Editor Under Fire

A heavily redacted document detailing the deposition of CoinFire editor Michael Johnson regarding what were threats presumably made by Homero Joshua Garza of GAW Miners and his cohorts has been released. While the document does not mention Mr Garza by name, it is clear to anyone familiar with the GAW Miners and Paycoin debacles that many of the numerous gaps in the document are a reference to him and his partners in crime.

The original PDF document is available here, and the text of that document is quoted below. It outlines threats of assassination as well as Michael Johnson's eagnerness to work with LEA due to concerns for his own safety as well as that of family, friends and colleagues.

In the matter of: )

WITNESS: Michael Johnson




The above-entitled matter came on for hearing, pursuant to notice at 9:17 am.



Michael Johnson



On behalf of the n

On behalf of the Witness:


We're on the record as of this morning at 9:17am on

Q Would you raise your right-hand please?

A Indeed, yes, I will.

Q Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

A Yes



Was called as a witness and, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

Q Would you please identify yourself for the record in accordance with your previous sealed deposition and declaration.

A My name is Michael Johnson

Q And your current address of residence in accordance with your previous sealed deposition and declaration?

A My current legal reside-

Good morning I am

and this and for the sake of the

record we are for the

This morning we have been authorized to take testimony in a sealed form in these proceedings and to request that others also provide documents, oral testimony and other evidence. As we have previous regarding your identity, your place personally identifiable information we will not be gathering testimony regarding those

We are currently conducting an investigation in the matter of . This is a criminal investigation regarding

Moving along, this document is document . This document is a report you filed with the regarding several threats that were made toward yourself and your significant other . Can you please confirm for the record that you made this report to the

MR. JOHNSON: Yes. I am the person who filed this report.

Can you also confirm that the contents of this report are accurate?

MR. JOHNSON: I can. Yes.

Thank you Mr. Johnson.

I would also like to present this order now from th ordering you to turn over all relevant materials regarding and . This order states you would also provide relevant information regarding your source of unpublished documents in the matter of

Can you confirm that you did not fully cooperate regarding and refused to provide identifying information regarding your source of nonpublic documents but did however provide with relevant information regarding

MR. JOHNSON: That is correct. Yes, I provided with information that would assist in the narrative of the threats I received but failed to provide the identifying information of my sources for nonpublic, confidential information from

Can you also confirm for the record the contents of this document titled as being a statement showing you were not engaged in trading, purchasing, speculating, holding, receiving or of the virtual currency .

MR. JOHNSON: Correct, this document shows that I was not.

Are you personally aware of the fact that obtained a copy of your bank statements from and other information to determine you were not engaged in trading or speculating on ?

MR. JOHNSON: Yes, I was made aware that certain information had been obtained to validate my claims that I was not trading or speculating on .

We would like the record to show that Mr. Johnson has been overwhelmingly cooperative in the matter even with his refusal and his that he will not disclose the source of his nonpublic documentation regarding the and .

With that said, we have requested that not compel Mr. Johnson further to reveal the sources of his information and that in the case of .

We will begin with . On you made a statement online that had been threatened by after the publishing of several stories regarding and . In that sworn statement to you stated that and was able to ascertain via a sealed subpoena that electronic messages between and or had been exchanged which indicated that should make your life a “living hell” via means of .

MR. JOHNSON: Yes, had sent several emails harassing myself and several staff members of the website and further went on to state that he would and .

The evidence corroborates that original testimony and further details .

In light of this information we would like to direct your attention to . This document details the interactions between and regarding the various levels of harassment.


As you can see on lines 6 — 36 the discussion is related to . We have determined that a member of the online community Bitcoin Talk and that was . The harassment was originally going to be directed at this individual primarily but after was published the discussion continues on lines 45 — 153 on how to deal with yourself and your staff.

You will also note that was actively pursuing any identifiable information about you and seeking your address to give to who had promised according to line that they could "take you out" to protect the interests of and his partner a .


When you had made your initial report to the were you aware of these communications?

MR. JOHNSON: I was not at that time.

It was determined in line that the best course of action was to discredit you via on Bitcoin Talk and furthermore on . Only after that had failed would begin increased in person
harassment of yourself and .

MR. JOHNSON: That would fall in the time frame that began sending me electronic messages, instant messages and letters in the mail.

You stated in that had begun attempts to access your work related email accounts at Coin Fire and your server logs would show that-made repeated attempts to circumvent your site security via means of .

MR. JOHNSON: That is correct.

Were you aware on that was going to communicate with of who he would state multiple times online as having been working with that "you were a thorn and they needed friends from to make contact with from to pay you a visit?

MR. JOHNSON: I was not aware at that time.

Would you become aware of this communication at a later date?

MR. JOHNSON: Yes, upon receipt of the documents from the . At that time I was made aware had planned to harass me and that had even pursued a potential assassination attempt against myself and and . When I had made my initial report with was only aware of the harassment I was receiving and not that had openly spoke on the Internet with and about a potential assassination attempt.

Upon seeing the documents did you approach the regarding the assassination discussion?

10 MR. JOHNSON: Yes, I approached Agent at the office about those statements and requested protection from and who had levied threats against myself, my significant other and staff members of the site and .

On an agent for determined the threats were real and credible based on . It was determined then that Mr. Johnson and his associates would cease publishing temporarily on the website Coin Fire and seek protection of until it was determined that .

Do you feel safe?

9 MR. JOHNSON: No. Until and are taken in to custody I do not feel safe at this time.

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