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Dec 22, 2008

Innovative Marketing found in contempt of court

A Belize City-based internet company is in big trouble with the Federal Trade Commission and the courts in the United States. On Friday, a Baltimore federal court judge found Innovative Marketing Incorporated in contempt of court for ignoring orders to shut down and hand over its financial records. Earlier this month the F.T.C. sued Innovative for running an illegal “scareware” scam in which it duped over a million people into buying its thirty-nine dollars and ninety-nine cents computer security software. According to court documents, the company used misleading Internet advertising to exploit “consumers’ legitimate concerns about Internet-based threats like spyware and viruses by issuing false security or privacy warnings to consumers for the sole purpose of selling software to fix the imagined problem.” When some of those buyers realized they have been defrauded and attempted to get a refund, Innovative is accused of delaying, obstructing and refusing to honor the requests. The company has been operating in this manner since 2003. Although incorporated in Belize, its main offices are in Kiev, Ukraine. Meanwhile, the six defendants named in the Innovative Marketing suit list their addresses as Ohio, California, London, and Canada. On Friday, the U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett ordered the business to pay eight thousand dollars for each day it fails to comply with the earlier orders. In addition, the assets of the defendants James Reno, Sam Jain, Daniel Sundin, Marc D’Souza, Maurice D’Souza, and Kristy Ross have all been frozen.

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