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Spammer gets 9 years

....but made $24m

     
1:03 pm on Nov 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



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

[news.bbc.co.uk...]

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

7:00 am on Nov 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member




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?

7:17 am on Nov 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member essex_boy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



NO, you can not. You can not come on my property without my permission. You can not knock on my door without permission. - Not so in the uK.

If you have a letter box you are inviting someone up to knock - this has been set a precedent in court.

A royal pain the Googleplex.

9:24 am on Nov 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



"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. "

This is factually wrong, dangerous and illegal. This advice could get easily get you more than 9 years in prison.
If some one stupidly acted on this advice, this site could be included in a civil court action.
The mods need to remove it. Now.

11:37 am on Nov 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



$24 million?

Wow.

What I wouldn't give to know what the operation looked like.

1:16 pm on Nov 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



"This is factually wrong, dangerous and illegal. This advice could get easily get you more than 9 years in prison.
If some one stupidly acted on this advice, this site could be included in a civil court action. "

1: It's factually correct.

2: It's not advice it's a statement.

2:13 pm on Nov 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well this thread's certainly been an eye-opener for me:

I'm very surprised at the number of people prepared to defend spam, and the many who consider it "no big deal".

I wonder if this is representative of opinions on the net as a whole?

Amazing!

5:36 pm on Nov 7, 2004 (gmt 0)



"NO, you can not. You can not come on my property without my permission. You can not knock on my door without permission. - Not so in the uK. "

The spam case happened in US and here I can come and knock on your door regardless of signs. Now if you ask me to leave, that's another story.

5:30 am on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Teknorat,
which country are you in?
6:18 am on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I'm in Australia- here we get "courtesy calls" from the mormons and JW's asking if it's ok that they pop in tommorrow :P
6:25 am on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Which state in Australia Teknorat?
6:27 am on Nov 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I don't think the issue here was that he sent unsolicited email...the problem was he masked where it actually came from.

While I hate spam, I think that anyone should have the right to email anyone else, unless that person has explicity asked you not to email them.

I also believe that putting this guy in prison is a rediculous waste of money. 9 years of community service would have been much better, for society and the spammer.

3:43 am on Nov 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



9 years of community service would have been much better

Agreed. Hard time for violent offenders, community service and heavy fines (for education) for white collar crime. Let's give us all some tax relief.

4:11 am on Nov 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The crime was FRAUD, not spam. The vehicle is unimportant. I'm sure they'd of gotten the same sentence if the scam was perpetrated through the telephone boiler room.
1:14 am on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well this thread's certainly been an eye-opener for me:
I'm very surprised at the number of people prepared to defend spam, and the many who consider it "no big deal".

I wonder if this is representative of opinions on the net as a whole?

Amazing!

Not surprising to me at all. This forum is for webmasters and mostly people making money from the internet and no doubt is visited regularly by some of the most notorious spammers in the world. Who did you think was doing all the spamming.... normal everyday consumers? Nah, they probably haven't even heard of webmasterworld.

Go to a forum populated mostly by regular people with regular jobs (people that don't ever spam and are the target of spam) and you'll see a whole different reaction.

4:55 am on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I don't think anyone here is defending spam. Most people agree that this person should punished -- but the punishment should fit the crime.

Sending this guy to jail for 9 years doesn't help anyone. He loses out on 9 years of his life, and we, the taxpayers, get to pay a few hundred thousand dollars for it.

The person is not a threat to society, so there is no reason to keep him locked up. Why not give him 9 years of community service, and make him pay back what he fraudulently gained?

1:31 pm on Nov 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lawman is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I haven't checked out the case so I don't know if it's about fraud or spam. If it's about email spam only, then 9 years in the pokey sounds excessive.

If it's about fraud, you certainly would want to make the defrauded parties whole. In addition to fines, community service, etc. courts normally require restitution (which is not dischargeable in bankruptcy). Serving jail time is not an incentive to pay back ill-gotten gains. Serving probation with the threat of jail for not paying restitution is.

On the other hand, if there are no records to indicate who should get a refund, maybe substantial jail time isn't so bad. In that instance, jail followed by significant probation, which would include payment of the maximum fine.

11:15 pm on Nov 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Ouch that's rough. I hate spammers as much as the next guy but 9 years in a prison with drug dealers, thieves, rapists, and murderers? Way harsh.

They should make a white collar prision or something. They could call it Martha Stewart Penetentiary. ;p While he's in there he can write (with pen and paper - the old fashion way) all the people he violated and apologize. That's a good punishment if you ask me!

12:04 am on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Not all juries return the same verdict for the same crime.

Jury nullification can be one of those reasons.

Judges can also influence outcome as they have discretionary latitude when applying sanctions.

And, as has been pointed out: They did NOT get to keep the money.

