back to article Spammer faces 11 years in prison

A New York man who was snared in federal investigators' sting operation targeting senders of junk email pleaded guilty to spamming 1.2m AOL subscribers. Adam Vitale, 26, of Brooklyn, pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan to violations of the CAN-Spam Act. He faces 11 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 at his …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Give him some work

    11 years isn't enough by itself.

    He should be forced to send out apologies to every one of the 1.2m people he spanned -- typing them out individually and without any cut and paste. If he hasn't finished at the end of the 11 years, then the sentence carries on running until he's sent them all.

    Of course, they don't actually get sent -- because that would be more spam -- but to force him to go through the motions of typing them out would be great.

  2. Ralph B

    Maybe there is a God?

    Paris Hilton and the AOL spammer ... in the same week! :-)

  3. Doug Bird


    We see a punishment to fit the crime! Spamming is a serious theft of services, and causes universal damage. 11 years is a serious sentence indeed. Too bad most white collar crimes aren't treated the same way in america.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    11 years for sending SPAM and 45 days for multiple DUI infractions?

    There's justice for you. Some knob sends a bunch of email that people can block and/or delete and he gets 11 years in jail and a $250K fine.

    Some tart in a $100K vehicle (?) drives while intoxicated, 3 times! and gets 45 days in protected custody and a $1500 fine.

    So the lesson that we have learned is: inconvenience people and get the book thrown at you, potentially kill people and get a reality TV show out of it.



  5. Aitor

    Justice is served.

    Well, if one guy spams weekly 1.2 million people... and each of them loses jus 1 sec: 1,2 million secs -> 333 hours -> 2 months work time each week!!

    And that is consedering the loss of just one second...

  6. Colin Wilson

    Make him...

    ...break rocks in the desert for six months - something completely and utterly mind numbing - like deleting unwanted spam - would seem to be a suitable punishment.

    ...if we can send the over-hyped drink-driving chavette with him, all the better !

    Alternatively, i'd love to see him forced to work (for free) for an ISP, deleting every single spam mail to every single user one at a time :-p

  7. Stuart Van Onselen

    Not so fast...

    ...he hasn't been sentenced yet. 11 years is the *maximum* sentence that he *could* get.

    So comparisons to Paris Hilton are premature. He may only get a few months in the end.

  8. Steve Evans

    And when he comes out

    I think he should have all his email addresses publicly posted for the rest of his life.

    See how he likes it.

  9. Matt


    There is something a bit wrong with all this - 11 years for sending spam (albeit a lot, but bear with me) = huge fines/long jail terms, same for sharing mp3s/movies. Yet reading in the papers yesterday a man here got only 3 years for breaking into his neighbour's house and raping her. Oh, and this was intially a suspended sentance, only activated when he flicked a lit cigarette at his victim **just hours after the hearing**.

    So crimes against an individual/that have potential to cause real harm - a slap on the wrist, essentially, compared to crimes against corporations and/or where no real harm to the individual. Eh, priorities people?

    Rather than 11 years in prison (or jail, or gaol ;-P ) this chap, who obviously knows a bit about computers, should be put to better use - have him teach computer (not spamming!) skills to kids, or something useful.

  10. Jan Buys

    Re : Give him some work

    I agree, and each mail he sends should immediately bounce so he gets feedback on how useless it is. Just like deleting spam is, for that matter.

  11. regadpellagru

    not a big deal

    "A New York man who was snared in federal investigators' sting operation targeting senders of junk email pleaded guilty to spamming 1.2m AOL subscribers."

    Well, since AOL users spammed the hell of usenet, 10 years

    ago or so, and for a very long time, without any penalty, I don't

    see how they could claim damage for only 1.2m spams ;-)

    Probably nothing as compared to their traffic or "me too" and

    similar ...

    Ok, I'm going out ...

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