'Spam King' Robert Alan Soloway Pleads Guilty - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Business & Finance
News
3/17/2008
02:57 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

'Spam King' Robert Alan Soloway Pleads Guilty

Soloway could receive up to 20 years in prison and over half a million dollars in fines for mail, e-mail, and tax violations.

"Spam King" Robert Alan Soloway, who owns Newport Internet Marketing Corporation, pleaded guilty on Friday in Seattle's U.S. District Court to mail and e-mail fraud and willful failure to file a tax return.

Soloway could receive up to 20 years in prison and over half a million dollars in fines when he is sentenced on June 20 by U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman. The bulk of Soloway's sentence is likely to come from the mail fraud offense, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. E-mail fraud is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Willful failure to file a tax return is punishable by up to a year in prison.

Assistant United States Attorney Kathryn Warma said she hopes that Soloway's fate will deter further spamming. "We've only just begun," she said. "Spamming is of high interest to the federal law enforcement community and we're going to be doing more cases. Hopefully, they're going to get the message now."

U.S. investigators have referred to Soloway as "the Spam King," though that title has also been bestowed on the likes of Scott Richter, Alan Ralsky, and Sanford Wallace. The current "spam king," or perhaps spam czar, is Russia's Leo Kuvayev, according to Spamhaus.org.

Warma said that U.S. authorities are working with officials in other countries to spur prosecution of spammers outside U.S. jurisdiction.

Between November 2003 and May 2007, according to the government, Soloway and his company sent tens of millions of spam messages in support of his company's Web sites, products, and services. The messages contained false and misleading header information, and were relayed through bot nets -- networks of PCs compromised as a result of infectious malware.

Newport Internet Marketing Corporation (NIMC) sold "broadcast e-mail services." The company promised permission-based marketing but delivered spam. This resulted in the blacklisting of some of the company's clients.

In 2005, Microsoft won a $7.8 million civil judgment against Soloway for spamming through its Hotmail service. That same year, Oklahoma businessman Robert Braver won a $10 million civil judgment and an injunction against further spamming in his lawsuit against Soloway.

In 2005, Soloway mocked Microsoft's ability to collect any judgment against him, according to a note posted on the Spamhaus.org Web site that's purportedly written by Soloway. "It doesn't matter if they receive a judgment for $8 million or $8 billion, Microsoft won't see a single dime, (or penny) as all my assets are protected under the Washington State Asset Protection Act," the message says.

Warma said Soloway's defiance of the Oklahoma court order against further spamming will probably influence his sentence. Violation of a court order adds two points under federal sentencing guidelines, she said, which might add 18 months to Soloway's sentence.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2018 State of the Cloud
2018 State of the Cloud
Cloud adoption is growing, but how are organizations taking advantage of it? Interop ITX and InformationWeek surveyed technology decision-makers to find out, read this report to discover what they had to say!
Commentary
The Staying Power of Legacy Systems
Mary E. Shacklett, Mary E. Shacklett,  4/15/2019
Commentary
Q&A: Red Hat's Robert Kratky Discusses Essentials of Docs
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  4/15/2019
Commentary
How Cloud Shifts Security Balance of Power to the Good Guys
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  4/11/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
A New World of IT Management in 2019
This IT Trend Report highlights how several years of developments in technology and business strategies have led to a subsequent wave of changes in the role of an IT organization, how CIOs and other IT leaders approach management, in addition to the jobs of many IT professionals up and down the org chart.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll