In what has been one of the longest dramas in the online marketing world which included a multi-year legal battle between three people, with one alleging defamation and black-mail, a decision has been made by the Courts. Rich Gorman has beaten John Monarch and Direct Outbound of South Carolina in court, ending the saga of slander, fake websites, hacked emails and even a suicide.
Direct Outbound is a fulfillment and call service center located in South Carolina. They refer to themselves as the “one of the largest Business Process Outsourcing and Third Party Logistics Centers.”
The judge in South Carolina has decided in favor against John Monarch and Direct Outbound for defamation for owning the website “PerformOutsider” which was a website that contained “dirty information” on dozens of people in the online marketing industry, with everything from their personal financial information to arrest records — and according to some, was used to virtually blackmail people into doing business or not doing business with some companies.
The case 2014CP2304432, filed in 2015 against John Monarch, and then amended to include Direct Outbound claims a conspiracy between Monarch and others to hurt Gorman’s business because he was a direct competitor of Monarch, and Monarch wanted to use his website to harm Gorman’s reputation among the public. The claim is that Monarch and Direct Outbound used the website “PerformOutsider” and social media to make up fake allegations against Gorman and disseminated those allegations across the internet to clients of Gorman — and in the end hurt his business.
This is the second case in the Saga, the other being against Karl Steinborn, a former alleged partner of Monarch, who was also found liable for co-running the websites with Monarch. He was found liable for $3,046,608.05. The Judge found the attacks by Karl Steinborn to be so egregious, vile and dangerous that he entered also a permanent injunctive relief against Karl Steinborn, to further prevent any threats to Mr. Gorman’s safety.
Soon after this, the FBI spoke to him about the allegations of blackmail and he committed suicide in 2016.
In the end, despite years of legal battles, Monarch seemingly gave up on the case, and through his attorneys stopped responding to the court a few months. With Monarch and his attorneys no longer replying, the court decided against Monarch and ruled that he was liable for the defamation against Gorman.
Monarch attempted to have the judgement set aside, but the Courts decided against him and his attorneys confirming the judgment. The court will be deciding, according to the calendar, the total amount of damages next week.
Gorman is seeking as much as $10 Million from Monarch and Direct Outbound, and because of the nature of the claims, it cannot be discharged in Bankruptcy – which means that in theory, Direct Outbound may be put out of business if they are held liable for the full amount.