Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Herbal King/Elite Herbal: Legal actions in New Zealand and United States

So I have been blogging a lot in the past about the investigation by Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand, an investigation that came to our knowledge shortly after a BBC radio programme that I participated in pointed at Genbucks, Shane Atkinson and that Indian company that I may not mention by name: ________ (*) as being involved in spamming.

Today a media release regarding the result of this investigation was published by Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) in connection with a related press release from Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States.

Media release from DIA: http://www.dia.govt.nz/press.nsf/d77da9b523f12931cc256ac5000d19b6/fc151f432926dba2cc2574e200723e07!OpenDocument

As it can be read then Shane Atkinson, his brother Lance Atkinson and a third individual from New Zealand are now facing a case against them in High Court for spamming (among others then the Herbal King / Elite Herbal sites), and if found guilty will face a penalty of up to $200.000 (New Zealand Dollars)

The media release also mentions that Shane Atkinson was a co-manager at the Genbucks Affiliate programme, that the products being spamvertised was manufactured and shipped by ________ (*) and that the Sancash affiliate programme was used to recruit and pay the spammers (the people actually sending the spam emails) to market the Genbucks/_________ (*) products.

This fits well with the research I have conducted myself and shared with you on this blog and which have also been supplied to DIA and are part of the evidence in the case.

What I have now learned is that what happened when DIA raided properties in Christchurch, New Zealand and Shane Atkinson was put under investigation back in December 2007, was that the brother of Shane, Lance who was the primary person responsible for recruiting the spammers to the Sancash affiliate programme, closed down Sancash (I have blogged about that earlier), stopped the work with Shane and instead teamed with US-based Jody Michael Smith and together they made the Affking (Affiliate King) programme, where I guess a lot of the old spammers from Sancash moved to. The domain affking.com was registered on December 17th 2007, a few days after the BBC Radio Programme that I participated in was aired, and at the same day where DIA raided the properties in New Zealand.

It is this part of spamming operation (affking) that FTC has now put an halt to through a temporary injuction. Press release can be found here:
http://ftc.gov/opa/2008/10/herbalkings.shtm and besides that a memo from the court is publically available and can be found here http://ftc.gov/os/caselist/0723085/081014atkinsonmemo.pdf

(*) Reference to entity has been temporarily removed due to temporary injuction placed on the blog and the author of this blog in the case CS (OS) 218/2008 under process in Delhi High Court. Further information about the injuction (order) can be found here:


Peter Bennett said...

I commend you on your efforts however to see Shane Atkinson' name in the media is no surprise to me.


Anonymous said...

70% of spam I receive are ads for products from websites from this company.

gw folks. knock down the other 30% and i'll be spam free. :)

Anonymous said...

The NZ news had a report about this, including an interview from 2003 where he renounces spamming.

IKillSpammerz said...

Since this information is now in the public media (not to mention the worldwide news media) I feel fairly certain that the alleged restraining order on behalf of the entity who you have not named holds absolutely no water.

In fact: given the pending legal action against so many other of their operatives, I would be very surprised if this unnamed entity was not also under heavy legal scrutiny.

As always you have my gratitude and congratulations for your persistence in investigating these malicious entities. I look forward to more and more of this kind of news in the coming months. (Don't forget: the first court appearances start up in December.)

Well done sir.

SiL / IKS / concerned citizen

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