“Spam King” Pleads Guilty, No Death Penalty?

It’s a shame that spamming isn’t an offense punishable by death, preferably by public flogging at the hands of bat-wielding geeks. Alas, we do still have some degree of order in this country and as such, Robert Soloway is getting off easy in our eyes. Although it is highly unlikely that Soloway is anything close to being the worst spam offender on the net, federal prosecutors have dubbed him the “Spam King”; probably because it sounds good for the press. In the past few years, Soloway has sent millions of spam messages tied to his “marketing company”. His scheme? For $495, Soloway would send emails on behalf of his customers to 20 million addresses over the course of 15 days, or he would sell them 80,000 email addresses to be used at their discretion. Prosecutors in Washington issued a 40-count indictment that included 13 counts of money laundering and seven counts of aggravated identity theft. How did all of this come about for the Spam King? Failure to file a 2005 tax return. Dude, if you’re going to deal in shady business practices at least have the sense to file a return! A plea bargain agreement has of course been reached and Soloway has pleaded guilty to felony mail fraud, fraud in connection with electronic mail and failing to file a tax return in 2005. In total, Soloway now faces up to 26 years in prison and up to $625K in fines based on the maximum penalties associated with each offense. Of course he won’t serve all of that time, but maybe we’ll get lucky and he’ll slip in the shower or something.


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