Willms was deemed the “Dark Lord of the Internet” by the Atlantic in 2013 for his many suspicious Internet ads offering “free trials” that turn into negative-option offers and have hit consumers’ credit cards for hundreds of millions of dollars in unwanted charges. Willms got his start re-selling pirated Microsoft software over the Internet as a teenager before creating a marketing empire selling weight-loss supplements, colon cleansers, and teeth-whiteners with suspicious claims and surprise charges.
The FTC banned Willms from using negative-option offers in his marketing in 2012, and imposed a judgement of $359 million that was suspended upon Willms surrendering bank-account funds and the proceeds from the sale of his house, personal property, and corporate assets, including a $30,000 fish tank and a $12,000 fur coat. Willms had previously settled with Microsoft in 2006, agreeing to a six-figure settlement, to surrender three cars, and to never sell Microsoft products again.
Where is he now:
Willms is now pitching vehicle history reports on the sites carhistory.us.org, dmv.us.org, vehiclehistory.com, and vehiclehistoryrecord.com, probably on his way to another lawsuit, another settlement, and then his next scheme.