Visa Firm Claims Russian Partner Hijacked it
CHICAGO (CN) - A visa company's Russian partner hijacked the company's website, redirect its 1-800 number and divert PayPal payments to his personal bank account, the company claims in court.
ASAPVS, Inc. sued Alexander Golubev in Cook County Court.
ASAPVS provides visa services, primarily to Russian citizens residing in the United States.
"From its inception in December 2010 to April 2012, ASAPVS obtained visa services exclusively from Golubev's Russian company in Moscow," the lawsuit states. "Those services included providing 'letters of invitation' to American passport and visa companies for those companies to obtain travel visas for their customers' travel to Russia.
"In April 2012, without prior notice Golubev and his company stopped providing visa services to ASAPVS."
The company claims that during their business relationship, Golubev obtained the passwords and access codes to ASAPVS's website, customer databases and 1-800 number.
"In April 2012, using those passwords and access codes in an unauthorized manner and without ASAPVS's knowledge, Golubev or his employee or agents hijacked ASAPVS's www.russianpassportservice.com website, redirected ring-through numbers for ASAPVS's 800 number, and changed the email address for faxes received by ASAPVS's electronic fax number.
"By the hijacking of the website and diversion of 800 calls and faxes, Golubev and his employee or agents diverted orders and Pay-Pal payments away from ASAPVS to Golubev's company and personal accounts," the company claims.
Golubev took more than $7,000 from customers, but did not fill their orders, ASAVPS says in the complaint.
"To preserve its business reputation and client relations, ASAPVS chose to fill some of the orders for which payment had been diverted to Golubev and his agents. ASAPVS filled a total of over $7,000.00 worth of such orders, for which ASAPVS received no share of the diverted payments," the complaint states.
ASAVPS claims it had to spend $15,700 to develop a new website from scratch, $7,635 to set up a new hosting server, and $8,103 in attorney's fees due to Golubev's harassment.
"During the three-month period April through June 2012, ASAPVS profits from its passport processing declined by $42,555.00 and from its visa services declined by $82,403.00, while overall revenues declined by almost $400,000.00 from the same three months in 2011, as a result of Golubev's improper diversions of ASAPVS's customers and revenues, and his disparagement and harassment," the complaint states.
The company seeks $125,000 in compensatory damages, and punitive damages for tortious interference and conversion.
It is represented by Seth Kaberon in Northbrook.