According to the filing lodged in the Northern California District Court, Shawn Hogan and Digital Point Solutions, Todd Dunning and Kessler’s Flying Circus, and Brian Dunning and Thunderwood Holdings defrauded eBay in a “cookie stuffing” scheme that made it appear that their companies should be paid commissions on eBay affiliate sales.
The scheme worked like this: users were automatically redirected to eBay without clicking on an eBay advertisement, resulting in an affiliate cookie being place on each users computer marked with the defendants affiliate code so that for future purchases they received a cut.
The complaint alleges that the defendants tried to hide their scheme, using “deceptive means to prevent it from discovering the fraud, and to conceal it.” eBay is demanding “compensatory, treble and punitive damages.”
It’s not clear whether users on Digital Point itself were redirected under the scheme, but it would appear from the filing that there was a direct relationship at least on some levels.
In one way, it’s so simple as to be brilliant, but did they really think they could get away with it, or better still that eBay wouldn’t notice?
Details of the case can be found here.
(thanks to Paul Short for the tip)