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  1. #1

    OLM executive arrested - should I leave??

    What is happening

    http://thewhir.com/marketwatch/07240...c_Arrested.cfm

    July 24, 2006 -- (WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) -- According to reports released Friday, the administrator of Web hosting provider OLM (olm.net) was arrested Thursday on charges related to 230 counts of failure to provide accurate records.

    Joseph Convertino was reportedly released on $10,000 bail, and is scheduled to appear in superior court in Bridgeport, Connecticut on August 4. He could reportedly face a maximum of $46,000 in fines.
    The charges reportedly stem from a state Labor Department investigation that began in October of 2005, following several complaints about the non-payment of overtime. The department believes the investigation will uncover substantial liability related to back wages.

    Department representatives say Convertino was arrested after he hindered the investigation, failed to provide records and provided false records.

    A search and seizure warrant was reportedly issued in Feburary of 2006, and the State Attorney's Office and State Police seized boxes of evidence.










    Do I need to find a new host from olm.net???

  2. #2
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    IderZanium,

    With a pending court case I would highly recommend searching for a new provider immediately. The first steps you should take are:

    1. Backup your content immediately. Continue to back it up often on a daily basis (or however much you value your content/email) until you find a new provider.

    2. Seek a new provider. While it's hard to judge whether this will have any effect on the quality of service it appears as it's related to the employees/support they may also be involved in the case to some degree.

    Support could begin going downhill (if it hasn't already).
    Good luck with the hunt!

    Edit:

    Posting the full article as it appears you posted only a part.
    Joseph Convertino was reportedly released on $10,000 bail, and is scheduled to appear in superior court in Bridgeport, Connecticut on August 4. He could reportedly face a maximum of $46,000 in fines.

    The charges reportedly stem from a state Labor Department investigation that began in October of 2005, following several complaints about the non-payment of overtime. The department believes the investigation will uncover substantial liability related to back wages.

    Department representatives say Convertino was arrested after he hindered the investigation, failed to provide records and provided false records.

    A search and seizure warrant was reportedly issued in Feburary of 2006, and the State Attorney's Office and State Police seized boxes of evidence.

    Convertino's lawyer, Edward Gavin is quoted as saying he plans to immediately file for a dismissal of the charges, because the statute cited in the warrant applies to employers rather than employees. Convertino is not an owner of OLM, according to Gavin.

    Labor Department representatives say there is no indication that George DeVack, listed as the company's chief executive was involved in the alleged violations that led to the arrest.

    Gavin is quoted as calling the charges a "witch hunt," and suggesting they border on slander. He says the charges come from disgruntled employees upset about being discharged.

  3. #3
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    I think it would be better to back up your files, but it doesn't seem to strech all the way through the company, eg the CEO seems to have done nothing wrong.

  4. #4
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    I see no reason to find a new host. This kind of thing happens more than you think, it just doesn't always have the chance to leak out into the news. As markjut suggested, backup your files - but then, you already keep a current backup anyway, right?
    Daniel B., CEO - Bezoka.com and Ungigs.com
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    Email Daniel directly: ceo [at] bezoka.com

  5. #5
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    A pending court case is not reason enough to dump a company in my books, unless it's something much more serious than the charges for this one. It likely won't affect you at all and you shouldn't need to make any special backups because you've already got copies of your important files, right?

    EDIT: Also keep in mind that this story is dated July 24, 2006 so you'd likely already know if it was going to affect you.
    Last edited by DreamHost-MikeS; 09-26-2006 at 10:01 PM.

  6. #6
    It appears that they are frauding any customers but just the government and the employees as far as overtime pay is concerned. So I am not too concerned about it too much. It is just a technicality.

