On Monday, October 5, 2009, a press release was issued that began “The America’s Cup Trust has been established as a Charitable Trust under the laws and codes of the United States of America by John Tommy Rosas for the purpose of protecting the America’s Cup from damage, past, present, and in the future. The US Department of Treasury/IRS has provided documented confirmation and verification of The America’s Cup Trust.”
The release was issued by Peter Huston, who states that "JohnTommy Rosas is the person posting as Mahguah" on the Sailing Anarchy forum and that he (Huston) is “the authorized spokesman for the America’s Cup Trust and JohnTommy Rosas on this matter”. Huston also describes himself as a very close friend of Tom Ehman, the Head of External Affairs for BMW Oracle Racing.

Most people would expect that “documented confirmation and verification of The America’s Cup Trust” would refer to a trust number, with details of its type of charitable status, beneficiaries etc, but a link provided went to nothing more than an Employee Identification Number. That, plus the fact that the America’s Cup belongs to the George L Schuyler Trust is sufficient to raise some questions about what this trust is and who John Tommy Rosas is.

Who is John Tommy Rosas?

Our enquiries about the Trust itself are ongoing, but we are able to provide some information about John Tommy Rosas.

In the press release, Huston says:

“A natural question here is this: who is JohnTommy Rosas? JohnTommy is a Native American who has strong personal beliefs grounded in the ancient traditions of honor and integrity. JohnTommy is also a sailor; he has more than 50,000 miles of ocean sailing under his sea boots. He is also a USCG Certified Builder of Inspected and Documented Vessels. He is also a USCG Merchant Mariner documented on all levels. JohnTommy is also a Tribal litigator, for the Tongva Ancestral Territorial Tribal Nation, based in southern California. In that capacity, JohnTommy has had substantial success in defending tribal rights.”
Certified builder?

The author of this BYM News article, who is a former consultee to the British Government’s Department of Trade and Industry on the European Commission’s Recreational Craft Directive and, as such, familiar with terms used in various jurisdictions, had never heard of the phrase “USCG Certified Builder of Inspected and Documented Vessels”.

On receipt of an enquiry about this term, Scott Kuhaneck of the Office of Vessel Activities, Domestic Compliance Division, US Coast Guard told BYM News: “This office does not have a list of ‘USCG Certified Builder of Inspected and Documented Vessels’. The term is one I am not familiar with (nor are any of my colleagues).”

In fact, BYM News has only been able to find one internet reference to John Tommy Rosas as a boat builder. The regular meeting of the City of Morro Bay Harbor Advisory Board, on Thursday, September 7, 2006, discussed “Options that May Prevent or Reduce Future Pollution and Derelict Vessels Problems”. The minutes record that, once the meeting was opened to public discussion, “Mr. John Tommy Rosas a Merchant Marine and boat builder, owner of Magnum Yacht Construction, offered his services as a boat builder to evaluate boats and determine their status. Mr. Rosas said he is looking into opening a business at the Bayfront Marina and has the expertise to evaluate boats; he noted he would like to be paid but would consider volunteering his services.”

Tribal representative?

The Tongva Ancestral Territorial Tribal Nation has a website – indianjustice.org - administrated by John Tommy Rosas, who describes himself (capitals are his) as:

“AN [sic] STRONG ADVOCATE FOR INDIGENOUS RIGHTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES FOR MANY YEARS, HE HAS ALSO HELPED AND WORKED WITH THE NATIVE HAWAIIANS, MANY AMERICAN INDIAN TRIBES INCLUDING HIS TRIBE THE TONGVA. HE HAS LITIGATED CASES IN STATE AND FEDERAL COURTS TO PROTECT AND DEFEND INDIGENOUS RIGHTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCE ISSUES.
HE WORKS IN THE INTERNATIONAL LAW JURISDICTIONS INCLUDING THE UNITED NATIONS AND FILED A VERIFIED HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLAINT WITH THE UN AGAINST THE USA VIOLATIONS TO THE TONGVA INDIANS / TATTN AND THE SACRED SITE BURIAL GROUNDS DESECRATED AT THE PLAYA VISTA DEV.”

