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Members of the New Jersey press, listen up.

Members of the New Jersey press, listen up. Al DeMola, the former CEO of Aqua-Dri Basement Waterproofing, has a message for you: Don’t make Al DeMola angry. You won’t like Al DeMola when he’s angry. Because when Al DeMola gets angry, he purchases Web domains in your name and links them to porn-tube sites.

Richard Vezza and Kevin Whitmer, the publisher and editor of New Jersey’s Newark Star-Ledger, learned this the hard way. Between 2010 and 2013, the paper ran a series of exposes on DeMola, a contractor whose three waterproofing businesses were shut down as the result of multiple consumer complaints. DeMola was accused of, among other things, poor workmanship and failing to return customer deposits.

Although DeMola repeatedly called the editors of the Star-Ledger, threatening to release editors’ and publishers’ personal information if they didn’t stop publishing the series, the paper stood by its stories. According to court documents obtained by Xbiz, the worm turned last September, when DeMola allegedly called the author of the articles, asking if Vezza and Whitmer “want to buy their domain names from me.” Unaware that there were any websites registered under their names, Vezza and Whitmer checked out richardvezza.com and kevinwhitmer.com, only to realize that both sites redirected to a free porn-tube site, allfreeblowjobs.com.

Understandably less than amused, Vezza and Whitmer retained the services of the Star-Ledger’s attorney, who unsuccessfully demanded that DeMola take the sites down (the sites no longer contain hardcore pornographic images, instead redirecting to the registrar Godaddy.com). Now, Vezza and Whitmer are suing DeMola, arguing that his “malicious” actions invaded their privacy and caused substantial harm. They’re demanding $100,000 each in damages, as well as attorney fees.

Whether $100,000 is adequate compensation for having one’s online reputation besmirched in such a spectacularly vulgar fashion is up for debate. One thing’s for sure, though: Investigative journalists in the Tristate area probably don’t want to cross Al DeMola. Also: Buy your own domains, people. Al, if you’re reading this, ejdickson.com is already registered. 

H/T Xbiz | Screengrab via YouTube

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