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http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ebay-worked-fbi-put-top-120500693....

eBay paid Hogan a staggering $28 million in affiliate marketing sales commissions over the years, according to court papers....

He got greedy and used code to put cookies on people's machines that made eBay pay him commissions on everything they bought, not just sales he generated.

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If you read me comment unthread, you'll see that the cookies were placed by eBay themselves when the users browsers were... (more)

xerty (May. 05, 2013 @ 2:37p) |

Wrong Xerty the US Attorney comes after you for 18 USC 2 Aiding and Abetting a Crime. You get screwed just as bad as if ... (more)

nsdp (May. 05, 2013 @ 7:37p) |

They robbed eBay, and now they go to jail. End of story!

chan101qua (May. 15, 2013 @ 7:23a) |

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While I like the idea of entities being criminally penalized for installing stuff on my computer without my consent, I have a feeling that the FBI was not motivated by that same sense of justice.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/04/how-kesslers-flying-c...

Here's another example, from Ars Technica, of eBay cookie stuffing.

The gravy train is over for these guys.

eBay should be turned in to the FBI for defrauding the smaller sellers!

That's a pretty sh!tty living room for a guy who scammed $28 Million. Sweet cat, though.

eBay financially motivated people to spam the Internet. Isn't this outcome quite predictable? What did they expect?

Michael Bolton: It's pretty brilliant. What it does is every time there's a bank transaction where interest is computed, you know, thousands a day, the computer ends up with these fractions of a cent, which it usually rounds off. What this does is it takes those remainders and puts it into an account.

geeoye said:   Michael Bolton: It's pretty brilliant. What it does is every time there's a bank transaction where interest is computed, you know, thousands a day, the computer ends up with these fractions of a cent, which it usually rounds off. What this does is it takes those remainders and puts it into an account.
that ass-clown took his name!


kvs25 said:   geeoye said:   Michael Bolton: It's pretty brilliant. What it does is every time there's a bank transaction where interest is computed, you know, thousands a day, the computer ends up with these fractions of a cent, which it usually rounds off. What this does is it takes those remainders and puts it into an account.
that ass-clown took his name!

Did you say Michael Bolton? I cherish that man's entire catalog.

corporateclaw said:   While I like the idea of entities being criminally penalized for installing stuff on my computer without my consent, I have a feeling that the FBI was not motivated by that same sense of justice.
And of course the FBI was okay with eBay (not the authorities) installing stuff on the defendant's computer without his consent:
The company had even created a piece of software to monitor Hogan's internet traffic an online sting operation the company named "Trip Wire."

Snitches get stitches !

dbond79 said:   kvs25 said:   geeoye said:   Michael Bolton: It's pretty brilliant. What it does is every time there's a bank transaction where interest is computed, you know, thousands a day, the computer ends up with these fractions of a cent, which it usually rounds off. What this does is it takes those remainders and puts it into an account.
that ass-clown took his name!

Did you say Michael Bolton? I cherish that man's entire catalog.


My favorite songs are all of them.

Can someone fill me in on how these guys should be found guilty?

They breached the terms and conditions to do this. They called up eBay and both of the competitors talked to the same woman who they explained how they generated their revenue. One actually said that he was beginning to be uncomfortable with the process. Her and eBay tried to persuade them not to stop, but to do more of it. They even forwarded on their affiliate compliance report with their names on it and then told them not to worry about it and that they were being granted exceptions of the terms and conditions(that is a verbal contract from an agent of eBay).

And so eBay tells them to keep on doing it and then sues the hell out of them, involves the FBI, and then gets wire fraud charges thrown at them? What the hell?

I'm starting to see a pattern here of people getting unbelievable charges and sentences thrown at them on at least questionable grounds at the behest of large companies when you could make a pretty strong case that they didn't do anything illegal(maybe they fall in the barely illegal category without all of the details, but honestly how can someone encouraged by eBay to engage in certain tactics deserve potentially 20 years in prison for committing wire fraud against eBay for the same tactics--I can maybe understand 6 months or maybe a couple years of probation, but seriously?).

dbond79 said:   kvs25 said:   geeoye said:   Michael Bolton: It's pretty brilliant. What it does is every time there's a bank transaction where interest is computed, you know, thousands a day, the computer ends up with these fractions of a cent, which it usually rounds off. What this does is it takes those remainders and puts it into an account.
that ass-clown took his name!

