The never-ending saga of accused #Occupy embezzler Paul “Fetch” Carnes, who is now suing the movement

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If there's one thing I learned about the nation-trotting Occupy troll Paul Carnes (a/k/a Paul Fetch) in profiling him last month, it's that he's relentless. There's no limit to his schemes, and he seemingly has no shame (we'll get there in a second, but Carnes is now suing four individuals aligned with the movement for reasons you'd never believe). Since being excommunicated from Occupy Boston three weeks ago, he's been seen playing the perimeter of Dewey Square on a number of occasions, and hanging on the Red Line underneath the camp. Carnes also showed his face on the first night of Occupy Harvard, where he was smoked out of the crowd by a chorus of boos.

As I noted in the final graph of my Fetch feature, his plan after getting booted from Boston was to visit Occupy Wall Street in Zuccotti Park. He did, but tells me that his makeshift tent was dismantled in the middle of the night, while he and his sidekick, Sydney Sherrell, were told to leave at knifepoint (this, of course, all before Mayor Bloomberg used similar tactics on the rest of the bunch). “When it got dangerous, we left,” Carnes told me days after. Not like that threat hobbled his hustle. He was back in stride soon after, creeping around downtown Boston and elsewhere, and announcing big plans to throw a free concert for millions of people in Miami (video below). Just when you think you've caught Carnes, he tells you to go Fetch.

For those unfamiliar with this modern folk tale, Carnes first gained notoriety three years ago when he declared war on the web hacker ensemble Anonymous, which promptly erased all dignity from his online identity (if there was any to begin with). Instead of retreating like most people would, Carnes – or Mr. Fetch, as he'd presented himself – announced that he was tapped to lead the collective. Ridiculous as that sounds, it's kind of become a Carnes routine: the guy likes to claim that he's a leader of leaderless movements. Not a bad schtick if you ask me.

I did as much diligence as possible in researching Carnes – calling old associates in his native Alabama, digging up newspaper clippings about his involvement in church and LGBT groups. But investigating a character like him is tough, since he's apparently fooled countless people – including me. Though Carnes claims to have helped the first openly gay politician in his home state get elected – and was listed as having done so in his bio for Boston Pride's Latino Pride Committee which he served on – it turns out to be another stretch. “I can assure you that he did NOT raise a dime, nor did he work in my campaign,” Representative Patricia Todd wrote me in an email earlier this week. “I know Paul from his work in LGBT issues, although to say "work" is really not true. He has a loud voice and is a lone wolf and not a team player!”

A trail of nonsense in his wake, Carnes dropped a not-so-unexpected bombshell on the Financial Accountability Working Group (FAWG) – of which he once belonged – earlier this week, when he served three members of the group (plus a volunteer mediator) with a complaint and demand for jury trial in Suffolk Superior Court. The allegations are a bit complicated, but Carnes and Sherrell are basically saying that FAWG did not live up to the agreement made, in which the pair would hand over a “doing business as” certificate and credit union account that they were holding hostage in exchange for immunity.

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The complaint reads: “[Defendants] breached the signed contract by not retracting defamatory statements about the Plaintiffs on websites under the Defendants' control . . . [and] did not prevent the Plaintiffs from being ousted by the Occupy Boston movement and barred from the encampment in Dewey Square.” There's also some stuff about emotional distress, defamation, and yadda yadda yadda – you get the point. I'll be covering the legal side of this further on Friday morning at Suffolk Superior Court, but that's only half the story.

Back at camp, occupiers are trying to deal with the public relations side of this. It shouldn't be difficult – my article more or less spells it out for anyone who's interested – but naturally some outlets, whether deliberate or not, are making it look like the camp is split in half over this, whereas in reality it's Carnes, Sherrell, and an acolyte or two who have taken on the whole Boston movement. “We tried to do what we had to do as members of FAWG,” group member and defendant Greg Murphy (above left) told about 250 supportive occupiers at last night's assembly. To which someone in the crowd responded: “This whole thing is crazy – god bless you for dealing with these fuckers.”

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