James Reed McCreary IV, of The Woodlands, Texas, was named in the suit filed Sept. 16, as were Branch Software - which created the Registry Cleaner XP Program - and hosting company AlphaRed, which has been used by adult online companies. Both companies are headquartered in Texas.
According to Ars Technica, Microsoft alleges Registry Cleaner XP was used to persuade Internet users the program targeted to purchase the program for $39.95. Pop-up windows "alerted" surfers they needed to purchase and download the program, which then installed malware on the computer, the suit claims. Because the pop-up claims a user's computer might be infected, and when activated finds "errors," the practice has been termed scareware.
McCreary, who is listed as the sole director of Branch Software and is named on AlphaRed's contact list an employee (though he reportedly is the CEO), was accused of five separate violations of the Consumer Protection Act and/or Washington State's Computer Spyware Act in the lawsuit.
Microsoft claims AlphaRed sold Registry Cleaner XP, Ars Technica reported.
The formal complaint can be seen here. Microsoft is asking for a permanent injunction against McCreary's products, as well as relief and court costs.
McCready did not return calls from AVN Online seeking comment before post time.
News of the lawsuit, coupled with some users' inability to receive technical support recently, had posters on various boards, including GFY.com, speculating that AlphaRed has or will close its doors.
Calls to AlphaRed were not immediately returned, but one GFY.com thread claimed an employee of AlphaRed who wished to remain anonymous said, "Alphared has been accused of doing something shady but it is not the company who does that but some individuals within the company that hurt our reputation big time. Now those very same shady people are out of the company... rest assured that everything will be positive from now on and we're reorganizing, and for sure we are going to get better."