Published in News
Spammers slapped with $15 million fine
Now they'll never move out of mom's basement
A gang of spammers has been ordered to pay a $15.15 million fine following a lengthy investigation by the FTC.
Investigators concluded the gang, known as HerbalKing, sent out billions of spam e-mails marketing weight-loss pills and prescription drugs. Their activities were described as deceptive marketing, as they sold generic versions of US-branded drugs, which were in fact imported from India and didn't really undergo proper testing in the States. So, if you ordered some stuff from them and now have six hairy breasts growing on your back, you should probably see a doctor or at least ask for a refund.
Atkinson's American sidekick Jody Smith and three companies affiliated with him have also been found liable for $4 million. Smith's assets have been frozen and he faces a jail term of up to five years after pleading guilty to 'conspiracy to traffic counterfeit goods'. He will be sentenced later this month.
Atkinson, however, seems to have gotten off quite a bit better. He will have to pay his part of the $15.15 million fine, but only if he travels to the US, and we're guessing he won't. Ever. Atkinson was fined $2.2 million in 2005 for similar offenses. He failed to pay that fine, too. Atkinson's brother Shane was ordered by a New Zealand court to pay $112,000, so we can probably blame bad parenting for their shenanigans.