Did you say Michael Bolton? I cherish that man's entire catalog.


yes, some of my favorites include:

"Damn It Feels Good To Be a Gangsta"

as well as "PC Load Letter"

and who can forget the timeless "Conjugal Visits"

dshibb said:   Can someone fill me in on how these guys should be found guilty?

They breached the terms and conditions to do this. They called up eBay and both of the competitors talked to the same woman who they explained how they generated their revenue. One actually said that he was beginning to be uncomfortable with the process. Her and eBay tried to persuade them not to stop, but to do more of it. They even forwarded on their affiliate compliance report with their names on it and then told them not to worry about it and that they were being granted exceptions of the terms and conditions(that is a verbal contract from an agent of eBay).

And so eBay tells them to keep on doing it and then sues the hell out of them, involves the FBI, and then gets wire fraud charges thrown at them? What the hell?

I'm starting to see a pattern here of people getting unbelievable charges and sentences thrown at them on at least questionable grounds at the behest of large companies when you could make a pretty strong case that they didn't do anything illegal(maybe they fall in the barely illegal category without all of the details, but honestly how can someone encouraged by eBay to engage in certain tactics deserve potentially 20 years in prison for committing wire fraud against eBay for the same tactics--I can maybe understand 6 months or maybe a couple years of probation, but seriously?).


Welcome to the real Golden Rule: he who has the gold makes the rules.

dshibb said:   Can someone fill me in on how these guys should be found guilty?

They breached the terms and conditions to do this. They called up eBay and both of the competitors talked to the same woman who they explained how they generated their revenue. One actually said that he was beginning to be uncomfortable with the process. Her and eBay tried to persuade them not to stop, but to do more of it. They even forwarded on their affiliate compliance report with their names on it and then told them not to worry about it and that they were being granted exceptions of the terms and conditions(that is a verbal contract from an agent of eBay).

I'd assume the argument would be (not that I'd agree with it) that eBay offered any "encouragement" under the assumption they really were generating site traffic, and the "looking the other way" was in regards to how they were accomplishing that volume. But it turns out they werent generating any traffic whatsoever, and were in effect merely "stealing" someone else's traffic. When the guy expressed being uncomfortable with the process, I'll bet he didnt detail how the process relied primarily on existing traffic eBay was getting anyways.

dshibb said:   Can someone fill me in on how these guys should be found guilty?

They breached the terms and conditions to do this. They called up eBay and both of the competitors talked to the same woman who they explained how they generated their revenue. One actually said that he was beginning to be uncomfortable with the process. Her and eBay tried to persuade them not to stop, but to do more of it. They even forwarded on their affiliate compliance report with their names on it and then told them not to worry about it and that they were being granted exceptions of the terms and conditions(that is a verbal contract from an agent of eBay).

And so eBay tells them to keep on doing it and then sues the hell out of them, involves the FBI, and then gets wire fraud charges thrown at them? What the hell?

I'm starting to see a pattern here of people getting unbelievable charges and sentences thrown at them on at least questionable grounds at the behest of large companies when you could make a pretty strong case that they didn't do anything illegal(maybe they fall in the barely illegal category without all of the details, but honestly how can someone encouraged by eBay to engage in certain tactics deserve potentially 20 years in prison for committing wire fraud against eBay for the same tactics--I can maybe understand 6 months or maybe a couple years of probation, but seriously?).


Sure, eBay's response in handling this seems questionable, but I think the real issue here in terms of legality is not so much breaking eBay's T&C's but instead it is in the placing of the super-scary malicious code (a cookie? gasp!) on machines in an unauthorized manner. Couple that with $M's in ill-gotten gains and there's enough there for people act on.

eBay is a cancer on this earth

Affiliate Marketer gets 20 years in prison.

The eBay rep that encouraged the fraud, and received a cut of the affiliate revenue via their pay package at eBay, gets fired.

Either both go to prison, or neither go to prison.

dbond79 said:   corporateclaw said:   While I like the idea of entities being criminally penalized for installing stuff on my computer without my consent, I have a feeling that the FBI was not motivated by that same sense of justice.
And of course the FBI was okay with eBay (not the authorities) installing stuff on the defendant's computer without his consent:
The company had even created a piece of software to monitor Hogan's internet traffic an online sting operation the company named "Trip Wire."

Didnt this "sting" just differentiate between cookies received via authentic site views, and cookies received via his program? They didnt install anything anywhere, aside from the marker on their own site.

dshibb said:   Can someone fill me in on how these guys should be found guilty?

