Thursday, July 10, 2008

Consumer Protection or Legal Extortion? (S.M. Oliva)

S.M. Oliva on the plight of Mark and Marianne Hershisher, owners of Native Essence Herb Company and victims of the criminals at the Federal Trade Commission:

On April Fool's Day of this year, New Mexico resident Mark Hershiser received a letter from Erika Wodinsky, a San Francisco attorney, demanding Hershiser turn over all revenue from Native Essence Herb Company, a small business co-owned by Hershiser and his wife Marianne. The letter was not a joke or a mistake. It was a premeditated act of extortion by Ms. Wodinsky. She had never met or spoken with Hershiser; her staff discovered Native Essence through its modest website.

Internet scams and predators are commonplace. What distinguishes Erika Wodinsky from a Nigerian banker or a pedophile is that she's the assistant director of the Federal Trade Commission's San Francisco office.

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