US anti-spam laws claim first victims
Spammers sentenced to five years and huge fines in landmark ruling
A landmark anti-spam case in the US has seen two men sentenced to five years in jail.
Jeffrey Kilbride and James Schaffer, who earned nearly $2 million dollars sending out unsolicited porn emails, are the first subjects to be prosecuted under the US's new federal anti-spam laws.
They were convicted of charges including conspiracy, fraud, money laundering and transportation of obscene materials and will now face five years in jail and a $100,000 fine.
Judge Campbell, who presided over the three-week case, also ordered the defendants to jointly forfeit more than $1.1 million, the amount of illegal proceeds from their spamming operation.
The two men were accused of sending millions of unsolicited email messages advertising hard-core pornography websites, earning a commission for each person they convinced to subscribe.
Evidence at trial established that the defendants falsified header information and domain names of the messages they sent by creating a fictitious employee at a shell corporation in the Republic of Mauritius, in order to hide their criminal conduct.
The UK introduced anti-spam laws in 2003, but no convictions have yet resulted.