It's IT Blogwatch: in which our "friends" Steve and Scott Richter are in the news again -- this time, they've settled with MySpace for $6 million after being accused of spamming thousands of MySpace.com users. Not to mention the happiest elephant in the world ...
Robert McMillan reports:
A Colorado man has been ordered to pay $6 million in damages and legal fees for spamming thousands of MySpace.com users. Scott Richter of Westminster, Colorado, must pay MySpace $4.8 million in damages and $1.2 million in legal fees, a court-appointed arbitrator ruled on Thursday. Richter, who was once accused of pumping out more than 100 million spam messages per day, had been sued by MySpace in January 2007 in connection with an August 2006 campaign in which MySpace members were hit with unsolicited messages promoting a Web site called Consumerpromotionscenter.com. The messages were sent from phished MySpace accounts, according to the findings of Philip Boesch, the court-appointed arbitrator in the case. more
Vasanth Sridharan adds:
Can you shut down spam with court orders? No, you can't. But that isn't stopping MySpace from trying. Last month the company won a $235 million verdict against cyberscourges Sanford Wallace and Walter Rines; today it has won a $6 million arbitration award against Scott Richter and his company Media Breakaway. MySpace says Richters company sent MySpace members unsolicited advertising, via accounts that had been hacked through phishing scams. Richter blamed the errant emails on "rogue business affiliates". more
Jeremy Schoemaker is on form:
I honestly do not feel that Richter knowingly participated in a phishing scam and if there was evidence to say he had knowledge the judgment would have been for a ton more ... There are a lot of companies that embrace any and all comers. HUGE MISTAKE. Fraudsters love to jump from company to company ... I always try to come up with a reason to show the Daily Show video with Scott Richter. Its pretty frickin hilarious ... Shawn Collins, Close personal friend of Richter, and owner of the Affiliate Summit linked us up with CPA Empires press release which is a interesting spin on the situation. more
But Shawn Collins feels like the victim of a smear campaign:
Lenin is attributed as saying A lie told often enough becomes truth ... I did have a telephone chat with Scott Richter, who is the subject of the Shoemoney post - this was back in either 2003 or 2004. Since then, I have passed him at various conferences and said hello. But no, I wouldnt regard him as a close personal friend. I am not sure what to make of this peculiar comment, other than the fact that it is not so random ... The baseless claims from his anonymous sources had been put to rest, or so I thought. Until his new effort of proof by assertion. more
And Brian Krebs wonders if Richter has really stopped spamming, as he claims:
More than three quarters of all Web sites advertised through spam are clustered at just 10 domain name registrars ... Out of the 15,000 spam-advertised domains we examined, nearly half -- 7,142 names -- were registered through a Broomfield, Colo. company called Dynamic Dolphin ... the seventh most-popular registrar among spammers ... [and] owned by a company called CPA Empire, which in turn is owned by Media Breakaway LLC. The CEO of Media Breakaway is none other than Scott Richter, the once self-avowed "Spam King" who claims to have quit the business. Anti-spam groups also have recently implicated Media Breakaway in the alleged hijacking of more than 65,000 Internet addresses for use in sending e-mail and hosting commercial Web sites. more
Your humble blogwatcher isn't entirely surprised:
Of course, Scott gave up spamming some time ago. Or did he? ... Remember kids, Rule #1: Spammers lie. more
IT Blogwatch previously covered Richter's legal travails back in August 2005:
Big spammer gives up ... Scott Richter to pay up and stop spamming ... gives Microsoft $7m, and promises to give us a break ... Richter and Gates have made nice as part of a deal to curb junk e-mail. more
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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 21 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously in IT Blogwatch: