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Godfather of spam goes down

Made an offer he couldn't refuse
Tue Nov 24 2009, 10:37

THE SELF PROCLAIMED godfather of spam has been made an offer he can't refuse by a US judge.

Four men have been jailed in the US for their roles in an email stock fraud scheme and were given sentences ranging from 32 to 51 months in prison by US District Court Judge Marianne Battani.

Alan Ralsky, 64, and his son-in-law, Scott Bradley, 48, were sentenced to 51 months and 40 months in prison, respectively, on the same charges.

Ralsky was known to brag about the fact that he was the "godfather of spam", and those who disagreed ended up with a virtual horse's head in their beds.

According to AFP, Ralsky flooded email in-boxes with unwanted spam emails and attempted to use a botnet to hijack computers to assist the ring in the scam.

How Wai John Hui, 51, was sentenced to 51 months in prison for wire fraud, money laundering and conspiring to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and to violate the Spam Act.

John Bown, 45, of Fresno, California, was sentenced to 32 months in prison for conspiring to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and to violate the Spam Act, and conspiring to commit computer fraud.

Between January 2004 and September 2005 the four ran a classic pump and dump stock fraud scheme. They bought up cheap shares of companies that were not doing very well. They would then spam loads of people with hot tips, who would also buy shares and force the share prices up. The four then sold all their shares, leaving other investors with seriously over-priced shares.

They managed to make a fair bit from the scheme. Hui was the former chief executive of a company called China World Trade and was told that he had to hand over $500,000 that he made from the scam. µ


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