Monday, December 12, 2016

Ashley Madison customers revealed: Bill Smith III, new CEO at Royal Cup Coffee, has a taste for fooling around at Web site for extramarital cheaters

Bill Smith III
The CEO of a Birmingham-based coffee company, one of Alabama's oldest businesses, appears as a paying customer at the Ashley Madison extramarital-affairs Web site, records show.

William E. "Bill" Smith III, who was named CEO of Royal Cup Coffee in 2014. heads a company that has been privately held and family controlled for more than 100 years. Smith succeeded his uncle, Hatton C.V. Smith, becoming the fourth member of the Smith family to head Royal Cup.

A July 2015 article in Business Alabama provides perspective on Royal Cup's services and longevity. From the article, titled "Not Your Average Cup of Joe," by reporter Jessica Armstrong:

Be it at The Ritz-Carlton or the Waffle House, any time you’re served coffee there’s a good chance it is Royal Cup, one of Alabama’s oldest businesses, which has remained privately held and family controlled for more than 100 years.

Founded in 1896, the Birmingham-based company is a leading coffee importer, roaster and distributor of premium coffee and tea serving the away-from-home market — fine and casual restaurants, hotels, resorts, clubs, offices and healthcare facilities.

Just how long ago is 1896? To put it in historical perspective, that year Utah became the 45th state, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was launched and Henry Ford unveiled his first automobile. Management expert Jim Collins, who studies corporate longevity, calls companies that survive 100 years or longer “a special and rarefied group.”

Where has Royal Cup been and where is it headed? This is from a Birmingham Business Journal article about William E. Smith III's appointment as CEO:

Bill Smith III has worked at the company for over 20 years, serving as Atlanta’s territory manager and later as vice president of the operations departments. He has also led the commercial and office coffee division.

Royal Cup serves numerous markets, from resorts, hotels and offices to convenience stores and general consumers. They have distribution centers in the U.S., Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. They source from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.

The company, which has announced a $30 million expansion, was the 19th largest private company in Birmingham last year, with more than $340 million in revenue.

The Smith family has owned Birmingham-based Royal Cup since 1950, when William E. Smith and a group of investors purchased the company from the estate of the founder, Henry Batterton of the Batterton Coffee Co.

Bill Smith III seems to keep a low profile about his personal life, and we have not yet been able to determine his marital status, parental status, etc. We sought comment from him for this post, but he has not responded to our queries.


(1) Edgar C. Gentle III -- attorney at Gentle Turner Sexton and Harbison, Birmingham, AL (3/8/16)

(2) Stewart Springer -- attorney, solo practice in Birmingham, AL. (3/9/16)

(3) Richard W. "Dick" Bell -- attorney, solo practice in Birmingham, AL (3/14/16)

(4) Robert M.N. Palmer -- attorney and bar association president in Springfield, MO (3/15/16)

(5) Thomas Plouff -- attorney, who is licensed in Alabama and has a practice in Chicago (3/17/16)

(9) Randy Bates -- executive VP and member of board of directors, Golden Flake (10/5/16)

(10) Reid Carpenter -- attorney, Lightfoot Franklin White, Birmingham (10/6/16)

(11) Scott Sink -- exec. VP, McGriff Seibels Williams, Birmingham (10/11/16)

(12) Russell Byrne -- VP for information systems, Bromberg's, Birmingham (10/17/16)

(13) Rob Waudby -- district manager, Skyline Steel, Birmingham (10/24/16)

(14) Paul Wells -- VP, Protective Life, Birmingham (10/25/16)

(15) Brian Shulman -- CEO, LTS Education Systems, Birmingham (10/26/16)

(16) Peyton Lacy -- attorney, Ogletree Deakins, Birmingham (11/1/16)

(17) James Dixon -- managing director, Sterne Agee, Birmingham (11/7/16)

(18) Craig O'Dear -- partner, Bryan Cave law firm, Kansas City, MO (11/16/16)


Another Bill Smith said...

Here we go again. If this wasn't so nasty I'd be laughing. A real false positive this time, Roger. Yes, lots of "Bill Smiths" joined Ashley, hundreds, just not this one. Hopefully this Bill Smith will sue you and you'll end up in the psych ward for good. You seem to be nearly asking for one of these falsely-accused men to visit you at the motel, am I right? You love being a journalistic martyr. Hell, most of us would like to see that as well. You're an immoral creep.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Roger you understand that every time you post your IP address is exposed, right?

