In a subsequent e-mail, "Administration" refused to provide a telephone number where he or she could be contacted. (The website's domain name is anonymously registered to someone with a Newport Beach fax machine and post-office box.) The city of Newport Beach has no record of having issued a business license to the company, nor does the county have any record of it obtaining a fictitious-name license. There is no record of Form Labs registering as a corporation in the state of California, and a spokeswoman with the state Franchise Tax Board stated that no such company has paid any state taxes.

For his (or her) part, "Administration" stated that there is no corporate footprint for the company in California because it isn't based here. "Administration" did not respond to an e-mail asking where the company is based. According to the Arizona secretary of state's website, Form Labs is registered in that state, with its headquarters in Scottsdale. Though he works in Santa Ana, Mogel also lives in Scottsdale and commutes to IHHI's Irvine headquarters, according to published reports and sources close to the company.

In any case, "Administration" insists Form Labs is real and was indeed paid $10,000 by IHHI for consulting at about the same time police arrested Fitzgibbons. "We were hired for consulting only," he (or she) wrote. "By the direction of our attorneys, it is advised that we minimize contact by withholding names and telephone conversations until the matter is investigated further or resolved. We apologize for not being more accommodating, but [we] rely on our attorneys' advice."

Fitzgibbons isn't a party to OCPIN's lawsuit, but he filed his own lawsuit against IHHI earlier this month, alleging the company helped to frame him. He also wants prosecutors to file criminal charges against whoever placed the gun in his car.

"The attack on me was scurrilous, shocking and criminal," he says. "I went to the Santa Ana police, the Irvine police, the California Highway Patrol, the attorney general, the [Orange County] district attorney, and the FBI, telling them that I had been framed. And no one listened. I hope that now someone will listen. And I'd like to see somebody else in handcuffs over this."

A version of this story appeared on July 17 on our Navel Gazing blog.

nschou@ocweekly.com

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