Court freezes Adbot's assets

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Adbot, an Internet media auction company, had its assets frozen under a ruling Dec. 15 by a U.S. District Court judge in Chicago. The judge entered a permanent injunction by consent against Adbot owner James Frith and his limited partnerships company Chicago Partnership Board. The judge ordered the immediate liquidation of the company.

Last week the Securities & Exchange Commission charged Mr. Frith with fraud and embezzlement of at least $3.4 million of investors' funds. "It had failed to maintain adequate customer reserves," said Mary Keefe, regional director of the Chicago office of the SEC.

Ms. Keefe said that Adbot was named a relief defendant in the case, meaning that it profited financially from the alleged embezzlement.

Meanwhile, Adbot is looking for investors, said Margaret Raye, Adbot manager of writing, research and production. The company is still operating and serving 2 million ad impressions a day, she said, but it cannot currently pay publishers because its assets are frozen. She said to expect an announcement about the company's future on Dec. 19.

Copyright December 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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