WFTV Newsletter Sign Up

Delivered To Your Inbox

Former tech officer held web page hostage; now it's a porn site, Florida software company claims

Updated:

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A Florida company that sells online commercial payment software has sued its former chief technology officer, claiming that a porn site snapped up its web address when he allowed it to expire.

Global Secure Epay LLC filed the lawsuit Tuesday in federal court.

The St. Petersburg company accuses co-founder and former CTO Lev Gorodinski of keeping vital passwords, software code and other sensitive information after abruptly quitting.

As CTO, Gorodinski was “completely and solely responsible” for creating, managing and maintaining the Epay software platform, the suit claims.

No one else at the company was ever given the access credentials for the Epay website and software code, according to Epay officials.

When he left, Gorodinski took the information with him and would not release it to the company, despite numerous contacts and threats of legal action, the lawsuit says.

The company hired a new programmer, but without the source code or information for the Epay website, he was not able to access anything, the suit says.

“Epay desperately needed its property returned so that it could stay in business,” it said.

Subsequently, all but one of Epay’s 29 customers canceled their contracts, company officials said.

The last customer, a preschool, left when the Epay web domain was turned into a pornography site, the lawsuit alleges.

The company's registration with GoDaddy expired and Gorodinski refused to give the company the information needed to access the account and re-establish its ownership, Epay officials claim.

The lawsuit seeks the return of all sensitive information in Gorodinski’s possession and monetary damages from lost income.