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Spammer Gets Away With $50,000 Fine

Scott Richter and his company OptInRealBig.com agreed to pay a $40,000 fine and $10,000 towards the investigative cost in a settlement reached with New York’s Attorney General.

In December, New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer announced that he would seek millions of dollars in damages and seeked to put the company in bankruptcy.

From the Attorney General’s press release:

State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer today announced the settlement of a lawsuit against email marketer Scott Richter and his company, OptInRealBig.com, LLC. The suit alleged that unsolicited emails, or spam, sent on defendants’ behalf contained falsified headers, falsified routing information, and deceptive subject lines, and were illegally routed through a worldwide network of more than 500 vulnerable computers.

“This settlement holds Richter and his company to a new standard of accountability in their delivery of emails,” said Spitzer. “If he does not fulfill these standards, he will find himself back in court, facing greater penalties.”

The Attorney General had sued Richter, his company, his agent, and the marketer that hired him, after an investigation into millions of emails sent over the course of a month to Hotmail email accounts that had been set up specifically to investigate spammers. During that investigation, culminating in a lawsuit filed in December, the Attorney General’s Internet Bureau reviewed more than 10,000 emails sent by the defendants.

Spitzer’s suit alleged that during May and June 2003, the defendants sent millions of emails that:

  • Used fake names in the emails’ “From:” lines, often the recipient’s own name

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