Court throws the book at spammer

Spamming can pay big bucks, but it hasn’t paid off for a Seattle man who was once considered the eighth-largest spammer in the world by Spamhaus. Robert Soloway, 28, pleaded guilty to electronic mail fraud, “snail” mail fraud, and not filing a tax return in 2005—when he reportedly made over $300,000 from his spamming activities.

Soloway was originally hit with a 35-count indictment in May 2007 charging him with fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering. He was accused of using Chinese ISPs to send out spam e-mail using a database of 157.8 million e-mail addresses, as well as operating a botnet used for spamming. He faced significant jail time and the prospect of having to forfeit all of his spam-related assets to the federal government.

Soloway is no stranger to legal actions related to his illicit e-mail activities. He was sued by Microsoft in December 2003, but argued that his subcontractors were actually responsible for the spam that used forged hotmail.com reply-to addresses. In April 2005, a judge handed down a default judgment in Microsoft’s favor, much to Soloway’s chagrin. (link)

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