Texas Files Lawsuit Against Spammers

    January 17, 2005

Joined by Microsoft, the state of Texas has filed a lawsuit against what they term as “the world’s fourth largest spammer.”

The suit named 2 codefendants: University of Texas student, Ryan Pitylak, and Mark Trotter, a resident of California. Both are accused violating the CAN-SPAM act. The accusations state that both men ran are responsible for running companies that mailed large amounts of spam. Two of the companies alledgely named in the lawsuit are Leadplex and PayPerAction.

Joining Microsoft in the filing is Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. According to CNN, Abbott stated at a press conference, “Illegal spam must be stopped. Spam is one of the most aggravating and pervasive problems facing consumers today.” Microsoft worked for over a year with Abbott setting up spam trap accounts using their Hotmail service. According to InfoWorld, Microsoft provided over 20,000 examples of the spam messages Trotter and Pitylak alledgely sent.

If found responsible, the two defendants are facing a potentially severe punishment:

“The two defendants already face considerable fines if they lose in court. CAN-SPAM imposes penalties of $250 per violation, up to a maximum of $2 million. The attorney general is also suing the two men under two Texas state laws that cover electronic mail and solicitation as well as deceptive practices. Those laws carry fines of up to $25,000 per day and $20,000 per violation, the attorney general said.”

Lin Hughes, the attorney for Pitylak and Trotter said, “Leadplex and PayPerAction are legitimate Internet marketing companies that are in complete compliance with the federal CAN-SPAM Act.”

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