US vs. AOL: A Criminal Case Study

972 Words Jan 15th, 2018 4 Pages
Versus AOL
Introduction
The case U.S. vs AOL was a criminal case that included civil litigation. The AOL executives were accused of overstating revenue from software licenses in collusion with executives from PurchasePro Inc.AOL sold the software licenses for PurchasePro. The parties were accused of deceptive accounting practices that resulted in investors believing that the sales projections of PurchasePro had been met when they had not and the result was that the stock prices of PurchasePro were inflated and overstated by 37% in the first quarter of 2001. Out of court settlements were reached by AOL and executives including a $210 million fine in order to avoid being criminally and civilly prosecuted. The defendants in this case who did not accept plea agreements were found to be 'not guilty' and this is stated to be due to the lack of documentation of what had occurred on AOL's networking and computer systems.
I. Criminal Use of the Internet and Computers
The Department of Justice report entitled "Investigations Involving the Internet and Computer Networks" (2007) states that the Internet may be used by criminals for various reasons including the trading or sharing of information, concealing or assuming another identity, identifying and gathering information on victims and communicating with co-conspirators. The Internet may also be used by criminals for the distribution of information or alternatively misinformation and for the coordination of meetings,…