They breached the terms and conditions to do this. They called up eBay and both of the competitors talked to the same woman who they explained how they generated their revenue. One actually said that he was beginning to be uncomfortable with the process. Her and eBay tried to persuade them not to stop, but to do more of it. They even forwarded on their affiliate compliance report with their names on it and then told them not to worry about it and that they were being granted exceptions of the terms and conditions(that is a verbal contract from an agent of eBay).

And so eBay tells them to keep on doing it and then sues the hell out of them, involves the FBI, and then gets wire fraud charges thrown at them? What the hell?

I'm starting to see a pattern here of people getting unbelievable charges and sentences thrown at them on at least questionable grounds at the behest of large companies when you could make a pretty strong case that they didn't do anything illegal(maybe they fall in the barely illegal category without all of the details, but honestly how can someone encouraged by eBay to engage in certain tactics deserve potentially 20 years in prison for committing wire fraud against eBay for the same tactics--I can maybe understand 6 months or maybe a couple years of probation, but seriously?).


They already entered guilty pleas, so they just need to be sentenced.

"The sting also netted Brian Dunning, eBay's second biggest affiliate marketer. The company had paid Hogan and Dunning a combined $35 million in commissions over the years, court papers say. Both men have since pleaded guilty to wire fraud."

dbond79 said:   corporateclaw said:   While I like the idea of entities being criminally penalized for installing stuff on my computer without my consent, I have a feeling that the FBI was not motivated by that same sense of justice.
And of course the FBI was okay with eBay (not the authorities) installing stuff on the defendant's computer without his consent:
The company had even created a piece of software to monitor Hogan's internet traffic an online sting operation the company named "Trip Wire."


Apparently you didn't read the entire article. The "operation" consisted of a 1-pixel transparent GIF placed on eBay's own website. Certainly they are free to place whatever they want on their own website.

parmenides said:   Sure, eBay's response in handling this seems questionable, but I think the real issue here in terms of legality is not so much breaking eBay's T&C's but instead it is in the placing of the super-scary malicious code (a cookie? gasp!) on machines in an unauthorized manner. Couple that with $M's in ill-gotten gains and there's enough there for people act on.
Mind you it was eBay themselves who put the cookie there. The affiliates' code merely directed many users' browsers to eBay to get an affiliate-marked cookie from eBay without troubling the user to actually waste their time looking at the front page of eBay (which we can all agree is certainly a waste of time).

Glitch99 said:   dshibb said:   Can someone fill me in on how these guys should be found guilty?

They breached the terms and conditions to do this. They called up eBay and both of the competitors talked to the same woman who they explained how they generated their revenue. One actually said that he was beginning to be uncomfortable with the process. Her and eBay tried to persuade them not to stop, but to do more of it. They even forwarded on their affiliate compliance report with their names on it and then told them not to worry about it and that they were being granted exceptions of the terms and conditions(that is a verbal contract from an agent of eBay).

I'd assume the argument would be (not that I'd agree with it) that eBay offered any "encouragement" under the assumption they really were generating site traffic, and the "looking the other way" was in regards to how they were accomplishing that volume. But it turns out they werent generating any traffic whatsoever, and were in effect merely "stealing" someone else's traffic. When the guy expressed being uncomfortable with the process, I'll bet he didnt detail how the process relied primarily on existing traffic eBay was getting anyways.


Both of them who barely knew each other and were competitors said they both explained to the same woman at eBay how they operated and that it wasn't a secret to them for years. How is it that these people might be going to jail for something that eBay already knew they were doing? Again this should be a civil matter. What the hell is with criminal prosecutors getting involved in all of these cases? It's a disturbing pattern.

Re: the 1 pixel gif. Here is the passage:

"So eBay installed a tiny "gif" file on its homepage. A gif is simply an image file. This one was so tiny no one could see it. It sat there invisibly. The gif would be served to any user who arrived on eBay and spent time looking at merchandise for sale. Users picking up eBay's cookies from Hogan and Dunning's widgets wouldn't get the gif. eBay was able to tell instantly how many of Hogan and Dunning's users had actually spent time on the site when they got the eBay cookie. About 99% of their traffic was bogus, the gif told eBay."

What I don't quite get with this method is the fact that I buy stuff off eBay all the time, and I rarely, if ever, go through eBay's home page. And plenty of affiliate ads send you right to the item page, rather than the home page. Perhaps the article is wrong and they put it on all their pages.

parmenides said:   dshibb said:   Can someone fill me in on how these guys should be found guilty?

