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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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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.


"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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