Developments in the FTC versus Innovative Marketing et al lawsuit
Well well, people have been busy.
Various documents were filed on the 17th, including:
- Entry of Appearance on behalf of Mark D'Souza by Counsel Russell D Duncan of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
- Entry of Appearance on behalf of Sam Jain by Counsel Edward Wisneski of Patton Boggs
- A joint Response to Order to Show Cause by Sam Jain and Kristy Ross, promising to "fully comply with the terms of the Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction by 23 December 2008" and with the FTC not opposing said delay. Jain and Ross content that they were not properly served, but waived their right to service of process and consented to the Court's jurisdiction.
- Response to Order to Show Cause by Mark D'Souza, agreeing to the Court's jurisdiction, agreeing that he was properly served, and agreeing to "comply with the requirements of the Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction Order as those orders apply to him by 4 p.m. EST on December 23, 2008.".
Mr Reno posted a "response" to the lawsuit on his website, http://bytehosting.com - a Response that I know about because somebody posted a comment to my blog. The response seems to have been taken down, but is still available via Google's Cache at time of writing:
Let's not forget that ByteHosting have been in trouble before because of Innovative Marketing activities - Reno even made a deposition about Winfixer and Innovative Marketing back in June 2004 - for Reno to continue to do business with parties associated with the Symantec lawsuit was foolhardy at best.
Cite: ByteHosting, Reno and Symantec came to a confidential settlement in 2004
Mr Reno filed a Response on Preliminary Injunction order / Order to Show Cause that, if the printed headers are correct, was faxed from a UPS store. The response states that:
- Reno is 25 years old, unrepresented by legal counsel and unable to retain legal counsel due to "all funds being unavailable as a result of them being frozen.". Reno states that because he cannot retain Counsel he is "not able to defend [him]self".
- "as a result of the press on this case [he is] likely to be forced to shut down a business that [he has run] since 1997.
- he has "co-operated with the Northern District of California and testified in a grand jury that to [his] knowledge resulted in a criminal complaint against at least one defendant named in this case.".
- he is "not and never [has] been an Executive of Innovative Marketing, Inc.".
- ByteHosting Internet Services, LLC is run exclusively by himself and he is the sole member/owner/agent.
- Innovative Marketing has, and never had, operational or financial control over ByteHosting and that ByteHosting was a contractor of Innovative Marketing, never an office or affiliate of same, and operated independently.
The Response admits that ByteHosting:
- operated a call center for Innovative Marketing that provided technical support, telephone numbers to Innovative Marketing (some of which "rang directly to Innovative Marketing") and backup routing and redundancy for the telephone numbers provided
- network infrastructure management
The Response claims that ByteHosting did not supply "Website Design, design of marketing or promotional materials or hosting of said content.".
The Response further claims that ByteHosting ceased operations with Innovative Marketing on 24 October, 2008 because Innovative Marketing contacted ByteHosting on 20 October 2008 and canceled their contract, which "resulted in a breach of contract that forced [ByteHosting] to lay off the majority of [its] employees".
So far Innovative Marketing have been silent, seemingly ignoring the lawsuit completely.
There was more activity on the 18th, with a Motion for Order to show Cause against Innovative Marketing, three Motion to Appear (asking for permission for lawyers not admitted to the Maryland Bar to appear pro hac vice for Kristy Ross), and an Entry of Appearance on behalf of Kristy Ross by a Connie N Bertram.
The Motion for Order requests that the Court order Innovative Marketing to pay "at least $8,000 per day" into the Court's registry, with the monies to be paid on a weekly basis, as a per diem fine until such time as Innovative "purges itself of its civil contempt".
Innovative Marketing's address is listed in the preliminary court documents as "1876 Hutson Street, Belize City, Belize. ByteHosting, Reno, Jain and Ross are noted as having USA addresses. Sundin is noted as having a London address; Marc and Maurice D'Souza are noted as having Canadian addresses. It is not surprising that Innovative and Sundin have been silent so far - perhaps they feel immune because of their stated geographical location.
A personal note...
I consider this lawsuit to be very important, hence my decision to write in detail about what has been happening. The information that I supply here is coming from publicly available documents filed with the Maryland Court, but these documents are not provided free of charge. There is a nominal per page charge incurred for every document downloaded, and a one page charge for every search results page.
The per page charge is small, only a matter of cents per page, but this cost will build up over time. Spyware Sucks, and my other site IE-VISTA, have had a Paypal donation facility for several years, and I hope you don't mind that I bring this to your attention now. When I combine the document charges with charges incurred for the services I use to pull the mask away from the people behind various fraudware and malware domains, well, then we are looking at hundreds of dollars, just in the past month or so. My research and writings will continue irregardless of cost, at least for the foreseeable future, but if you feel so inclined, any donations will be accepted with thanks :)