David Landau & Associates, LLC Uncovers Identity Theft, Corporate Impersonation

Firm Acts to Correct Misinformation, Eliminate False Web Content

Sep 08, 2011, 12:45 ET from David Landau & Associates, LLC

FAIRFIELD, N.J., Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- David Landau & Associates, LLC ("DLA, LLC"), a leading provider of advisory services to private equity, hedge funds, REITs and other public and private real estate and financial services firms, announced that it has uncovered corporate identity theft by a disgruntled former employee and that it has implemented a program to correct misinformation distributed via social networking sites, job boards and other internet sites aimed at disseminating information on corporations.

DLA, LLC recently identified a former employee who fraudulently posed as the company and its principal on several different Facebook pages, LinkedIn, Google, Twitter, and various business-related websites.  The former employee, representing himself as DLA, its principal, clients and former employees of the firm, posted messages on these sites with the intent to damage DLA, LLC's reputation.  

In addition, the imposter contacted potential clients and others under the guise of an investigator, spreading false and defamatory information, and filed fictitious complaints against the company with more than a dozen government agencies.

In postings that were both defamatory and extremely bizarre, the former employee actively sought to cause commercial harm to DLA, LLC, and to prompt potential clients to seek services from its competitors.  On multiple Facebook pages and other websites, the former employee falsely claimed that DLA, LLC had been purchased by an industry rival and that potential clients should engage the services of that firm.

DLA, LLC moved swiftly to contain and reverse the situation when it discovered the identity theft, impersonation, defamation, and infringement and misuse of its trademark.  Within days, the company had conducted a broad-based investigation, confirmed that all of the postings were fake, confronted the former employee and launched a program to remove phony content from the web and to contact all parties who may have been contacted by the imposter.  DLA, LLC is pursuing all available remedies against the former employee.

"Personal and corporate identity theft of this kind is a nightmare scenario for anyone who values the quality of their reputation and the relationships they have spent years building with clients, employees and industry contacts," said David Landau, President and CEO of DLA, LLC.  "We were fortunate that our firm's focus and capabilities equipped us to move swiftly and decisively to correct this issue."

Landau said that individuals and corporations must be wary because anyone can hijack an identity, creating social networking accounts and posting on a myriad of websites using a false identity.  The potential for reputation damage is incredibly high.

"We had the tools to uncover and combat this problem quickly, but it is a growing area of concern for all those running a business," Landau said.

SOURCE David Landau & Associates, LLC