NY 'Astroturfing' Cases Mark Fertile Ground For Civil Suits

Law360, New York (September 23, 2013, 7:20 PM EDT) -- Businesses rapped on Monday by New York's attorney general for “astroturfing” — buying fake online praise — must pay a modest $350,000 to the state, but experts said those costs could run far higher because the settlements paint a clear roadmap for private litigation targeting what likely is rampant online fraud.

The year-long undercover investigation by the offices of New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman yielded agreements with 19 companies such as Amherst, N.Y.-headquartered Mainstreethost and New York City-based Webtools LLC, which took calls from investigators...
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