<Oh. While I'm thinking about it. UCE/SPAM is the proper way to refer to the subject matter contained in this thread, not Spam. Spam is a meat product in a can made by a company who would just as soon distance themselves from the connotation. Let's help clarity throughout the Internet by not confusing the two elements as being similar in context.>

12:49 am on Nov 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lawman is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



>>Not all juries return the same verdict for the same crime.

The prosecutor has the burden of proving guilt. If he doesn't, the jury is required to return a verdict of "not guilty".

>>Jury nullification can be one of those reasons.

When the prosecution has proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt, but the jury believes that "justice" requires a verdict of "not guilty" anyway, then it has exercised its prerogative of jury nullification. Doesn't seem to apply to this case.

>>Judges can also influence outcome as they have discretionary latitude when applying sanctions.

The judge's job is to make "legal" rulings; e.g. ruling certain evidence admissible/inadmissible, sustaining or overruling objections, etc. These rulings can and often do affect the outcome (verdict) of a case. However, a fair and impartial judge is not supposed to otherwise influence the outcome of a case.

Sentencing is another matter. In my state the jurty determines guilt while the judge passes sentence. In other states the jury determines guilt and passes sentence.

>>And, as has been pointed out: They did NOT get to keep the money.

I missed that part. Where was it?

8:41 pm on Nov 14, 2004 (gmt 0)



In the UK you get up to 5 years for sending spam to personal email addresses. You can't be done for sending it to business ones.

But this is more about ripping people off, rather than spamming. But, personally, the more Guru, spammer types they get, the better the web will be!

9:33 pm on Nov 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



In the UK you get up to 5 years for sending spam to personal email addresses. You can't be done for sending it to business ones.

AFAIK no one has ever been convicted in the UK?

9:40 pm on Nov 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I don't think he is going to get out early.. I believe Virginia abolished parole a few years ago.
6:36 am on Nov 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



In India a rapist gets a sentence for 7 years.
12:02 am on Nov 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Nobody forced this guy to spam.

The law and its penalties are well known.

Spamming is fraud, because it is sent from false addresses.

The only mitigating circumstance is if he's certifiably stupid. He obviously wanted to spend time in jail.

I wouldn't care about spam if there was an effective way of opting out of it.

My only complaint is that they didn't chop his goollies off and boil him in oil as well ...

8:29 pm on Nov 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>>Not all juries return the same verdict for the same crime.

The prosecutor has the burden of proving guilt. If he does not, the jury is required to return a verdict of "not guilty".

Both statements are correct here. Just depends on how fine you wanna split that hair. My point is that similar crimes do not always receive similar sanctions.

>>Jury nullification can be one of those reasons.

When the prosecution has proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt, but the jury believes that "justice" requires a verdict of "not guilty" anyway, then it has exercised its prerogative of jury nullification. Doesn't seem to apply to this case.

Never suggested causality here...just another reason why there can be disparity in sentencing.

[constitution.org...] for those who wish to understand the phenomenon of Jury Nullification.

>>Judges can also influence outcome as they have discretionary latitude when applying sanctions.

The judge's job is to make "legal" rulings; e.g. ruling certain evidence admissible/inadmissible, sustaining or overruling objections, etc. These rulings can and often do affect the outcome (verdict) of a case. However, a fair and impartial judge is not supposed to otherwise influence the outcome of a case.

Quite true. I minced my words there a bit by using the term outcome incorrectly. My bad.

What I meant was Judges have the discretion to set aside verdicts as well as latitude in applying sanctions ( depending upon the severity of the crime, of course ). Sentencing Guidelines aside...they do not always have to apply the same sanctions for the same crime.

Sentencing is another matter. In my state the jurty determines guilt while the judge passes sentence. In other states the jury determines guilt and passes sentence.

'jurty'? Looks like it threw in an extra 't' in jury. ;)

>>And, as has been pointed out: They did NOT get to keep the money.

I missed that part. Where was it?

I believe there was at least one poster who stated what, to me, is the obvious. One does not generally keep proceeds from criminal ventures involving fraud / deception.

If I am wrong, I will stand corrected. No biggie.

Maybe I was absent in Crim (BS in Criminology - PSU - Dec. '02) class that day.

If I / we are incorrect, would you enlighten us as to the disposition of illicit gains in cases like this?

4:07 am on Nov 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



i'd give him no more than 9 months. what he did isn't a crime - he was probably sending out mortgage offers and life insurance deals. he only made money because people clicked on the offers and generated leads for him to resell. what's wrong with affiliate marketing?

There is no difference between him sending out bulk emails and people sending unsolicited snail-mail.

Whoever gave him 9 years should be taken out and beaten in the face...as soon as all the murderers and rapist in prison find out the kid's in jail for sending email he'll be raped and beaten to death. what a disgrace.

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