Spammers to the Slammer

Dennis Faas's picture

Seems there is a punishment for all that nasty spam you accumulate over the course of the average workday. Two men have recently been convicted by the United States Department of Justice under the Can-Spam Act, and sentenced to more than five years in a penitentiary.

The judgment came down last Friday, and sends Jeffrey A. Kilbride, 41, and James R. Schaffer, 41 to prison for 72 and 63 months, respectively. Kilbride hails from Venice, California, while Schaffer is a Paradise Valley, Arizona resident.

Neither can expect much of a paradise in the slammer. If any of their cell mates are familiar with the incessant, nasty spam they sent out, Kilbride and Schaffer could be in for a long stay.

Just what was their spam scam?

The two were responsible for a spam ring raking in a reported $1 million, although some estimates peg it at nearly twice that total. The scheme included sending out explicit advertising for web sites, landing in random inboxes. The images within, which were highly inappropriate for children, could be seen by anyone naughty enough to click. (Source:

The entire operation was a well-thought out plan; the pair used servers in Amsterdam after 2003 to dupe anyone tracking them into thinking that the images were being sent from outside North America. (Source:

At the end of the day, however, justice has come down hard. On June 25, a federal jury in Phoenix, Arizona found both Kilbride and Schaffer guilty of sending the spam (complete with fraudulent email titles and domain tags). The conviction list also found them guilty of conspiracy, money laundering, and of course, obscenity.

Aside from the prison sentences, both men will have to forfeit their $1.1 million profits and also $100,000 in fines. In addition, the court charged them to pay $77,500 to America Online.

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