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December 01, 2008
Creator of copycat financial Web site on the hook for violating phishing law

Washington Attorney General announces settlement with California man over fake site

OLYMPIA – The Washington Attorney General’s Office says a Pinole, Calif., man’s mirror-image version of Russell Investments’ site violated the state’s anti-phishing law.

Rommel Balingit was ordered to pay a $10,000 civil penalty under an agreement filed in November in Thurston County Superior Court. The penalty is suspended provided he complies with the agreement terms.

Assistant Attorney General Katherine Tassi said that Russell, a global financial services company headquartered in Tacoma, alerted the Attorney General’s Office to a lookalike site that resembled the company’s own site.

 “The real Russell did stand up,” Tassi said. “And helped make sure the phony site was shut down.”

An investigation by the Consumer Protection High-Tech Unit led to Balingit.

Balingit claimed he built the Web site as a model to solicit clients to his now-defunct Web site design company, Tassi said. The

Balingit Assurance of Discontinuance

- 30-

Media Contacts: Kristin Alexander, Media Relations Manager – Seattle, (206) 464-6432

Katherine Tassi, Assistant Attorney General, (206) 389-3974


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