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Spammer gets 9 years
....but made $24m

 1:03 pm on Nov 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

convicted of sending hundreds of thousands of unsolicited e-mail messages to AOL subscribers......amassed a fortune of $24m from his sales, prosecutors said.


I hate spam email as much as the next person, but 9 years is a bit excessive, don't you think?



 7:14 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

GG I just want you to know that i never do "anything to make money" :)

[edited by: cabbie at 7:33 pm (utc) on Nov. 5, 2004]


 7:18 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'll be looking at what you post in a different light in the future, SlyOldDog. Is it fair to say you belong to the "I'll do anything if there's enough money in it" camp? Cause that post makes it sound like you are.

Hey guys, sly's brother here. He is a wimp. I am the spammer (mails not serps) and he keeps on telling me to stop or get it sent from China or something. In fact he even posted me that link this morning as a warning. What a hypocrite!

Me personally, I do spam for link requests and they are pretty targeted. If I get 9 years in a Czech prison for that then I would be surprised. This guy just was way out there and got greedy.


 7:30 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

can someone tell me what prison this guy is in, I'd like to send him a book or something.

this is not a wind up, seriously, I think it's my duty to help a businessman who got caught, am sure someone would do the same if it happened to me.

personally I think there are 100s of other people who should be serving 9 years for other non web crimes.

anyone else care to donate, GoogleGuy?



 7:45 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Oops. Amazing how a simple post made in a bad mood can bring down the wrath of God.


However, I think some laws are not in the interst of all people, and also the definition of spam varies from land to land. Where I live the definition is "an email where no attempt was made to target it." That's very different from the US Can-Spam act.

The Can-Spam act allows people to spam anyone who has been tricked into an opt-in mail list. It's obviously made to protect large corporates like AOL/Yahoo! who have their buddies looking out for them on Capitol Hill. What is right about that?

EDITED: And what about the biggest hypocrite of all? I had to unsubscribe from hotmail because I was getting too many spam mails. Where did they get my hotmail address from? Microsoft is suing some Chinese ISPs. That is really schizophrenic.

[edited by: SlyOldDog at 7:52 pm (utc) on Nov. 5, 2004]


 7:46 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

That geezer will have at least a few million salted away. Just hope he sank a few of his ill gotten pesos into a Ben Dover shower contingency fund. Perhaps then he'll have enough soap on a rope for those group showers with Ben and his eager chums.


 7:49 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Talking of spamming. They should give the guy flogging rolex 10 years. Man I am getting 20 a day!


 7:57 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Gee a lot of edited posts here,:)


 8:01 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

you were the only one who saw! The secret is safe with you cabbie ;)


 8:25 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

local parents got 5 years each for locking the kids up in a cage for years...

9 is way to MUCH for a spammer!


 8:27 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

local parents got 5 years each for locking the kids up in a cage for years...

I would have said the parents got far too little...


 8:36 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

can someone tell me what prison this guy is in, I'd like to send him a book or something.

Sure, Shak, here's the book I'd send him:



 8:36 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>I would have said the parents got far too little...

Are you a judge or something? The USA's prisons are creaking at the seams.

A thought just came to me. Doesn't the US anti-spam legislation contradict the first amendment? Freedom of speech? A commercial message is a message, regardless of its content.


 8:38 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

Doesn't the US anti-spam legislation contradict the first amendment?

Yeah, probably in the same way outlawing graffii does.


 10:04 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

First Ammendment, Spam, Graffiti.

I am a little lost here...

I don't think the First Ammendment has anything to do with personal property, and my email address IS personal property. You can not "graffiti" somebody else's personal property, or public property.

Free speech has to do with your right to say something, and crossing the line of free speech is in the delivery. For example in the recent case of telemarketers, and now thus the No Call Lists. Or yelling fire in a movie theater.

I used to be able to have an email addess as "webmaster." But now, I no longer can use that email address because spammers make it cost ineffectively to sift through the mess, and or accidentally delete an important message. Spamming cost me money and time.

Any email address used in an WHOIS is spammed . What gives a person a right to farm that email address and use it for purposes that "I" deem unimportant, and costs me money and time.

