Back in 2016, a "reputation management" company called Profile Defenders was caught forging court orders in order to get complaints about its clients removed from the site Pissed Consumer. This was a monumentally stupid thing to do, as judges are consistently unamused with people who forge their signatures.
Read the rest
If you want to get a piece of information removed from the internet, there are few tools more powerful that a court judgment saying that it is defamatory. A judgment like that will get Google to de-index the result and frighten most web-hosts into getting rid of it. So it follows that the sleaziest end of the "reputation management" industry has occupied itself with securing these court orders at high volumes and low costs. Read the rest
To make sure he couldn't be caught, Ely Sakhai bought the original first—a Rembrandt of enormous value. This "incredibly brazen" con almost worked, writes Anthony M. Amore.
The authenticity of his Rembrandt, The Apostle James, was not questioned. Nor was the fact that it was purchased by Ely Sakhai from a reputable source. So when he would offer what he purported to be the painting for sale, it didn’t raise questions about authenticity, if only because those interested in the painting perhaps failed to imagine the nefarious scheme of the seller. Thanks in large measure to his travels in the Far East with his wife, Sakhai made it his mission to establish a steady clientele in Tokyo and Taiwan too. and in June 1997, he sold his Rembrandt to the Japanese businessman and art collector Yoichi Takeuchi.
A key thing is that the forgeries--and those sold to Sakhai's later victims--were immediately debunked when inspected by experts. It's easy to get fooled and get wise again. For forgers, the message is still the medium, but only the forger knows which medium. Read the rest
The contract presented by Paul Ceglia, who claims he paid Zuck to build Facebook, was forged, according to a forensic report(PDF) by Stroz Friedberg. Wired's David Kravetz: "The metadata shows they were backdated to 2003 when Zuckerberg, as a Harvard University student, agreed to perform the contracted work for Ceglia. But the copies of the contract were created in 2011." Read the rest