Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.
Lance Atkinson fined by U.S. Federal Judge in spam case
Posted on 1-Dec-2009 05:00 | Tags Filed under: News



The New Zealander identified by the United States Federal Trade Commission as the ring leader of an international spam network has been ordered to pay $US15.15 million by a US federal judge.

A year ago Lance Atkinson, who lives in Pelican Waters, Queensland admitted his part in the spamming operation in the High Court in Christchurch and paid a financial penalty of $NZ100, 000 plus costs of almost $NZ8000. The FTC took separate action against him but not his brother Shane and Christchurch courier Roland Smits who just last month were ordered to pay $100,000 and $50,000 respectively for their parts in the operation.

These settlements marked the final stage of Operation Herbal King, an investigation conducted by the Department of Internal Affairs’ Anti-spam Compliance Unit, the FTC and other overseas agencies. Within three months of the passing of the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act in 2007, the Department had shut down the New Zealand component of what the anti-spam organisation, Spamhaus, ranked as the largest pharmaceutical spamming operation in the world. The spam gang deceptively marketed products such as male-enhancement pills, prescription drugs and weight-loss pills.

The operation organised and paid affiliates around the world to send spam emails marketing Herbal King, Elite Herbal and Express Herbal branded pharmaceutical products. These were manufactured and shipped by Tulip Lab of India, through a business known as the Genbucks Affiliate Programme. This business was operated by Genbucks Ltd, a company incorporated in the Republic of Mauritius.

Lance Atkinson’s American accomplice in the network, US resident Jody Smith, has had to turn over nearly all his assets to the FTC. He will pay approximately US$ 212,000 and will also assign any rights he has to US$ 91,000 frozen in the name of one of his co-defendants, and US$ 547,000 that may be held for his benefit in an Israeli bank. In addition to the US$ 15.15 million that Atkinson and his company, Inet Ventures Pty Ltd, have been ordered to pay, the three companies affiliated with Smith are liable for US$ 3.77 million. Smith is awaiting sentence on a criminal charge of conspiracy to traffic counterfeit goods and faces up to five years in prison.

Internal Affairs Deputy Secretary Keith Manch said the Department appreciated the co-operation its Anti-Spam Compliance Unit received from the FTC.

“The FTC provided technical information making it possible for our investigators to identify the spammers and obtain evidence of the offending,” he said.

The Department acknowledged the assistance of the following in the investigation: Telecom New Zealand; Vodafone New Zealand Limited; Safecom Services (Gen-i); DMZGlobal (TelstraClear Ltd); Phil Hay, Senior Threat Analyst, M86 Security Labs; consultants Dr John R. Levine and Henrik Uffe Jensen; CSL NRW.NET Computer Service Langenbach GmbH; email compliance and anti-spam company, LashBack; Simon Cox and Richard Vadon, British Broadcasting Corporation.






comments powered by Disqus


Trending now »

Hot discussions in our forums right now:

Bombing at Manchester concert, 19 dead
Created by Rikkitic, last reply by Rikkitic on 27-May-2017 12:55 (161 replies)
Pages... 9 10 11


NZ Herald - Internet providers have backdoor access to customers' modems
Created by RunningMan, last reply by michaelmurfy on 27-May-2017 19:23 (27 replies)
Pages... 2


Father banned from watching daughter's netball game: what you think of this?
Created by Rikkitic, last reply by frankv on 25-May-2017 16:29 (136 replies)
Pages... 8 9 10


Tailgaters?
Created by Linuxluver, last reply by reg52nz on 25-May-2017 16:29 (113 replies)
Pages... 6 7 8


The President Of The USA: Donald Trump
Created by TimA, last reply by freitasm on 27-May-2017 19:32 (4367 replies)
Pages... 290 291 292


Tax Cuts
Created by tdgeek, last reply by mattwnz on 27-May-2017 18:47 (62 replies)
Pages... 3 4 5


Tipping? Please no!
Created by BlueShift, last reply by cddt on 27-May-2017 10:10 (104 replies)
Pages... 5 6 7


Variable speeds on Fibre Max
Created by kapitikarl, last reply by nutsterrt on 27-May-2017 15:20 (45 replies)
Pages... 2 3