AOL Goes Digging For Gold (Yes, Literally)

from the get-me-some-gold dept

A year ago, AOL had a contest where they decided to give away $20,000 in gold bars they had received from spammer Brad Bournival, as part of their settlement with him. Bournival is a name that should be familiar to anyone who read Brian McWilliams' excellent book Spam Kings. Bournival, if you recall, was the apprentice to the book's main character, Davis Wolfgang Hawke. While Bournival was willing to cooperate when authorities cracked down on their spamming activities, Hawke ran. However, since AOL won their case against both spammers, it feels that Hawke still owes them plenty of money. In the book, it details how Hawke would hide his money all over the place often in the form of gold bars, and apparently the folks at AOL have taken notice. They're now trying to dig up the backyard of Hawke's parents, in search of more gold bars. A judge has given permission for the search, which AOL says shouldn't be too destructive -- but Hawke's mother is vowing to fight the search, saying she has no clue where her son is and she's sure he didn't bury any gold on their property.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Clubber Lang, Aug 15th, 2006 @ 11:38pm

    Not if I get there first...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2006 @ 11:57pm

    I hope all they find is a lot of scrap metal. I don't much like spammers but I don't care for AOL either.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Xcetron, Aug 16th, 2006 @ 12:24am

    If you had a bunch of gold bars shouldnt you put it in a deposit box somewhere instead of burying it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Guy, Aug 16th, 2006 @ 1:03am


    I'm sorry there is no reason AOL has any legal right to distrube the grounds of his mother unless he was under 18 when he dident i havent read the book at all but seriously AOL is over steping their bounds legaly i think plus come on any person that was going to hide gold would never put it in their parents back yard it's the first place someone would look and another thing when aol does not find anything in the backyard the mother can Sue aol and win hands down even if a judge gave a search warrent

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    MadMarc, Aug 16th, 2006 @ 1:06am

    I Bet that when they finished digging this poor ladies garden up all the will find is one of those ANOYING AOL Discs, those pissing things get everywhere.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Confused, Aug 16th, 2006 @ 1:22am


    none of this article makes any sense to me... is this the plot to some matlock episode or something?

    seriously, am i reading this correctly? aol is digging up someone's back yard searching for gold bars? not dubloons? gold bars?


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    z0idberg, Aug 16th, 2006 @ 1:27am

    Re: WHAT!

    If a judge has granted permission for AOL to dig up the back yard then there is a pretty good chance they have a legal right to do so. There is no way she will be able to sue AOL in the future for this.

    If the guy has fled the country and the parents house is the only place they havent looked that he might have put it why can't they search it if a court agrees?

    And you might want to check your fullstop button, I don't think it is working.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Josh, Aug 16th, 2006 @ 1:30am


    2148 Sacramento Way, Ca

    Take a shovel.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    wow, Aug 16th, 2006 @ 1:39am

    AOL is hurting that bad now?

    I can't help but to laugh at this topic. Is AOL hurting that bad where they have to turn every stone for a gold bar? ROFL I mean I understand about the spam thing. I hate spam too, but lol... this is too funny. I think changing their business model would prove to yield more "gold" instead of panning for gold. LOL LOL

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2006 @ 1:48am

    Damn. And here I was thinking that the RIAA was evil for even hesitating to drop the charges against a dead man's family.

    Way to go, AOL. This kind of behavior reminds me of why I left you some eight years ago. Never look back, my friends. Never.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Paul`, Aug 16th, 2006 @ 2:15am

    Re: WHAT!

    Hmm, I'm pritty sure the courts ruling FOR the search is legal enough...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Mike Mixer, Aug 16th, 2006 @ 12:11pm


    I would be surprised if AOL has to use a shovel to search.All they need is a metal detector. Even with the sensativity turned way down they should get a hit on a gold bar even 6 feet down. Ground penetrating radar will also tell the story so the shovels can be put where they are the most useful, dead center in AOL's exhaust pipe.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Duodave, Aug 16th, 2006 @ 1:14pm

    A new low in AOL billing practices

    And we thought it was bad that AOL was snagging money from our checking accounts when we closed credit cards. This is a new low - digging for buried treasure.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Burt Jones, Aug 17th, 2006 @ 6:21am

    Goldman, Goldberg, Gold, and Goldstein

    of AOL digging up someone old lady's yard for gold? I'm shocked!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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