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Porn spammers get five-year stretch

By Stevie Smith Oct 15, 2007, 17:55 GMT

Porn spammers get five-year stretch

Two men in the US have this week been convicted of mass pornographic e-mail spamming by a federal judge in Phoenix, Arizona, who sentenced them both to five years in prison.

Following the introduction of tougher new federal anti-spam laws in the United States of America, Internet spammers Jeffrey Kilbride and James Schaffer have this week been sentenced to five-year jail terms in the state of Arizona.

More specifically, according to US Department of Justice officials, prior to their eventual apprehension and landmark prosecution, Kilbride (California) and Schaffer (Arizona) managed to pocket millions of dollars through the purchase of mailing lists and the widespread dispatch of unsolicited pornographic e-mail messages across the Net.

Notable for being the first US prosecution to fall within the country’s new anti-spam laws, the two men were sentenced by a federal judge in Phoenix, who convicted them of charges covering conspiracy, fraud, money laundering, and the transportation of obscene materials.

Details related to the three-week trial, as reported by the Guardian Unlimited, reveal that Kilbride and Schaffer launched their pornographic link e-mail operation back in 2004 and had collected in excess of $2 million USD in site visitor-based commissions.

In terms of the spam coverage emitted by the business, court documents outline that during a nine-month period in 2004, the men sent out more than 600,000 porn-linked messages to unwitting recipients.

Despite Kilbride and Schaffer’s best attempts to hide their tracks by routing through European servers to send their flood of spam e-mail, prosecutors in the case said that all of the unwanted mail was actually sent from Phoenix. Beyond the five-year jail sentences, the pair were also ordered to pay $1.3 million USD.

Much like the new tougher stance being embraced throughout the US, ministers based in the UK have also implemented more stringent rules designed to cancel out spam attacks, though the 2003 regulations have yet to lead to a successful criminal prosecution.

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