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Typosquatter pleads guilty to luring kids to porn sites

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A pervert who tried to lure kids to pornographic Web sites by registering misspellings of Net sites likely to be popular to kids faces a lengthy prison sentence.

John Zuccarini, 56, of Hollywood in Florida, pleaded guilty yesterday to 49 charges under a newly enacted federal law that makes it a crime to lure children onto X-rated Web sites. He also pleaded guilty to a single charge of possessing child pornography.

Under a plea bargaining arrangement, Zuccarini has agreed to go to jail for between 30 to 37 months for his crimes. However the trial judge is entitled to disregard this agreement in sentencing, which is due to take place on February 20 next year.

Reuters reports that Zuccarini was paid between 10 and 25 per cent for every visit he brought to adult Web sites, revenue he sought to boost by registering common mistyping of domains owned by the likes of Disneyland, Britney Spears and Teletubbies for illicit purposes. He registered approximately 3,000 such sites, most of whose names were designed to pick up youngsters who'd managed to get lost on the Web.

Zuccarini pocketed an estimated $1 million from the ploy prior to his arrest last September, according to reports. Apparently the trick was particularly effective because kids are more likely to misspell names than adults. ®

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