In March, posting as MAHGUAH_SCALPS_PILGRIMS on the Sailing Anarchy America’s Cup forum, Rosas claimed:

"I HAVE BROKEN HUGE CORPORATIONS--CHAPTER 11 BROKEN IN THE BILLIONS-I DONT DO PRESS-SO NOT MUCH IS PUBLIC--LIKE YOU AND YOUR TYPES--ITS EVEN WORST THAT AN INDIAN DID THAT TO THEM--SHAME--? THEY DONT WANT YOUR TYPES TO KNOW THAT--FINE I AM FREE TO SNEAK UP AND DO MY THING."

John Tommy Rosas has, certainly, been involving himself in Native American matters for more than a decade. In 1996, the Los Angeles Daily News said in an article: ”They're putting our ceremonial ground in danger and our people in danger,'' said John Tommy Rosas, a legal advocate for the Santa Clara River Valley Chumash.

In 1997, the Los Angeles Times reported: “Ambitious plans for converting a swath of southeast Oxnard into a housing development and theme park could be stalled while a Chumash representative explores the implications of what could be a burial ground on the site. Despite objections from the plan's promoter, the Oxnard Planning Commission granted John Tommy Rosas, who is a member of the Santa Clara Valley River Chumash Nation, a 45-day extension to review and provide comments on the controversial plan that could bring 3,165 homes, two schools, restaurants and a fire station to the semi rural area.”

An internet search has, however, failed to find any references to John Tommy Rosas’ work in International Law Jurisdictions, nor of any companies forced into Chapter 11 as a result of his actions. Rosas may say “I DONT DO PRESS”, but it seems extremely unlikely that the breaking of “huge corporations” in the billions, by an American Indian, would fail to get any mention in the media.

BYM News has found just one case, at State level, in which John Tommy Rosas was involved. According to various web sites, including Edgar Online "JOHN TOMMY ROSAS V. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ET AL. was filed in the United States District Court, Central District of California (Case No. CV04-312 WMB (SSx)). Plaintiff, in his individual capacity and as the alleged vice-chairman of the Tribal Counsel, Gabrielino/Tongva Indians of California, alleges violation of various federal statutes by a variety of federal agencies, corporations, individuals and four State entities (the California Coastal Commission, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, the State Historic Preservation Officer and the California Native American Heritage Commission). Plaintiff alleges that in allowing the development of certain property, defendants violated federal laws protecting sacred Indian burial sites. Plaintiff seeks damages in the amount of $525 million. Plaintiff has not properly served the California state agency defendants. In February 2004, the corporate defendants filed a motion to dismiss. Plaintiff has not responded to this motion, and it remains pending before the court."

The phrase “alleged vice-chairman of the Tribal Counsel, Gabrielino/Tongva Indians of California” prompted BYM News to make further enquiries. Wikipedia states: “There is no single organization accepted by the Gabrielino/Tongva Nation. This is largely because of a controversy regarding opening a casino on land that would be considered part of the Gabrielino/Tongva's homeland. The Gabrielino/Tongva Tribe (sometimes called the "slash" group) and Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe (sometimes called the "hyphen" group) are the two primary factions advocating a casino for the Tongva nation and sharing of revenues to all tribal members.

BYM News, therefore, contacted representatives of both the Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe and Gabrielino/Tongva Tribe and was told (G-T) “Tommy Rosas has never held any position with the Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe. There are other, very small factions of the Tribe and to my knowledge he never held any position with any of them.” and (G/T) “John Tommy Rosas does not represent this tribe.”

