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James Reno of Amelia, Ohio, the brains behind an elaborate series of rogue anti-malware companies, and his firm ByteHosting, have agreed to pay $117,000 — what’s left of $1.9 million of ill-gotten gains — to settle an action brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

The complaint, filed last December in the Maryland District of U.S. Federal Court, said the schemes used deceptive advertising to victimize one million Internet users since 2003. Each was duped into purchasing the rogues at $39.95.

The rogues included: WinFixer, WinAntivirus, DriveCleaner, WinAntispyware, ErrorProtector, ErrorSafe, SystemDoctor, AdvancedCleaner, Antivirus XP and XP Antivirus 2008.

When the FTC complaint was filed in December, it froze $116,697 of Reno’s assets. He will forfeit that. The FTC said he is unable to pay the remainder of the $1.9 million he made from the schemes and that amount of the fine will be suspended.

Other defendants still facing FTC charges are:
— Sam Jain, an officer of Innovative Marketing, Inc., San Francisco, Calif., USA
— Daniel Sundin of Vantage Software, Winsoftware, Ltd., and Innovative Marketing, London, UK
— Marc D’Souza of Web Integrated Net Solutions and Innovative Marketing, Inc, Toronto, Canada.
— Kristy Ross of Innovative Marketing, Inc., Walkersville, Md., USA.
— Maurice D’Souza, Thornhill, Ont., Canada

Other companies named in the action include:
— Billingnow,
— BillPlanet PTE Ltd.,
— Globedat, Innovative Marketing Ukraine,
— Revenue Response,
— Sunwell, Synergy Software BV,
— Winpayment Consultancy SPC,
— Winsecure Solutions,
— Winsolutions, Belize City, Belize,

For more, see here.

For the FTC complaint, see here.

Tom Kelchner