The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently reported that Lance Atkinson, a New Zealand citizen and Australian resident, was ordered to pay US$15.15 million for his role in a spam gang that “deceptively marketed products such as male-enhancement pills, prescription drugs, and weight-loss pills.”
The FTC also reported that Atkinson’s accomplice, U.S. resident Jody Smith, agreed to a court order requiring him to turn over nearly all of his assets to the FTC to settle FTC charges.
The FTC reported further:
Atkinson and Smith recruited spammers from around the world, according to the FTC’s complaint filed last year. The spammers sent billions of e-mail messages directing consumers to Web sites operated by an affiliate program called “Affking,” according to the complaint. By using false header information to hide the origin of the messages, and by failing to provide an opt-out link or list a physical postal address, the defendants are alleged to have violated the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.
Last December, Atkinson admitted his involvement in the spam network to New Zealand authorities and had already paid more than US$80,000 (nearly $108,000 New Zealand dollars), the FTC report added.
The anti-spam organisation Spamhaus identified Lance Atkinson as Herbalking leader.