The National Indian Justice Center, Inc. (NIJC) is an Indian owned and operated non-profit corporation with principal offices in Santa Rosa, California. The National Indian Justice Center was established in 1983 through the collective efforts of the National American Indian Court Judges Association, the American Indian Lawyer Training Program, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs in order to establish an independent national resource for Native communities and tribal governments. BYM News asked, by email, whether the NIJC could confirm that Tongva Ancestral Territorial Tribal Nation did “represent and work on behalf of all Tongva Indians.” The spokesperson replied “I am not familiar with that site or the person administering the TATTN.”

The indianjustice.org website is still soliciting donations to assist in the work of Tongva Ancestral Territorial Tribal Nation:

TATTN IS CURRENTLY SEEKING FUNDING THRU DONATIONS, GIFTS AND SPONSORS FOR OUR WORK. ANY DONATIONS WILL BE GLADLY ACCEPTED AND APPRECIATED. IF YOU WANT TO HAVE THE DONATION BE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE, PLEASE UNDERSTAND WE ARE IN THE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR IRS 501-C-(3) TAX-EXEMPT STATUS, AND WILL BE ACCEPTING THEM ON THAT BASIS. [PENDING] WE ARE ALSO IN NEED OF SOME OFFICE EQUIPMENT, NEW COMPUTERS AND A LASER PRINTER AND COPIER, ETC, ANY SERVICES TO GET US MORE HI-TECH WILL HELP, I-PHONE, BLACKBERRY. SOFTWARE, VIDEO AND STILL CAMERAS [DIGITAL], LEXIS -NEXIS AND OTHER ONLINE DATA BASE SUBSCRIPTIONS"

We have not yet, however, found any indication of recent work, nor of anyone other than John Tommy Rosas being involved. The same applies to the TATTN entry on the environmental website Wiser Earth, which records the last activity as “about one year ago”, which is around the time Rosas became involved with the website Sailing Anarchy.

Rosas on Sailing Anarchy.

According to Rosas, he first heard of a purported Anarchy Challenge for a multi-challenger AC33 on December 15, 2008 and called to offer his assistance. About a month later, he began posting on the site’s America’s Cup forum, under the screen name MAHGUAH_SCALPS_PILGRIMS, and made his agenda clear in a post on January 17:

MAHGUAH SAY GOOD WATCH WAMPUM OF UBS-LOOK LIKE LITTLE BIG MAN[ BERTERELLI ] UBS GET BAILOUT- MAHGUAH SAY SWISS BAILOUT WAMPUM HOW YOU SAY -MAKES AN APPEARENCE OF CO-MINGLING FUNDS FOR ILLEGAL PURPOSES- MAHGUAH READ UBS MAKE TRANSACTIONS WITH ALINGHI/LITTLE BIG MAN- NO COMPLY WITH NYSE- MAHGUAH SAY IF LITTLE BIG MAN MAKE NON-COMPLIANT TRANSACTIONS IS LITTLE BIG MAN LEGALLY COMPLIANT WITH DEED OF GIFT AND AMERICA'S CUP TRUSTEE RESPONSIBITY[S]? MAHGUAH SAY IF LITTLE BIG MAN USE ILLEGAL SPONSOR AND FUNDS, IS HIS PARTICIPATION OF AMERICA'S CUP, IS THAT NOW ILLEGAL UNDER ALL APPLICABLE STATUTORY AUTHORITIES? MAHGUAH SCOUT THIS MORE MAHGUAH FOLLOW TRAIL OF WAMPUM FOR CAPTURE OF LITTLE BIG MAN -MAHGUAH NOT HURT LITTLE BIG MAN ONLY CAPTURE AND TRADE HIM FOR TOBACCO - TO PILGRIM FEDERAL AUTHORITIES FOR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION-

A few days later, Spain was added to his “hit list”:

"THIS IS FIRST WARNING TO ALINGHI/UBS AND SPAIN--- SURRENDER THE AMERICA'S CUP NOW-- NO SURRENDER THEN MAHGUAH SHOW NO MERCY-- MAHGUAH SAY THIS FIRST-- LAST-- ONLY WARNING-- SURRENDER AMERICA'S CUP--MAHGUAH GIVE YOU ONLY 24 HOURS TO COMPLY."

