Cheyenne Firm Sues News Organizations
A Cheyenne firm wants at least $10 million in damages from two news organizations that allegedly defamed it by saying it abets shady, if not illegal, business activities, according to federal court records.
Wyoming Corporate Services acts as a commercial registered agent and offers other services necessary for businesses to operate in the state.
On Jan 23, CNBC ran a two-and-a-half-year-old story titled "Investigation unearths secret of the Great Plains" about Wyoming Corporate Services' at a house at 2710 Thomes Avenue in Cheyenne.
Reuters America ran the original story in June 2011 without ever contacting Wyoming Corporate Services. The Reuters story was picked up by the Silicon Alley Inside online news service two months later.
Both stories alleged Wyoming Corporate Services offered illegal business solutions to clients, according to court documents.
These widely read stories damaged the Cheyenne firm's reputation, and Wyoming Corporate Services through its attorney Graham Norris sued for libel. The firm settled with Silicon Valley News Service in 2012.
In January, CNBC reran the same story, and Wyoming Corporate Services is suing again.
What's bad for Wyoming Corporate Services is bad for the state and legitimate businesses dealing with both, too, Norris says.
"The original article suggested that the Wyoming was the Grand Cayman Islands, a haven for tax shelters," he says. "They're going to be guilty by association if they work with a company that has had such terrible things said about it."
The new lawsuit was filed in state district court in Cheyenne in February, and moved to U.S. District Court on Monday. Defense attorneys have yet to respond to the lawsuit.