Adsense Fraud Charges Over Google Scheme

A California man was arraigned on Thursday on federal extortion and wire fraud charges arising from a software program he claimed could allow spammers to defraud Web search company Google Inc. of millions of dollars.

The program reputedly created fraudulent “clicks” on Google’s “cost-per-click” advertisements on Web sites.  Google pays Web site operators for clicks by legitimate Web surfers to drive traffic to its advertisers web sites.

Michael Anthony Bradley of Oak Park, California, was charged with one count of interfering with commerce by threats and 10 counts of wire fraud over a scheme for a software program he claimed to have developed.

Additionally, Bradley claimed he would sell the software to spammers if Google did not pay him about $150,000, the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a statement.

Federal prosecutors said they arrested Bradley in March at the Mountain View, California, offices of Google, which they said fully cooperated with their investigation. He has since pleaded not guilty to the charges and is free on a $50,000 bond.

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