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Top spammer caught on 35 counts of fraud, identity theft, money laundering

The war against spam seems to be never-ending, but a small battle was won earlier this week. Robert Alan Soloway, 27, was arrested Wednesday in Seattle on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, email fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. Soloway pleaded not guilty to all charges.

"Spam is a scourge of the Internet, and Robert Soloway is one of its most prolific practitioners. Our investigators dubbed him the Spam King because he is responsible for millions of spam e-mails," Jeffrey Sullivan, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington, said in a statement.

Soloway allegedly spammed the masses in email fraud since 2003 by using hijacked computers from around the world, and covered his tracks using Chinese servers, fabricated websites and stolen identities.

According to the Washington Post: “Soloway's company, Newport Internet Marketing, defrauded its customers by offering to send a high volume of legitimate e-mail marketing messages or to sell software that could be used in mass mailings. Neither approach performed as advertised but generated a torrent of spam. When customers complained, Soloway allegedly refused to provide assistance or refund the sales, instead threatening to charge them with additional fees and refer them to collections agencies.”

Anti-spam agency Spamhaus once named Soloway in its top ten list of worst offenders, though he’s since been outpaced by even greater threats from eastern Europe. "He is one of the bad ones. He's one of the longest-running and uses criminal methods all the time," said John Reid, an investigator with Spamhaus. "Anyone on the Web for a while would have received one of Soloway's spams."

This isn’t the first time Soloway has run into the legal system for his spamming activities. In 2005, Microsoft won a $7.8 million judgment against him for his spoofing of MSN and Hotmail email addresses. Unfortunately, the $7.8 million could never be collected because Soloway’s funds and bank accounts remained elusive.



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how about...
By Gul Westfale on 6/1/2007 9:41:27 AM , Rating: 5
how about going after the companies that pay him to spam people?




RE: how about...
By ultimaone on 6/1/2007 9:47:25 AM , Rating: 4
now theres an idea....


RE: how about...
By webstorm1 on 6/1/2007 10:05:43 AM , Rating: 5
While I agree, I think everyone he's spammed should get a chance to smack him upside the head...

Isn't it funny that no matter how terrible the job, there is always a human willing to step up and do it...


RE: how about...
By encryptkeeper on 6/1/2007 3:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
I think this guy knows he's guilty and not getting out of this one. It doesn't mention it in this article, but his lawyer is a public defender. If you have as much money as this guy, WHY would you have a public defender!


RE: how about...
By darkpaw on 6/1/2007 3:48:35 PM , Rating: 2
He was represented by a public defender at his plea hearing as the goverment has frozen his known assets. The judge declared that he still has the means to defend himself for the trial though so he will need to secure his own lawyer.

I don't have the article I read that from handy, but I do recall that was the situation.


RE: how about...
By MonkeyPaw on 6/1/2007 3:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Isn't it funny that no matter how terrible the job, there is always a human willing to step up and do it...


Maybe he will sell the rights of his story to DSC's "Dirty Jobs."


RE: how about...
By ButterFlyEffect78 on 6/1/07, Rating: -1
RE: how about...
By Martimus on 6/1/2007 11:29:45 AM , Rating: 3
Wow! That is some pretty powerful dope you are smoking. You should probably cut back before you hurt yourself permanently.


RE: how about...
By Smurfer2 on 6/1/2007 12:01:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Wow! That is some pretty powerful dope you are smoking. You should probably cut back before you hurt yourself permanently.


I think you put it best, I can't believe that guy said what he said. He must be crazy!


RE: how about...
By ButterFlyEffect78 on 6/1/07, Rating: -1
RE: how about...
By Roseann on 6/1/07, Rating: 0
RE: how about...
By ButterFlyEffect78 on 6/1/07, Rating: -1
RE: how about...
By johnsonx on 6/5/2007 5:24:58 PM , Rating: 3
lol, nutjobs unite!


