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30 months' jail under Amber Alert law

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A Florida man who directed children to pornographic websites by registering misspellings of domains likely to be popular with kids was imprisoned for two-and-a-half years yesterday.

John Zuccarini, 56, of Hollywood in Florida, pleaded guilty in December to 49 charges under the newly-enacted Amber Alert law - a federal statute which makes it a crime to lure children onto X-rated sites. Zuccarini is the first offender to fall foul of the new legislation.

Zuccarini also pleaded guilty to a single charge of possessing child pornography.

The typosquatting Zuccarini registered domains which commonly redirected surfers to porno sites. These reportedly paid him between 10 and 25 cents for every visitor he brought in. He registered approximately 3,000 names, most of which were designed to pick up youngsters who'd got lost on the Web looking for Disneyland, Britney Spears, the Teletubbies, etc.

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

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