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HGH Spammer Avoids $6 Million Damage Payment

A spammer who caused nearly $6 million in consumer injuries has agreed to pay $485,000 to the Federal Trade Commission to repay consumers, in return for which he will be able to keep his Florida estate valued at over $2.4 million.

Creaghan A. Harry who did business as Hitech Marketing, Scientific Life Nutrition and Rejuvenation Health Corporation was sued in 2004 by the FTC for making false claims and violating the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM Act). The FTC alleged he used millions of unsolicited emails to tout the bogus anti-aging properties of HGH herbal supplements.

The false claims defrauded thousands of consumers of hundreds of thousands of dollars, the FTC contends. The FTC said Harry used a variety of names, foreign addresses, anonymous web sites and spam to carry out his scheme. The proceeds were deposited in a bank account in Latvia. Harry disguised the source of the spam by sending the messages through “open proxies.” The FTC also alleged that he forged or “spoofed” return email addresses in the “reply to” or “from” headers.

The agreed settlement suspends a judgment of $5.9 million, the total amount of estimated consumer injury. If it is later found that he misrepresented his financial data, the entire judgment would be imposed. The FTC approved the settlement by a 4-1 vote on June 15, 2005. The dissenting commissioner wanted the FTC to try to get more of Harry’s homestead in Florida. The settlement that also provided for a permanent injunction against Harry was entered by Judge Blance Manning in Chicago on May 5, 2005.

Federal Trade Commission v. Creaghan A. Harry, individually and Hitech Marketing, Scientific Life Nutrition and Rejuvenation Health Corp., N.D. Illinois, No. 04 C 4790.