RE: how about...
By Oregonian2 on 6/1/2007 3:36:11 PM , Rating: 3
The record profits by the oil companies, last time I looked, was something like 8% of revenue. If Microsoft or Intel made only 8% of gross revenue their stock would drop like a rock and be considered near bankruptcy. It's just that the oil companies are in a business on a very large scale. If one's local hair salon made 10% profits which is 25% greater than those oil companies, I suspect there wouldn't be the fuss -- despite the even greater profit margin.

P.S. - Iraq's oil output is near insignificant percentage-wise compared to world production, and the U.S.'s oil that comes from the entire middle east is something like only 15% of oil usage (most imports are from Mexico/Venezuela). The vast majority of the Middle East oil goes to places like Europe. So whatever the reasons for Iraq are, I don't think it's oil. Maybe it's something more obscure like pomegranate juice and dates (that comes from the middle east).


RE: how about...
By Roseann on 6/1/2007 4:35:28 PM , Rating: 1
This is from a 2006 article. From MSNBC:

"DALLAS - Exxon Mobil Corp. posted record profits for any U.S. company on Monday — $10.71 billion for the fourth quarter and $36.13 billion for the year — as the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company benefited from high oil and natural-gas prices and solid demand for refined products.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations and Exxon shares rose more than 3 percent in afternoon trading.

The company’s earnings amounted to $1.71 per share for the October-December quarter, up 27 percent from $8.42 billion, or $1.30 per share, in the year ago quarter. The result topped the then-record quarterly profit of $9.92 billion Exxon posted in the third quarter of 2005."

That's quite a chunk of change at the expense of our military. They should foot the bill for this. Not to mention the few billion in cash and oil missing.


RE: how about...
By ButterFlyEffect78 on 6/1/07, Rating: -1
RE: how about...
By PrezWeezy on 6/1/2007 1:13:38 PM , Rating: 1
no man, be nice, ask him to pass it around ;)


RE: how about...
By Martimus on 6/1/2007 1:48:21 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know. He sounds a little unstable, and I don't want to upset him by asking to share his pharmaceuticals. He might slip over the edge and start shooting people or something.


RE: how about...
By ButterFlyEffect78 on 6/1/07, Rating: -1
RE: how about...
By Martimus on 6/1/2007 4:39:18 PM , Rating: 3
You don't know anything about me, or my views on anything. But stating views on a hateful Jewish conspiracy had absolutely nothing to do with this article, so it seemed that you are a little unstable. Actually your attacking responses to me and the other posts are what really made you seem a little unstable. The original post just made you seem like you were on an acid trip.


RE: how about...
By arazok on 6/1/2007 4:41:51 PM , Rating: 4
He didn't call you unstable because your political views are different. He called you unstable because you're clearly insane, and thus highly likely to also be unstable.

Although I'd question the evidence to support conclusions that you are likely to kill someone, the evidence to conclude you are insane is in abundance.

Exhibit A - You are unable to correctly separate your points into paragraphs, suggesting an impaired ability to logically structure your thoughts in a coherent manner.

Exhibit B - When one actually tries to sift through the wall of text, it is clear you are rambling - quickly moving from one point to the next, without taking any of your arguments to conclusion. Probably because there is no conclusion - just the random thoughts of a dysfunctional mind.

Exhibit C - You believe there is a Jewish secret agency of spammers. I don't view Viagra as a tool for achieving world domination. This is laughable on a number of levels. The fact that you can conclude this, despite there never, ever, having been one shred of evidence to even suggest it could be true, shows you have an inability to view events of your life through it's proper context, causing you to base conclusions on disorganized thought processes.

Please see the following information about your condition, and seek medical attention. It's not your fault, and you have nothing to be ashamed of.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia


RE: how about...
By microslice on 6/1/2007 5:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
That's the funniest thing I've ever read!!