Anonymous said...

You're wasting your time on this guy. He isn't married and isn't the marrying kind. What a dud.

Anonymous said...

Most websites purporting to have the Ashley Madison data available for download or search are in fact fakes set up by cyber criminals. Even clicking through to such a site from a Google search is nearly certain to infect your computer with serious malware that could harvest your bank account codes, credit card details and all your personal data, download masses of offensive pornography onto your machine without your knowledge, use it for illegal peer-to-peer sharing of pirated files and plunge you into a lifelong identity-theft nightmare. For this reason alone it is extremely unwise even to go looking for the Ashley Madison data.

Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people whose details were held by Ashley Madison had absolutely no intention whatever of having any sort of illicit affair. Many profiles were created using people's details – for instance their names, photographs nude and/or dressed, email addresses etc – without their knowledge by other persons for a huge variety of reasons. These things are easily harvested from the internet.

Anonymous said...

There will be serious emotional consequences to finding out your partner paid money to explore having an affair. The first of which is not knowing whether they followed through with that interest. Chances are your partner did not have an affair. It's actually much more likely they were curious, they were looking for an escape or they intended on having an affair but it never ended up happening.

Anonymous said...

Some of us would never sign up for a website like Ashley Madison, which is specifically designed to facilitate cheating, no matter what. But we need to own the fact that becoming married and pledging fidelity doesn't erase our need to be wanted, to have excitement, to have someone be entertained by our stories and think we are cool.

We should acknowledge that the security and stability of marriage, career, home and kids can become boring. We need to admit when these things happen; we need to be at peace with our human sexuality and desire for excitement.

Anonymous said...

Don't search for Ashley Madison users. Instead sit down with your partner and explain to them that you are tempted to search it. Talk about why. Share with them the feelings and temptations you have had yourself. Talk about your relationship, and talk about yourself and your needs. Then hug, cry, watch a funny movie, go do something new together. Whatever you do, decide right here and right now to re-dedicate yourselves to nurturing your relationship, acknowledging your humanity, and being faithful to each other.

Anonymous said...

By law, the database that Roger is using for his posts is either wholly fake, or partially fake and stolen. Either way, Roger has, at best, conducted himself unethically, and at worst, broken the law.

It’s well known at this point that the Ashley Madison data is filled with millions of inaccurate, fake bits of data. We’ve been telling Roger this for months, but he seems to think he knows more about it than we do. He doesn’t.

Kate said...

Roger uses the fake Ashley Madison data for extortion, blackmail or clicks. He’s breaking the law.

Anonymous said...

As someone’s neighbor or colleague or relative, do you really want to invade their privacy and know whether they were on this site? Do you want to have that knowledge in the back of your mind?

Anonymous said...

The Fourth Amendment was created so we wouldn’t have to live in a completely transparent society where the government gets to know what people are doing whenever it wants. If we decide to indulge our curiosity every time a hack happens, we may start to live in a citizen-sustained surveillance state where there is no protection from ‘unreasonable searches’ by those in our lives. Maybe that will lead to a better, more well-behaved society, or maybe it will be more oppressive than the founding fathers could have ever dreamed.

Anonymous said...

Fantasizing in one’s mind about having an affair, while perhaps disappointing to a spouse, is absolutely not the equivalent to actually going through with cheating. All humans have selfish thoughts and may fleetingly think of doing something hurtful, but it doesn’t mean they will go through with it.

The fact that so many female profiles were fictional (and so many texting interactions were apparently phony, generated by paid writers) means that the majority of people on the site likely did not arrange a liaison via the site. While setting up a user account is a bit more than just thinking about having an affair, many of these people may never have intended to go through with one.

In this day and age, we’re starting to go a little too far into the notion of holding people guilty for “precrime,” and that’s not fair (nor realistic of human behavior). One’s browsing history is not necessarily proof of evil intent.
In some cases, people do have “open” relationships. In other words, they have an agreement with their spouse that they can play around, and thus they weren’t necessarily cheating.