    However, as always, in all circumstances, even with the best of any web host, you should still keep backups if your sites are important to you. As always too, it is no harm just keeping one or two web hosts on your list in case something happens.
    http://www.batchimage.com - Offering Batch Image Processing and TIFF/PDF Software Solutions

  7. #7
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    He was only charged, not convicted, let's not forget that! Just because you read something in the paper doesn't mean the state has a case at all. I don't know these guys or anything about OLM but if it were me, I'd go with what GlobalWebDan said, back up your files and give the guy a chance. Keep an eye on things, but I'd give them a chance anyway.
    Jim - 2Macs H-Sphere Web Hosting
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  8. #8
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    Personal opinion, but I'd be gone the next day and find another host.

    "Give him a chance" is great if it's a site that I use to put funny drawings on. if it's a site that has any important data or has any sort of need to be available to ANY customer, no way
    Show your reciprocal links on your website. eReferrer

  9. #9
    Keep a backup of your data, I don't see the need to find a new web host unless this will somehow affect the service you're provided with.

  10. #10
    And then it so happens when the OP moves to the new host, a press release like
    this occurs reporting one of the new host's big bosses has been civilly or criminally
    charged for something. Talk about bad timing.

    IMHO, backup at least and give them a chance. If you want, you can set some kind
    of "personal time limit" to gauge the current host's performance on being able to
    meet your expectations (e.g. 30 days) despite this news report.

    If after 30 days nothing bad happens, then stay. If something happens, then think
    long and hard whether to move or not.

    Is what I suggested perhaps unreasonable? (just wondering...)

  11. #11
    $10,000 bail = $1000
    "maximum of $46,000 in fines" = $500 fine
    "several complaints about the non-payment of overtime" = a disgruntled employee or two was fired.

    "Department representatives say Convertino was arrested after he hindered the investigation, failed to provide records and provided false records."

    That's what they always say, it's called padding the charges for a better plea bargain. What probably happened was, the guy knows prosecutors are as crooked as the crooks, so he refused to give them anything and said why don't you .....

    ".... and the State Attorney's Office and State Police seized boxes of evidence." ..... if you want them.

    Who else would seize them? Sounds pretty serious if it took the state attorney and police to go get the records.

    Not taking sides, but news stories are usually half truths, worded to get the most emotional impact from the reader, and I won't say what I thing of 55% of prosecutors, lest I be charged with hindering a state official in the persuance of his duties .. and held on a $10,000 bond.
    Last edited by page-zone; 09-27-2006 at 03:49 AM.

  12. #12
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    As others have said, make sure you have backups. However, I do not see a reason to move to another host, at this time at least.

    Also, make sure the domain that you have is under YOUR control and not under the web-hosting company, in case something does happen.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zan
    Is what I suggested perhaps unreasonable? (just wondering...)
    Not at all unreasonable to me!
    Jim - 2Macs H-Sphere Web Hosting
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  14. #14
    You know, IderZanium , being in your place I'd backup all my files and start to find a new host because I think there is no smoke without fire. Wait and expect misfortunes - no. For me it's quite impossible.

  15. #15
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    Please don't "speculate" based on what you read in the newspaper. OLM has been in business since 1996, we just opened a new data center, and are stronger and growing faster than ever.

    I obviously am not going to comment any more on this, and I hope it's put to rest -but I will reiterate what Attorney Gavin said in the article "the charges come from disgruntled employees upset about being discharged."

    Thanks!

  16. #16
    Thank you for PM, I will see... but 230 disgruntled employees?? I will leave my hosting there for now...

  17. #17
    Hello,
    Let's see if there's any Updates on this issue. Just for the record, I'd like to straighten out a few points:
    1) I'm not a disgruntled employee
    2) I did work at OLM for well over 3 years

    Anyhow. Corporate culture is a very important part of how sucessful any company is. OLM's corporate culture was not 'ideal' by any streatch of the imagination. If you don't think doctoring of financial statements, whiting out employee time-cards, forging documents and back-dating them, is wrong...

    Think of it this way. If you are willing to screw over people you see everyday, people you are face to face with, people who you know on a personal level... how hard is to willing screw people you'll never see?