RE: how about...
By ButterFlyEffect78 on 6/1/07, Rating: -1
RE: how about...
By ButterFlyEffect78 on 6/1/07, Rating: -1
RE: how about...
By johnsonx on 6/5/2007 5:46:55 PM , Rating: 1
Republicans disown ButterFlyEffect78

June 5, 2007 - Washington, D.C. - Mike Duncan, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, was asked about the party affiliation of ButterFlyEffect78. "He's not one of ours, no way. The Republican Party is a big tent party, but not THAT big. We'd rather he didn't even use the word." A national politcal party disowning an individual person is a very unusual step. Asked why it was necessary in this case, Duncan replied "Look, the guy's totally nuts. Just like the Democrats, we've got a nut wing in our party too, and even they didn't want him."


RE: how about...
By johnsonx on 6/5/2007 5:26:32 PM , Rating: 1
Well done Arazok, well done!


RE: how about...
By PrezWeezy on 6/11/2007 2:51:51 PM , Rating: 2
Damnit, and I liked Ron Paul...oh well, I guess I'll have to find someone else.


RE: how about...
By ButterFlyEffect78 on 6/1/07, Rating: -1
RE: how about...
By jtesoro on 6/1/2007 10:55:27 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot to say "Oops, sorry Martimus. That comment was meant for myself."


RE: how about...
By Martimus on 6/4/2007 10:45:41 AM , Rating: 2
I am sorry for insulting you. That wasn't very nice of me.


RE: how about...
By Canadian87 on 6/2/2007 4:28:11 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, now I've seen it all. This person, Butterflyeffect78, is clearly crazy. I mean who types ALL of their comments in one solid paragraph.

You could try dividing your insane thoughts into seperate paragraphs, but maybe that's crazy talk to you.

Oh and I don't think your a racist. I just think you don't like jewish people. Hah, wait, that makes you a racist. Ok I think you're a racist.


RE: how about...
By ButterFlyEffect78 on 6/2/07, Rating: -1
RE: how about...
By elpresidente2075 on 6/2/2007 3:01:17 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, maybe not crazy, just a dumbass who couldn't make it through 7th grade English class.

Did you drop out of high school to become some sort of Islamo-facist? Some strange cookie you are.


RE: how about...
By ButterFlyEffect78 on 6/2/07, Rating: -1
RE: how about...
By elpresidente2075 on 6/2/2007 11:36:47 PM , Rating: 1
How about just a plain ol', over the top dumbass who thinks its cool to (since the internet provides so much anonymity) be racist, self centered, bigoted, and just a troublemaker in general.

I remember when I used to do that sort of things as well. Similar sorts of arguments too. At least I had the excuse that I was 9 years old and didn't know any better. Maybe you should go get back to having monkey sex and making up whatever weird, slanted, and generally misguided political views you need, since the only effect it seems you'll ever have is pissing off a bunch of people that you've never met, never will meet, and just don't care about.

Congratulations at being one of the internet trolls that everyone hates, but has to tolerate since we can't just ban you.

And to address the Islamo-Facist thing? Maybe you're just a regular Facist, a Neo-Nazi perhaps. I didn't refer to you as Muslim, as you seem to imply that I should, because that is inaccurate. The emphasis, dumbass, is on the Facist part, not on the Islamo part. They just seem to be all the rage today in the Bizzarro sections of the internet and I suspected you to have taken on such an identity.

Again, I find it unfortunate that you think it entertaining to come into a section of the internet such as this and make a total jackass of yourself. Perhaps one day you'll grow up and find that noone really cares, and all you're doing is making the world a worse place to be.

Good day sir.


RE: how about...
By ButterFlyEffect78 on 6/3/07, Rating: -1
RE: how about...
By Kragoth on 6/8/2007 12:05:48 AM , Rating: 1
You have some "interesting" ideas on politics and life in general I must say. But, some of them are deeply flawed and lack a greater understanding of the world in which you live.

1. You said. "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer." This is true only by choice of those rich and poor people respectively. If you are poor you CAN become rich. All you have to do is make the right decisions and listen to the right people and work on your self development. This has been proven thousands of times and thus I can point out that you do not truly understand economics and personal development.

