Disgruntled man, local Realtor settle in court
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A disgruntled business man accused of using a website to scare away a South Florida Realtor's possible clients has settled in court.
"All of my hard work, for many many years is basically going in the garbage," said Realtor Maritza Meza.
Meza said it took just a few clicks and the creation of a website to turn away her potential clients. "All they know is what they saw on the Internet," she said.
Back in 2010, Meza represented a landlord renting a luxury Fort Lauderdale Beach apartment to a man named Michael Morrison. When Morrison and his then-girlfriend moved out, there was a dispute over the security deposit because of needed repairs. "I was not in charge to make any decisions, I was not in charge of holding any monies at all," she said.
However, Morrison differs. "That's not true," he said.
Morrison, who now lives in Atlanta, believes Meza made up the repair orders and took the security deposit. "All that money went to Mrs. Meza and her bogus billing," he said.
Morrison settled with the landlord but for Maritza Meza it was not over. "He decided to buy my name, my domain name, five different ways, and he was going to post a website to destroy my business," said Meza.
However, Morrison denies her claim. "Fundamentally, it came down, Nicole, to what's right and what's wrong," he said. "I'm standing for the little guy here. What if you're the single mom who can't sue to get your deposit back?"
The website, however, went beyond the original dispute. It states Meza is Mexican and has a criminal record from Arizona. "No I'm not; I don't have a criminal record," said Meza. "I was born in Lima. I'm from Peru."
"This is informing the general public. Now are there some things on this website that are factually incorrect? I don't know, but I don't think so. We're pretty good at the things that we build. Until we show me otherwise, and Meza had every chance to demonstrate to me it's not her, we weren't taking that off."
Meza's attorney believes Morrison took things too far. "This is basic harassment that people feel in the workplace, but it takes a person like Mr. Morrison to take it to a whole other level," said Paul Silverberg.
Daniel Aaronson is Morrison's Attorney. "In his opinion, all of the things he said are true," he said. "Obviously he felt justified in doing that."
Despite their disagreement, both sides agreed to call a truce in a Broward court Wednesday. Meza paid $5,000 to get the domain names and Morrison agreed to stop posting about her. "He'll always have the feelings that he has and will feel justified in having them," said Aaronson.
Silverberg is reminding people that they should not trust all things that appear on the web. "Everything you read on the Internet is not true, that they should verify."
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