    Hopefully, OLM will purage itself of people who created this issue. However, knowing what I know, that is unlikely.

    Let us know if you are still hosting there or did you find somewhere better to host? Coursity is my middle name.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by curiosity11 View Post
    Hello,
    Let's see if there's any Updates on this issue. Just for the record, I'd like to straighten out a few points:
    1) I'm not a disgruntled employee
    2) I did work at OLM for well over 3 years

    Anyhow. Corporate culture is a very important part of how sucessful any company is. OLM's corporate culture was not 'ideal' by any streatch of the imagination. If you don't think doctoring of financial statements, whiting out employee time-cards, forging documents and back-dating them, is wrong...

    Think of it this way. If you are willing to screw over people you see everyday, people you are face to face with, people who you know on a personal level... how hard is to willing screw people you'll never see?

    Hopefully, OLM will purage itself of people who created this issue. However, knowing what I know, that is unlikely.

    Let us know if you are still hosting there or did you find somewhere better to host? Coursity is my middle name.
    This has been dead since September, why bring it up?

  19. #19
    As I previously mentioned. I worked there. It was a dead thread on this board. Its not a dead thread to me. I'm curious what other information is out there.

    I no longer work there, I haven't heard from the DOL in probably 4 months, since the last sheet of doctured information was mailed to me for my review.

    I've been busy with my current job, getting married, and just living. Can't say I dedicate my days to this matter. However, a phone call earlier from someone else who worked here, sparked my interest.

    I'm hoping that someone who still hosts there, or is familiar with the situation... knows something that I do not. Oddly enough... Joe was one of the few at the company I liked.

  20. #20
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    I guess he was on the fast track to make some money... but kinda back fired... but you know...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by curiosity11 View Post
    As I previously mentioned. I worked there. It was a dead thread on this board. Its not a dead thread to me. I'm curious what other information is out there.
    I do understand how you feel. I've been in similar positions with web hosts I worked for, and at the end of the day I had to leave those companies for my own health. I will take the poor house any day of the week provided the company is at least trying to do right by people. I don't expect perfection... God knows I am light-years from perfect myself but I do expect an effort. It's about principle.

    That said... I know of very, very few web hosts where the corporate culture is "healthy." IMO, "corporate culture" and "healthy" are an oxymoron... one cannot exist where the other is present. Corporate culture in itself is heinously toxic. And I have seen some utter B.S. at a lot of web hosts/data centers that customers & bystanders believe are healthy, great, "good companies", "good operations," blah blah blah. Guess what -- they're not. Things are just as toxic and broken at those so-called "good" hosts as they are anywhere else. In a lot of cases it's just that the host has been able to hide the problems better than everybody else.

    It has occurred to me, through my hosting/D.C. experience, that maybe much of why these companies are so messed up is because of the people who must be there by default. Think about this. We have:
    • Techs who get along better with machines than they do people...
    • Managers who used to be techs who got along better with machines than they did with people, who now find themselves in (God help us) a people job...
    • Executives whose great feat last week was learning how to empty their cache making them essentially out-of-touch with the product/service they are managing and selling...
    • Front-line people who get along better with people than they do machines, making them out-of-touch and disparaged by their co-worker techs who view them as "incapable" and "clueless"...


    (These characteristics are actually what make these different people good at what they do, so I don't point this out in a negative way!!! Please don't take offense to the generalized characterizations here. I'm not saying they are wrong or bad. I'm merely emphasizing their importance, not passing judgment. Big difference.)

    The computer people are computer people. They are not typically very good at business, nor are they comfortable around people. Trouble is, companies are an exercise in people skills. So we have the techs feeling like fish out of water, we have the managers pulling their hair out trying to interface their 0s and 1s with the execs who look at things in terms of dollars and faces, and we have the execs who cannot grasp why the underlings do not remotely grasp (care about, address, nor resolve) the business concerns that occupy 99% of an executive's day.

