The Volokh Conspiracy

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Brief follow-up in N.Y. libel takedown order forgery prosecution


I blogged two weeks ago about Michael Arnstein of the Natural Sapphire Co., who is being prosecuted for allegedly forging court orders aimed at getting Google to deindex online criticisms of his company; he had gotten a legitimate court order finding certain posts by Transpacific Software PVT Ltd. and Prashant Telang to be defamatory, and then created modified copies of the order with new URLs that he also wanted taken down. I thought I'd therefore note this response from his lawyers (from an article in National Jeweler, by Brecken Branstrator):

When contacted by National Jeweler, Arnstein's lawyer, Steven Brounstein, emphasized that the case has nothing to do with the company's reputation with real clients, and added that Arnstein was "clearly victimized" in the case involving Telang and his company.

(Telang and his company have no connection to the current case against Arnstein, and Telang noted via email that he has had no contact with Arnstein or his company since 2012.)

Arnstein is pleading not guilty.

"Our legal team looks forward to working with the Justice Department so we can present the extraordinary mitigating circumstances that led to these charges," he told National Jeweler. "Our company has been through a tremendous challenge, which we are sure will be of great interest to many trade professionals and internet-based businesses. We cannot make any further comment until we have further discussions with Justice Department on this case."