This is not as rare as you might think, and it’s even been somewhat traditional in some other cultures outside of America. Even if they may have an open relationship, the forcible data disclosure is harmful to these couples; they don’t necessarily want their private life arrangements made public.

Anonymous said...

People often may continue living as married in the public eye because their families will not accept divorce, or perhaps for convenience and financial reasons. While these may still be situations with some degree of dishonesty or lacking in perfect integrity, the point is that with the giant numbers of people involved, there are likely cases that deserve a measure of compassion, and painting all members with the scarlet letter may be far more destructive than deserved.

Anonymous said...

For some people, the fact that they were involved with this site is past history, and having this made public is now unfairly damaging. The outing of the site’s data is dredging up past history and negatively affecting both partners in some cases where they may have already known of this and worked things out with each other. There are likely many members who have already divorced since their membership on the site, and retroactively outing them for cheating is just beating them up now for no reason.

Anonymous said...

Many email addresses were co-opted and used in setting up member profiles without their owners’ knowledge, and some profiles used people’s names without their involvement. We’ve seen statements from some prominent people that they’ve been falsely outed in the data release, such as the son of the vice president, Hunter Biden. These people are mistakenly and unfairly being tarnished in this. They’re caught up in this mess, and it has the potential of following them for years.

Anonymous said...

Spouses, families, businesses and organizations of the outed site members are not responsible and now may be unfairly hurt by this public outing. They are unwitting victims, and it’s simply not fair that they have this thrust upon them. Even if you despise the site’s members, disclosure of infidelity should probably only be the province of the married couple and should generally be private information between the people involved. This public disclosure generates a lot of collateral damage with the wide net it has cast.

Anonymous said...

Shame, Roger. Even cheaters shouldn’t have to be extorted, publicly embarrassed, fired from their jobs for their involvement. The variety of ways that the outed members are being beaten up for this is horrifying.

Peter T. said...

Blackmail is crime, Mr. Shuler.

How much did you demand from this man to not publish this story? He did the right thing: he told you NO.

All the email that you’ve sent this man, all the phone calls, are retained. This is how you fund your toxic blog, is it?

Anonymous said...

I don't like your "reporting" of the Ashley Madison story. You are intent on embarrassing people who haven't hurt anyone, not even their families. I really dislike your running photos of innocent spouses and children and including names. They did not ask for that treatment and public humiliation. You call it journalism. I call it muckraking. If you ever subjected me to that sort of treatment I’d crack you head open.

Anonymous said...

Roger, when are you going to just get over it? Get over the fact that the details of your incarceration are all over the web? That a simple search for your name shows that you have a $3 million default judgment against you for defamation that your never paid? That when you type “Roger Shuler” into Google, it auto-suggests “Roger Shuler arrest” and “Roger Shuler death”?

You claim to be “100% a victim” but now want to everyone else pay for your hurt. You lash out like a troubled child. You’re pathetic, Roger.

Anonymous said...

Here is a modest proposal: why not scour hacked medical records and report on who has had STDs, who has substance abuse problems, who has mental health issues… All that information seems like fair game, and the data would be just as ethically sourced as what you got fourth hand from Ashley Madison. You would be able to apply your "reporting skills” to so many more people! If you need that sort of thing, I have some Russian friends who would be happy to share.

Oh wait, you’d be in those categories, wouldn’t you?

Anonymous said...

Bill Smith III was born on third base and probably thinks he hit a triple.

legalschnauzer said...

Why is accurate reporting about the Ashley Madison story such a touchy subject for so many people? I will let readers come to their own conclusions, but I published a number of comments that came in within the past few minutes. Many of them are nonsense, but I will respond to a few in a separate comment.

Anonymous said...

Roger, I get that you have been hurt and persecuted in your life. I have great compassion for your suffering, but what is the point in this particular article? It is not news. What has this guy ever done to you? My advice is stop all the shot taking at everyone, remove this entire blog and try to find a happy life involved in something else. I am afraid as long as you persist in this you and your wife will never know peace. I want that for you as I do for all people created in the image of God.

legalschnauzer said...

A responses:

(1) Another Bill Smith -- This is William E. Smith III, the CEO of Royal Cup. I've done the legwork to learn that; you haven't.

(2) 12:57 -- Why am I supposed to worry if my IP address is exposed? More important, how do you know this, and I'm guessing you don't.