They breached the terms and conditions to do this. They called up eBay and both of the competitors talked to the same woman who they explained how they generated their revenue. One actually said that he was beginning to be uncomfortable with the process. Her and eBay tried to persuade them not to stop, but to do more of it. They even forwarded on their affiliate compliance report with their names on it and then told them not to worry about it and that they were being granted exceptions of the terms and conditions(that is a verbal contract from an agent of eBay).

And so eBay tells them to keep on doing it and then sues the hell out of them, involves the FBI, and then gets wire fraud charges thrown at them? What the hell?

I'm starting to see a pattern here of people getting unbelievable charges and sentences thrown at them on at least questionable grounds at the behest of large companies when you could make a pretty strong case that they didn't do anything illegal(maybe they fall in the barely illegal category without all of the details, but honestly how can someone encouraged by eBay to engage in certain tactics deserve potentially 20 years in prison for committing wire fraud against eBay for the same tactics--I can maybe understand 6 months or maybe a couple years of probation, but seriously?).


Sure, eBay's response in handling this seems questionable, but I think the real issue here in terms of legality is not so much breaking eBay's T&C's but instead it is in the placing of the super-scary malicious code (a cookie? gasp!) on machines in an unauthorized manner. Couple that with $M's in ill-gotten gains and there's enough there for people act on.


But they're not getting them for putting cookies on peoples computers, but for committing wife fraud *against eBay*. If cookies were illegal there would be a litany of firms and programmers brought before the courts and put into jail. So as disturbing as it is that someone is putting software on your computer without your knowledge unfortunately under current law there is little that can ever really be done about it. So that isn't a particularly great justification for this.

mactv said:   Re: the 1 pixel gif. Here is the passage:

"So eBay installed a tiny "gif" file on its homepage. A gif is simply an image file. This one was so tiny no one could see it. It sat there invisibly. The gif would be served to any user who arrived on eBay and spent time looking at merchandise for sale. Users picking up eBay's cookies from Hogan and Dunning's widgets wouldn't get the gif. eBay was able to tell instantly how many of Hogan and Dunning's users had actually spent time on the site when they got the eBay cookie. About 99% of their traffic was bogus, the gif told eBay."

What I don't quite get with this method is the fact that I buy stuff off eBay all the time, and I rarely, if ever, go through eBay's home page. And plenty of affiliate ads send you right to the item page, rather than the home page. Perhaps the article is wrong and they put it on all their pages.


Yeah, I'm sure the article doesn't quite get all the facts right. Also, the whole thing about people with their affiliate cookies not getting it seems off to me also. My interpretation was one of the following (or a combination of both):

1) people with the affiliate cookie get one gif, and people without get a different gif. The gif shows up on every page. They can then more easily track this one particular gif out of the logs and draw some conclusions about the traffic patterns of 1 group vs the other.

2) the same gif was served up to everybody, but because of the way the plugin worked, it would load the HTML of the page without actually rendering it, thus the browser never downloaded the image. eBay was able to look at logs and see how many people with those affiliate cookies actually loaded the image.

dshibb said:   parmenides said:   dshibb said:   Can someone fill me in on how these guys should be found guilty?

They breached the terms and conditions to do this. They called up eBay and both of the competitors talked to the same woman who they explained how they generated their revenue. One actually said that he was beginning to be uncomfortable with the process. Her and eBay tried to persuade them not to stop, but to do more of it. They even forwarded on their affiliate compliance report with their names on it and then told them not to worry about it and that they were being granted exceptions of the terms and conditions(that is a verbal contract from an agent of eBay).

And so eBay tells them to keep on doing it and then sues the hell out of them, involves the FBI, and then gets wire fraud charges thrown at them? What the hell?

I'm starting to see a pattern here of people getting unbelievable charges and sentences thrown at them on at least questionable grounds at the behest of large companies when you could make a pretty strong case that they didn't do anything illegal(maybe they fall in the barely illegal category without all of the details, but honestly how can someone encouraged by eBay to engage in certain tactics deserve potentially 20 years in prison for committing wire fraud against eBay for the same tactics--I can maybe understand 6 months or maybe a couple years of probation, but seriously?).


Sure, eBay's response in handling this seems questionable, but I think the real issue here in terms of legality is not so much breaking eBay's T&C's but instead it is in the placing of the super-scary malicious code (a cookie? gasp!) on machines in an unauthorized manner. Couple that with $M's in ill-gotten gains and there's enough there for people act on.


