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Spammer Ordered To Pay AOL $5.3 Million

Christopher William Smith, currently in jail awaiting trial on other charges, reportedly spammed users with shills for porn sites, online college degrees, and bogus Viagra.

Gregg Keizer

January 27, 2006

1 Min Read

A Minnesota man who authorities said sent billions of spam messages via America Online in 2003 was ordered to pay the ISP $5.3 million, a federal judge ruled this week.

Christopher William Smith, 25, who is currently in jail waiting an October trial on federal charges that he operated an illegal online pharmacy in 2004 and 2005, reportedly spammed users with shills for porn sites, online college degrees, and bogus Viagra.

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Smith dropped out of high school in 1998, and lived in a $1.1 million house until he was arrested.

AOL spokesman Nicholas Graham told the Associated Press that Smith "was the poster child for the CAN-SPAM Act,'' legislation that Congress enacted in 2003 and which went into effect two years ago this month. "This is someone we've been pursuing for three years,'' Graham said.

The judgment is one of the largest ever received by AOL in a spam case.

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