The Real Rip-Off Report

Ed Magedson calls himself an advocate. His enemies call him an extortionist

For someone so smart, Magedson is curiously accepting of even the most off-the-wall allegations. He estimates that 98 percent of the site's complaints are true, which seems ridiculous after perusing numerous comments in which people accuse each other of everything from spreading sexually transmitted diseases to grand larceny.

"If you ask Ed the question, 'Ed, do you think there are phony reports?', of course there are going to be," he says. "'Are some of them exaggerated?' Probably so.

"But," he concludes, blithely, "if you're a business being complained about, you probably deserve what you're getting."


For business owners who Google themselves and are startled to discover they're actually scam artists, cheapskates, or even child abusers, the Rip-Off Report can be shocking. After all, if a newspaper printed such unsubstantiated allegations, it would be bankrupted in no time by lawyers with libel claims — some far from frivolous.

The Internet, as Magedson's victims soon learn, is different.

Newspapers are on the hook for libel if they merely publish a damaging untruth without proper vetting. So long as a story is about a private citizen, the standard is mere negligence: If a paper thinks something is true, but doesn't bother to verify, it can be held liable.

A Web site, however, can publish even those claims that writers know to be false: an ex-husband's rant that his saintly wife has herpes, an allegation that a hated city councilman is a pedophile. Forget mere negligence — online reports can be downright malicious.

For that, you can thank Congress, says Eric Goldman, an assistant professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law and director of the High Tech Law Institute. (And, oddly enough, you can thank porn, too.)

Before 1996, Goldman explains, Web sites were treated more like newspapers. If their operators edited or monitored content from their users, they could be considered a publisher. In a few cases, they were held responsible for publishing without verification.

But then came congressional concern about online porn. And Web operators argued that they were caught in a Catch-22: If they removed porn, they'd be on the hook for anything they left up that proved libelous.

So the Communications Decency Act, passed in 1996, attempted to restrict Internet porn — and, at the same time, give Web sites special immunity. Under the act, Goldman says, "you can be aware of bad content, do nothing about it, and still not be liable for it."

Ironically, the Supreme Court struck down the porn part of the law soon after it was passed. But the exemption for Internet publishers stands. The U.S. Supreme Court has shown zero interest in entertaining a challenge to it, Goldman says, much less overturning it.

Goldman believes Congress made a good decision. "It's very hard to put online service providers in the role of judge," he says. "If we asked online service providers to do this, they'd take the path of least resistance. They'd take the content down. And if they did that, we would see a chilling extinction of negative feedback about products and services in the marketplace."

And so Web publishers today have the freedom to publish real, uncensored customer reports — and, while they're at it, to publish false information.

This is not just true of Ed Magedson.

Take, say, America Online. After the Oklahoma City bombings, a guy named Kenneth Zeran was shocked to see that someone smeared him all over AOL message boards, claiming that he was selling tee shirts glorifying the bombings. The messages included his telephone number.

When radio stations picked up on the story, Goldman says, Zeran started receiving a dozen nasty phone calls a day. Hard to blame the guy for suing.

"If you wanted a sympathetic plaintiff, you got him," Goldman says. "This guy got screwed." But the court was emphatic, Goldman says: AOL was not responsible.

"And since then, we've had three dozen cases, all of them saying Zeranwas right," Goldman says. "The person who wrote the words is liable. The online service is not."


There's one good reason the darker corners of the Internet are so nuts: because they can be. And the legal immunity granted to online publishers also explains the continued existence of the Rip-Off Report.

Companies suing Magedson for libel all learn, soon enough, that the law isn't on their side. It may irritate them, or even hurt their businesses and reputations, but they simply can't force him to take down even the nastiest posts.

"It's extremely frustrating for a company to have their number-one search result be a Rip-Off Report," explains Magedson's attorney, Maria Crimi Speth. "And because it's legal, and because the posts are often anonymous, they have no one to take it out on but Ed."

Magedson says he's spent at least $1 million on legal bills. Judging by the volume of suits he's fought — and the size of the case files — he's not exaggerating.

But for Magedson, the blowback he gets is clearly a great part of the fun.

During his interview at Chompie's, he's interrupted when one of his four cell phones starts ringing. (All have numbers ending in 4357, he notes, which spells "HELP.") To his delight, it's a business owner calling to ask him to remove a report on the Web site.

