TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Spammer Gets 9 Years

Spammer Gets 9 Years

Chris Farrar (
Fri, 8 Apr 2005 16:33:49 -0400

North Carolina spammer gets nine years; Sentence postponed while
appeal is heard. Jeremy Jaynes was among the top 10 spammers in the
world when arrested, prosecutors say.


LEESBURG, Va. A man convicted in the U.S.'s first felony prosecution
for illegal spamming was sentenced to nine years in prison today, but
the judge postponed the sentence while the case is appealed.

Loudoun County Circuit Judge Thomas Horne said that because the law
targeting bulk e-mail distribution is new and raises constitutional
questions, it was appropriate to defer the prison time until appeals
courts rule.

Jeremy Jaynes of Raleigh, N.C., was convicted in November for using
false Internet addresses to send mass e-mail ads through an AOL server
in Loudoun. A jury had recommended the nine-year prison term.

Prosecutors said Jaynes used the Internet to peddle sham products and
services such as a 'FedEx refund processor.'

Virginia, where AOL is based, prosecuted the case under a law that
took effect in 2003 barring people from sending bulk e-mail that is
unsolicited and masks its origin.

Jaynes told the judge that regardless of how the appeal turns out, "I
can guarantee the court I will not be involved in the e-mail marketing
business again."

Lisa Hicks-Thomas, the prosecutor, said she was pleased with the
ruling and confident that the law would be upheld on appeal.

"We're satisfied that the court upheld what 12 citizens of Virginia
determined was an appropriate sentence =97 nine years in prison,"
said Hicks-Thomas.

Defense attorney David Oblon argued that nine years was far too long
given that Jaynes was charged as an out-of-state resident with
violating a Virginia law that had taken effect just two weeks before.

Prosecutors have said Jaynes was among the top 10 spammers in the
world at the time of his arrest, using the name "Gaven Stubberfield"
and other aliases to peddle junk products and pornography.

The jury had also convicted Jaynes' sister, Jessica DeGroot of
Raleigh, but recommended only a $7,500 fine. Her conviction was later
dismissed by the judge. A third defendant, Richard Rutkowski of Cary,
N.C., was acquitted of all charges.

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