A 27-year-old man described as one of the world’s most prolific spammers was arrested Wednesday, and federal authorities said computer users across the Web could notice a decrease in the amount of junk e-mail.
Robert Alan Soloway is accused of using networks of compromised “zombie” computers to send out millions upon millions of spam e-mails.
“He’s one of the top 10 spammers in the world,” said Tim Cranton, a Microsoft Corp. lawyer who is senior director of the company’s Worldwide Internet Safety Programs. “He’s a huge problem for our customers. This is a very good day.”
A federal grand jury last week returned a 35-count indictment against Soloway charging him with mail fraud, wire fraud, e-mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.
Soloway pleaded not guilty Wednesday afternoon to all charges after a judge determined that – even with four bank accounts seized by the government – he was sufficiently well off to pay for his own lawyer.
He has been living in a ritzy apartment and drives an expensive Mercedes convertible, said prosecutor Kathryn Warma. Prosecutors are seeking to have him forfeit $773,000 they say he made from his business, Newport Internet Marketing Corp.
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