Top spammer arrested, faces decades in jail
May 31, 2007
According to a press report published today, Robert Soloway, one of the worst-known spammer has been duly arrested in Seattle and faces federal criminal prosecution for allegedly sending billions of illegal and unwanted spam emails a day. Soloway, a 27-year-old dubbed the Spam King by federal authorities in the U.S. has largely exasperated Internet users and was running his illegal business from his Seattle apartment.
A federal grand jury indictment handed down yesterday accuses Soloway of no less than 35 criminal counts arising from the operation of his email spam business, Newport Internet Marketing Corp.
The charges include fraud, money laundering and identity theft.
Specifically, Soloway is accused of violating the federal CAN-SPAM Act, which criminalizes large, commercial e-mail messages sent using an unauthorized computer or with the intent to hide the e-mail's original source.
The allegations could put Soloway in prison for decades, the Seattle Times reported.
Federal prosecutors are also seeking $772,998 from Soloway, which represents the proceeds of his illegal activity, the newspaper reported.
Soloway allegedly advertised online marketing services to unwitting customers who ended up paying for spam e-mails to be sent from "hijacked computers" using their names, according to the Post-Intelligencer.
Anti-spam advocates celebrated news of Soloway's arrest. "It's extremely gratifying," Neil Schwartzman, the executive director for the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email, told the Post-Intelligencer.
Schwartzman said that Soloway did not only spam people, but also sought revenge on anti-spammers by using "mail bombings."
"Truly, this is a really very bad guy," Schwartzman told the newspaper.
Authorities said Soloway, in an apparent effort to hide his true identity online, constantly shifted domains, including registering with Chinese Internet service providers.
Additionally, Soloway used slave computers, called "botnets," to send spam that advertised his corporate Web sites, which contained false headers to obscure their true origins, the newspaper reported.
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