By February, Rosas – aka MAHGUAH – had begun to get abusive with anyone who criticised him, or his supporters:

"MAHGUAH FOR DOG BALLS--YOU F**K OFF--DIP SHIT--YOU SHOULD NOT CUSS AT KRISPY--WHO LET YOU OUT OF THE DOG BALLS SACK?? GO CRAWL BACK TO WHERE YOU WERE HANGING --IN YOUR SACK---NEAR THE DOGS A HOLE BETWEEN ITS LEGS -- KRISPY RIGHT --AND YOU GOT THAT ASS SMELL TOO- FOOL---GET OUT OF HERE-- YOU FOULING THE AIR WITH YOUR NASTY ASS BREATH". (Asterisks inserted by the author of this article.)

Rosas – aka MAHGUAH – continued to post in much the same vein, for several months; the theme was to condemn Ernesto Bertarelli and any person, or organisation that might be connected with him, or who even simply failed to condemn him themselves. Among the many that came in for castigation and threats of law suits by M_S_P were:

New York State & the Attorney General's Office. "MAHGUAH WILL HAVE TO JOIN-SUE THEM JUDGES FOR VIOLATING THEIR JUDICIAL ETHICS CANONS AND MAHGUAH WILL JOIN /SUE STATE OF NEW YORK AND NYAG OFFICE--ALSO--"
Gary Jobson. "JOBSON WANTS PAST RACKATEARS TO RUN IT--PARTICIPANTS? WTF. JOBSON HOW ABOUT WHO IS/ARE THE LEGAL BENEFICIARIES--JOBSON DOES NOT ADDRESS TRUST ISSUES -ZERO--THATS GOOD AND TYPICAL-- MAHGUAH SAY GOOD THING HE [JOBSON ] WILL HAVE NO LEGAL INPUT--IN ANY FUTURE TRUST COMPLIANCE MEETINGS-HEARINGS ETC—"
ISAF. "TELL YOUR ISAF BROS THAT I AM WATCHING THEM [FUNDS=$$ ] AND GOING TO SUE THEM IN U.S. FEDERAL COURT ---GET READY ........."
Judge Shirley Kornreich. "-SHE IS PSYCO-- RECUSAL--ASAP-"

If that was not enough to convince anyone of Rosas’ agenda, Huston actually confirmed it in his recent press release:

“What does JohnTommy Rosas hope to accomplish through the establishment of the America’s Cup Trust? For starters, specifically, a removal of SNG as the Trustee.”

Huston’s release also says:

"Some people will assume the America’s Cup Trust is being set up to somehow hurt New York Yacht Club. Again, nothing could be further from the truth."

That is a hard to reconcile with past accusations that M_S_P has levelled against that Club, including:

March 30. "NYYC IS SPECIFICALLY GUILTY OF TRUST -BREACH ETC--MORE THAN ANY OTHERS --SNG IS GOING DOWN -SO FORGET THEM-- -NYYC ENRICHED THEMSELVES ILLEGALLY-FOR DECADES-SO YEAH THEY DONT NEED TO BE ANYWHERE NEAR ANY FUTURE PROCEEDINGS ON/FOR TRUST-- EXCEPT FOR NYYC DEFENDANT APPERANCES IN COURT—"

According to Huston:

"JohnTommy has begun the process of seeking support for his action by contacting what he refers to as “AC Elders”. If you understand anything about Native American culture, you will know that “elders” is a term of respect, and that seeking the advice of elders is a wise course of action."

One can only assume that the New York Yacht Club, which held the Cup far longer than any other trustee, must be one of those “AC Elders”. How will they respond to a man who has publicly called them “RACKETEERS” and “FRAUDSTERS”? Will they feel inclined to respond at all?

Marian Martin - October 10, 2009
In addition to stories in this 33rd America's Cup section, you can read stories from the 32nd America's Cup . You will also find some older stories and interviews, from the last event, HERE.
Adds Image
Adds Image
Adds Image