RealTime IT News

AOL Has a Booty Call in Boston

In its very own version of fighting spam bulldozer-style, AOL said it is going after Commander Bo Decker's booty. And they won't let his mother stop them.

AOL spokesman Nicholas Graham told internetnews.com that convicted spammer Davis Wolfgang Hawke, known as Commander Bo Decker, owes AOL $12.8 million in damages.

A U.S. District Court in Virginia awarded the $12.8 million to AOL in May 2005 after determining that Hawke violated CAN-SPAM with his ceaseless offers to enhance male AOL users among other offers.

"Those activities disrupted AOL service and generated no less than 130,000 member complaints," Graham said.

But Hawke has gone missing. And AOL isn't waiting for him to return to get its money.

"After the judgment, we conducted an investigation to determine the location of any assets that may exist that could satisfy the judgment," Graham said.

The investigation, turning on key evidence found in receipts, led to the home garden of Hyram and Peggy Greenbaum in Medfield, Mass., Graham said.

The Greenbaums are Hawke's mother and father.

With the blessings of another U.S. District Court, this one in Massachussets, AOL will break ground and begin what could be the last leg in its hunt for Commander Decker's buried treasure, which includes gold and platinum bars.

Internetnews.com only reached a voicemail at the Greenbaums, but Mrs. Greenbaum told the Associated Press that AOL could do whatever digging they pleased.

"I don't care if they dig up the entire yard. They're just going to make fools of themselves," she 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."

AOL is bringing considerable resources to bear to get that booty.

"We're not going to dig at will," Graham said. "We're going to make sure something is buried there. This is going to be done with sophisticated equipment, including sonar, radar.

"The target is the assets. We could use those funds to plow them and invest them right back into our anti-spam, anti-phishing, and anti-spyware efforts."

Graham said that it's an open question of when AOL will start its dig.