continually called the Trustee in my bankruptcy case to say that he wanted to expose me for fraud. The trustee told me about the calls and said he concluded that there was no merit to his claims.

That is when I lost it! I could not believe that he could be so vindictive to someone that has helped him so much through the years. Once again, I wrote to him to tell him to stay out of my life and once again it was in very colorful language. Obviously, the e-mails were meant to be private. Our dispute was meant to be private. I simply wanted him to leave my family and me alone!

Now I find he is suing me. In his lawsuit he blames me for his unemployment and his isolation. Yet, he has not worked a steady job in nearly 30-years. He blames me for his pitiful life. And he personally delivered the accusations to all of the Denver media outlets. By the way, I am not the only person Sheldon Chrysler has sued. He has sued his own family members and he has sued others for perceived wrongs. I truly pity Sheldon Chrysler. But I am not the source of his woes.

I wish he had kept our dispute private.

More from our Media archive: "Tom Martino archive: The top 10 Westword reports on bankrupt Troubleshooter (VIDEO)."


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