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ISX (ASX:ISX) - Managing Director, John Karantzis - The Market Herald
Managing Director, John Karantzis
Source: Eureka Report
  • iSignthis' (ISX) CEO John Karantzis had sued Fairfax Media and the Australian Financial Review columnists Joe Aston and Myriam Robin for defamation
  • The legal claim alleges that a recent article published on the AFR has damaged Mr Karantzis's personal and professional reputation
  • The article in question alleges that Mr Karantzis has engaged in and facilitated money laundering through iSignthis
  • Mr Karantzis's lawyers say the authors of the AFR piece did not reach out for comment before writing the article and did not remove or amend it when asked
  • While the two entities have squabbled over AFR publications several times before, this is the first time the battle has been taken to Federal Court grounds

iSignthis' (ISX) CEO John Karantzis had sued Fairfax Media and the Australian Financial Review (AFR) columnists Joe Aston and Myriam Robin for defamation.

Mr Karantzis's lawyers lodged a writ in the Federal Court in New South Wales last week alleging an article recently published on the Australian Financial Review has damaged his personal and professional reputation and caused him to be brought into public disrepute.

The article in question alleges that Mr Karantzis has engaged in and facilitated money laundering through iSignthis.

According to Mr Karantzis's legal claim, the authors of the AFR piece did not reach out to Mr Karantzis or iSignthis management for comment before writing the article and refused to take it down or correct it when asked.

The article was published in the AFR paper and on its website, where it is still available for download. Co-author Joe Aston also published the piece on his social media accounts.

The iSignthis chief executive is claiming both general and aggravated damages.

Mr Karantzis declined to comment on matters that are before the court.

Ongoing squabbles

Of course, this is not the first time the AFR has received flak from iSignthis for something written about the fintech company.

The AFR has covered iSignthis almost 30 times in 2020, with more than half of the articles written by Joe for the media business' 'Rear Window' opinion section.

The most recent incident occurred in late-August when the AFR accused iSignthis of dealing with an international financial scam company which is banned in Germany and has been cautioned against by financial regulators in Slovakia, New Zealand, Australia, and more.

The day the article was published, iSignthis told shareholders the company referred to in the AFR blog is not an ISX customer and has never had a relationship with the company.

"Mr Aston has again not fact-checked his article/blog with the company," iSignthis said at the time.

Days later, Joe published a follow-up piece reiterating his initial points.

A different AFR piece from February accused Mr Karantzis of CV Fraud, which he quickly quashed by sharing his qualifications with shareholders.

While the two entities have certainly had a rocky relationship in recent times, this is the first instance where their quarrel has been taken to Federal Court.


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