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207 comments
ChakersCellmate
ChakersCellmate

FYI -- if anyone is looking for more information about Darren Chaker, please try to be patient -- he's currently serving time in federal prison, so that makes it kind of hard for him to respond to emails:

http://www.fbi.gov/houston/press-releases/2013/man-sentenced-to-federal-prison-for-bankruptcy-fraud


However, the judge who sent Chaker to prison was smart enough to recommend some much-needed mental health counseling for the guy, so hopefully when (and if) he gets out, he'll be a nicer person.

darrenchaker
darrenchaker

Revealing information about the law firm who represents RipoffReport can be seen here,  http://jaburgwilk.blogspot.com/ and is a compilation of records, including a past sexual molestation charge against RipoffReport attorney David Gingras. 

Enjoy! Darren Chaker

Google-Cide
Google-Cide

Darren M Meade, of Kairos-Meade, announced publication of its Internet investigation teams report on legal challenges issued by Rexxfield; Rexxfield’s majority partners, and its founder Michael Roberts.

[Case Numbers: 30-2011-00468719; 30-2012-00557149; 1:11-CV-00169-DN]

According to court documents, a meeting occurred on 1-28-2011 between Rexxfield partners in which Michael Roberts and Paul Portelli conspired to cast Ripoff Report in a false light and accuse Ripoff Report of “extortion” through a systematic Internet smear campaign (page 67).

Certified court reporters transcripts allege Rexxfield’s plan to usurp the revenue stream of the most widely recognized online consumer advocacy website (RipoffReport.com) and launch its own replacement ‘platform' (page 73 of transcript).

According to court documents, Rexxfield partners discuss a public relations fear campaign that would help them sell their reputation management services to worried parents.

“I would love to run an underground campaign that says, ‘Google is trying to destroy your reputation,’” an executive on the call is heard saying. “I like the idea of, ‘the more popular you are, the more dangerous it is,’ and giving people the scare tactic of, ‘the more exposure you have … the faster it is for your enemies to attack you.’”

“I think there’s a whole other campaign where we can break the parents,” the executive continued. “Send them a picture of their kid with a gun in his mouth -- Google did it. ‘Little Johnny is going to commit Google-cide. Can you stop it?’” (Court audio here)

According to court documents, Rexxfield an online reputation management company, Michael Roberts had commercialized an injection source code. The code purportedly offered consumers negative report removal from private webservers including Ripoff Report and Google online property BlogSpot. Recent Fox News exclusive had also exposed a plan called “Google-cide” -- a campaign designed to scare parents of children defamed online into purchasing the services offered by the new online reputation enterprise. Experts cited by Fox News has said altering websites by injecting source code is illegal.

Meade said that he had begun an unrelated investigation into Roberts & Portelli in February 2011. Meade's, investigation caused him to speak with Ed Magedson of Ripoff Report, in December of 2012. That conversation led to Kairos-Meade, receiving a copy of Michael Roberts, March 11, 2011 alleged extortion attempt, “That allowed us to connect the dots from Roberts / Portelli’s alleged extortion conversation on January 28, 2011.

According to court documents, Meade in August of 2011 had the opportunity to speak directly to the United States District Court Central District of California and address Honorable Cormac J Carney for case number SACR 07-00249-CJC at the sentencing hearing for two of the partners in Rexxfield. Meade provided details of the organizational structure of the ORM entities and a two-step process of coupling the creation and posting of online defamatory materials in a fee-for-service of removing of the content from online consumer advocacy websites.

According to court documents, Meade said once he discovered the technology was hacking and what its implications were, he made it his mission to warn the public about the dangers this technology poses in the form of automated cyber bullying and free speech. He also understood the institutionalized repertoire of serial defamation, vexatious litigation, and death threats have all be leveled against him in a futile attempt to force him to retreat from his stated goal.

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landingfer

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JungleBoi
JungleBoi

They can serve him via public notice if he cannot be found.  I have used the techniques to get service that I paid > $3,000 for but kept being told I had to come back and fix yet something else in my car.  Only after using his techniques did the dealership act.  I had tried conventional means.  didnt work.  I recommend his site and techniques, used honestly to get bad businesses to deal properly with their customers.  He may be whatever you want to call him personally, I didn't even know his name before today, but I am grateful to him for the info.

BadForPeople.org
BadForPeople.org

Hello,

If you are willing, would you please make your visitors aware of our attempt to organize victims of RipOffReport.com in order to put enough pressure on Google, Yahoo and other search engines to completely de-index RipOffReport.com from search results. Although Ed Magedson is a heartless opportunist, if it weren't for the search engines he would be irrelevant to the rest of the world.

www.BadForPeople.org

http://www.facebook.com/RipOff...

https://www.facebook.com/group...

https://www.facebook.com/badfo...

