On Tuesday, Microsoft was awarded a $7 million settlement from self-proclaimed "spam king" Scott Richter, who at one time was busy sending over 38 billion unwanted emails a year through his company, OptInRealBig.com. Sued in December 2003 by Microsoft and the state of New York, Richter has agreed to pay $7 million in damages to settle the case and will halt his illegal spamming practices.
"Microsoft will reinvest every penny from this settlement to expand the effort against computer-related crimes," Brad Smith, the General Counsel at Microsoft says. "One million dollars of that money will be directed to New York state to provide many community centers with the resources to provide broader access to computers to both kids and adults."
Microsoft hopes this settlement will send a message (insert pun here) to other spammers that their days are numbered, and that sending illegal spam is risky. According to the software giant, Microsoft has supported more than 135 spam enforcement actions worldwide, including the 106 private civil lawsuits in the United States alone.
"In response to Microsoft's and the New York attorney general's lawsuits, we made significant changes to OptInRealBig.com's e-mailing practices and have paid a heavy price," Richter says. "I am committed to sending e-mail only to those who have requested it and to complying fully with all federal and state anti-spam laws."