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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?