A U.S. district court has ordered a halt to the operations of a vast international spam network that peddled prescription drugs and bogus male-enhancement products. The network has been identified as the largest â€œspam gangâ€ in the world by the anti-spam organization Spamhaus. The Federal Trade Commission has received more than three million complaints about spam messages connected to this operation, and estimates that it may be responsible for sending billions of illegal spam messages. At the request of the FTC, the court has issued a temporary injunction prohibiting defendants from spamming and making false product claims, and has frozen the defendantsâ€™ assets to preserve them for consumer redress pending trial. Authorities in New Zealand also have taken legal action, working in tandem with the FTC.
According to papers filed with the court, the defendants deceptively marketed a variety of products through spam messages, including a male-enhancement pill, prescription drugs, and a weight-loss pill.
The defendants include two individuals â€“ Lance Atkinson, a New Zealand citizen living in Australia, and Jody Smith of Texas â€“ and four companies they control: Inet Ventures Pty Ltd., Tango Pay Inc., Click Fusion Inc., and TwoBucks Trading Limited. The FTCâ€™s complaint alleges that both Atkinson and Smith are liable for the spamming. It holds Lance Atkinson responsible for all product claims, and Smith liable for claims made for the pharmaceutical products. In June 2005, the FTC obtained a $2.2 million judgment against Atkinson and another business partner for running a similar spam affiliate program that marketed herbal products.
News Release: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/10/herbalkings.shtm
Civil Action No. 08-CV-5666
FTC File No. 072 3085
Complaint for Injunctive and Other Equitable Relief
Memorandum Supporting Plaintiffâ€™s ex parte Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order with Asset Freeze, Other Equitable Relief, and Order to Show Cause Why a Preliminary Injunction Should not Issue
Interesting read. Snippet:
SanCa$hSupport i guess so… they’ll never find you
sancashl well they bought me up, but nothing linked to me, most i do is provide services for spammers
O what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive.
(Sir Walter Scott. Marmion, Canto VI, Stanza 17)
Temporary Restraining Order with Asset Freeze, Other Equitable Relief, and Order to Show Cause Why a Preliminary Injunction Should not Issue
Certifiedbug: March 30, 2007.
Fake pharmaceuticals on-line, buyer beware