(3) 1:02 -- I've consulted with IT professionals who probably are much more knowledgeable than you, and they say this is the real paying list. Most of the customers I've contacted don't even try to deny they were on the list.

(4) 1:02 -- The paid data is neither fake nor inaccurate. You know this, but it conflicts with your agenda, so you continue to whine.

(5) Kate -- I've warned you about falsely accusing me of crimes. You would be wise to take my warnings seriously because you won't receive any more.

(6) 1:03 -- That's on the non-paying list. This is the paying list, and it is legit.

(7) 1:04 -- Give me an example.

(8) Peter T -- See my comment to Kate above.

(9) 1:28 -- You are creating a correlation that isn't there.

(10) 1:28 -- I'm not aware of any hacked medical records, are you? Plus, I'm pretty sure there are laws about protection of medical records. Finally, I assume you know I wasn't involved in the Ashley Madison hack. I'm reporting on material that emerged from that hack, which is 100 percent legal.

legalschnauzer said...

@2:10 -- It's kind of hard for you to help me "know peace" via an anonymous comment. That's like reading graffiti on the wall. Give me a call and maybe we can set up a time for prayer.

Anonymous said...

Why would you care about the love-life of a coffee vendor, even if you didn't hear it from a dubious source? This is not a matter of public concern, and your obsession with it is not healthy.

Kate Seaghdh said...

To be 100% clear: Roger Shuler is aiding and abetting blackmail and harassment.

He's essentially a criminal.

He should be arrested for benefiting from computer hacking and as a blackmailer. He should be forced to do hard labor.

Roger Shuler is a liar, a fraud, and a hack. Lock 'em up!

Sue away, Roger!

Kate Seaghdh said...

No more warnings??? I'm killing myself laughing, you miserable, destitute asshole!

Roger, you don't have the BALLS to sue me!

And when I say you don't have the BALLS, I mean that literally: you don't have male genitals. You have been gelded. You don't have a cock. You're a cuck, not a man. You're NOTHING WORTH ANYTHING at this point. Your wife would be better satisfied by a carrot.

You look like shit, think like shit, and act like shit. I flush shit like you down the toilet every day and don't think twice about it. And shit has more brains than you do, you dumb fuck.

Go ahead an sue me. I'm looking forward to discovery with you. Soon everyone will know you're a child-perving creep, won't they? Isn't that what happened with your niece? What else are you hiding, you fucking degenerate?

Anonymous said...

Clearly by posting these comments by the same person (or you) you are trying to look revelant. You are not, other than the 30 or so folks following you! Sir, you are a loser! Haha. Merry christmas.

legalschnauzer said...


Looks like your true colors are shining through, to borrow a phrase from Cyndi Lauper. You've been posing as a highly professional IT consultant, which I knew all along wasn't true, and now you are a foul-mouthed, nasty, borderline psycho ranter. Sounds like you truly have come unhinged because your attempts at fraud haven't worked.

What's the bit about my niece? I have more than one niece. Where did you come up with that, from what part of your vivid imagination?

Since you are looking forward to a lawsuit, please provide your real name and home/work addresses so you can be easily served and get to that discovery that you so want.

legalschnauzer said...

@2:46 -- A "coffee vendor"? You make it sound like William Smith III is some guy selling Joe on a street corner. He is CEO of one of Alabama's oldest companies, which does business internationally. Also, the post says nothing about his "love life." It says he's a prominent guy who was dumb enough to sign up for Ashley Madison. I have no interest in, or knowledge of, his love life.

Kate Seaghdh said...

Ms. Kate Seaghdh
Herjavec Group
3148 Bay Street Suite 1202
Toronto, ON M5J 2R8

Anonymous said...

Actually legal would love to hear from you, you pathetic nugget of shit:

Kate Seaghdh
180 Duncan Mill Road, 7th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M3B 1Z6

Anonymous said...

Try this one too:

Kate R. Seaghdh
2927 South Street
Midland, TX 79701

legalschnauzer said...

"Kate" --

Why is it your name does not appear at any of these addresses; in fact, it doesn't seem to appear on the Web at all. Is that maybe because you are . . . a fraud?

legalschnauzer said...

"Kate" --

The Herjavec Group? I guess you pulled that out of your ass from watching "Shark Tank"?

