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AOL raffles spammer's gold bars

Confiscated booty up for grabs

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AOL is planning to give away assets seized from spammers in a US sweepstake due to launch Wednesday. A 2003 Hummer H2, $75,000 in cash and $20,000 in gold (pictured here) are up for grabs in a give-away of the illicit gains of junk mailing. It's the second time AOL has given away assets confiscated from a spammer. Last year, AOL raffled a $45,000 Porsche Boxster it seized as part of a settlement against another unnamed junk mail scumbag.

"We think it's justice," says Curtis Lu, AOL deputy general counsel, told USA Today. "We're taking the ill-gotten bounty these spammers have earned off the backs of our customers and handing it back to customers."

AOL obtained the gold, cash and car after suing an unnamed New Hampshire penis pill purveyor using the CAN SPAM Act. AOL sued after receiving hundreds of thousands of complaints from members peaking at 100,000 in one day alone in January 2004.

AOL said the sweepstake illustrated that anti-spam laws are an effective weapon in its spam-fighting arsenal alongside email filtering and other technology countermeasures.

Earlier this week former self-styled 'Spam King' Scott Richter agreed to pay Microsoft $7m to settle an anti-spam lawsuit that had brought him and his company OptInRealBig.com to the edge of bankruptcy. ®

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