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Spam King arrested in Seattle

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A 27-year-old man, dubbed the Spam King by investigators, has been arrested in Seattle where he has been indicted on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, fraud in connection with electronic mail, and money laundering.

Robert Alan Soloway owned Newport Internet Marketing Corporation (NIM) based in Seattle. He will appear before Seattle's district court this afternoon.

Soloway is accused, between 2003 and 2007, of offering broadcast email services which sent messages with false headers and were relayed using networks of proxy computers or botnets.

Much of this service was fraudulent - including the claim that email addresses on the lists had "opted-in" to receive such offers.

Guarantees regarding the products offered were not honoured and refunds refused. Soloway is also accused of constantly moving his websites to make anti-spam measures more difficult. Since last year his websites have been registered with Chinese ISPs to make proving his ownership of domains more difficult.

The false headers he put on emails led many people to have their legitimate email addresses or domains blacklisted by anti-spam groups.

The US authorities are seeking $772,000, which Soloway made as a result of his nefarious activities. The Federal Trade Commission received hundreds of complaints about Soloway and NIM. His offences could also earn him a $250,000 fine and five years in prison.

The full statement is available here. ®

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