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Spammer, Partners Agree to $10M Settlement
[June 07, 2006]

Spammer, Partners Agree to $10M Settlement

(AP) Spammer, Partners Agree to $10M Settlement
AUSTIN, Texas
One of the world's most notorious spammers, his former partners and their companies have agreed to pay $10 million to settle a state lawsuit, Texas officials said Wednesday.

Ryan Pitylak, 24, a recent University of Texas graduate, has admitted sending 25 million e-mails every day at the height of his spamming operation in 2004.

At one time, Pitylak was listed as the fourth-worst spammer in the world by the Spamhaus Project, a London-based international clearinghouse that tracks spammers and works closely with law enforcement officials.

Under the settlement announced Wednesday by the Texas Attorney General's office, Pitylak owes $1 million in civil penalties. He already has paid the state $225,000 to cover attorneys' fees.

In a separate settlement with Microsoft (News - Alert) Corp., Pitylak agreed to a fine of $1 million and promised never again to send out false, misleading or unsolicited commercial e-mails.

Pitylak's e-mails touted low-cost mortgages, extended auto warranties and debt-counseling services, among other offers, and he received $3 to $7 for every lead he generated when someone clicked on the links in his messages.

Pitylak says he now opposes spam and is offering his skills to Internet companies to help them fight spam.

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