Jerry Smathers, a former AOL employee who first made the news by stealing more than 92 million AOL user email addresses, and selling them to spammers, is now facing up to two years in prison for his misdeed.
Due in court in New York on Tuesday, it is anticipated that Smathers will plead guilty to violating CAN-SPAM, and that in exchange the prosecutors will recommend that he receive up to two years in prison, along with a hefty fine.
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According to reports, Smathers was fired from AOL in June, and then used another employee’s access code to acquire the list of user email addresses. He then sold it to a spammer for which he allegedly received $100,000 (trust Aunty on this, a list of 92 million fresh, live AOL email addresses is worth a lot to spammers!)
The spammer to whom Smathers sold the list then in turn sold it to others. The theft of the user names was ultimately reported by yet another spammer, who had been arrested and provided the information in the course of his own prosecution.
Given how far-reaching this spammer-to-spammer ripple-effect distribution has been, Smathers is darned lucky to get off so relatively lightly.
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