Thank you in advance,Michael Roberts. Organizer

rob
rob

They posted a lie about myself and my biz that i ripped people off and took their money, which is a bunch of lies. They don't care who they hurt. Then i started receiving emails to remove it from their site for a fee. But i have one trick up my sleeve. All i have to do is get a new domain, which is pain

Dutyfree
Dutyfree

RIPOFFREPORTSUCKS.COM is for sale - aqzq33@yahoo.com

Lisa Rodriguez
Lisa Rodriguez

my best friend's ex and his new wife put the address and phone number of the home of his young children on a nasty and untrue posting about his wife on this site. i fear for her children's lives now because everyone knows she is a single mom alone, she was pregnant and other kids where under 3 when he left her. if anything happens to those kids I will be sure to let the local news know that the info was on this site. this site is disgusting, they put her email plead to them on the page itself for everyone to see and refuses to remove the personal info. She uses an alias now, in a few months court date to change her name.

Janicejake2002
Janicejake2002

Sure Jack I am happy to talk with you. If you post a disposable email address I can make contact that way. I will watch for your comment.

Janicejake2002
Janicejake2002

I posted about a scam on ripoff report in good faith. Ripoff Report gave my details to the company and they posted that I committed serious crimes, made death threats etc-just as a measure of revenge. They posted a comment urging everyone to harass me, posted my mobile and work number. after threats of physical violence were made I literally begged the editor to remove the comment and my contact details. I did not receive a reply. I have an unusual name and had a responsible high level position. I lost my job.

I am now suing, not ripoff report but google for refusing to remove the links. I do not live in the US and the CDA does not apply here. Some of the period covered by my lawsuit predates the libel tourism act. I recently discovered that google removed links to ripoff reports about a high profile firm in my country without having to go through this lawsuit and I think a couple of companies paid off the ed to remove the links from google. I guess we will find out at discovery.

It will hit the media soon and I will post a link here.

KillReport
KillReport

These animals are posting lies calling me a child molester. There has never been any accusations like that in my life but this RipoffReport crew of extortionists think that they can extort money from me. What is most likely to happen here is that someone will just hunt these animals at RipoffReport down and kill them all along with their affiliates. There how's that for freedom of speech you filthy whores.

Nadine
Nadine

You know, if my name was Darren Chaker and if I had lots of very embarrassing information in my background that I wanted to hide from public view, I would probably be VERY careful about posting a bunch of garbage and lies about others. You just never know when someone might decide to make you the focus of an intense investigation into your background, criminal history, personal past.....

Emily W
Emily W

I really feel badly for Stephanie Gingras. Her husband David and I had a relationship several years ago and he has recently been communicating with me asking how I am doing, you know the big lead up to lets have drinks. That got David in trouble in the past so I think I will stay away from this perv.

Tiny Tino
Tiny Tino

I think he and his family should get a taste of his own medicine.

Fourth Horseman
Fourth Horseman

Coming soon public records from Jaburg and Wilk representation of Ripoff Report's attorney David Gingras. Yes, it's Jaburg and Wilk represented Gingras who, after employing Gingras, did so despite the fact he was arrested for sexual conduct with a minor. Maricopa Court Case Number: S-0700-CR-1999093685. Also, Public Records from Gingras' state bar record which is lengthy. www.jaburgwilk.com/ Of course a few words (and pictures shopping) about Gingras' wife, Stephanie Gingras are soon to come too. Stay tooned . . .

Kim Smith
Kim Smith

James P. Rogers. He is Ed's personal assistant and he has recorded conversations with Ed Magedson proving some really damaging stuff.

Seth Myers
Seth Myers

David Gingras, who still appears to hold himself out to be part of law firm of Jaburg Wilk , is in house counsel to Ripoff Report. http://bmhm.com/attorney/David...

Gingras was charged with sexual conduct with a minor, some may call child molestation. See below link to court record. Although the case was dismissed, it was NOT dismissed because Gingras was innocent, but only because the appellate court found the State took too long to arrest him.

What's almost as disturbing is the fact Jaburg Wilk deals with family law matters and it appears they failed to perform a basic record search that would have shown Gingras' alleged past while in law school. Local and national news has investigated Gingras’ company for extortion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...http://www.superiorcourt.maric...

John Brewington
John Brewington

Maybe they did do record and check and this is the kind of lawyers they want working for them.

Darren Chaker
Darren Chaker

David Gingras, who still appears to hold himself out to be part of law firm of Jaburg Wilk , is in house counsel to Ripoff Report. http://bmhm.com/attorney/David...

