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Internet cafe firm found guilty in Ohio

In October, a judge commanded a firm to pay more than $615,000 for misdemeanors relating to the company's sale of IT products to Internet cafes. The business litigation brought by the Ohio state attorney general claimed that the firm failed to adhere to state regulations in the way that it marketed its products.

The firm in question, New Jersey-based VS2 Worldwide Communications, was fined a $10,000 sum in addition to the larger cash forfeiture. The owners of the firm admitted their guilt in response to being charged with gambling and laundering money, and they were fined $1,000 as part of a plea agreement.

According to reports, the firm sold computers as well as software, but the software was marketed to storefront sweepstakes parlors, which were banned recently. An attorney speaking on behalf of VS2 said that the actions against the firm were pointless because of the new legislation. Although reports did not say whether the companies that purchased the software would also suffer fallout from this case, operators who ran the Internet cafes asserted that they were innocent of wrongdoing.

Government-led business litigation can result in significant financial penalties, but fines and criminal charges aren't the only consequences of a conviction. Firms may lose a lot of business because their reputations suffer, and if their leaders are subjected to penalties, such organizations may not be able to continue operating at their full capacities. These ramifications can negatively affect employees, communities and investors alike. Attorneys may be able to help firms and entrepreneurs prepare for business litigation by preparing cases or investigating alternate avenues of defense.

Source: Fox 19, "Company, owners guilty in Ohio Internet cafe case", October 11, 2013

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