Prosperident's Hall of Shame is the place where we profile embezzlers and some of their antics.
Understandably, some of the people profiled there would be happier if we removed them from our website. Occasionally, we receive a genuine request for removal, but many of the removal requests involve the embezzler or someone close to them doing what they do best -- lying to us about why the content should be removed. (For a particularly hilarious example of someone trying this, please click HERE.)
We recently received another good one. We have profiled someone named Hector Ramos of Murrieta, CA, who was arraigned in 2017 for allegedly embezzling $800,000 from a not-for-profit health organization in California.
Today we were contacted by someone who gave their name as John Aberdeen. Initially this person claimed to be a journalist owning the copyright for a story we posted about Hector Ramos. (click HERE for our original story).
We reviewed our content. Our initial story about Hector Ramos was taken (with proper attribution, of course) from a California newspaper (original story HERE), but the author was listed as "Teri Figeroa,"not John Aberdeen, and we could not find any record of a John Aberdeen at that newspaper, or any other paper in California. Neither the phone number nor email address provided by Mr. "Aberdeen" checked out. Also, this person's poor grammar and apparent slow typing speed made it unlikely that he was the author of the article.
So, we didn't take down our content, as we had promised Mr. "Aberdeen." Instead we rewrote it and added a bit of information.
Mr. Aberdeen quickly contacted us again through our website, but now his story changed and he claimed to be a member of Hector Ramos' legal team. When our customer service representative challenged him on this assertion, his story changed yet again, and he told us we would hear from his lawyers (interesting, when he had just claimed to be one).
The transcript of our online chat, reproduced below, makes for entertaining reading.
john aberdeen 9:09 AM joined the chat
(Prosperident Staffer) 9:09 AM joined the chat
(Prosperident Staffer) 9:10 AM Good morning
john aberdeen 9:10 AM Good Morning
(Prosperident Staffer) 9:10 AM How can we help you today?
john aberdeen 9:10 AM Can you connect me with your technical team.
(Prosperident Staffer) 9:11 AM Certainly. Are you a dentist?
john aberdeen 9:11 AM No
(Prosperident Staffer) 9:12 AM Ok. If you tell me how we can help, I can connect you with the right person here.
john aberdeen 9:14 AM I found my copy righted work on your website
you need to remove content on immediate basis.
(Prosperident Staffer) 9:15 AM I'm sorry about that. We will correct it right now. Do you have a URL or other information so that I can find the right page?
john aberdeen 9:16 AM https://www.prosperident.com/head-of-it-department-accused-of-embezzling-800k-from-california-non-profit-clinic/
(Prosperident Staffer) 9:16 AM Thanks for letting me know. I'll have it removed within the next hour, and I'll email you when it is done.
john aberdeen 9:17 AM ok thank you
(Prosperident Staffer) 9:17 AM Is there anything else we can help with?
john aberdeen 9:18 AM no thank you
(Prosperident Staffer) 9:19 AM Have a good day, Mr. Aberdeen
john aberdeen 9:59 AM joined the chat
john aberdeen 10:00 AM Hi
(Prosperident Staffer) 10:00 AM joined the chat
john aberdeen 10:00 AM This side john aberdeen
(Prosperident Staffer) 10:01 AM Hi Mr. Aberdeen
john aberdeen 10:01 AM i sanded you request to remove the content
but your team update the content
(Prosperident Staffer) 10:01 AM Yes we did.
john aberdeen 10:01 AM why
(Prosperident Staffer) 10:02 AM We updated it to remove copyrighted information.
john aberdeen 10:02 AM I think you not understand
(Prosperident Staffer) 10:02 AM I think you’re right. It doesn’t look like you actually own the copyright on this information. And I’m pretty sure you’re not a journalist. So what’s the real issue?
john aberdeen 10:03 AM i am not a journalist i am legal team
(Prosperident Staffer) 10:03 AM I see.
john aberdeen 10:04 AM your admin copy our website content
we not authorized you to use our content.
(Prosperident Staffer) 10:04 AM That’s interesting, because the first time you contacted us, you indicated that you owned the copyright. What is “our content”?
What law firm are you with? I deal with attorneys on a daily basis, and I’m pretty sure you are not one.
john aberdeen 10:08 AM if you think then we go legal
you don't worry
(Prosperident Staffer) 10:09 AM We look forward to hearing from your lawyers. We will have a wonderful discussion with him about the First Amendment.