Feeds

AOL seeks spammer's buried gold

Pirate treasure hunt

High performance access to file storage

AOL is seeking to excavate grounds owned by parents of a convicted spammer in the hopes of finding gold bars and other buried booty thought to be worth up to $500,000.

The ISP is seeking to uncover the cache of treasure to recover part of the $12.8m judgment awarded to it in a lawsuit against penis-pill purveyor Davis Hawke.

Hawke was held responsible for sending at least 130,000 spam emails to AOL subscribers over three months during 2004 in a May 2005 judgement, made in his absence.

AOL's investigations have led it to conclude that $500,000 in gold and platinum bars might be hidden in or around Hawke's parents' home in Medfield, Massachusetts.

The net services giant wants to send in the bulldozers to hunt for the booty in the two acres of land owned by Hawke's parents and near his grandparents' home in nearby Westwood. The tip-off of the potential location of the loot came from Hawke's ex-girlfriend, Patricia Lingenfelter, who describes her former squeeze as "fundamentally lazy".

The enforcement of previous orders obtained by AOL against spammers have involved seizures of Porsche sports cars, gold coins, and other property worth millions, funds the internet firm has ploughed back into its efforts at eradicating irksome junk mail. However, this is the first time the ISP has sought to find a spam pirate's buried treasure.

AOL obtained receipts of gold purchases made by Hawke in order to persuade a judge to make the excavation order.

AP reports that Hawke's parents plan to challenge the order, which would involve temporarily removing them and Hawke's grandparents from their respective properties. AOL plans to use sonar and radar equipment to assist its search in order to minimise damage.

Hawke's mother, Peggy Greenbaum, denies that her son's assets are hidden about her property. Meanwhile, the man himself has gone to ground, according to AOL.

"I don't care if they dig up the entire yard. They're just going to make fools of themselves," Hawke's mother Peggy Greenbaum said. "There's absolutely no reason for them to think that Davis Hawke would be stupid enough to bury gold on our property. My son is long gone."

Hawke, a reported neo-nazi activist in his youth who renounced his birth name, Andrew Britt Greenbaum, and his affiliates are reckoned to have raked in more than $600,000 each month through spamvertising loans, porn, jewellery, and prescription drugs. The family say they haven't seen him for a year. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.