In the first jury conviction under the Can-Spam Act of 2003, a California man has been found guilty of operating a sophisticated phishing scheme that attempted to dupe thousands of AOL users.
Jeffrey Brett Goodin, 45, of Azusa, Calif., was found guilty of sending thousands of e-mails set up to appear to be from AOL's billing department to the company's users, prompting them to reply with personal and credit card information. He then used the information to make unauthorized purchases, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.
Goodin is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Christina A. Snyder on June 11. He faces a maximum sentence of 101 years in federal prison.
The evidence presented during the week-long trial showed that Goodin used several compromised Earthlink accounts to send the fraudulent spam. Users were urged to update their AOL billing information or risk losing service. The e-mails, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, referred people to one of a list of Web pages where they were directed to input their personal and financial information. Prosecutors contend that Goodin controlled the Web pages, and he subsequently collected the information and then made charges on people's credit or debit cards.
Goodin also was found guilty of 10 other counts, including wire fraud, aiding and abetting the unauthorized use of an access device (a credit card in this case), possession of more than 15 unauthorized access devices, misuse of the AOL trademark, attempted witness harassment, and failure to appear in court.