Spammers in the slammer

A compilation of the most notorious convicted spammers

The Worst Spam Kings Ever

Here's our list of the scariest spammers ever put behind bars

If you have any doubt that spammers are criminals, take a look at our list of the Internet's worst spam kings. These bad guys didn't just send out e-mails hawking herbal remedies, mortgages and penny stocks. They were scam artists, who were found guilty of such crimes as identity theft, tax evasion and money laundering. One of these spammers escaped from jail and went on a killing spree! Read on to find out why law enforcement agencies need to keep putting spammers in the slammer.

Spammer and family dead in apparent murder-suicide

Davidson escaped prison and went on a killing spree

Edward Davidson, 35, is the poster child for why spammers need to be prosecuted. In April 2008, Davidson pleaded guilty to tax evasion and falsifying e-mail headers on messages advertising penny stocks. He was sentenced to 21 months in a minimum security federal prison camp in Colorado. A few days after his July 2008 escape from prison, Davidson was found shot dead in an SUV along with his wife and 3-year-old daughter. Spared were his 7-month-old son and a teenage daughter, who survived a gunshot wound to the neck.

Online drug lord sentenced to 30 years in jail

Spammer's death threat prompted lengthy prison stay

Christopher Smith, 28, made millions selling discounted Viagra and other drugs through an illegal Internet pharmacy. In August 2007, Smith lost all of that cash along with his freedom for the next 30 years. Smith was convicted of conspiracy, money laundering and illegal distribution of drugs. A federal judge in Minnesota threw the book at Smith, a.k.a. "Rizler", after he made a death threat against the children of a witness in his trial.

Seattle spammer gets 47-month sentence

Losing two civil anti-spam lawsuits didn't deter spam king

There's an old saying that most criminals are stupid. That's certainly true of Robert Soloway, 28, who was sentenced to nearly four years in prison in July 2008 for his spamming activities. Soloway pleaded guilty to spamming, fraud and tax evasion. This was the third time Soloway ended up in court on spam-related charges. Soloway lost two previous law suits - filed by Microsoft and an Oklahoma ISP - but kept on spamming.

Notorious stock spamming team gets nabbed by informant

Adam Vitale and Todd Moeller serving 2-plus years in jail

Bragging about their spamming exploits led to the downfall of Adam Vitale and Todd Moeller, who were arrested by the Secret Service after making a deal to send illicit e-mails for a government informant. Vitale, 27, was sentenced to 30 months in prison this July after pleading guilty to several counts of violating the CAN-SPAM Act. Moeller, 29, pled guilty to e-mail fraud and received a 27-month prison sentence in November 2007. Moeller boasted to the informant that he made as much as $40,000 a week sending out spam, particularly pump-and-dump stock e-mails.

Virginia spammer gets 9-year prison term overturned

Prolific spammer argues free speech protections

Convicted spammer Jeremy Jaynes, 34, nabbed a "Get Out of Jail Free Card" in September, when Virginia's high court ruled that the state's anti-spam law violated the First Amendment right to free speech. Jaynes was one of the first spammers to wind up behind bars. He was sentenced to nine years in federal prison in 2005 for sending unsolicited e-mail to tens of thousands of AOL subscribers. Jaynes made $24 million from his spamming operation, according to Virginia prosecutors who have vowed to appeal the latest ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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