Spam King pays Microsoft royal ransom

Spam King Scott Richter has agreed to pay $7 million in damages to Microsoft for his massive spam email campaign.

Self-styled spam king and email inbox scourge Richter is well known in industry circles as one of the world's most prolific spammers. As a result of legal action by the New York Attorney General and Microsoft he finally seems to have caved.

"This settlement is a victory for consumers who rely on the internet because it also means fewer unwanted emails in your inbox. Richter has agreed to send e-mail only to those who have requested it, complying fully with all federal and state anti-spam laws," said Brad Smith senior VP and general counsel at Microsoft. "Before changing his practices, Richter sent, and assisted others in sending, more than 38 billion emails a year."

Microsoft claims it will put $5 million back into establishing greater anti-ecrime links. The rest is split equally between New York state and paying legal fees.

Richter recently hit headlines when he was removed from the Register of Known Spam Operators (ROKSO) after six spam-free months.

But Richter has never been far away from the news, launching an apparently unsuccessful "Spam King" clothing range and selling Iraqi most wanted playing cards in 2003. Richter claimed to have sold 40,000 decks through his spam campaigns before they were even printed.

Richter has promised to change his ways and now pledges to send only solicited emails.

Microsoft has dipped its toes in the legal waters many times in recent years, claiming to have brought 135 cases against spammers alone since 2003. In early July SC reported Microsoft paid two informants a share of $250,000 for aiding in the conviction of Sven Jaschan, the author of the Sasser network worm.

Get daily email updates

SC Media's daily must-read of the most current and pressing daily news

By clicking the Subscribe button below, you agree to SC Media Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.