Meet My Cyberbully. His Name is Sonny Pichumani | #Cyberbullying on Blog#42

Sonny Pichumani saw my blog post about my GoFundMe campaign and has been trying to use it against me on my blog’s public Facebook page, in replies to me in the New York Times and, now, on Twitter, using both his own account and what appears to be a dummy.

A fellow Times reader alerted me to the fact that Pitchumani had twice replied to one of my Times comments, making odd, off-topic insinuations about me. As it turns out, Pitchumani has a reputation of doing the same thing to a business competitor who sued him and won! The story even made it to the papers.

Inc. Magazine published a full write up of the story in the form of a case-study in how to deal with a smear campaign:

“Chad Troutwine stared at his computer screen, aghast. The website he was looking at had posted a series of accusations about Veritas Prep, his graduate admissions tutoring and consulting company. Veritas, according to the site, was operating illegally. It did not train its instructors. Troutwine knew the claims were false, but their sheer audacity floored him. Most astonishing was how personal the attacks were. “Chad Troutwine, porno movie-maker & a congenital liar, has been the author of many fraudulent claims,” the site declared.

Troutwine knew who was behind the site. For four years, Veritas Prep, based in Malibu, California, had been embroiled in a legal battle with a competitor, Maple Leaf International Consulting, or MLIC. In fact, MLIC’s president, Sonny Pitchumani, had posted scores of false, damaging claims about the quality of Veritas Prep’s instruction. Even though Veritas Prep had won a judgment against MLIC, Pitchumani evidently wasn’t about to back down.”

Fortune Magazine also published a piece on Sonny’s smears:

“FORTUNE — When Chad Troutwine called Sonny Pitchumani in 2006, their little spat wasn’t yet big enough to include Google, Yelp and the rest of the GMAT test-prep community. In a few years it would be, highlighting the twisted relationship between online reviews and GMAT test prep. But it wasn’t that yet.

In 2006 Troutwine, the CEO of Veritas Prep, a test-prep company, just picked up the phone to make a courtesy call. Troutwine had noticed that Pitchumani, the CEO of Veritas’ competitor, Maple Leaf International Consulting, had been slagging Veritas on MLIC’s website, claiming Veritas was overpromising and underdelivering. Troutwine explained why Pitchumani had it all wrong and asked him to take the statements down. Pitchumani said he’d look into Troutwine’s concerns and remove the offending material if he agreed.

He didn’t.”

Apparently, Veritas isn’t the only party that has successfully sued Pitchumani. Another company, ETS, sued Pitchumani in 2004 and won. So has the famous Italian company, Pirelli, in 2007. Sonny Pitchumani, as a Google search parameter, returns quite a few hits.

What seems to be a Twitter account he operates has tweets that smear Veritas:

and promotes Pitchumani’s own outfit, MLIC, which, by the way, continues to use a trademarked name he was ordered to stop using.

But to get back to Pitchumani’s campaign against me… Outing someone who is already out is a dumb cyberbullying strategy. I quite literally have nothing to hide. I went public with my troubles and asked my readers for help. That is not a crime. Cyberbullying is, however. So much for your failed attempt at cyberbullying me, Mr. Pitchumani!

Message to readers: 

Thanks to your generosity, my family has averted homelessness this week. We are very grateful for your support.

Contrary to Mr. Pitchumani’s smears, we have not yet been able to reach our goal to purchase an RV. We are still at-risk as we are still far from meeting our goal for the GoFundMe campaign to help save my family. Your continued support is very much needed and deeply appreciated.

Thank you.

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