Major spammer arrested, faces decades in jail

— 11:33 AM on May 31, 2007

27-year old alleged spammer Robert Alan Soloway has been arrested, as MSNBC reports. Soloway isn't the first spammer to end up in court, but he's making headlines because he's accused of being one of the world's most prolific. According to Tim Cranton, a Microsoft lawyer who is also senior director at Microsoft's Worldwide Internet Safety Programs, Soloway is "one of the top 10 spammers in the world. . . . He's a huge problem for our customers." Soloway's alleged spamming activities are so extreme that MSNBC says his arrest could cause a noticeable decrease in the amount of junk e-mail circulating world-wide.

Soloway used the networks of compromised computers to send out unsolicited bulk e-mails urging people to use his Internet marketing company to advertise their products, authorities said.

People who clicked on a link in the e-mail were directed to his Web site. There, Soloway advertised his ability to send out as many as 20 million e-mail advertisements over 15 days for $495, the indictment said.

Soloway's work allowed him to live in a "ritzy apartment" and to drive "an expensive Mercedes convertible," according to one of the prosecutors. However, he was hit last week with a 35-count indictment that charged him with mail fraud, wire fraud, e-mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering. The accused pleaded not guilty to all charges yesterday afternoon, but if convicted, he could face "decades" in prison. (Thanks to TR reader Eric for the link.)
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