Smith v. Levin
A lawsuit was filed in the name of a California debt relief company, Rescue One Financial, and Bradley Smith, its co-CEO, alleging that some defamatory comments had been posted to articles about the plaintiffs on a consumer–oriented web site; a consent order was submitted, supposedly signed by the defendant, admitting that th defendant had posted the comments and that they were false; the order enjoined continued publication of the articles to which the comments were posted and provided for requests to Google and other search engines to “delist” the articles si that they would not come up in response to search engine searches. In fact, the defendant was ficrional and his signature on the consent order was forged. After Richart Ruddie was caught submitting a similarly fraudulent consent order to the federal court in Rhode Island, he agreed to ask courts in three other cases to vacate their fraudulently obtained orders. This case, in the Maryland Circuit Court for the City of Baltimore, is one of the three cases; Ruddie’s counsel arranged for the filing of a motion to vacate. Public Citizen represents Myvesta Foundation, the owner of the blog whose articles were the target of the fraudulent scheme, in an amicus brief that explains the scheme in more detail that the motion to vacate did, and that calls on the Court to take action to prevent similar frauds in the future. Although no order was ever received, the docket reflects that, shortly after our brief was submitted, the court vacated the order and dismissed the complaint.