April 11, 2005 11:17 AM PDT
Convicted spammer gets nine-year sentence
Jeremy Jaynes, also known by his alias, "Gaven Stubberfield," is believed to have raked in between $500,000 and $750,000 a month through sales of products via spam. He was rated the eighth most prolific spammer in the world by spam watchdog Spamhaus.
A circuit judge in Loudon County, Va., upheld the sentence recommended by the court when Jaynes was initially convicted last November under a Virginia antispam law, which limits the quantity of bulk e-mail that can be sent and prohibits the use of fake e-mail addresses.
Jaynes, a resident of North Carolina, fell afoul of the law by routing the spam through servers located in Virginia, which disguised the origin of the e-mails. He was also found in possession of a stolen database of 84 million America Online e-mail addresses. He is the first person in the United States to face prison time for spamming.
But the judge delayed the start of the jail term pending an appeal by Jaynes, who is currently out on $1 million bail.
Jaynes' sister was also found guilty of being an accomplice and fined $7,500, but the judge dismissed her conviction. Another associate, Richard Rutkowski, was acquitted.
The trial revealed some details about the business of spamming. Jaynes used 16 high-speed Internet connections to peddle various fake goods and services, including a Web-history eraser and a stock-picking computer program. Prosecutors claim Jaynes raked in up to $24 million in sales, some of which he invested in a restaurant and a chain of gyms.
Andy McCue of Silicon.com reported from London.
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