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An ex-AOL employee has pleaded guilty to stealing 92m customer names and email addresses from the ISP's database. The 24-year old, Jason Smathers, sold the email addresses for $28,000.

Smathers sold the names to Sean Dunaway who used the names to promote his offshore gambling site before selling them on to other spammers. Charges against Dunaway are pending.

Smathers tried to make a guilty plea in December but the judge rejected it because he was not certain a crime had been committed.

Smathers pleaded guilty to conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen property.

He will be sentenced 20 May and faces up to two years in prison. He will also have to pay AOL between $200,000 and $400,000 - the amount it spent fixing the problem. The Judge is unlikely to be sympathetic, he cancelled his own AOL subscription back in December because of the amount of spam in his inbox. More details at CNN. ®

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