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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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RE: how about...
By Roseann on 6/1/2007 1:28:56 PM , Rating: 0
We are in a war in Iraq because George Bush is about oil. Look at the record money being made by oil companies. George Bush and the rest of the dorks in congress don't give two craps about freeing the people in Iraq. They care about the bottom line which is the almighty dollar.

As for the dork spammer, lock him up and throw away the key.

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
"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
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