It may well be true that plenty of people cook up aliasesparticularly when their name has been associated with a company that fails to deliver products or refunds. "It got to the point where it was tough to do business under the OraKnowledge name," Haskins said. "I wanted to start anew and separate myself. Not to defraud anyone, but not to attach my name to it." The New Jersey Attorney Generals office declined to state whether it is investigating Haskins. Haskins activities are clearly illegal, though, according to Andrew August, a business attorney and principal partner of San Francisco-based Pinnacle Law Group LLP.By the time this story was posted, Haskins hadnt responded to questions regarding whether OraSecure was an ongoing business venture. Haskins did, however, stress his opinion that, although he owes people money, he is not a crook. "Am I a fraudster or scam artist? I wouldnt say so at all. Id consider myself a small entrepreneur who got buried in the economy and almost had no way out," he said. "Im not some snake-oil salesman. Im not sitting in an apartment sucking up peoples credit cards and not delivering anything to them. There are people on the Internet who have accused me of that, but thats far from the case." Editors Note: This story was updated to include comments from Pinnacle Law Groups Andrew August. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.
"What hes doing is clearly illegal under a potpourri of federal and state statutory schemes," August said. That includes laws such as the CAN-SPAM Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act. But the likelihood of Haskins being brought to justice is small, August said, given the comparatively negligible amounts he owes his customers. "The amounts are so small," he said. "What capable consumer rights lawyer is going to take him on?"