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L.A. grand jury issues subpoenas in Web suicide case
false account = fraud and myspace has been defrauded?
walkman



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 8:04 pm on Jan 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

this is weird and probably scary. Am I getting it right?
[latimes.com...]
Prosecutors in the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, however, are exploring the possibility of charging Drew with defrauding the MySpace social networking website by allegedly creating the false account, according to the sources, who insisted on anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

The sources said prosecutors are looking at federal wire fraud and cyber fraud statutes as they consider the case. Prosecutors believe they have jurisdiction because MySpace is headquartered in Beverly Hills, the sources said.

It's still unclear who created the fictitious account. In a police report, Drew told authorities she, with the aid of a temporary employee, "instigated and monitored" a fake profile prior to Megan's suicide, "for the sole purpose of communicating" with the girl and to see what the girl was saying about Drew's daughter.


 

walkman



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 2:51 am on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

no one cares? Everyone missed the point? If you open an account with false info, such as age etc, on Yahoo, Facebook etc you are guilty of fraud?

OK, so she (allegedly) was despicable, but the law is the law. If they can do it to her, they can do it to anyone.

Miamacs

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 2:02 pm on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

<rant>

...

Seems that fewer and fewer in the states know/care about anything else than a single, very narrow path they call 'their responsibility'... as if actions and reactions, cause and effect was always limited to their little areas of expertise ( neighborhood, family, whatever, wherever ).

People just don't seem to care about consequences, and when bad things happen due to something they did by the 'rules', they point at others saying 'I did everything by the book (of the law), if your world was shaken, the rules must be off, blame O*O***O* '.

Congrats. The more news I read the more it seems to me that people finally forgot not only how to think for themselves but also how to feel to be responsible for their own karma.

...

<rant over>

...

<new rant>

If this trial ends with a teenager getting bust for fraud because of a fake myspace account, instead of like... suspended sentences for the PARENTS and other 'adults' who were there or even fueling the whole mysery ( including a bit of look into the parents of the girl who was bullied ) the whole thing will be off by lightyears.

...

This whole case had nothing to do with MySpace or the Internet from the first!@#$# moment and everything to do with a kid left to herself by all means possible except material. With no safe haven not even in her own room, not even the company of her parents who were... uh... ok, this I have posted before. Everyone is at fault there. But no one should be prosecuted. Especially not for fraud.

...

<rant over>

<coffee slowly wearing off>

I can kinda imagine a few 'one track mind' people getting calls from MySpace execs to seriously reconsider this BS that a fake MySpace account should be prosecuted by the law.

...

lawman

WebmasterWorld Administrator lawman us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 3:33 pm on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Fraud on My Space? Who'd a thunk it. ;)

walkman



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 5:19 pm on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

>> Fraud on My Space? Who'd a thunk it

Well, I am a handsome and a smart young man over there. Not 100% fraud but...;)

Lawman, do you think they will lose on 1st Amendment grounds? If this stands, having to be "honest" when signing up might chill free speech as people are afraid of having their identities revealed. This strikes at the heart on internet discussions, and the court seems to have bent backwards to err on the side of free flow of ideas so I don't see how this could stand. Think of all anon bloggers and posters; anon political manifestos, letters to the editors etc. I think the same principle applies here and MySpace is not even complaining about having been "defrauded."

[edited by: walkman at 5:29 pm (utc) on Jan. 19, 2008]

maccas

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 5:23 pm on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

>> Fraud on My Space? Who'd a thunk it
>> Well, I am a handsome and a smart young man over there. Not 100% fraud but...;)

And I am that attractive young lady you have been flirting with ;)

lawman

WebmasterWorld Administrator lawman us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 6:01 pm on Jan 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't have a MySpace page, But I have family members who do and know about some of the boloney they perpetrate. :)

andyll

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 7:40 am on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

If this trial ends with a teenager getting bust for fraud because of a fake myspace account, instead of like... suspended sentences for the PARENTS and other 'adults' who were there or even fueling the whole mysery ( including a bit of look into the parents of the girl who was bullied ) the whole thing will be off by lightyears.

Miamacs... you seem a little confused about the facts of this case.

It wasn't a teen... it was a 47 year old woman posing as a teen. And the account was setup specifically to target the girl who commited suicide.

phranque

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 9:25 am on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

i think the point is that either the adult was harassing the child or she wasn't.
that is the criminal or civil offense they should be concentrating on.
it doesn't matter whether the tool was myspace or two tin cans a string...

walkman



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 11:42 am on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

>> i think the point is that either the adult was harassing the child or she wasn't.

apparently she broke no laws there.

phranque

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 12:12 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

pursuing a fraud allegedly committed against a corporation does nothing for the family of the deceased and is actually counterproductive of limited resources.

