A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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March 29, 2005

Spam King goes bankrupt

Scott Richter, the Colorado spammer profiled in Spam Kings, has filed for bankruptcy.

According to this coverage in the Denver Post, Richter's company OptinRealBig was pushed into bankruptcy as a result of defending against a December 2003 lawsuit from Microsoft.

Documents filed March 25 in U.S. bankruptcy court in Denver reveal that Richter's biggest debt ($20M) is to Microsoft.

Although the Microsoft litigation isn't settled yet, coverage in the Rocky Mountain News says Richter plans to stay in business but use the bankruptcy court as a central forum to resolve the Microsoft dispute and other litigation.

Richter's father Steve has been quoted as saying that the company is profitable, aside from the lawsuits, and has no intention of stopping business.

Among Richter's other debtors are Cydoor, Inc ($28,000) makers of a notorious spyware program, and Dan Balsam (unspecified amount), an Internet user in California who has sued several spammers under that state's anti-spam law.

I doubt we've seen the last of Scott Richter. But you've got to marvel at Microsoft's handling of this case. Not only did the company apparently get a big judgment where Eliot Spitzer couldn't, it also orchestrated the release of news about the bankruptcy so it would hit Richter right in his hometown newspapers.

Posted by brian at March 29, 2005 9:56 AM


Interesting comments from Chicago lawyer Ethan Preston about spammer bankruptcy and asset protection:


Posted by: Brian at April 1, 2005 11:26 AM


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