Atilis Gym Owner Claims the State of New Jersey Seized $173K from His Bank Account
The co-owner of Bellmawr, New Jersey (NJ) Atilis Gym is extremely upset because he says his legal funds were confiscated by the state on Wednesday. Ian Smith and his business partner, Frank Trumbetti, own and run the gym. Since the outbreak of coronavirus, the establishment has refused to follow the Covid-19 protocols enforced by the state.
For example, Atilis Gym does not require gym patrons to wear masks inside while working out. After refusing to follow the locking protocols assigned by NJ Governor Philip Murphy and Judith Persichilli, State Health Commissioner, Atilis Gym was fined $15k per day for remaining open in this manner.
In July, NJ law enforcement officials barricaded Atilis Gym and arrested Smith and Trumbetti for challenging court orders. A week later, Smith and Trumbetti filmed themselves breaking down the barricades that the state leveraged to block the doors of Atilis Gym. Smith and his partner stress that zero cases of Covid-19 had been traced back to the gym.
FREE MEN WILL NOT BE SILENCED.
FREE MEN WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED.
FREE MEN WILL NOT BE OPPRESSED.
— Ian Smith (@iansmithfitness) January 9, 2021
After the $15k of daily fines began to add up, the tax on the NJ has so far increased well over a million U.S. dollars. Smith tweeted this week that the state had boosted the law enforcement by seizing $173,613 from the gym’s bank account on Wednesday.
Moments ago Governor Murphy and his cronies seized 100% of the Atilis Gym legal defense money ($173,613.60) in the middle of our appeals process – effectively and intentionally interfering with our right to counsel. If you think that’s gonna make us stand down, you’re delusional.
Cryptocurrencies Are One of Most Frequent Recommendations, Says New Jersey Gym Owner
Following the tweet, a few people recommended that the owner of Atilis Gym accept cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Smith also appeared on Fox News after the funds were seized and discussed the incident with Tucker Carlson, the news anchor.
“This is in the middle of an appeals process and ongoing litigation in the matter of the fines and several other matters regarding the state, including a lawsuit against Governor Murphy and [the State Health Commissioner] Judith Persichilli,” Smith explained to Carlson. During the episode, Tucker Carlson also mentioned the subject of cryptocurrencies.
“How long do you think they’ll allow cryptocurrencies to exist,” Carlson asked the Atilis Gym owner chuckling to himself. Continuing to laugh, Carlson further said “Sorry, it’s just a thought as they can’t seize it from you…” Smith replied to Carlson’s cryptocurrency comment and said: “No, they can’t [seize crypto].”
The Atilis Gym owner further added:
That’s actually one of the frequent recommendations for people who want to continue to donate is to set up a cryptocurrency account.
It is uncertain whether or not Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti will set up a cryptocurrency account to accept censorship-resistant donations. Whether or not the owners of Atilis Gym decide to accept crypto, the story still highlights the benefits of crypto assets such as bitcoin that cannot be seized in such a way. This is probably why digital currencies are one of the most frequent recommendations given to New Jersey gym owners. Despite Smith’s most recent claims on Twitter and Fox News, the NJ Attorney General’s office is challenging the seizure of money.
“This information is not accurate,” an NJAG spokesperson told the news anchor Carlson. “The State has not seized [its] bank account funds. However, the State has obtained judgments against the owners, and intends to collect on them. Whether that affects the entire balance of the gym’s funds is a question to ask the bank,” the NJAG spokesperson added.
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