(Ping! Zine) – Today, RedOrbit.com founder Eric Ralls announced a lawsuit asking for as much as 28 million dollars against Torq Cisek for fraud, among other things. This lawsuit is the result of several months of investigation between RedOrbit.com and interactive advertising fraud expert, Pace Lattin. This lawsuit RedOrbit Inc vs. Internet Media Holdings LLC dba Media Javelin, and Torq Cisek, Cause Number 10-3080-B has been filed in the 114 Judicial District Court, Smith County Texas.
This lawsuit alleges that Cisek, a convicted felon, had used several pseudonyms, phone numbers and addresses, in order to create a fake company supposedly located in California and doing business as Media Javelin, LLC. The purpose of the pseudonyms and fake company was allegedly to gain the trust of Mr. Ralls specifically because of Mr. Cisek’s past record. Mr. Cisek, using the pseudonym Travis, among other names according to the allegations, was hired to place interactive advertising on behalf of RedOrbit.com on paid cost-per-click engines. Instead of placing the advertisements on websites, Mr. Cisek allegedly engaged in a scheme in which the RedOrbit.com’s website was displayed in 1×1 pixels in banner ads, in adware and other websites, simulating actual “clicks” to the website. Because of Mr. Cisek’s alleged actions, RedOrbit allegedly has been defrauded and has also lost revenue from advertisers that became aware of the transaction.
“These types of scams are unfortunately prevalent in our industry, but sometimes hard to detect,” said Mr. Lattin. “For the average website buying advertising, without any training, there is no way to know if the clicks are coming from real users or are generated by the companies involved.” Mr. Lattin runs one of the top websites about interactive advertising fraud, IndustryPace.com that catalogues the exploits of fraudsters in the industry. He had previously reported on Torq Cisek and has been following his mode of operation for some time. Additionally, Ben Edelman, an adware expert, has catalogued in a report the actions of the company named Media Javelin.
“For the last decade, RedOrbit has built a huge following of science lovers and my main focus has always been on content,” says Eric Ralls the founder of RedOrbit. “I knew that fraud existed in the industry, but I had no idea there were entire rings of companies and individuals who prey on sites like mine, using often complex technology to further their scheme to the detriment of their customers. I am hoping that by taking these proactive steps, we can prevent others from operating these schemes and protect the integrity of the rest of the industry in the future.” RedOrbit.com has since stopped working with almost all ad networks, taking additional precautions and remedial measures to safeguard against these types of events occurring in the future.