October 3, 2006 11:28 AM PDT

Spammers plead guilty after EarthLink probe

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Two spammers could go to jail after an investigation by EarthLink found they were sending thousands of unsolicited messages from PeoplePC accounts.

Jared Cosgrave and Mohammed Haque pleaded guilty last week in a U.S. District Court in Southern Florida to charges of fraud and violation of the Can-Spam Act. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 16, and the two could get up to three years in jail and be given a fine of up to $250,000.

The two were identified in an investigation last year by EarthLink's fraud and abuse team into activity at its PeoplePC subsidiary. The team discovered more than 25,000 junk e-mails had been sent through 10 PeoplePC accounts that originated from Miami. The e-mails contained such subject headers as "I'm finally back home" and "I just got back in town," and contained messages that marketed herbal supplements.

The accounts were subsequently closed, and the FBI called in to investigate.

EarthLink, which acquired PeoplePC four years ago, has been aggressively pursuing spammers. Last year, the Internet service provider filed a lawsuit against a Florida man known as the "timeshare spammer." He was convicted for violating the Can-Spam Act and sending millions of unsolicited mail messages.

EarthLink said it has received more than $200 million in judgments from spam-related cases since 1996.

See more CNET content tagged:
EarthLink Inc., CAN-SPAM Act, spammer, Internet Service Provider, message

5 comments

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Wow! Earthlink should focus its business on prosecuting spammers rather than offering e-mail to consumers if they can generate profits like they have. That's crazy! Anyway, with the government and big business taking action against spam and e-mail security threats, consumers need to join suit. The use of encrypted e-mail places a safe-guard around the messages you choose to send and receive. Consumers must become more educated on safe e-mail use and begin to practice it...<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.essentialsecurity.com/security_basics.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.essentialsecurity.com/security_basics.htm</a>
Posted by bayny (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Winning a judgement is one thing...
Collecting the judgement is another.

But only a fool would keep spamming.
Posted by dargon19888 (412 comments )
Link Flag
Go Earthlink!
Bust those spammers! Good for Earthlink.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HELLO!!!
Anybody look at the so called "herbal supplement"
company that profits the most from spam? Any of you
monkeys listening? The spammer is on the lowest end
of the spam totem pole. When the first company that
is prosecuted for allowing these marketing methods,
then I will celebrate. I somehow doubt that the
authorities will ever be that brave or intelligent!
Posted by Johnny Mnemonic (374 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Spoken like a true spammer...
All you bottom feeders need to get real jobs.
Posted by kougar1994 (2 comments )
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