Connect with us

Headlines

Jewelry Exec Pleads Guilty to Forging Court Order

mm

Published

on

He wanted to clean up his Google results.

A jewelry company executive has pleaded guilty in New York to a count of conspiracy to forge a federal judge’s signature.

Michael Arnstein, CEO of The Natural Sapphire Co. in Manhattan, was accused of forging a court order in an effort to prevent negative reviews about his business from coming up in Google search results.

Arnstein is set to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr. on Jan. 16. The crime carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

 “As he admitted today, Michael Arnstein exploited the authority of the federal judiciary in a blatantly criminal scheme,” said acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim. “By forging court orders and the signature of a U.S. District Judge, Arnstein was able to effectively erase websites critical of Arnstein’s business from its search results. Now Arnstein awaits sentencing in the same court he impersonated.”

Arnstein, 40, of Kailua, HI, “engaged in a brazen scheme to submit counterfeit federal court orders to Google, Inc.” between February 2014 and February 2017, authorities said. 

Following a lawsuit by Arnstein against a web designer named Prashant Telang, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan had ordered that several dozen reviews be removed. Arnstein had argued that the reviews were bogus and had been posted as a result of a dispute he’d had with Telang and Telang’s company, TransPacific Software, Courthouse News Service reported.

Advertisement

But soon, more of the reviews began to appear. And prosecutors say he used the legitimate court order to create new orders, complete with forged signature of the judge.

He then allegedly sent the fake orders to Google, requesting that the reviews be excluded from search results.

Read more from the  U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials | Zadok Master Jewelers

Stick to the Program — And Watch Your Sales Grow

When Zadok Master Jewelers in Houston, Texas, decided to move to a new location (they’d been in the same one for the 45 years they’d been in business), they called Wilkerson to run a moving sale. The results, says seventh-generation jeweler Jonathan Zadok, were “off the charts” in terms of traffic and sales. Why? They took Wilkerson’s advice and stuck to the company’s marketing program, which included sign twirlers — something Jonathan Zadok had never used before. He says a number of very wealthy customers came in because of them. “They said, ‘I loved your sign twirlers and here’s my credit card for $20,000.’ There’s no way we could have done that on our own,” says Zadok. “Without Wilkerson, the sale never, ever would have come close to what it did.”

Promoted Headlines

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Subscribe


BULLETINS

INSTORE helps you become a better jeweler
with the biggest daily news headlines and useful tips.
(Mailed 5x per week.)

Facebook

Latest Comments

Most Popular