GFY-Posted Solicitation Costs Alleged Hacker $2.8 Million, Court Rules

Rhett Pardon
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — A Champaign, Ill., man who allegedly offered to sell an email list on was ordered Friday by a federal court to pay $2.8 million to a company owned by Ron Levi.

R.P. Ventures said in the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas that Eric Suchomski, who operated under the handle of BigMike9712, misappropriated 12 million CE Cash email addresses and attempted to sell them on the GFY webmaster board.

According to the suit, R.P. Ventures alleges that Suchomski, 26, hacked into its computer system and offered to sell the email addresses at a price of $750 per million. The former Las Vegas resident later attempted to sell the list for $7,800 to an R.P. Ventures employee, the suit said.

In a default judgment, Suchomski was found liable for misappropriation of trade secrets, conversion, violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuses Act and misappropriation of computer data in violation of federal law.

Suchomski told XBiz from his residence in Champaign that he “knows nothing about the suit,” and that he was “unaware of any legal filing.”

“I haven’t been on GFY for a very, very long time,” Suchomski said, “and I never offered for sale any list.”

Attorney John Naylor of the Las Vegas-based law firm Lionel, Sawyer and Collins, which represents R.P. Ventures, told XBiz that indeed Suchomski knew about the lawsuit and had been at an initial hearing in late 2003.

“He knows everything about this suit; he appeared at the temporary restraining order hearing after we filed the suit,” Naylor said.

With the judgment, Suchomski has been permanently enjoined by the court from attempting to sell and disseminating any email addresses belonging to R.P. Ventures.

The judgment that was entered against Suchomski included $2.3 million in actual damages, $500,000 in punitive damages and disgorgement of profits and attorneys fees.

In the suit, R.P. Ventures said it spent more than $20 million to develop its “double opt-in” proprietary computer program and business model capable of amassing its database. Double opt-in is a system to solicit and confirm email addresses.

R.P. Ventures' owner Levi was not available for comment.

The case is R.P. Ventures vs. Eric Suchomski, No. CV-S-03-0960.