AOL’s quest for the holy grail…

Well apparently AOL wants money badly, even though they’re legally entitled to it. According to an article in the Associated Press, the media giant wants to send in bulldozers to a family’s backyard to search for a spammer’s gold.

Excuse me?

In a $12.8 million settlement with Wolfgang Hawke – an infamous Internet spammer — after being granted a default judgement, AOL still had yet to receive payment. Being convicted of violating U.S. and Virginia anti-spam laws, Hawke never showed up for court and is presumed to have hidden his fortune from sending massive amounts of unwanted e-mails to AOL subscribers. Therefore, AOL has asked a U.S. District Court judge to allow them to literally send bulldozers to the family home of Hawke’s to dig up the lawn for the millions in gold and platinum. Their rationale for destroying a family’s home? The ex-girlfriend, Patricia Ligenfelter, told investigators that Hawke confided in her and had buried cash in his mother’s garden.

So the question remains whether to dig or not to dig — the family won’t help (and understandable because they’re destroying the mother’s garden!) and don’t want investigators to find their son, but AOL still wants them to show them the money…

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."