Yahoo has won a $610 million court judgment in a scam that tried to dupe people into believing they had won prizes in a lottery the Internet company was supposedly running.

U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain in New York issued the default judgment Monday. Yahoo announced it Wednesday.

Yahoo filed the lawsuit three years ago, alleging that a group of Nigerian and Thai swindlers had concocted the hoax in an attempt to steal passwords and other sensitive personal data, including credit card information and Social Security numbers. The civil complaint alleged that nearly 11.7 million emails were sent from December 2006 to May 2009 promising a lottery prize.

Winning the case might not yield a windfall for Yahoo, however. Collecting judgments in such cases can be a frustrating and fruitless exercise because online swindlers are often difficult to find.

Yahoo said it wasn't motivated by money. "Our ultimate goal is to ensure that users continue to trust Yahoo as the leading U.S. email provider," said Christian Dowell, the company's legal director of globe brand protection.

Yahoo Inc. ended September with about $2.9 billion in cash. So actually receiving the $610 million would be a boon for the company while it struggles to revive its revenue growth.