2. To prove a point you need to clearly state your argument, then back the argument up with some cold hard facts. Instead you only resort to claiming your opponent is ignorant (among other insults)

3. Is English even your first language? If so, maybe you should read what you type before posting it as it will lower people's opinion of you by posting using the level of English you do at the moment.

4. Unless you are a politician then I would seriously doubt you have any more understanding of the situation then many of your fellow citizens. Thus every person has the right to voice their opinion and you should treat everyone as though their opinion has merit unless you have evidence that you can produce to the contrary.

5. Try to formulate your response without making one insult or claim that I am ignorant or anything like that. :)

PS If you would like to get rich then go buy some personal development books.


RE: how about...
By kmiller1700 on 6/5/2007 10:49:21 PM , Rating: 2
there's all kinds of OCD you crazy nut


RE: how about...
By Roseann on 6/1/2007 1:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, if people would just not respond, they would stop. This only continues if it's successful. The fewer that respond, the less money would be thrown down that hole.


his photo???
By tuyu on 6/1/2007 10:48:40 AM , Rating: 2
wheres his mug shot???
if i ever see this sob.....




RE: his photo???
By Tyhr on 6/1/2007 10:54:38 AM , Rating: 3
If he owes $7.8 million dollars - why does he still have a computer...and a home? Take them away - all of it - until his debt is paid. In fact, don't let him be legally allowed to be near a computer for 20 years.


RE: his photo???
By Souka on 6/1/2007 3:31:01 PM , Rating: 2
funny thing is... they'll take his computer and home... but then give him a home in jail....and a computer too...

heh


to spam...or not to spam
By zornundo on 6/1/2007 10:18:10 AM , Rating: 2
One questions is whether or not we feel sorry for people who actually respond to spam in the first place? If it's not from one of the few companies that I actually buy from and don't mind getting their e-mails, then delete delete delete!

Score one for the downtrodden, though! Hope they put him in a cell with Bubba so he can feel what spam up his a$$ feels like.




RE: to spam...or not to spam
By Crassus on 6/1/2007 2:49:19 PM , Rating: 2
Especially if Bubba was a good customer of the "Male Enhancement" and got "V1agra, Cialis cheap", but that would be too SE3><UALLY-EXP7LICI4T, of course.
Damn, my ratio of Spam/Ham is about 10/1 - I'm sooo rooting for Bubba.


RE: to spam...or not to spam
By Christopher1 on 6/4/2007 12:27:03 PM , Rating: 2
While I have a little sympathy for the people who get spam messages, I have to agree with your reasoning.

Who in their right mind would click on the links in ANY of those e-mails? Not me and not anybody that I know.


Prison Term
By Gneisenau on 6/1/2007 2:31:51 PM , Rating: 2
If he still owes over 7 million, then I say keep his butt planted in jail until he pays up. If he ends up dieing there, then that's just too bad for him.




RE: Prison Term
By Munkles on 6/7/2007 8:50:38 PM , Rating: 2
America has VERY clearly defined rules about debt because in the past (feudal history) very, VERY bad things happened when the law was used to jail, imprison, and otherwise punish someone in debt.

Do not foolishly think that it is the "laws" place to intervene when someone is in debt other than perhaps to garnish wages until the debt is paid.


SPAM hackers new approach
By microchip on 6/1/2007 12:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
Nowadays we have very powerful softwares that block hackers outside PCs. For example Antivirus, firewall, antispyware, antispam, etc. Viruses and worms can be detected very easily except if is something new that is not listed in your antivirus list. The same can be said for spywares.
However spam is so difficult to block it out. They change source, subject and content. So is impossible to block them out. You have to be careful what you buy or never enter bank account details from e-mail. The only way to get rid of (spam) temporary is to change email address.




By AnnihilatorX on 6/7/2007 11:13:22 AM , Rating: 2
The Spam company who makes, well meat spam must be upset




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