$7M Spam Settlement For Microsoft

Microsoft, paycheck, hands holding money
A Colorado man once accused of being one of the world's top three spammers has agreed to pay $7 million in a settlement with Microsoft Corp., the software maker announced Tuesday.

The money from Scott Richter and his company, of Westminster, Colo., will be used to boost efforts to combat the illegal sending of unsolicited and misleading e-mail known as spam and other computer misuse, said Microsoft's chief counsel, Brad Smith, in a news release issued Tuesday morning.

"This settlement is a victory for consumers who rely on the Internet because it also means fewer unwanted e-mails in your inbox," Smith said.

"After covering our legal expenses for the case, Microsoft will then reinvest every penny from this settlement," he said. "We'll dedicate $5 million to increase our Internet enforcement efforts and expand technical and investigative support to help law enforcement address computer-related crimes."

Besides spending that money to enhance Internet safety partnerships with governments worldwide through training, technological development and investigative assistance, the company pledged $1 million to expand computer access for the poor at community centers in New York state.

The settlement is conditional upon dismissal of bankruptcy petitions Richter and his 4-year-old company have pending in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver, and they were expected to file the required motions Tuesday, according to the company's statement.

He and his affiliated businesses also agreed to comply with federal and state laws, including CAN-SPAM, the federal Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act, and will not send spam to anyone who has not confirmed a willingness to receive it.