Man Sentenced for Spamming Porn Ads

A former resident of Marina del Rey was sentenced on July 29, 2007 for massively spamming of e-mail advertisements. The spam advertisements promoted pornographic websites. The man has to complete probation for three years and remain detained at home for six months.

40-year old Nicholas Tombros was also penalized with a fine of $10,000 as per a plea settled with federal prosecutors in the month of September 2004. Further information regarding the plea settlement, including the reasons for the three years delay in sentencing Tombros, was secret, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Wesley Hsu. Dailybreeze reported this on August 1, 2007.

The lapse of three years before Tombros was sentenced is rather mysterious, said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. In comparison with the rest of the convicted spammers, Tombros was relatively unscathed. Sentencing should be quicker to indicate to other spammers that their spam-related activities would not be tolerated, Cluley said. Information Week reported this on August 1, 2007.

Tombros' case was the first spamming conviction in the country under the 2003 Can Spam Act, according to which spam mails are illegal. In a 'war driving' act, Tombros illegally used a laptop PC while driving around Venice to find access to unprotected wireless Internet accounts. When he was able to find one, he used it to spam out e-mails canvassing pornographic websites. Tombros admitted that he gained unauthorized access to a PC from where he sent a number of unsolicited commercial e-mails.

Tombros' story sends another warning message to users of wireless Internet connection. Businesses and home users must ensure proper security to their wireless Internet accounts or encounter hackers' attacks, Cluley said.

Tombros is, however, more fortunate to not receive a harsher punishment, especially when other prosecutions around the same time were tougher for similar crimes. For e.g., 27-year old Robert Alan Soloway, who owns Newport Internet Marketing Corp at Seattle, faces five counts of mail fraud, identity theft, wire fraud, e-mail fraud, and laundering of money. If Soloway is proved guilty of all the charges, he could serve prison sentence of up to 75 years.

Related article: Man Sues and Wins against ISP for Spamming Mail

ยป SPAMfighter News - 13-08-2007

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