Argued: October 31, 2013.
Petition for certiorari filed at, 05/27/2014
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore. (1:08-cv-03233-RDB). Richard D. Bennett, District Judge.
ARGUED: Robert P. Greenspoon, FLACHSBART & GREENSPOON, LLC, Chicago, Illinois, for Appellant.
Theodore Metzler, FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, Washington, D.C., for Appellee.
ON BRIEF: William W. Flachsbart, FLACHSBART & GREENSPOON, LLC, Chicago, Illinois, for Appellant.
David C. Shonka, Acting General Counsel, John F. Daly, Deputy General Counsel, FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, Washington, D.C., for Appellee.
Before DAVIS and FLOYD, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Senior Circuit Judge. Judge Davis wrote the opinion, in which Judge Floyd and Senior Judge Hamilton joined.
DAVIS, Circuit Judge:
The Federal Trade Commission sued Kristy Ross in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland for engaging in deceptive internet advertising practices. After a bench trial, the district court entered judgment enjoining Ross from participating in the deceptive practices and holding her jointly and severally liable for equitable monetary consumer redress in the amount of $163,167,539.95. F.T.C. v. Ross, 897 F.Supp.2d 369, 388-89 (D. Md. 2012). On appeal, Ross challenges the district court's judgment on several bases: (1) the court's authority to award consumer redress; (2) the legal standard the court applied in finding individual liability under the Federal Trade Commission Act; (3) the court's prejudicial evidentiary rulings; and finally, (4) the soundness of the district court's factual findings. For the reasons set forth within, we affirm.
The Commission sued Innovative Marketing, Inc. (" IMI" ), and several of its high-level executives and founders, including Ross, for running a deceptive internet " scareware" scheme in violation of the prohibition on deceptive advertising in Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a). The core of the Commission's
case was that the defendants operated " a massive, Internet-based scheme that trick[ed] consumers into purchasing computer security software," referred to as " scareware." J.A. 29. The advertisements would advise consumers that a scan of their computers had been performed that had detected a variety of dangerous files, like viruses, spyware, and " illegal" ...