What a clown.

Anonymous said...

He sells coffee, and the world does not hang on his romantic outlook, even if he did use a hook up site, (which is in no way confirmed). It's not even relevant to selling coffee, let alone a matter of public concern. Your obsession is unhealthy, and I don't know what good you think you could be doing. I chalk it up to your mental illness.

Kate Seaghdh said...

Herjavec Group is one of the largest cybersecurity firms in Canada. It's where I work. The fact that you can't find my name online doesn't mean anything. Think about it.

Rest assured that my contact information is accurate. Call and ask for me. I know you won't, because at the end of the day you're a coward and, let's face it, sort of a moron. I told Legal you might call, and to be polite to you, because you might try to sue me with no money and no lawyer. We had a good laugh about that one. I think we all know you won't get anywhere going up against us.

Oh, and Roger, why do you think I'm the same "Kate" that posted the other day? Are you really that fucking stupid?

Not Kate said...

Seriously, Roger, you're such a fucking idiot. All the big legal talk and it turns out you're so angry you can't control yourself. You're like someone with seizers. You squirt shit out of your asshole like a fucking cripple.

You call Kate a clown but you don't know Herjavec is a big security co in Canada. Ever use Google, you spasmodic joker?

You are the clown, you are the clown.

legalschnauzer said...

"Kate" --

My. we have a foul mouth, don't we? Is that a trait Robert Herjavec looks for in his employees. (BTW, I never said I didn't know of the company; in fact, I said I know exactly who Mr. Herjavec is, but then you are so busy cussing that you can't read.)

Why would I call and ask for you? I have no reason to believe you exist, and I don't care whether you exist. You are a fraud with an agenda, and that's all I need to know.

S C said...

Last night, i posted a comment, wondering why anybody from AM would get up in arms about online posts about them, but i have to say, this string of nastiness makes me wonder who all these anonymous folks are.

As for the cybersecurity firm that "kate" mentioned, surely to goodness they don't want their employees cussing, listing their address, and acting like an idiot online. What would be the point of that? From all intents and purposes, they seem legit....but "kate" doesn't seem like a woman to me

legalschnauzer said...

S.C. --

I'm starting to wonder if Kate is a woman, too. I once thought she was, but she/he just seems like a foul-mouthed maniac now. Like you, I find it hard to believe the Herjavec company would be pleased to have an employee acting like this online. BTW, Robert Herjavec is one of the big-money folks on "Shark Tank."

I think you had wondered in your previous comment why anyone affiliated with Ashley Madison would be so upset with my reporting. I can only guess at the answer, but perhaps it increases the chance they will be found liable in ongoing federal litigation -- or maybe it could enhance damages against them. Wouldn't it be ironic, after all the heat I've taken for reporting about AM customers, if I actually wound up helping them?

Simon Peter said...

Roger, there are a few people (myself included) who don't understand why you bother doing this. Can you explain how someone's supposed membership on what turned out to be a bad porn/dating site is newsworthy? Because to many of us it seems like an act of hostility, something designed to damage a reputation rather that serve the public interest somehow.

I get that there are elites that have treated you badly and don't care about average people--the worst of these is our next preisdent--but that isn't news. We know that. We've been living that our whole lives. A rich lawyer or CEO living in a nice house may or may not be a good person.

But I'm not sure being on that site makes these men much of anything, honestly. I've looked at porn from time to time. Many people have. I'm also well off. I've had sexual fantasies about women not my wife. Is there anyone who hasn't?

But does that mean I'm a bad person? Is it a news story? Would you publish my personal life, my fantasies, if you could?

Honestly, I don't understand.

legalschnauzer said...

Simon --

I've answered this question more times than I can count. Here is one place where I answered it. You can do a search on the blog and find many other posts or comments that include similar explanations.

Anonymous said...

In Roger's December 14 post about Iqbal & Twombly, he complains about the invasion of privacy he and Carol have suffered in regards to the "house case".

"In addition to federal and constitutional issues, "The House Case" involves a number of state-tort claims, including defamation, tortious interference, and invasion of privacy."

Yet, he continues to invade the privacy of these individuals with his ill considered series on almost entirely private individuals. The irony, which he will no doubt not understand, is rich.

Simon Peter said...

