Online Ad Agency Beats Spitzer Rap

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On January 11th, the New York Supreme Court officially dismissed all charges against now-defunct online ad agency Synergy6 and its founder Justin Champion in regards to an ongoing investigation launched by Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in 2003 to determine whether email marketers, including Opt-InRealbig.com and Delta Seven Communications, were guilty of transmitting mass unsolicited emails.

In her decision, Judge Eileen Bransten found that, with regard to the case against Synergy6, “The evidence here is insufficient to merit the relief sought and there has been no showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law. In the end, the people have not submitted evidence establishing that Synergy6 can be liable for Delta Seven’s fraud. There is no proof that Synergy6 authorized Delta Seven to act on its behalf or that it ratified Delta Seven’s conduct. Likewise, there is no possible theory under which Mr. Champion can be liable for Delta Seven’s conduct either.”

The decision comes as a blow to Spitzer, who has rarely seen defeat in such court cases. The attorney general wasn’t talking to the press after the ruling, but in a statement of his own, Justin Champion questioned Spitzer’s actions, alluding to a December 2003 press conference in which Spitzer said he would utilize financial pressure to destroy Synergy6 and Mr. Champion, while Microsoft (the other plaintiff in the case) claimed to be willing to take “whatever remains.”

“Who is going to explain to the former Synergy6 employees that their jobs were eliminated through the wheels of politics?”, Champion asks. “Is Mr. Spitzer going to explain to my family why he destroyed my business while unable to provide the Court with even a basic establishment of liability on the part of me or my company, without ever having a chance to defend itself?”

Until Spitzer’s accusations came to light, Synergy6 was a fast-growing online ad agency achieving nearly $9MM in its first year of operation and with over 50 employees. According to the court document, Synergy6 was “put out of business” shortly after the suit was filed.

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