The Innovative Marketing saga continues

Fascinating reading here from the FTC complaint.

Highlights:

  • Over 1 million PC users have been scammed by Innovative and its affiliates. At $40 a pop, that’s $40 million in ill-gotten revenue.
  • Forget refunds. According to the FTC, “although some consumers later realize they have been defrauded… and attempt to seek refunds, Defendants routinely delay, obstruct and refuse to honor such requests.
  • Innovative bought ads generating over 680 million impressions on MyGeek alone (an advertising network, now AdOn.)
  • When faced with complaints from MyGeek about adware vendors not wanting an advertisement to run on their sites, Innovative offered to not display these adware programs as a threat found.
  • MyGeek finally shut down the relationship over complaints. Not able to continue with MyGeek, Innovative created fake ad agencies purporting to represent legitimate companies, and then placed malvertisements (legitimate Flash-based ads that have been compromised to redirect to malware websites, as Sandi Hardmier has been routinely documenting). This method is what got their ads on mlb.com, nhl.com (remember?), zillow.com, realtor.com and other popular sites.
  • No honor among thieves? Innovative, ironically, is suing father and son Maurice D’Souza and Marc D’Souza over embezzling millions while they worked for Innovative.

Some of the players: Sam Jain, a man with a past, running the show. Daniel Sundin, apparently Jain’s second in command. James Reno, of ByteHosting (check this search also), helping out on the technical aspects. Maurice D’Souza and Marc D’Souza, helping Innovative find credit card processors (difficult, because there were so many chargebacks and complaints). Kristy Ross, who placed the fraudulent ads.

I don’t feel ill will to many people. But with this crew, I hope they rot in prison.