January 26, 2005 (HOSTSEARCH.COM) ISP EarthLink announced a legal victory over one of the worlds top spammers located in Alabama today. Damon DeCrescenzo, a defendant in EarthLink's lawsuit, and another defendant, David Burstyn, have agreed to a court order forbidding them from sending spam and requiring them to pay an undisclosed cash settlement.
EarthLink sued DeCrescenzo and Burstyn in 2004, alleging that the two were part of the "Alabama Spam Ring," a multi-state spamming operation in which 16 individuals and corporations sent out more than 250 million illegal e-mails. At the time, DeCrescenzo was ranked as one of the world's top spammers by the Register of Known Spam Operations (ROKSO), a list maintained by The Spamhaus Project, an anti-spam organization ( http://www.spamhaus.org ). DeCrescenzo and Burstyn settled their part in the lawsuit with EarthLink, and the order is pending before the U.S. District Court in Atlanta.
"Today's announcement is the latest in a long list of legal victories that EarthLink has garnered as an advocate for consumers in the fight against spam," said Larry Slovensky, assistant general counsel for EarthLink. "Filing lawsuits against alleged spammers and seeking court orders that put them out of business is an important way that EarthLink helps preserve the integrity of the Internet for all users."
According to an Amended Complaint that EarthLink filed in February 17, 2004, in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, the "Alabama Spammers" -- so-called because of their frequent use of phone lines in and around Birmingham, Alabama -- "engaged in a massive scheme of theft, spamming and spoofing." The lawsuit alleged that the Alabama Spammers used a hierarchy of falsified names, false addresses and non-existent corporate entities to disguise the identities of individuals involved.
The lawsuit also alleged that to further hide their identities, the Alabama Spammers used spam e-mails to direct people to dynamically-hosted Web sites that would disappear after advertising a product. According to the litigation, common products advertised by the Alabama Spammers included Viagra(R), herbal supplements, adult matchmaking services and spam-for-hire services.
In its February 2004 lawsuit, EarthLink charged the defendants with violating federal and state laws, including federal and state civil RICO laws, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and the Georgia Computer Systems Protection Act. The lawsuit alleged that the Alabama Spammers used stolen or falsified credit cards, identity theft, banking fraud and other illegal activities to fraudulently purchase Internet accounts and send out their junk e-mails.
EarthLink has sued and won multi-million judgments against spammers, including a $16.4 million judgment and injunctive relief against Howard Carmack, aka the "Buffalo Spammer," shutting down an operation that had generated more than 825 million spam e-mails on the Internet. EarthLink's pursuit of Carmack led to his criminal conviction by the New York Attorney General's office on charges related to his spamming.