Spam ‘Godfather’ Sentenced
Posted on Nov 29, 2009
Encompassing an estimated 78 percent of e-mail, spam remains the bane of many Internet users. The man who has declared himself spam’s godfather, Alan Ralsky, has been sentenced to 51 months in prison for his role in an e-mail stock scam. —JCL
A man who claims to be the “Godfather of Spam” has been sentenced to 51 months in prison by a federal judge in Detroit for his lead role in an e-mail stock scam scheme, according to court documents.
Alan Ralsky, 64, also faces five years probation and will have to forfeit $250,000 that was seized by the government in 2007.
U.S. District Judge Marianne Battani also sentenced three others Monday for their involvement in the scheme, including Ralsky’s son-in-law Scott Bradley, 48, who received 40 months in prison and five years probation.
Ralsky and Bradley were charged for conspiring to commit wire and mail fraud and violating the CAN-SPAM Act, which criminalizes large, commercial e-mail messages sent using an unauthorized computer or with the intent to hide the e-mail’s original source, according to the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. They were also charged with committing wire fraud and engaging in money laundering.
flickr.com / babaghan
The history of Alan Ralsky as a spammer goes back to the 1990s. Before a federal crackdown on spam in 2003, he allegedly was sending 70 million messages a day bearing fake names.