Restaurateur jailed for customer sex profile revenge plan

How not to react to a bad online review

A restaurant owner is facing 90 days of jail time and two years of probation after waging an online smear campaign, including setting up a fake online sex profile, to get revenge on a customer who gave her establishment a bad review.

The saga began after of Canadian Elayna Katz went out to dinner at the Mambo Nuevo Latino restaurant in Ottawa. When ordering her meal she told the waitress that she didn't like olives, but then found them in the jambalaya and was unsatisfied with the server's response to her complaint.

Katz left a business card with a note asking for the owner to call her over the issue but got no response from the restaurant. So she did what many people would do and posted a bad review of the restaurant online.

The owner of the restaurant reacted rather badly to the review, to say the least. Marisol Simoes, 42, left a flurry of posts at the reviews site, including personal information about Ms Katz. She also emailed the woman's boss and work colleagues pretending to be Katz, offering sex and claiming to be transgendered.

"I am open to anything — couples, threesomes and group sex. Am especially into transsexuals and transgenders (being one myself). I am … a tiger in the bedroom," read the email. Simoes also posted an advert on an adult dating site with similar language under the "men seeking men" section, using Katz's wedding photos that were posted online.

Simoes, who also owns Ottowan sushi restaurant Kinki, blamed the emails on a disgruntled ex-employee, but was convicted of two counts of criminal libel over the affair. In addition to her jail time she will have to do 200 hours of community service and take an anger management course.

"All I was doing was exercising my right as a customer to give my opinion on the situation as it was," Katz told CBC News. "I don't think the retaliation was exactly merited." ®

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