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INTERNET LAW seattle (ap)-A man once accused of being one of the world’s top three spammers has agreed to pay $7 million in a settlement with Microsoft Corp. The money from Scott Richter and his company, OptInRealBig.com of Westminster, Colo., will be used to boost efforts to combat the illegal sending of unsolicited and misleading e-mail known as spam and other computer misuse, said Microsoft’s chief counsel, Brad Smith. “After covering our legal expenses for the case, Microsoft will then reinvest every penny from this settlement,” he said. “We’ll dedicate $5 million to increase our Internet enforcement efforts and expand technical and investigative support to help law enforcement address computer-related crimes.” The settlement is conditional upon dismissal of bankruptcy petitions Richter and his four-year-old company have pending in U.S. bankruptcy court in Denver. Richter and his affiliated businesses have also agreed to comply with federal and state laws, including CAN-SPAM, the federal Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act, and will not send spam to anyone who has not confirmed a willingness to receive it.

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