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A US man has been charged with stealing the membership database of the American College of Physicians (ACP) for resale as a premium spamming list.

William Bailey Jr, 46, of Charlotte, North Carolina, faces a possible fine of up to $2.75m and a maximum sentence of up to 55 years if he's convicted of gaining unauthorised access to the database of 80,000 US doctors and medics.

Bailey ran a website called dr-411.com that allegedly punted the email addresses of members of professional organisations such as doctors, lawyers and real estate agents.

Although sales from the site have been suspended, banner ads continue to offer contact databases on 20,000 doctors for $399, according to net security firm Sophos.

Bailey allegedly obtained this data after hacking into the ACP's membership database, in disregard of warnings over the sensitivity of the information, between January and May 2005. ®

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