Class Accuses NY Times,|Dow Jones of Fraud

MANHATTAN (CN) – The New York Times, Dow Jones and Forbes sold their subscription lists to scammers who then overcharged customers for renewals or new orders, and sometimes kept the money without providing subscriptions at all, a class action claims in Federal Court.
     Lead plaintiff I. Stephen Rabin sued the media companies on Monday, on behalf of people “who have been induced to subscribe, or renew subscriptions, to The New York Times, Barron’s The Wall Street Journal, or Forbes Magazine (collectively the ‘Publications’) by Circulation Billing Services and various related entities (collectively, ‘CBS’ or the ‘entities’) which obtained defendants’ subscription lists, and other information concerning plaintiff and the class members without their consent or knowledge.”
     The complaint continues: “The entities sent official looking ‘Notices of Renewal’ or ‘Notices of New Order’ to subscribers of the Publications, collected the fees far in excess of the subscription price, and then, upon information and belief, paid the subscription price to the publisher of the Publications and kept the excess for themselves, or kept the entire subscription amount for themselves and did not provide the subscription paid for. Defendants were aware of the entities falsely purporting to act on their behalf, but were satisfied that the entities were maintaining their subscription base at no cost to them, to that, with one exception, they failed to notify their subscribers of the scam.”
     The one exception is Barron’s, which notified its subscribers of the scam on Nov. 11, 2013, “years after the scam had been well known to Barron’s,” the complaint states.
     Rabin claims that the defendants “have profited from selling their subscription list and other information, and continue to sell their subscription lists and other information to the same sources that perpetrated or caused the scam to occur without notifying their subscribers. Defendants have knowingly permitted the names of their publications to be used by fraudsters to scam their subscribers so they could profit from maintaining their subscriber lists inexpensively and profit from the sale of their subscription lists and other information.”
     Rabin seeks class certification and damages for fraud and deceit, negligence, and business law violations. He is represented by Raymond Bragar with Bragar Eagel & Squire.

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