Microsoft, Texas AG, Take Down Two of World’s Top Spammers

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The Attorney General of Texas, and Microsoft, this week announced that the Texas Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against a Texas university student, Ryan Samuel Pitylak, and his California partner, Mark Stephen Trotter. Microsoft was one of a group of recipients of the spam, along with Texas anti-spam activist Dewey Coffman, who worked with the Texas AG’s office to bring the spammers to justice.

The two are accused of running PayPerAction, and LeadPlex, which between them sent out millions of pieces of spam in violation of both CAN-SPAM, and Texas anti-spam and trade practices statutes. PayPerAction is accused of operating under at least 250 assumed names alone.


Pitylak, a 22-year old University of Texas student, has a history of spamming from as tender an age as 14, and presently lives in a tony suburb of Austin, Texas, in a house valued at $450,000, and at which he parks both his Jaguar and his BMW.

Odds are good that delivery of spam to your inbox helped to pay for these things.

Pitylak and Trotter are ranked by the well-respected spam watchdog group, SpamHaus.org, as one of the top five spam groups in the world, and the Chicago Tribune has called Pitylak “one of the nation’s most prodigious manufacturers of unsolicited commercial e-mail.” That of course is a fancy way of saying “high volume email deployer”.

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Still, his attorney says that Pitylak exemplifies the American dream. “He is bright and interested and saw a way to use his talents to make some money. He is fortunate enough to make it work out. That is kind of the American dream,” she said.

I don’t know…Aunty’s pretty sure that the American dream includes working hard and earning your money honourably – or, at least not illegaly.

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