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Florida Man jailed for 4 years after raking in a million bucks from spam

Miscreant used stolen email accounts to cram crap into inboxes

Value pack of two tins of Spam

A marketer who used stolen email accounts to trouser more than a million dollars by spamming people has been sent down for four years.

Timothy Livingston, 31, was handed the 48-month term after he pleaded guilty to counts of conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with computers and access devices, conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with electronic mail, and aggravated identity theft.

The sentence was handed out on Thursday by Judge William J Martini in the New Jersey District court where Livingston pled guilty to the charges last year.

Based in Boca Raton, Livingston ran and operated a marketing company called A Whole Lot of Nothing LLC, which specialized in sending out bulk emails for clients.

"Livingston's clients included legitimate businesses – such as insurance companies that wished to send bulk emails to advertise their businesses – as well as illegal entities, such as online pharmacies that sold narcotics without prescriptions," the US Department of Justice said.

What the clients did not know (or chose not to ask) was how Livingston was able to spaff out so many emails. The marketer had an arsenal of botnet-controlled accounts and compromised servers he used to help send out the spam runs without being identified or detected by spam filters. He would then collect a commission every time one of his junk mail messages was converted to a sale.

Livingston's codefendant, Tomasz Chmielarz of New Jersey, also admitted writing the malware used to infect and control the botnets.

By the time Livingston was finally caught, it is estimated his spamming network was able to rack up around $1.35m in ill-gotten gains. He will have to forfeit all of that as part of his plea deal. ®

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