Spam sender settles N.Y. case

Scott Richter has agreed to pay $40,000 a fine and an additional $10,000 for sending deceptive junk e-mail. By settling like this Scott Richter's has avoided hiring lawyers to defend his company, and therefore avoided the expensive legal costs. This was a smart move on his behalf, and we'll probably see this move repeated as other spammers are taken to court.

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has reached a settlement with Scott Richter, a prominent Internet marketer who was sued in December on accusations of sending deceptive junk e-mail.

Richter and his company, OptInRealBig.com, agreed to pay a $40,000 fine and $10,000 toward the investigative cost. That is far smaller than the millions in penalties that Spitzer said he would seek when he filed the case. "We will drive them into bankruptcy, and therefore others will not come into the marketplace to take their place," Spitzer said in December. "If we're going to succeed, we not only have to shut down those who are there now but make it evident that there is no viable business model here."

Brad Maione, a spokesman for Spitzer, declined to comment on the discrepancy between Spitzer's comment in December and the amount of the ultimate fine. Spitzer issued a statement Monday saying the settlement "holds Richter and his company to a new standard of accountability in their delivery of e-mails.'' "If he does not fulfill these standards,'' the statement said, "he will find himself back in court, facing greater penalties." Richter did not admit to any violations of the law as part of the settlement. He agreed to keep records of his business and make them available to the attorney general and to follow existing laws that ban deceptive e-mail.

News source: C|Net News.com

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