Feeds

US smut spam duo jailed for five years apiece

Take them down

High performance access to file storage

A pair of US men were each jailed for more than five years on Friday for their part in a long-running pornographic spam business that racked up revenues of more than $1m.

Jeffrey A Kilbride, 41, of Venice, California, and James R Schaffer, 41, of Paradise Valley, Arizona, were jailed for 72 months and 63 months respectively. US District Judge David G Campbell gave Kilbride the higher sentence after the court ruled that he attempted to prevent a government witness from testifying at his trial.

Kilbride and Schaffer protested their innocence throughout proceedings, but an Arizona jury was unimpressed, finding each guilty of sundry offences including fraud, money laundering, illegal spamming, and various obscenity charges. The three week trial was the first to include charges under the CAN-SPAM Act, the US's controversial anti-spam laws.

Beginning in 2003, Kilbride and Schaffer established a spamming operation in the United States. They specialised in sending junk mails promoting hard-core porn sites, earning a commission any time someone signed up in response to their messages. Often these indiscriminately sent messages contained explicit images.

In late 2003, after the CAN-SPAM Act was passed, Kilbride and Schaffer took steps to relocate their illicit enterprise abroad. By remotely logging in to servers in Amsterdam, the men were able to make it appear that the messages they were sending originated abroad, when they were actually being sent from Phoenix. Their emails contained falsified headers that implied they were sent from a shell corporation in Mauritius.

The duo used bank accounts in the Republic of Mauritius and the Isle of Man to receive the proceeds from the operation in a bid to further throw investigators off their scent, ultimately without success. Two of the pair's co-conspirators - Andrew Ellifson, 31, of Scottsdale, Arizona; and Kirk Rogers, 43, of Manhattan Beach, California - turned state's evidence at Kilbride and Schaffer's trial.

At their sentencing hearing last week, Kilbride and Schaffer were fined $100,000 and ordered to pay $77,500 in restitution to AOL. Judge Campbell also ordered the defendants to stump up more than $1.1m, the estimated proceeds of their spamming business.

More information can be found in a DoJ statement on the case here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
Bad PUPPY: Undead Windows XP deposits fresh scamware on lawn
Installing random interwebs shiz will bork your zombie box
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.