But they're not getting them for putting cookies on peoples computers, but for committing wife fraud *against eBay*. If cookies were illegal there would be a litany of firms and programmers brought before the courts and put into jail. So as disturbing as it is that someone is putting software on your computer without your knowledge unfortunately under current law there is little that can ever really be done about it. So that isn't a particularly great justification for this.


Right - it's not the cookie per se - it's the cookie as a means to commit wire fraud, the definition of which is: any fraudulent scheme to intentionally deprive another of property or honest services via mail or wire communication.

We've seen this time and again... merchant comes up with a half-baked "promotion" (for lack of a better word), smart people determine a way to bend or stretch the promotion for their own gain (FWF???), vendor cries: waaaaa, I'm stupid, but they ripped me off!!

So this is eBay, deep pockets. What happened here could be considered wire fraud per the above definition - these folks used electronic communication to fleece eBay because they ran a stupid "promotion".

If they made off with $10K dollars we wouldn't be reading about this. However, they crossed the threshold so that this was worth pursuing. Ultimately they wound up being as stupid as the folks they were ripping off. Pigs get fed, etc.

I'm usually short-changed by every other affiliate / CashBack site NOT properly accounting click-through traffic and eBay hands out cookies like they're a bakery.
eBay would have been better off devising a system like every other affiliate that detects illigitamate click-throughs rather than relying on the feds.

I think with $35 million in earnings these gentlemen surely could have become Friends of Chuck Schumer ...

The way I see it, it is also the greed and ignorance of eBay that encouraged this. If it is allowed within the system to tag and generate cookies/income, then why didn't they just allow for payment within a certain timeframe or for specific item that was a direct result of the click, rather than ultimately allowing a forever tracker, unless it was indeed not allowed.

parmenides said:   dshibb said:   parmenides said:   dshibb said:   Can someone fill me in on how these guys should be found guilty?

They breached the terms and conditions to do this. They called up eBay and both of the competitors talked to the same woman who they explained how they generated their revenue. One actually said that he was beginning to be uncomfortable with the process. Her and eBay tried to persuade them not to stop, but to do more of it. They even forwarded on their affiliate compliance report with their names on it and then told them not to worry about it and that they were being granted exceptions of the terms and conditions(that is a verbal contract from an agent of eBay).

And so eBay tells them to keep on doing it and then sues the hell out of them, involves the FBI, and then gets wire fraud charges thrown at them? What the hell?

I'm starting to see a pattern here of people getting unbelievable charges and sentences thrown at them on at least questionable grounds at the behest of large companies when you could make a pretty strong case that they didn't do anything illegal(maybe they fall in the barely illegal category without all of the details, but honestly how can someone encouraged by eBay to engage in certain tactics deserve potentially 20 years in prison for committing wire fraud against eBay for the same tactics--I can maybe understand 6 months or maybe a couple years of probation, but seriously?).


Sure, eBay's response in handling this seems questionable, but I think the real issue here in terms of legality is not so much breaking eBay's T&C's but instead it is in the placing of the super-scary malicious code (a cookie? gasp!) on machines in an unauthorized manner. Couple that with $M's in ill-gotten gains and there's enough there for people act on.


But they're not getting them for putting cookies on peoples computers, but for committing wife fraud *against eBay*. If cookies were illegal there would be a litany of firms and programmers brought before the courts and put into jail. So as disturbing as it is that someone is putting software on your computer without your knowledge unfortunately under current law there is little that can ever really be done about it. So that isn't a particularly great justification for this.


Right - it's not the cookie per se - it's the cookie as a means to commit wire fraud, the definition of which is: any fraudulent scheme to intentionally deprive another of property or honest services via mail or wire communication.

We've seen this time and again... merchant comes up with a half-baked "promotion" (for lack of a better word), smart people determine a way to bend or stretch the promotion for their own gain (FWF???), vendor cries: waaaaa, I'm stupid, but they ripped me off!!

So this is eBay, deep pockets. What happened here could be considered wire fraud per the above definition - these folks used electronic communication to fleece eBay because they ran a stupid "promotion".

If they made off with $10K dollars we wouldn't be reading about this. However, they crossed the threshold so that this was worth pursuing. Ultimately they wound up being as stupid as the folks they were ripping off. Pigs get fed, etc.


I get what you're saying, but assuming it's true that they told eBay exactly what they were doing there is a certain degree of eBay absolving them of any issues since they agreed to it. That's where the wheels come off the tracks of your argument. Assuming it's true that eBay knew all along what was going on and could have easily said "Yeah no we would prefer if you didn't do this vs. please do more of it" then I just don't get how criminal charges could remotely be considered. It's like someone calling up the US mint explaining how they arbitrage credit cards using them and instead of them saying, "Stop!" they say, "Please do more my sales numbers are going up because of you doing this." And then a few years later they file criminal charges not even civil. It's a bridge too far in my mind.

