Robert Eringer, a Californian former tabloid journalist and retired intelligence contractor, continues to publish false and libellous information about his former employers, the principality of Monaco, as well as a random list of targets, in particular Russian president Vladimir Putin but also the police chief of his local Santa Barbara area, Cam Sanchez.
For readers who have stumbled upon his writings, it may be useful to know his background. Here is a short ‘Eringer 101’ that should enable readers to judge his musings.
Though he attended college, Robert Eringer holds no degree. During his higher education time, he showed an interest in government, intelligence and criminal justice, and wrote a paper on the Bilderberg Group. While most college students eventually realise how simplistic the views espoused in their coursework was, Eringer stuck with his line on this secretive group of world leaders and continues to construct conspiracy theories about it – with his only background being his college studies and some internet research.
His first professional job was in London as a freelancing foreign correspondent for a handful of small newspapers in North America. He was at some point staff for the disgraced tabloid News of the World, which became notorious for the phone-hacking scandal and has had a number of brushes with the law for illegal snooping and undercover work.
Eringer’s career never took off, and he eventually returned to the US.
Failed spy, convicted fraudster
While Eringer always had an interest in the intelligence work, he never actually worked for one of the big government agencies. Instead, he wrote spy novels that were so poor that he eventually had to self-publish his work. The Californian does, however, possess one trade that would have made him a good spy: his capability of deception and constructing webs of lies over years.
He used this ‘capability’ against investigative journalist Janice Pottker. The writer, who lives near Washington, had published in a local business magazine an extensive article about the Feld family, an entertainment industry giant who owns Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus as well as Las Vegas-based ventures. Following the success of her article, Pottker planned a book on the family, which its patriarch, Kenneth Feld, sought to stop.
Instead of going directly to Pottker, whom he lived near to, Feld hired disgraced former CIA agent Clair George to ‘distract Pottker’. George in turn contracted Eringer to pose as a literary agent, weasel his way into Pottker’s life and distract her from writing the Feld book with other, bogus, assignments.
Pottker eventually found out about this life-altering intrusion and sued Feld, Eringer and other for ‘invasion of privacy, fraud and infliction of mental distress; for $60m. It is not known how much the parties settled for, but Eringer was convicted as part of the trial that went on for much of the 1990s, not least because Feld sought to hold up the trial with expensive legal tricks.
During the trial a psychiatrist, Marie-Jeanne Dubois, wrote a case study about Eringer, in which she diagnosed him with narcissistic personality disorder.
Having had a long-standing love for the small European state of Monaco, Eringer secured some intelligence work for its ruling Royal family, which led to a full-time retainer in 2002. He claimed to have ‘set up an intelligence service for the Prince’, and when Prince Albert II ascended to the throne in 2005, Eringer was tasked with assisting in helping to clean up Monaco’s image as a ‘sunny place for shady people’. Two years later, however, the Prince realised that Eringer was more of a con artist than an intelligence operator, and fired him. This caused Eringer first to attempt extortion of several hundreds of thousands of euros, sending invoices for the time after his dismissal and, when this failed and Monaco severed all contact, set up a continuing smear campaign of Albert and his close staff.
The French Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris ordered Eringer in 2011 to remove the defamatory blog posts and photos of Albert as well as his lawyer Thierry Lacoste and a number of others employees of the Royal family. A year later, the French criminal court convicted Eringer of public defamation and insult. Since he was not present at the trial and resides in the US where freedom of speech is sacrosanct, he remains at large and is free to continue his slander.
Life after Monaco
Eringer continues to self-publish small books and his libellous blogs from Santa Barbara, where he also owns Bo Henry’s, a bar that was recently found to sell alcohol to minors. On his blogs, he rehashes stories about his years in Monaco, including the ones for which he has been convicted, and constructs lies about Russia, such as the alleged disappearance of Putin’s wife, develops conspiracy theories about international disasters such as the disappearance of the MH370 plane from Malaysia in March 2014, and the downing of MH17 over Ukraine a few months later. None of his theories have garnered any attention, but a lack of success and a taste for alcohol certainly has never stopped Robert Eringer.
Sources with knowledge of the intelligence community have pointed out that spies would never tell their stories – not to journalists, let alone self-publish them. The code of silence is interwoven in the code of honour. The more Eringer publishes about his work as a ‘spy’ the clearer it should become to readers that he is an imposter.
Today, he makes a living by buying and flipping his residences in California every other year. This can hardly be the retirement this man had hoped for – having envisioned himself to be an American James Bond, he now finds himself a convicted slanderer who runs a small bar and is reduced to self-publishing his unfounded theories.