Long Beach marine businesses allege they were hacked by web designer

By Wadi Reformado | Jul 21, 2016

LOS ANGELES – Two Long Beach companies allege a web designer hired to build websites hacked into their accounts and their entire business.

U.S. Marine Surveyors Inc. and U.S. Vessel Documentation filed a complaint on July 19 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Edward Riener, and Edward Riener doing business as Elemental Web Design, alleging copyright infringement, violation of the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act and other counts.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege Riener was hired to build a website for the plaintiffs. The suit states on July 1, the defendant demanded $50,000 for the sale of the site from the plaintiffs with the threat of shutting it down if the money was not paid. The suit states the websites were down during the Independence Day holiday weekend, a high sales weekend for the plaintiffs, and the defendant also blocked plaintiffs' access to transact business with customers. According to the suit, Riener launched similar websites under similar names to re-route traffic from the plaintiffs' website to his own.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek enjoin the defendant, order the defendant to transfer the website domain names and social accounts to plaintiffs, order the defendant to turn over all administrative credentials to plaintiff's website, order the defendant to send corrective letters to all customers, award compensatory damages to plaintiff, statutory damages, multiple damages, punitive damages, restitution, all legal fees and interest and any other relief as the court deems just. They are represented by David N. Makous, Nilam J. Patel and Matthew J. Soroky of Lee, Hong, Degerman, Kang & Waimey in Los Angeles.

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Case number 2:16-cv-05360

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