Spammer gets 30 months for inundating AOL

A 27-year-old man was sentenced to 30 months in prison Tuesday for blasting AOL subscribers with spam over a four-month period.

A 27-year-old man was sentenced to 30 months in prison Tuesday for blasting AOL subscribers with spam over a four-month period.

Adam Vitale was also ordered to pay AOL US$180,000 in restitution, according to his attorney, David Touger. He was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan.

Vitale and his partner, Todd Moeller, were busted after they offered their spam services to a government informant, according to an indictment filed in May 2006.

The two sent around 250,000 spam messages to more than 1.2 million e-mail addresses belonging to AOL subscribers, the indictment said.

The spam messages contained false "headers," or the set of information contained in an e-mail that identifies where it has been sent from. The information can be faked. The two also routed the spam through open proxies, or other computer servers, in order to make it more difficult to trace.

Moeller pleaded guilt to two counts of e-mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit e-mail fraud. He was sentenced in December 2007 to 27 months, court records show. He also was ordered to forfeit US$183,000 in profit gained from spamming.

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