Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Spammers go on trial


First felony trial for spamming

LEESBURG, Virginia (AP) -- Three people who allegedly sent America Online customers millions of junk e-mail messages touting penny stocks and other Internet gimmicks went on trial Tuesday in the nation's first such felony case.

The defendants are being tried under a 2003 Virginia anti-spam law that prosecutors say is the harshest of its kind in the nation.

The three face up to 15 years in prison if convicted on all three counts.

Assistant Attorney General Russell McGuire told jurors that on one day alone in July 2003, defendant Jeremy Jaynes sent or attempted to send 7.7 million e-mail messages to AOL customers using false identities or bogus company names. The goal of the messages was to sell software that would allow a person to work from home as a "FedEx refund processor" or that would help them pick the right penny stocks. More from CNN


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