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Buffalo Spammer Found Guilty

Howard Carmack was sentenced to as many as seven years in prison for stealing Internet accounts to send hundreds of millions of spam messages.
A New York state man accused of stealing Internet accounts to send hundreds of millions of spam messages has been sentenced to as many as seven years in prison.

Howard Carmack, known as the "Buffalo Spammer," was sentenced to up to 7 years in jail on 14 counts of identity theft and forgery by an Erie County, N.Y. court.

In April, Carmack was found guilty of violating state forgery and identity-theft laws. He had been charged with forging business records of Atlanta-based Internet service provider EarthLink when he falsified the headers of spam sent from accounts opened using stolen identities from two Buffalo, N.Y. residents. Estimates of the number of spam E-mails Carmack sent starting in 2002 ranged as high as 850 million.

Last year, EarthLink won a $16.4 million civil judgment against Carmack in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. EarthLink accused Carmack of using stolen credit-card numbers to set up scores of accounts on its service, then spawning spam from the accounts to advertise a slew of schemes and products.

As it did when Carmack was found guilty, EarthLink was quick to applaud the Thursday sentencing.

"Before spammers send one more spam E-mail, they should remember that what happened to Howard Carmack can happen to them--a lengthy prison sentence," Karen Cashion, EarthLink's assistant general counsel, said in a statement.