Caribbean Med School Sues Former Student
TRENTON, N.J. (CN) - A disgruntled dropout launched more than 20 bogus websites accusing Ross University School of Medicine of corruption, the Caribbean medical school claims.
Ross University School of Medicine, and Global Education International Inc. sued Behzad Amini for trademark violation and dilution, cybersquatting and breach of contract, in Federal Court.
Ross claims that Amini dropped out after two years, after another student filed a grievance against him. Amini agreed to withdraw voluntarily withdraw if the grievance were withdrawn and the hearing canceled, Ross says in the complaint.
But since he entered that agreement, Amini has repeatedly sent emails, sometimes to more than 300 recipients, including senior hospital officials in the United States, accusing the university of corruption and of defrauding the government.
For instance, he wrote: "Ross continues to rape-off US taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars"; and "Ross University getting away with defrauding taxpayers"; and "Ross University is a corrupt institution who rape off taxpayers and students"; and he called its dean and other administrators "a bunch of crooks," according to the complaint.
In one email, Amini urged people to visit his new website, www.RossU.net.
"But at the bogus RossU.net, an Internet user finds a site stating that RUSM operates on a 'corrupt business & education model' and is 'masquerading' as an educational institution with 'no accountability & no oversight,'" the complaint states.
"Further, the site www.RossU.net advocates for DeVry investors to 'dump' their DeVry stock - presumably in the hope of inflicting grave financial harm on RUSM and other DeVry entities.
"The site contains such commentary as 'DeVry, AUC and Ross are shady, corrupt institutions, shareholders should dump their stock, congress should reevaluate proving loan funds to these corporations that take advantage of students and do not provide adequate services or even what they advertise."
DeVry, a profit-seeking owner of chain colleges, bought Ross in 2003. DeVry University has been sued more than 100 times since then, including a few class actions that accuse it of misrepresenting its programs, according to the Courthouse News database.
Ross claims that Amini's RossU.net website contains links to other pages that contain defamatory statements about the university.
The lawsuit, however, does not demand damages for defamation.
"Amini himself states that within the next few weeks 'many of my websites against Ross University will hit the web, in all the top search engines, parked next to Ross University!,' - i.e., so as to increase the likelihood that they will be mistakenly accessed by those looking for the actual Ross University websites," according to the complaint.
Ross seeks damages for breach of contract, cybersquatting, and trademark dilution and infringement. It also wants an injunction ordering Amini not to breach the settlement agreement, enjoining him from using the Ross trademarks and requiring him to cancel all infringing domain names.
Ross is represented by James Flynn with Epstein, Becker & Green, in Newark.
Ross University School of Medicine declined to comment.