I'm definitely getting the impression that companies want their cake and eat it to because of how easy it is for them to go after these people in the future. They encourage it until they actually sit down and realize what is going on and then they turn around and nail the guy when up until that point they thought it was a good thing. In my mind you can't have it both ways.

My speculation is that these guys might have been big players in bringing people to eBay and they paid a healthy commission at one point. Therefore they had no desire to cut them out of the picture, few years go by and they are not doing anything other than leaching referral money vs promoting eBay and then said eBay decides to cut them out of the game.

If you don't understand how this person is going to Federal prison for a very long time, you don't understand the reality of Federal criminal law.

dshibb said:   They breached the terms and conditions to do this. They called up eBay and both of the competitors talked to the same woman who they explained how they generated their revenue. One actually said that he was beginning to be uncomfortable with the process. Her and eBay tried to persuade them not to stop, but to do more of it. They even forwarded on their affiliate compliance report with their names on it and then told them not to worry about it and that they were being granted exceptions of the terms and conditions(that is a verbal contract from an agent of eBay)

the scam artists reasonably believed that a mid-tier (or lower) agent of eBay could orally modify a written contract in a way that permitted an affiliate to earn millions of dollars by pretending to generate millions of dollars in revenue for the company?

good luck finding either a judge or a jury willing to buy that story (not to mention that the written contract most likely contains language that prohibits oral modifications)

dshibb said: And so eBay tells them to keep on doing it and then sues the hell out of them, involves the FBI, and then gets wire fraud charges thrown at them? What the hell?

who told the scam artists to keep doing it? the same mid-tier agent who possesses special magical powers to override a written contract orally?

dshibb said: I'm starting to see a pattern here of people getting unbelievable charges and sentences thrown at them on at least questionable grounds at the behest of large companies when you could make a pretty strong case that they didn't do anything illegal(maybe they fall in the barely illegal category without all of the details, but honestly how can someone encouraged by eBay to engage in certain tactics deserve potentially 20 years in prison for committing wire fraud against eBay for the same tactics--I can maybe understand 6 months or maybe a couple years of probation, but seriously?).

Where's the evidence that powerful people at eBay told the con artists that they could do what they did? please feel free to upload a copy of such a document. if the con artists relied on an oral communication that eBay says didn't occur, a court ignores the disputed oral conversation and looks solely at the written contract, which obviously favors eBay's version of events and kills the little affiliate's story.

Then in comes the federal code:

"Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire..."

pretending to have generated millions of dollars in revenue for eBay---false pretenses, scheme, whatever you want to call it. check.

having gotten millions of dollars in electronic commissions from the scheme---money by wire from the scheme. check.

no wonder they pleaded guilty.

dshibb said:   Can someone fill me in on how these guys should be found guilty?

They breached the terms and conditions to do this. They called up eBay and both of the competitors talked to the same woman who they explained how they generated their revenue. One actually said that he was beginning to be uncomfortable with the process. Her and eBay tried to persuade them not to stop, but to do more of it. They even forwarded on their affiliate compliance report with their names on it and then told them not to worry about it and that they were being granted exceptions of the terms and conditions(that is a verbal contract from an agent of eBay).

And so eBay tells them to keep on doing it and then sues the hell out of them, involves the FBI, and then gets wire fraud charges thrown at them? What the hell?

I'm starting to see a pattern here of people getting unbelievable charges and sentences thrown at them on at least questionable grounds at the behest of large companies when you could make a pretty strong case that they didn't do anything illegal(maybe they fall in the barely illegal category without all of the details, but honestly how can someone encouraged by eBay to engage in certain tactics deserve potentially 20 years in prison for committing wire fraud against eBay for the same tactics--I can maybe understand 6 months or maybe a couple years of probation, but seriously?).


In the article, it is explained that the eBay employees were not authorised to authorise anyone from violating the terms of the affiliate program. Uh, hope that sentence made sense.

I find that lame. Who is authorised, then, to make that authorisation?

Spamazon has a form of this. If you click & purchase the poster gets credit. Legal, but many stretch it to make you think they own and/or reviewed the product, when in reality they just copy & paste (automatically) with software.

Skipping 36 Messages...
They robbed eBay, and now they go to jail. End of story!



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