How about the farming of email address in usenet, ie G. Groups..... You have to have a valid email address to participate and join the group... so it costs yahoo, gmail, hotmail, time and money for all the bogus emails we set up just to participate in the USENET.

If you want to spam.... send it to yourself, and or have an "opt-in I want Spam" , but nobody is that freaking lonely, not even me, to opt-in to a Spam list, or telemarketers list.

If you want to do Graffiti... go out and spend $3000 dollars and build a cement wall infront of your house, and Graffiti all you would like.

There is no free speech in spamming, or in graffiti, when it is with somebody else's property. My email address is personal property. When a spammer picks up my email address some place and uses it for profit or personal gain without my permission they have infringed on my personal property.

And don't even tell me a bus, a train, or a sidewalk is public property, and thus open "game" for free speech of graffiti.


 10:30 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

The truly scary part of all this is that the spammer lives in North Carolina and was convicted of violating laws in Virginia.

Does that mean we have to keep track of the laws of every jurisdiction to which we send email (solicited or unsolicited)? Or every jurisdiction that is able to view our web pages?

Obviously, this verdict will be appealed and overturned. The conviction was unconstitutional on the grounds that the Virginia legislature is not empowered to make laws restricting interstate trade. Only the federal government may do that.


 10:38 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

"my email address IS personal property"

First of all, there's a debate whether even a domain name is private property. See what happens if you miss a payment.

second: your house is private property but I can knock on your door and ask to preach about Jesus, Allah or if you want to buy Mary Kay junk. Kmart can send you all the junk they want and clog your mailbox.

9 years is way too much for what he was convicted (spaming 55,000 people). If they want to charge him with fraud more power to them, as long as they prove it beyond reasonable doubt. You can't charge one with jaywalking and give them a rapist sentence. If he's a rapist, charge him with rape. That's my only problem with this case.

Other that that, I wish it was legal to go and kick his f-ing ass since I get at least 300 spam emails a day.


 11:00 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think it's people like Gates and other big business that have a huge stake in the net that is responsible for a sentence like that.
Big business knows that if this guy and others like him aren't stopped it will cripple the use of email and ultimately the use of the net itself and there goes your job and my job down the drain along with billions of dollars that big business will lose.


 11:36 pm on Nov 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

That's right Dodger. It's all about money.

Some people break the laws to make money and some people (who can) make the laws ..... to make money.


 12:34 am on Nov 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Since they have internet computer access in prison now, its is possible that He may just keep on running his spamming industry uninterrupted.

I think spamming is here to stay along with popups, box holders in the mail and telemarketing.
The only way to escape all this is to move to a cabin in the wilderness.

Out of curiousity have they considered convicting any one yet for excessive popups?


 1:33 am on Nov 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Out of curiousity have they considered convicting any one yet for excessive popups? "

wait till the start prosecuting people for high keyword density /spam on their websites. Google and other search engines spend billions a year trying to overcome spam. Not to mention users who waste untold hours trying to find relevant results.

If your keyword density is over 3% but less than 5% it's a misdemeanor and only 1 year in jail. If it reaches 7% it becomes a felony and 9 years in jail for each page.


 1:45 am on Nov 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

"second: your house is private property but I can knock on your door and ask to preach about Jesus, Allah or if you want to buy Mary Kay junk."

NO, you can not. You can not come on my property without my permission. You can not knock on my door without permission.

I do not need to put out a sign that says no soliciting, or no tresspassing. YOU are on my property, you are not invited. If it were really true that people can come on anybody's property without official business or acceptance then the rights of private property would go out the window.
It just has been accepted as a trivial matter. And a
laissez-faire rule has been adopted.

Come over to my house and try it. There is a sign, the Louisville Slugger is next to the door, the shotgun loaded and the hounds are off the leash.

If you come on my personal property, how am I to know your intentions?

My email address is my personal property. I pay for it. And if you use it I'll be down on your fat behind faster than squealing pigs in "Deliverance."
Of course this is an idle threat because it is far easier to just change the email, alert my friends, etc etc... than chase down the forger.

