Top Spammer Busted

Written by Brett Thomas

May 31, 2007 // 3:42 p.m.

Tags: #america #email #spam #us

Have you opened your email today? Sure ya have...and probably got annoyed with the proliferation of junk mail in there. It's almost as if spam-rabbits are breeding somewhere. Fortunately, one of those spam-rabbits is about to spend a long time in prison - authorities in the US have captured one of the world's top-ten spammers.

Robert Soloway, a 27-year-old from Seattle, Washington found himself in a Federal court yesterday facing crimes including (but not limited to) mail fraud, aggrivated identity theft and money laundering. Soloway is largely considered one of the top spammers in the world, and authorities are expecting an immediate and visible drop in the amount of spam clogging tubes worldwide.

The spammer was arrested along with a huge portion of his crew thanks to an identity theft complaint. Apparently, Soloway's team hijacked a company's webserver to use for its spam propagation, which is equivalent to stealing someone's virtual identity in US law. These charges quickly escalated with evidence seized at the time of arrest to include the money laundering and mail fraud. This isn't the first time he's been in trouble, either - Microsoft won a civil suit against him in 2003 for roughly $7 million, and a small Oklahoma ISP won another $10 million.

Identity theft is no trifling matter in America, so it is expected that Mr. Soloway will be seeing the inside of a cell for quite a long time. This will be the first time that the law is used to protect a domain name, however - so the court case could turn sour if the presiding judge doesn't agree with the new application. It seems that he or she would be alone if that were the case, though...a Grand Jury gave the green light to thirty-five separate indictments.

The judge determined that Mr. Soloway could still afford his own defense, despite the government freezing four of his bank accounts. According to the Federal Prosecutor, Soloway has made about $800,000 off of his acts, offering to sell up to "20 million mails in 15 days" for a mere $500. The work is widely thought to be completed by "zombie" computers - people who have no idea that their machines are sending spam - and then funneled through a hijacked domain.

Hopefully, this will be the last time we see Mr. Soloway for a very, very long time. Feel free to leave your thoughts about the matter in our forums, of course...but please, no spam.

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