When Vision Media Television first contacted Leslie Richard, who runs The Oko Box, a small eco-fashion business out of her Asheville home, she was interested. Then came the kicker: VMT wanted $22,900 for production fees and $3,000 for airfare to do the program, according to Richard.
Richard began researching the media company and came to believe she was being scammed. She reported VMT to the Better Business Bureau and wrote about the situation on her store’s blog, referencing e-mails the company sent her and reports of what she believes are similar scams.
On July 17, VMT filed a federal lawsuit against Richard for defamation, trade libel and “tortious interference with business relationship.” The lawsuit claims that Richard’s blog has lost the company $5 million in business and seeks another $15 million in punitive damages. Filed in the Southern U.S. District of Florida (the company is based in Boca Raton), the lawsuit gave her 20 days to respond. The lawsuit also confirms that the company does charge $22,900 for producing an “interstitial,” a short segment that runs between longer programs.
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Click here to download a PDF of the lawsuit.