Gingras was charged with sexual conduct with a minor, some may call child molestation. See below link to court record. Although the case was dismissed, it was NOT dismissed because Gingras was innocent, but only because the appellate court found the State took too long to arrest him.

What's almost as disturbing is the fact Jaburg Wilk deals with family law matters and it appears they failed to perform a basic record search that would have shown Gingras' alleged past while in law school. Local and national news has investigated Gingras’ company for extortion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...http://www.superiorcourt.maric...

Shawn
Shawn

www.clickanerd.com/jw-redirect... - is the old jaburg and wilk sucks dot com. The issue of David Gingras being a child molester is juicy but not the real story. Ed Magedson had this employee named James Rogers. James Rogers was ordered by Ed Magedson to create fake Yahoo and Google email accounts and then post fake complaints on ROR using these fake accounts. I have this admission on tape. You can listen to this confession at the above URL. It is my intent to call all of Magedson's other victims on his CAP aka extortion program and let them listen to the recordings. Everyone has been trying to prove this, I have succeed at proving that Ed authors reports, pays people to make up reports and shakes them down. I have filed a claim in Federal Court in Phoenix Arizona in Judge Wake's Court. I intend to prove that Ed Magedson is engaging in Wire Fraud and his actions are both Criminally and Civilly actionable. If you have been screwed by Ed Magedson, I would like to hear your story. Call me at: (254) 690-6373 or email me at Shawn@ClickaNerd.com. I beg you not to be afraid of this ass clown Magedson. He is just a thug that will sit in front of an Arizona Jury and account for his actions.

Shawn R.
Shawn R.

http://www.JaburgAndWilkSucks.... - has been removed. The Court did not order me to take this down. David Gingras (Ripoff Report's) Main Attorney now, was charged with 12 counts of sex with a minor over 15 but that case was eventually dismissed because of either a procedural or due process issue. I have a copy of the original complaint from the Chandler Police Department against David Gingras if any one would like to see it. My Email is Shawn@ClickaNerd.com My Cell Number is (254) 291-4696.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Maria Crimi Speth at Jaburg and Wilk in Scottsdale Arizona is in partnership with Edward P. Magedeson in this scam operation called Ripoff Report. Why hasn't some one arrested them all yet for extortion?

Tonymihelcic
Tonymihelcic

does anyone know anyting abot the "INTERNATIONAL SUPPLEMENTS"company and the products they supply and are they safe to use

Tonymihelcic
Tonymihelcic

Where can we report now the rip of people and company that do the wrong things to consumers.

Maria Speth
Maria Speth

Kevin Michael Sianez aka Edward Magedson was charged Friday in Santa Ana Superior Court with 63 criminal counts, including 20 felony counts of grand theft by false pretense. He also is charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit sexual assault on an animal, after detectives discovered the bestiality-seeking Craigslist ads during their investigation.

Prosecutors say he did little or no work on cases after charging clients between 2005 and 2010.

Sianez was an officer in Stanton and Santa Ana from 1979 to 1986.

A phone listing for Sianez was not available.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

Jack
Jack

Would you be willing to discuss your situation with a US attorney who is building a class-action against ripoff report at the moment? If so, please respond and we will somehow try to find a way to touch base away from this forum and yet without disclosing e-mail addresses etc. I have subscribed to this thread with a disposable e-mail address, so I will get a message when you respond.

Ripoff Report
Ripoff Report

I can assure you our staff did not write anything like that. What report are you referring to?

isobot
isobot

@Nadine you know, if you play that game long enough, you'll end up screwing with the one person who will track you down and put an end to your stupidity too. People think they can hide forever, and they always find out the hard way such isn't the case. I'll enjoy the day I read where someone finally served justice on e man.

mikesanto70
mikesanto70

@Fourth Horseman  if you have dirt on his old lady please share with me because she fucked me over and I'm going to pay here lying ass back!!!

CarlySimon
CarlySimon

You're a jizz-guzzlin' deadbeat narcissist with too many shirts.

Boppinbob83
Boppinbob83

This crum uses his site to exstort money from buisness owners. After a bride with the class of a garden slug posted a coment about my company. I was emailed by five sleezbags wanting a $1000 plus dollars to remove this report. All five are owned by Ed magedson

Lawrence
Lawrence

Is Ed Magedson an Kevin Sianez both in Jail?

isobot
isobot

@Ripoff Reportit's fun as hell watching you hide like a little coward in fear for your life.

 
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