SanCash came to light in late 2007 as the sponsor behind some of the most rampant spam runs on the Internet promoting "Elite Herbal" and (later) "VPXL / Express Herbal." This is the product analyzed by the BBC's Simon Cox as part of an investigative report; the tablets he had analyzed contained no active ingredients. (Since there is no product known to increase penis size in males who have reached sexual maturity, it hardly matters.)
SanCash was believed for many years to be directly related to the GenBucks organization, a sister company which also engages in the promotion of what could best be described as questionable products, usually herbal remedies of one sort or another. This was confirmed by several legal investigations in October 2008. As of this writing (Oct. 2008,) SanCash's affiliate portal's location (sancash.com) has been shut down, as has their replacement portal, affking.com. They shut down their main domain (sancash.com) in mid-December 2007 following a raid on several properties in Christchurch, New Zealand scoop.co.nz: Anti-spam raid in Christchurch, Dec. 19, 2007. This followed Simon Cox's report on his radio show "The Investigation." bbc.co.uk: Super scam me, Dec. 13, 2007. The Affking affiliate program was created mere days after the BBC report went to air.
In October 2008, SanCash was further tied in with GenBucks in an action by the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs:
The Department says that Shane Atkinson was co-manager of the Genbucks Affiliate Programme; Lance Atkinson, trading under the name of Sancash, recruited and paid spammers to market Genbucks products, adult sex toys and replica watches; Roland Smits registered the internet domain names used in the Sancash spam emails and created the alternative subject lines used to avoid interception by internet service providers' spam filtering software.
The Department of Internal Affairs has asked the High Court to impose financial penalties of $200,000 (NZD) on each of three New Zealanders involved in a major international spamming operation. These include the co-managers of SanCash and GenBucks, Shane and Lance Atkinson. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also released a press statement regarding similar US-based investigations into SanCash and GenBucks, and also ordered their assets frozen [ source ]. Each of these legal actions made specific mention of the manufacturer and distributor of these bogus products: Tulip Lab, located in Mumbai, India. The FTC investigation also concluded that their alleged "herbal products" (VPXL, Elite Herbal, Manster, ManXL, etc. etc.) were dangerous to consumers, and that virtually every claim on all sites spammed on behalf of SanCash / GenBucks featured no truthful statements.
Acquisition of new spammers / mailers
Here is a posting from Dec. 19th, 2006 found on bulkerforum.biz, posted by "azzy" (Lance Atkinson). It directly connects this operation to several of the aforementioned sites:
azzy Joined: 02 Nov 2006 Posts: 59 Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:16 pm Post subject: sponsor Product: Herbal, great alternative to rx or replica! Penis enlargement pills - hot site and hot converter Extratime - Hot!, gives customers the chance to last longer in bed Vigramax - Better than viagra! FatBlaster - blast away unwanted fat with this site. wondercum - increase spurm loads Hoodia - nice site for weightloss 35% neg Payments are every Thursday like clockwork, no delays or arrays!, Epassporte, wire, gcard etc. Private solid BP domains available Best uptimes in the industry, multiple bp servers and fast! Here some examples: http://a1herbals.com/ http://wonderspurm.com http://personalpussy.net http://leanwithhoodia.com http://exxtratime.com http://vigramax.net http://fatsblaster.info pm me with a valid email if you want an account
Bulkerforum members "azzy" (Lance Atkinson) and "sanjay" are the main sponsor contacts for the SanCash operation.
Products SanCash promotes
The list of products known to be promoted by this sponsor are:
- VPXL (Also known as Express Herbal)
- Elite Herbal
- King Replica
- Diamond Replicas
- Prestige Replicas
- Canadian Healthcare
- ED Pill Store
- Personal Pussy
- Penis Enlargement Pills
- Penis Enlargement PatchRX
- Exquisite Footwear and Bags
- Canadian Healthcare
- Direct Pharmacy
- Worldwide Wholesale Pharmacy
- Canadian Drugstore
Note: Starting with Manster or ManXL, all of the following products are essentially the exact same thing, merely placing a new label on the bottle and new branding on the website: VPXL / Express Herbal, PowerEnlarge, Manster, ManXL, Elite Herbal, More-Size. This is the most prolifically-spammed product in the SanCash catalog. They appear to change the name every few months. Notably, the websites themselves, the claims, the copy and the order process has been virtually identical for all of these "brands."
