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AOL phishing fraudster found guilty

Conman faces up to 101 years in jail

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A Californian conman who posed as a rep from AOL's billing department in order to dupe users into handing over financial details has been convicted of ID theft offences.

Jeffrey Brett Goodin, 45, of Azusa, California, was found guilty last week of sending thousands of bogus emails to AOL customers in the first conviction by a jury under the CAN SPAM Act 2003, the US's anti-spam laws. Goodin used a number of compromised Earthlink accounts to distribute messages supposedly originating from AOL's billing department. Prospective marks were referred to a number of bogus websites maintained by Goodin where they were invited to submit their personal details, including credit card numbers, under threat that failure to do so would result in the suspension of their internet access services.

These details allowed Goodin, or people he sold the details to, to make fraudulent purchases online. It's unclear how much Goodin made as a result of this phishing scam, described by prosecutors as "sophisticated".

In addition to the CAN-SPAM Act conviction, Goodin was convicted of 10 other counts, including wire fraud, aiding and abetting the unauthorized use of credit cards, misuse of the AOL trademark, attempted witness harassment and failure to appear in court.

Goodin is scheduled to appear for sentencing before US District Court Judge Christina A. Snyder on June 11 where he faces a maximum sentence of up to 101 years imprisonment. ®

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