Feeds

US smut spam duo jailed for five years apiece

Take them down

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.