A company found guilty of spamming has been ordered to pay $3 million in civil penalties and $375,000 in restitution to Seattle Public Schools. The ruling against Californian marketing firm AvTech Direct resulted from Washington state's first lawsuit under the federal anti-spam act. According to the state, AvTech Direct sent unsolicited emails advertising the sale of desktop computers to thousands of consumers, including 1,500 to school district employees. In addition to the penalties, AvTech Direct, is prohibited from engaging in similar practices in Washington.
Meanwhile, a man has been sued by the state of North Carolina in its first anti-spam case. Michael Abbott is accused of sending hundreds of unsolicited emails touting a phoney fuel booster. The complaint alleges that Abbot used bogus return addresses and failed to provide a reliable opt-out mechanism. He faces fines up to $5,000 for each violation. According to a state Justice Department spokesperson, North Carolina officials were given a tip-off about Abbott's practices by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which in turn had been given information by Microsoft after the company captured some of Abbott's messages in its spam traps.