Internet company held in contempt of court
A Baltimore federal court judge yesterday held Innovative Marketing Inc., a Belize-based Internet company, in contempt of court for ignoring previous orders commanding it to shut down and hand over financial records. This month, the Federal Trade Commission sued the company, claiming it ran an illegal "scareware" operation that tricked more than a million people into spending $100 million on bogus security software by making them believe their computers were under siege from various viruses and spy programs. In an order signed yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett ordered the business to pay $8,000 for each day it fails to comply with the earlier orders. The company's chief executive and four other defendants, all of whom have had their assets frozen, did not show up for a hearing last week, prompting Bennett to promise he would have them arrested if they didn't respond. All but Innovative Marketing filed paperwork with the court Wednesday and agreed to comply with court orders by Dec. 23.