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Self-styled former spam king Scott Richter has been ordered to pay MySpace $6m over allegations he blitzed users of the social networking website with junk mail messages sent from hijacked accounts.

An arbitrator decided that Richter and his Colarado-based Web marketing outfit, Media Breakaway, must turn over a $4.8m fine and $1.2m in legal fees to the social networking site. In addition, Media Breakaway staffers were banned from visiting the site again, AP reports.

In a statement, Media Breakaway blamed the offending behaviour on rogue affiliates. Steven Richter, president of Media Breakaway and Scott's dad, took satisfaction that the amount awarded by arbitrators was just 5 per cent of the sum demanded by MySpace.

The ruling is the latest obtained by MySpace against alleged spammers and pales into insignificance compared to the $230m it was awarded against junk mailers Sanford Wallace and Walter Rines last month.

Richter is no stranger to big fines and other legal actions over his alleged spamming activities. In 2006 he paid Microsoft $7m to settle a spam lawsuit. The state of New York received $50,000 from Richter in 2004. He was prevented from launching a line of clothing under the Spam King brand by a lawsuit from Hormel, the firm behind the meaty snack, in 2004. ®

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