Miamacs

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 1:05 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

It wasn't a teen... it was a 47 year old woman posing as a teen

So that's what they have now... sorry, I grew disgusted with the whole case at a point where prosecution wasn't even sure who to charge as neighbors supposedly took turns in faking the 'boy'. Remember this report?

St. Charles County, Missouri, Prosecuting Attorney Jack Banas said an 18-year-old woman posed as "Josh" on MySpace to find out what Megan was saying about a neighbor's daughter.

With the adult neighbor being in focus they're one step closer to what seems more like a case. Just don't let them get into a debate about MySpace, as it has nothing to do with what happened. The whole neighborhood was teasing her on and offline.

....this title: "Web suicide case" ...was very off from the first moment.

People pointing fingers.

Essex_boy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member essex_boy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 5:11 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Fraud? What have they lost then?

walkman



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 6:18 pm on Jan 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

>> Fraud? What have they lost then?

forget abour what they have lost: you better hope you're from Essex "boy"!

;)

Jane_Doe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jane_doe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 12:26 am on Jan 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

Prosecutors in the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, however, are exploring the possibility of charging Drew with defrauding the MySpace social networking website

I say kudos to the prosecutors. I believe the adult neighbor in this case deserves some kind of criminal charges. As the parent of a teen herself, she was in a position to know exactly how sensitive and vulnerable kids can be at that age.

I can't even imagine what kind of weirdo parent would set up a fake myspace page and be mean to someone else's kid.

[edited by: Jane_Doe at 12:29 am (utc) on Jan. 21, 2008]

walkman



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 12:34 am on Jan 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

>> I believe the adult neighbor in this case deserves some kind of criminal charges.

what is the exact crime she committed?

[edited by: lawman at 11:34 am (utc) on Jan. 21, 2008]

Jane_Doe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jane_doe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 2:36 am on Jan 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

what is the exact crime she committed?

The crime laws change from decade to decade. Often they don't keep up with technology and instead are developed based on a reactionary rather than a predictive model, which doesn't mean that something deserving of jail time has not occurred. I suspect that in ten years time there most likely will be a plethora of laws on the books people like her can be charged with.

In the mean time, personally I'd be happy to see them charge her with anything they can.

walkman



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 3:31 am on Jan 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

>> In the mean time, personally I'd be happy to see them charge her with anything they can

and when they use that law (setting up a facebook acct with fictious info) to charge you because they hate your guts for some reason, what will you say?

[edited by: lawman at 11:34 am (utc) on Jan. 21, 2008]

Jane_Doe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jane_doe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 4:42 pm on Jan 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

when they use that law (setting up a facebook acct with fictious info) to charge you because they hate your guts for some reason, what will you say

There are probably millions of myspace accounts, and one person might be charged with a crime who was overtly engaged in cyber-bullying that resulted in the death of a child. So since I don't have a myspace account and I don't do any cyber-bullying, then I suspect the probability of something similar happening to me would have to be zero, or very close to it.

I think there is a greater chance that I would be hit by lightening (for the second time).

[edited by: Jane_Doe at 4:46 pm (utc) on Jan. 21, 2008]

lawman

WebmasterWorld Administrator lawman us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 6:19 pm on Jan 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think walkman's point is that where do you draw the line? Since no other law seems to apply, should an attempt to enforce a gray area apply to all who perpetrate a fraud or just those whose fraud induces unforseen circumstances.

digitalghost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member digitalghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 7:06 pm on Jan 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm not a lawyer, but I know that lawyers and judges like the word 'precedent'. They also seem to talk about the 'spirit of the law'.

Are they charging everyone that sets up an account using false information with wire fraud? If not, then it seems to me anyway, that the spirit of the law is being perverted. Abused, to penalize someone for something for which there is no provision for recourse. Phrases like 'selective prosecution' comes to mind.

And if that dangerous precedent is set, then how will that law be used (abused)?

Making anyone responsible for the act of suicide other than the person committing the act, is really dangerous ground.

lawman

WebmasterWorld Administrator lawman us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 8:10 pm on Jan 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

As usual DG your direct approach translates better than my Socratic approach. :)

walkman



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 8:10 pm on Jan 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

that was my point digital and lawman. If this goes through, then we are all felons-in-waiting. Anytime they decide to swing the sword, we're dead.

Murdoch

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3544315 posted 9:38 pm on Jan 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

This goes back to my original point that MySpace should collect credit card information upon creating a page. Charge $1, $5 or nothing, but make SOMEONE responsible for creating the account.

I realize this isn't foolproof, what with credit card fraud and account hijacking (which is why I say charge $1, at least then you'll SEE it on your account) but it certainly would be an excellent starting point.

This would also prevent minors from creating pages unless they have an adult's permission, then it would encourage the adult to keep an eye on it lest the child gets into trouble.

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