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30 Months Jail And $180,000 Fine For NY Spammer

     
11:32 am on Jul 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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30 Months Jail For NY Spammer [news.yahoo.com]
A Brooklyn man was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Tuesday for sending spam e-mails to more than 1.2 million subscribers of America Online in a scheme that foiled the Internet company's spam-filtering system. Adam Vitale, 27, was sentenced in federal court in Manhattan after pleading guilty more than a year ago to breaking anti-spam laws. He was also ordered to pay $180,000 to AOL in restitution.
1:29 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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He picked the wrong people to spam. 1.2 million isn't really all that big of a list.
1:35 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Spam this kind of punishments might get some of them fear law !
1:49 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yeah!
1:59 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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>1.2 million isn't really all that big of a list.

That's AOL subscribers only. Who knows how many other non-AOL subscribers got hit at the same time.

3:17 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I think he should get water-boarded ;)
3:41 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Who knows how many other non-AOL subscribers got hit at the same time.

Good point.

[edited by: engine at 4:11 pm (utc) on July 16, 2008]

3:53 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The money's probably not going to hurt him much- $.15/subscriber isn't even a slap on the wrist. Especially considering each one probably got multiple SPAM e-mails.

I like the jail time component! But let's see how long he actually has to spend there. These days, a 30-month prison sentence for a non-violent crime means, what, an hour and a half before release for good behavior?

While he's there, I think his only contact with the outside world should through a dial-up modem via an E-mail address that has been used to register on 50 different "FREE gift" sites.

[edited by: LifeinAsia at 3:56 pm (utc) on July 16, 2008]

4:58 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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His punishment should be that he is forced to use AOL.
5:01 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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While he's there, I think his only contact with the outside world should through a dial-up modem via an E-mail address that has been used to register on 50 different "FREE gift" sites.

He should be made to manually sort through a billion emails with the subject "Get out of jail" with only one of them actually getting him out of jail. :P

5:54 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Vitale earlier apologized and said he had learned a lesson.

had 22 prior convictions and had also helped run an online prostitution ring on the Web

What lesson did he learn?

Don't get caught next time!

People can be so contrite when standing in front of the judge... Sheesh.

6:13 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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They should give him a minute of jail time for each estimated minute he wasted of real people's time. And by real people, I mean those who do actual work for a living.
7:06 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It's a tiny start but more please.
Now how do we get web spammers included in the laws?
7:23 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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They should give him a minute of jail time for each estimated minute he wasted of real people's time.

Interestingly enough, a 30 month sentence would roughly work out to 912 days, or 1,313,280 minutes..

If the average time wasted by those 1,200,000 people was less than a minute...I'd estimate he'll be serving more minutes than the total amount of minutes wasted..

To put that amount of jail time in perspective, he'll be able to watch 59,694 episodes of Cosby Show re-runs..

7:26 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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To put that amount of jail time in perspective, he'll be able to watch 59,694 episodes of Cosby Show re-runs..

Just for him, can we replace the regular commercials with ads for viagra, male enhancement, penny stocks, adult sites, and Nigerian princes?
9:02 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Remind me again, why don't they put snail mail spammers in jail? Publisher's Clearinghouse would be up for multiple life-sentences if this was the case.
9:05 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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HaHa Life in Asia, that was funny :)
11:37 pm on July 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

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He was also ordered to pay $180,000 to AOL in restitution.

For those of us not familiar with parochial US law, what does that mean exactly?

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1:32 am on July 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I wonder how they managed to circumvent AOL's spam filter. I would like to try this with legit emails.
2:12 am on July 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Disappointing that the 180k goes to AOL and not to the people he hurt - the spam email recipients. AOL should have been ordered to distribute it as a rebate against their next bills.

Then again, people who have had their time wasted by his spam emails and see only a few cents compensation are going to ask questions! 15 cents to compensate me for one spam email? Far too little.

5:35 am on July 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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For those of us not familiar with parochial US law, what does that mean exactly?

This should represent AOL's actual loss/expenses as a result of his actions, e.g. legal fees. I did not read the article, but the courts could also assign punitive damages, generally an arbitrary figure for such things as "pain and suffering."

It is possible that a recipient of his spam could sue him civilly or as a class action suit and seek punitive damages. Then again, they have to prove it was him though, in civil court, the burden of proof is far lower than criminal court. A good example would be OJ Simpson.

Marshall

8:02 am on July 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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30 months in jail followed by 3 years probation. The restitution amount was determined by the court and made a part of the sentence. It is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. Failure to pay would be a violation of probation and could result in him being sent back to prison.

AOL can also sue. Getting a judgment for $180k should be easy. If it can prove more than $180k in damages it can get a judgment for that too. Once it has a judgment, it can attach whatever property he now owns or will own in the future.

And don't forget that happy little institution called the IRS. If he didn't pay taxes on the spam money, they'll want their cut (along with penalty and interest).

BTW the only ones who usually make any money to speak of in class action lawsuits are the attorneys - and that's assuming there are deep enough pockets for the attorneys to even want to get involved. :)

5:43 pm on July 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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BTW the only ones who usually make any money to speak of in class action lawsuits are the attorneys - and that's assuming there are deep enough pockets for the attorneys to even want to get involved. :)

In this case, I think many people would be happy with seeing the SPAMMER financially bled to poverty. That would be payment enough for me! :)
7:52 am on July 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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His punishment should be that he is forced to use AOL.

:)
12:09 pm on July 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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In this case, I think many people would be happy with seeing the SPAMMER financially bled to poverty. That would be payment enough for me!

I'm with you on that. But if he's judgment proof, no attorney is going to take the case.

 

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