Gansler reaches settlement with website operator

By Bryan Cohen | Oct 8, 2013

BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) -- Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced Monday a settlement with a Florida man who ran a website that allegedly posted deceptive criminal histories online.

Stanislav Komsky, the operator of Joomsef.net, published webpages on individual Maryland consumers containing publicly available information regarding traffic citations issued against them.

The webpages allegedly exaggerated the traffic offenses by representing that consumers were booked or arrested. The pages also allegedly displayed a space on each page reserved for a photograph of the consumers that was captioned "Mugshot Unavailable," wrongly suggesting that a mugshot was taken.

"The Internet should be a resource for sharing information, not a vehicle for spreading misinformation," Gansler said. "Businesses cannot be allowed to post half-truths on the Internet to make a quick buck."

Consumers found out they were listed on Joomsef.net by searching the Internet themselves or when searches on their background were performed by others, including potential employers.

To view the information about the offenses, Joomsef.net required a fee of $9.99. Consumers could take the information down by paying Komsky $39.99 to $89.99.

Gansler's Consumer Protection Division alleged that Komsky engaged in unfair or deceptive trade practices. To resolve the allegations, Komsky agreed to stop publishing false or misleading information about consumers' background, criminal or otherwise.

Under the terms of the agreement, Komsky took down Joomsef.net, agreed to refund the payments he collected from consumers to view or remove information from his site and pay the division a $7,500 civil penalty.

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