Tory Party Chairman Grant Shapps pleaded in the Daily Telegraph on Friday that his use of the pseudonym Michael Green, the name he adopted to promote his get rich quick scams, was just a joke. His justification comes after the company he established, and which is now run by his wife, is under increasing scrutiny after a complaint was made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The complaint argues that Howtocorp, the business established by Shapps, misled the public by presenting “Michael Green” and “Sebastian Fox” as genuine businessmen who had made substantial sums of money from using the company’s software and money making guides.
Shapps has been repeatedly mocked after a picture of him posing as the imaginery online marketing guru Michael Green appeared in the media.
Shapps’ dismissal of the complaints about his multiple personalities fails to explain why he, or someone from his company, registered the trafficpaymaster.com domain under the fake name Michael Green in breach of US internet rules as recently as February last year.
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Trafficpaymaster.com is software sold by howtocorp which automatically generates websites by stealing content from other sites. Under US law this practice is almost certainly illegal and using a fake name to register the website which sold it would be an aggravating factor which could add seven years jail time to any sentence received. Shapps appears to have a strange sense of humour.
Shapps’ joke also fails to explain the following post on the Warrior Internet forum where both Michael Green and Sebastian Fox appear together to promote the company’s software:
Howtocorp deleted all their posts from the Warrior Forums on the 30th September this year, shortly after news of Shapps’ online spam scam broke. Unfortunately they missed the one above. Posh people are never very good at crime.
All of the company’s websites and youtube channels have disappeared over the last couple of weeks.
Shapps claims in the Telegraph that he is “absolutely not embarrassed” about the activities of the company which might leave people wondering why he has decided to hide the evidence.
According to Michael Green, the company had made $28 million dollars from their assorted scams. It does seem strange that a company raking in so much cash should suddenly shut up shop and attempt to remove any trace of their existence from the internet.
Whatever the verdict of the complaint to the ASA it is clear that Shapps and his former company are doing everything possible to hide any online evidence relating to their possibly illegal activities. Labour MP Steve McCabe has called for a police investigation into howtocorp’s activities. A young man is currently facing extradition to the US for acting in similar way to howtocorp.
Shapps’ second line of defence, that he is no longer involved in the company, is perhaps most despicable of all given that it leaves his wife to face any legal fall out from the scams which made him rich. They are playing a dangerous game. Should a police investigation take place examining Shapps or his wife’s company, then their orchestrated campaign of destroying any online evidence could well see an offence of ‘perverting the cause of justice’ added to the charge sheet.