Social networking company Tagged.com has been awarded more than $200,000 in a default judgment against Erik Vogeler, who spammed thousands of Tagged members by sending them unsolicited messages with links to an adult dating website.
In a ruling issued earlier this week, a U.S. District Court Judge in the northern district of California found Vogeler guilty of sending messages to 6,079 Tagged users and assessed damages of $25 per violation for a total of $151,975. Court also ordered Vogeler to pay Tagged $50,000 in attorneys’ fees and to cease sending commercial emails through Tagged.com.
Tagged, which has raised close to $14 million in venture capital to date, claims over 80 million registered users worldwide.
Ironically, the social networking company has itself been the subject of numerous customer complaints for sending deceptive bulk mail since its inception in 2004, and is regarded as a phishing and spamming site by some consumer anti-fraud advocates.
In November 2009, Tagged settled a court case with Texas and the New York Attorney General over its practices, coughing up $750,000 in penalties. As part of the settlement, Tagged has adopted privacy reforms and altered its invitation processes.
Tagged co-founder and CEO Greg Tseng was previously co-founder and CEO of Internet startup incubator Jumpstart Technologies, which in March 2006 was fined $900,000 for alleged violations of the CAN-SPAM Act, then the largest ever penalty for illegal spam.
The irony is strong with this one.
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