Yes my email address is my personal property. If I miss a payment then it does not belong to me anymore, that is just the way it is. It is a lease because somebody has to maintain it somewhere. I am not sure about copyrighting stuff, but I'd imagine if you decided to spend the money to copyright it, then it would be yours to the extent of the copyright.

BUT THEN WHOOPS! LOOKS LIKE WE JUST BUSTED SOMEONE that we have all been complaining about for years. All the innocent IPs that were blackholed, all the alt.abuse emails and corrspondence...

Spamming is a con. Because nobody can do it, honestly, for any length of time without being attached to some sort of abuse.
Abuse is illegal, any way you look at it, and as far as I am concerned, 9 years is not enough.

Not only has spamming taken on the stature of fraud, it is now, as so many of you know, perpetuated explicitly by viruses looking for "zombie" boxes to send out the spam.
If spam was conceptually legal, than all these avenues of deceit would not be created.

And if you still think spam is free speech,
Please post your email address here ;-)


 1:49 am on Nov 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hello, kahuna.... do you by chance answer to "Merlinious" elsewhere?

Welcome to WebmasterWorld. Your post is a duplicate of what I've been thinking all along, complete with loaded gun and dogs....


 2:11 am on Nov 6, 2004 (gmt 0)


uh.. no... I had to g--gle it to figure out what you may be speaking of...
Really it's not me.

Not sure if it's a dig on me or not..

"Hello, kahuna.... do you by chance answer to "Merlinious" elsewhere? "
No, but I am accustom to answering to a-hole so if it's the same it will work :-)))


 2:25 am on Nov 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ah.... he's by way of being my best-friend-and-I-wish-he-was-my-brother (instead of the butthead I have for one!) - you sounded so much like him in that post that I just wondered....

We role-play, that's why the "Merlinious"....


 3:31 am on Nov 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

If spamming deserves 9 years, then unsolicited snail mails should get life, and telemarketeers the death penalty


 6:17 am on Nov 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

The only way to escape all this is to move to a cabin in the wilderness.

If that cabin has a PC connected to the web there is no escape. I'm as close to a suburban-hermit as one can get (the mountains and remote cabins are right over there...), and I still get to delete spam every single day, 365 days a year. If I miss a day then it's almost easier to delete every-freaking-thing and start over, but I can't do that and try to run a business too.

The fellow is lucky I'm no judge in VA. 9 years, and add another year every time he whines about it.

My thoughts on why he was prosecuted for violating Can-Spam and not for fraud.. someone has to be first, and this fellow was ripe for picking. Too bad the remaining defendants got off so light.


 8:16 am on Nov 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

I got my first SMS spam this morning. That is far worse than email spam because my phone does not have a junk folder.

How about fax spam? How do you junk that?

Are they illegal in the US?


 1:42 pm on Nov 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

He's gonna go from makin' spam to eatin it in da klink!


 4:32 am on Nov 7, 2004 (gmt 0)


A lot of the replies in here are lame. I am with SlyOldDog, most people would do it if they could make that much. The sentence he got is way too excessive for what he did. Wow, he disrupted a bunch of peoples email boxes... Get over it.

You won't ever get away from spam. I don't spam on the internet, but it never ceases to amaze me how some people will actually go to all the trouble of trying to report every spammer that comes into their email box... 3 words... "Get a Life"

All the Best,



 5:51 am on Nov 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Wow, he disrupted a bunch of peoples email boxes... Get over it.

They'll get over it, now it's his turn.
Get a life? That would be a lot easier if scum like this guy didn't stuff it up every day by disrupting everyone's business now wouldn't it.


 7:00 am on Nov 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Appropriate punishment should have been loss of proceeds plus a large fine and 6 months commuity service.

Prison is best used to protect society from the criminals. It costs a fortune to put people behind bars. I cant understand people that identify as conservative endorsing such large goverment spending when cheaper options are available.

The other thing I have a problem with in this thread is that punishment should fit the crime, not how profitable the crime has been. A bank robber that steels $100 should get the same sentence as one that steals $100,000.

Spam is trivial to combat. Whats the big deal here?

This 116 message thread spans 4 pages: < < 116 ( 1 2 [3] 4 > >
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