    Each group sees things and manages things differently. Each group places importance in different places; and each group measures value in completely different ways. And none of them, generally, have the interest nor training nor desire to try to truly understand one another. They just sit there and keep bitching and keep undermining each other and keep slathering their negativity anywhere it'll stick, thinking that at some point, the other people are bound to "learn" how wrong they are and will change their ways. Well, news flash to them all: it doesn't work that way. All they're all doing is pooping in their own swimming pool.

    Everybody is to blame because nobody is truly and earnestly willing to be part of the solution. The fingers can be equally pointed at everyone.

    If you want to bring people down at your old workplace, there are more effective ways to do it than dragging up year-old issues here on WHT. Unlike some other host-gone-bad stories (and don't think I haven't "walked the walk" there! LOL) OLM has a good rep here and does seem to actually provide good service. So, the only way your complaints are going to become important to readers here is if their service is being impacted... servers down, understaffing, incompetent handling of tech issues, hardware failures, slow support, etc. People need to see verifiable symptoms. Allegations of the overuse of white-out in somebody's cubicle is a "take a number" kind of complaint. You are hardly the first person to see overzealous white-outing, or convenient loss of files, or magic new documents with new data, or whatever. It's happening every day, on every block of every town in America. Big companies, small companies, Mom and Pops, one-man shows, you name it. It's a fact of life. I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying that it is what it is.

    If this stuff is going on at OLM, I can't say I am surprised. It's going on at a whole lot of other web hosts. Hell, it even happened to me in state government. They "are" the law, aren't they?! Welcome to the real world!!!! Name an industry, and I believe that nearly every participant on this board could name a company where this sort of thing is being done. It's not just happening in web hosting, and it's not even rare in web hosting. It's not rare anywhere. If they aren't using the white-out, then they're engineering policies and running with unwritten expectations to ensure that the white-out isn't needed. It's not right, but it's how a lot of places make the numbers add up the way they want them to.

    So, my recommendation would be to let things go and move on. You say you have been so busy living your life... then why are you dragging this thread up from the distant past??? If you're spending time here, you haven't moved on and you aren't fully living in today.

    Any energy that you are expending on yesterday is energy that you have robbed from today... from your job, your wife, your home, your family, your friends, yourself.

    Remember that even Good People make mistakes. Nobody is perfect -- including you. Others have forgiven you in times past. OK, so you were wronged. You have wronged others, over the years. What of it? Where'd you end up? Hauled into court and slashed 'n trashed on the internet?? Just food for thought... I'm not saying everyone should always be forgiven for everything, with no punishment... but I just don't see any dead bodies laying around here. We are talking about white-out. Let's keep things in perspective.

    Learn from your experience at OLM, and put that to constructive use in what you do today. Build a better workplace at your current job. Do a better job as an employee. Be a better manager. Provide amazing support to a customer who expected only mediocrity from your company. Do everything you can to learn how to get along with everyone in your company, and work tirelessly to help others get along with you. Be a part of the solution, head off problems, keep working towards tomorrow.

    Just my 2 worth. YMMV.

    Bailey
    Let's Connect on Twitter! @thatsmsgeek2u || Fighting mediocrity one thread at a time.

  22. #22
    That's a nice well thought out and detailed response Bailey. My goal is in no way to HARM OLM, I seek just information about 1 issue. I checked the local newspapers, news websites, and actually Wikipedia. Eventually, I was lead here. I know some clients and re-sellers of OLM visit here, so I figured someone might might know something more. So I posted.

    I never claimed to be a mistake free. I also am not here complaining about how I was personally cheated, or spilling any anti-OLM stories I have from working there.

    If I was an angry ex-employee, I feel there would be quite a different tone to my post. My comments on corporate culture being important when choosing someone to conduct business with, can be related to almost every industry.

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