Texas Moves to Tackle Spamming

Texas law-enforcement officials have moved to crack down on spam, filing a lawsuit against one of the world's largest junk e-mail operations. The state's attorney general, Grreg Abbott, has field the case against two men said to be in charge of the fourth-largest illegal spam operation in the world.

Ryan Samuel Pitylak, a student at the University of Texas in Austin, and Mark Stephen Trotter, from California, are named in the federal complaint as controlling PayPerAction LLC, Leadplex LLC and Leadplex Inc, three Nevada-registered companies.

"Spam is one of the most aggravating and pervasive problems facing consumers today," the attorney general said. "Unwanted, unsolicited e-mail clogs computers of Texas consumers and Texas businesses, wasting precious time and money. Texans are fed up, and today's action aims to give them relief by shutting down one of the world's worst spam operations."

The complaint was filed under the CAN-SPAM act, which carries with it a penalty of $250 per violation, up to $2 million, for sending unsolicited mail. The attorney general claims PayPerAuction has operated over 250 assumed names since it was established in 2002 by Pitylak and Trotter. He says they used misleading subject lines to suggest e-mails contained information specific to them, breaking the law in the process. The majority of the e-mails offered mortgage refinance services.

View: Attorney General's announcement

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