GenBucks and SanCash
SanCash is the actual sponsorship and affiliate program which is more directly tied to the email spam promotion of products such as Elite Herbal, ManXL, Manster, VPXL, Express Herbal and MaxHerbal, as well as the replica watch properties Prestige Replicas, Diamond Replica, and King Replica. GenBucks is the more public-facing entity which never mentions these products or anything related to email spam whatsoever. This is a pattern we have noticed between GenBucks / SanCash (public / private programs) as well as Glavmed / Spamit (another competing public / private sponsorship, responsible for an array of different products.)
It is more correct to state that the spam we have all been seeing for these above-mentioned products is on behalf of SanCash (aka: Etranzmu) versus GenBucks, who tend to focus on much lesser known properties, and only focus on discussions related to website or banner advertising. They are definitely related companies; they just attempt to remain more underground and less easy to investigate, compared with GenBucks.
On October 6th, 2008, Lance Atkinson, Shane Atkinson and Jody Smith -- the operators of SanCash and AffKing -- were charged with illegally spamming, making false claims on sites such as "VPXL", "Express Herbal", "Canadian Healthcare" tha tthey were FDA approved, and that their products were 100% natural and safe. Court documents outline in detail that virtually every single claim on all SanCash sites were provably false.
 [ pdf ]
Charges laid by the FTC and New Zealand law enforcement further detailed that no security was ever used on any SanCash-promoted website, and that there was a very real risk to the public's health as well as their personal data.
The FTC charges further describe the nature of their illicit spamming operation and state:
Some security researchers believe that at one time, nearly one-third of the world's spam e-mail came from a network of compromised computers, often referred to as a 'botnet,' that sent spam promoting the defendants' Web sites. Their enterprise included participants in Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Russia, Canada, and the United States.
As of this writing, Lance Atkinson, Shane Atkinson, Jody Smith and several of the companies they own or control are under a temporary restraining order, and have been ordered to cease operations. Their assets have also been frozen.
The temporary restraining order was approved by United States District Judge Virginia Kendall in United States District Court For Northern District Of Illinois on October 6th, 2008.  [ pdf ]
In several of the news stories covering the legal action taken by the New Zealand Department of the Interior, and the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Tulip Lab, a producer and marketer of "herbal remedies" located in Mumbai, India, was explicitly named as the manufacturer and distributor of the fake and potentially harmful products promoted by mailers as part of the SanCash or AffKing affiliate program.
The officials further said that Atkinson allegedly operated a botnet consisting of 35,000 computers that could send 10 Billion spam-mails per day. Moreover, Internal Affairs alleges that the e-mails advertised pharmaceutical products like Elite Herbal, Express Herbal and Herbal King manufactured by Tulip Lab of India and sold through an entrepreneurial venture named the Genbucks Affiliate Programme.
The department alleges Shane Atkinson was co-manager of the Genbucks Affiliate Program and that Lance Atkinson, trading under the name of Sancash, recruited and paid spammers to market Genbucks products, adult sex toys and replica watches. It said Roland Smits registered the domain names used in the Sancash spam e-mails and created alternative subject lines used to avoid interception by Internet service providers' spam filtering software. The e-mails marketed pharmaceutical products manufactured and shipped by Tulip Lab of India.
Internal Affairs, in its statement of claim filed in the High Court at Christchurch yesterday, alleges the emails marketed pharmaceutical products Herbal King, Elite Herbal and Express Herbal which were manufactured and shipped by Tulip Lab of India, through a business known as the Genbucks Affiliate Programme.
AffKing is the program that was created to replace SanCash's affiliate portal when they were discovered in December 2007.
Tulip Lab is the manufacturer and distributor of the alleged "herbal remedies" and "approved pharmaceutical products" promoted by SanCash and AffKing.
- NZ Department of Internal Affairs, October 2008 Media Release
- NZ Herald October 2008, Fines call in sex toys spam case
- IT Brief October 2008, Christchurch spam kings face $200K fines
- FTC News Release, October 2008
- FTC Complaint, memorandum, restraining order and news release, October 2008
- Shane Atkinson's Wikipedia page