US Judge sentences porn spammers to more than five years

Two men to serve 63- and 72-month prison terms for breaking US federal CAN-SPAM Act

Two men were sentenced to more than five years in prison for their part in sending millions of pornographic spam messages, marking the conclusion of the first major case under the 2003 US federal CAN-SPAM anti-spam law.

Jeffrey Kilbride and James Schaffer, both 41 years old, were convicted in June by a federal jury on eight counts that included violations of the CAN-SPAM Act, which bans the use of falsified e-mail headers and the spoofing of domain names. Their case was the first to include CAN-SPAM charges.

Late last week, U.S. District Judge David Campbell sentenced Kilbride to 72 months in federal prison, and Schaffer to 63 months.

According to prosecutors, the two men, along with three co-conspirators, sent millions of unsolicited messages advertising hard-core pornographic Web sites that included pornographic images visible to anyone who simply opened the message. In late 2003, after the CAN-SPAM Act was passed, Kilbride and Schaffer tried to mask their U.S.-based operation by routing traffic through Dutch servers and spoofing the domain posing in the From: field of outbound messages.

In just over a year, the two made more than US$1 million in commissions from the Web sites they hawked.

Campbell also fined the pair US$100,000 each, ordered them to pay US$77,500 in restitution to AOL and required them to forfeit the US$1.1 million in ill-gotten gains.

The three others involved in the spam ring included Jennifer Clason, 32, Andrew Ellifson, 31,and Kirk Rogers, 43. All pleaded guilty earlier and testified against Kilbride and Schaffer.

Clason gained some notoriety after her guilty plea when researchers discovered in March 2006 that she was running a Web site aimed at work-at-home mothers. Although the site, MommyJobs.com, had no direct links to pornography, it did advertise get-rich-quick schemes, another staple of spammers.

When she announced on MommyJobs.com that she was stepping away from the site, Clason claimed that she had been victimized. "Apparently this guy that I had trusted for 5 years had lied to me," she wrote on a MommyJobs.com forum last year. "Not only was his spam operation illegal, but he was also doing other shady stuff that I had no knowledge of like money laundering!!"

Clason's sentencing has been repeatedly postponed; it is now scheduled for November 26.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?