Anti-spam efforts have borne
fruit with the ‘Godfather’ of spam being sentenced to over 4 years in
It is said that when a giant falls, we all feel the ground
shake; and this
is exactly what happened when Alan Ralsky, possibly amongst the biggest
ever, was indicted for mail fraud. He was sentenced to over 4 years in
along with his accomplices for persistently sending unsolicited junk
over a sustained period of time.
In a ruling that sends out a clear message to chronic
Ralsky was not only handed a stiff prison sentence, but will also
$250,000 that the government seized from him two years ago and be under
surveillance for five years after his release.
Having earned a reputation as the mastermind behind
email campaigns, Ralsky misused technology to dupe unsuspecting
of thousands of dollars. Typically, Ralsky and his associates would
large quantities of a relatively unknown microcap stock. Next, they
email blasts falsely informing recipients that it was a great
buy and wait
until some of them bought the stock. When the stock price went up
heavy buying activity, Ralsky and the other fraudsters would sell their
at a healthy profit.
According to Spamhaus.org, a prominent anti-spam group, Ralsky
had been involved
in many similar ‘pump-and-dump’ scams since as far back as 1997.
During the process, it is suspected that he used hundreds of computers
or ‘zombies’ to
send out junk email from many different aliases. Besides Ralsky, Scott
his son-in-law, and How Wai John Hui, from Canada, have been indicted
with the case.
This development once again makes it abundantly clear that you
be careful when dealing with unsolicited email communication. If you’re
a marketer who cares about reputation, it’s probably a good idea to
sure that your
email campaign is playing by the rules and, if possible,
up to the highest standards of email marketing—something you can be
of with Benchmark Email.