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"World's worst" spammer in court

10 billion emails a day
Wed Dec 16 2009, 11:18

AN AUSSIE BLOKE accused of being the mastermind of the world's largest online spam operation appeared in court Down Under today.

M'learned friend for the prosecution claimed that Lance Thomas Atkinson, 26, was involved in a large scale spam operation that sent 10 billion emails each day to Internet users all over the world.

Atkinson has admitted taking part in the operation that lured people to snake oil websites peddling dodgy prescription drugs as well as "male enhancement" and weight-loss pills. The websites were hosted in China and the drugs were shipped from India.

Atkinson has been fined $16 million by US authorities over his spam scams and was also fined $100,000 by a New Zealand court. He was dragged into an Aussie court by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

The authority blamed him for more than 100,000 spam email complaints from Australian residents.

Atkinson had co-operated with investigators and the appropriate penalty was a $210,000 fine, the court was told.

Justice Andrew Greenwood reserved his decision in the case until next Tuesday.

Atkinson worked with the American citizen Jody Smith. The pair controlled a "botnet" of 35,000 computers capable of sending 10 billion email messages a day, the bewigged one was told. µ


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