A COSTA del Sol media boss has been ordered to pay €2,800 to his former sales boss by a Malaga court.
Stan Israel, owner of Simply Media Group, including the Weekend World newspaper, was found guilty of not paying Lola Gomez for two months.
The judge ruled that if the €2,840 sum is not paid to Gomez within 20 days, the court will take it from Simply Media’s income, and if that is not possible, it will seize it from the firm’s assets.
Gomez began working for Israel in September last year, but left after just two months due to ‘anxiety and stress’.
Her lawyer, Manuel Dominguez, told the court that Gomez was made to exaggerate printing numbers to potential clients by ‘up to ten times’.
Outside court, Gomez told the Olive Press: “It’s such a relief to finally have some justice after a year of anguish and being treated badly.
“It’s not so much about the money but the complete disrespect Israel has shown me after persuading me to leave my previous job (at El Pais’ Prisa group).”
Israel, 52, who previously ran the Sunsearch Media Group, failed to turn up to court for the October 15 hearing, insisting he had been given the wrong date.
When contacted, Israel, who is said to be planning a newspaper for Gibraltar, claimed: “We sent everything to the court explaining about Lola and that we hadn’t paid her because she still had a company mobile in her possession.
“We have documents saying the court case was on the 20th which was why we didn’t turn up on the 15th.”
The businessman, who formerly lived in Tenerife and runs a series of magazines, then openly threatened the Olive Press team and publisher.
“I have been very forgiving so far. Those days are now over,” he added. “If you write this story, then you won’t get to see the world. Do not mess with me.”
He continued: “You do not want to have Mr Angry coming down to your office, trust me, I am not the kind of person who doesn’t follow through on threats.”
In June, the Olive Press reported on a string of other former staff who had not been paid, as well as Israel’s practice of publishing free adverts lifted from other publications.
And this is how he does it…
IT seems like the impossible task, producing a 100-plus page newspaper while giving ads away for free.
Especially given there are just five members of staff listed as producing Weekend World, none of whom is a journalist.
Yes, something doesn’t quite stack up.
Well now the Olive Press can finally reveal just how it works.
As well as failing to pay sales staff (and others to boot) publisher Stan Israel also fails to pay journalists; instead simply lifting numerous stories word-for-word from other publications and websites.
Indeed, at least five stories in the most recent issue have been copied verbatim from European news provider thelocal.es, while others were lifted wholesale from websites including Spanish News Today.
Not just nicking the stories, intros and conclusions, Weekend World even has the chutzpah to use the same headlines AND standfirsts.
But it is not good news for Stan, with the Stockholm-based media group, the Local, now threatening legal action.
“The Local takes any sort of plagiarism very seriously,” said Spanish editor Fiona Govan, a former Telegraph correspondent. “We are making urgent enquiries and will take all necessary steps to protect our copyright, including legal action where appropriate.”
Meanwhile, Zoe Cooper, editor of Spanish News Today, said: “It’s outrageous – and it makes me incredibly angry when I see my team’s work lifted.
“In fact, I come down like a ton of bricks and sue anyone committing internet piracy,” added Cooper, who has been running the site from Murcia for seven years.
In response, Israel said: “Many articles are provided to us as press releases, via our paid subscription to new agencies so obviously stories will on occasion be the same.”