by Mike Masnick
Mon, May 19th 2008 6:52pm
It's somewhat amazing that this case is still going on, but AOL's sneaky ad deals to boost its own revenue are still the target of lawsuits. Back in 2006, we noted that federal prosecutors had decided that it wasn't worth prosecuting the executives involved. However, it appears that the SEC feels differently. It's now sued eight former AOL execs for taking part in the scam -- though, four of them have already settled. If you don't recall, AOL had this nice little trick where it would "swap" ads with other sites, where no money changed hands, but both sides would record revenue. That let them boost revenue (up to a billion dollars for AOL) without any actual revenue coming in. It's a nice little trick... and it's also illegal. Though, it all took place in the 2000/2001 timeframe, so it's not clear why it took the SEC seven years to do something about it.
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