AOL won’t dig for sham Mass. gold


BOSTON (AP) – Internet provider America Online has decided not to dig for gold in the yards of two Massachusetts homes where it thought a suspected online scam artist might have buried treasure.

The company cited a “lapse of time” for its decision not to search properties in Medfield and Westwood owned by relatives of Davis Wolfgang Hawke, the missing alleged Internet thief who once bragged he buried gold and platinum there, the Boston Herald reported Tuesday.

AOL won a $12.8 million judgment in federal court in Virginia against Hawke, who never showed for the 2005 trial. AOL accused him of breaking federal law by sending massive amounts of unwanted spam e-mails to their customers.

Investigators believe Hawke and his partners earned more than $600,000 on the spam sales pitches for loans, pornography, jewelry and prescription drugs.

AOL also won a court order to dig up the Westwood property of Hawke’s grandmother and the Medfield property of his parents.

His relatives fought the order, saying they hadn’t seen Hawke in years and that he hadn’t buried any treasure on their properties.

AOL spokeswoman Amy Call told the Herald the company decided not to dig after it “looked at the totality of the chances of recovery.”

Llwellyn Davis said she was pleased there would be no digging, but upset about her missing grandson.

“We’re all very depressed about it,” she said.