Spammer to serve time


Helen Martin

Virus Bulletin, UK
Editor: Helen Martin


Prolific spammer gets his just desserts.

Prolific spammer Alan Ralsky is facing up to 87 months in jail after pleading guilty to his part in a pump‑and-dump stock spam scam. Ralsky and his son-in-law are believed to have masterminded the scam, in which spam was used to artificially boost interest in Chinese penny stocks – the scammers would then trade in their shares when the value of the stock reached its highest point. Ralsky pleaded guilty to conspiracy to wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and CAN-SPAM offences. He and his accomplices are estimated to have made $3 million from the scam in just 18 months.

Ralsky reportedly once admitted sending more than 70 million messages a day, and in 2003, just prior to the CAN‑SPAM Act coming into force, he said that the passage of the US bill through the House of Representatives had ‘made [his] day’ – referring to what was considered the relatively lax nature of the bill which put the onus on the user to opt out of mailings. No doubt anti‑spam campaigners will be delighted that Ralsky has finally had his come‑uppance.



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