Roger, I'm still confused. You state in that post that you will identify "elites who seem drawn to cheating". But that is a pretty thin justification for publishing personal information about them. Basically we're at the level of a "thoughtcrime" here: people thinking "bad" things, not actually doing anything "bad", but being shamed for it anyway. If that's your rationale, it isn't a good one. In fact, I don't think it's ethical. After all, you might think cheating is "bad", but it isn't a crime, at least where I live. The hacking and blackmail are actual crimes, and you're contributing to that.

I guess a bigger failure on your part is failing to indicate "what do their dalliances with AM say about their values and ethics". Can you finally deal with that question, rather than just name these people?

Anonymous said...

Answer the question is adequately.

Your justification doesn't hold up.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:24 -- Sorry, but I don't take instructions from you. My explanation has held up and will continue to hold up. Just because you don't like it, won't change things. If you want me to consider your instructions, contact me directly and we will discuss.

legalschnauzer said...

Simon Peter:

You are in a long line of individuals who equate journalism to "shaming." That makes your arguments non-serious right off the bat. You're argument that I contributed to hacking and blackmail also indicates you aren't serious about this. No wonder you are in state of constant confusion.

How in the hell have I contributed to hacking and blackmail? Can't wait to hear your answer for that one?

legalschnauzer said...

10:22 --

You can argue that those who hacked the AM accounts did wrong. But once that data is placed in the public realm, any journalist is entitled, by law, to report on it. I've explained that umpteen times here. If you can't grasp it, that's your problem. The AM customers made the mistake of putting their private information in the hands of a company with poor security systems. That's a problem between them and AM, and it's being litigated now. But I haven't invaded anyone's privacy. I used information that became public and reported on it accurately and lawfully.

You might check what invasion of privacy actually means. It's probably not what you think.

Simon Peter said...

Roger, I'm very serious about understanding your position on this.

If you could answer the questions I posed it would be helpful to me. What do you think having their names in the database indicates about these peoples' "values and ethics"? You are reporting their names, pictures, and personal information because you consider these people are what, exactly? A threat to society? Untrustworthy? Dangerous? I'd really like to understand, because you could be publishing anything.

You might have seen today that one billion Yahoo accounts were hacked in 2013. MySpace, Linkedin, Dropbox, Adobe, Sony, Comcast and dozens of other sites have been hacked in the last couple of years. Did all of the billions of users of those sites put their "private information in the hands of a company with poor security systems"? It would seem so, and it might be that you are one of those users. Should you be punished in the same way as the users of one of those sites?

I don't equate journalism with "shaming", and least not in general. I understand that you have the right to publish this material -- but it's another debate whether you should.

As I've told you, I'm married, I'm well-off, I've fantasized about other women, and I've looked at porn online. I could easily have been a member of that site. Would my personal information be worthy of publishing? Would you publish it if you came across it for some other website?

I might even be a lawyer. Would that matter?

legalschnauzer said...

Simon Peter --

Give me a call at (205) 381-5673, and I would be glad to discuss.

2983 said...

Interesting. The Ashley Madison data shows a strange pattern of transactions for Mr. Smith -- a large volume of transactions within a short period of time -- that likely indicates credit card fraud. Why aren't you reporting that?

legalschnauzer said...

@4:26 -- Would be glad to discuss at (205) 381-5673. Also, because you saw a strange pattern of transactions, doesn't mean everyone saw it or everyone who saw it reached the same conclusions you did. Mr. Smith had every opportunity to respond to my post prior to publication, and he failed to do so. Obviously, he could have mentioned credit-card fraud and offered up evidence to prove it, but he did not do so.

2983 said...

That kind of spending means he was sending 40+ messages over several two day periods. That isn't very likely.

legalschnauzer said...

2983 --

As I noted earlier I would be glad to discuss. I'm checking on my records, but as you probably know, the data is voluminous, and it can take a while to find something. You're welcome to send the documentation, if you care to.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Smith, I am very disappointed with you. All that money and coffee, you can't get a date? Try making friends instead. Dirty bastard.

Anonymous said...

Happy holidays, Roger. Just catching up after a terrible holiday period.

Keep it up, Roger! These men are creeps. Disgusting. They shouldn't be in charge of anything as far as I'm concerned. Creepshow the Website.