EarthLink brings down 'Timeshare Spammer'

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US ISP EarthLink's announced that its investigation of Peter Moshou, aka the "Timeshare Spammer," has led to Moshou being sentenced to serve one year in federal prison. He will also pay $120,000 in restitution stemming from his conviction in June on a federal charge of violating the CAN-SPAM Act.

Moshou's criminal prosecution was among the first under the act. Additionally, EarthLink won a $15.4 million judgment against a Miami, Fla., man the ISP charged with sending hundreds of thousands of unsolicited emails advertising discount ink jet printer cartridges and other printer supplies. The judgment comes just 10 months after EarthLink filed a lawsuit against Craig Brockwell and his company, BC Alliance.

"EarthLink is committed to using every tool in our arsenal to fight spam and other forms of internet abuse. Obtaining a judgment against an individual like Brockwell and working with law enforcement to provide evidence in criminal prosecutions benefits all internet users. Both of these cases represent more examples of how civil litigation and legal action can put spammers out of business," said Larry Slovensky, assistant general counsel for EarthLink.

In the Moshou case, EarthLink worked with federal law enforcement to provide evidence after naming the Florida resident as a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed in January. According to EarthLink's lawsuit, Moshou sent millions of unsolicited commercial emails in 2004 and 2005 seeking personal information by offering brokerage services for people interested in selling their timeshares.

EarthLink's lawsuit charged Moshou with CAN-SPAM violations including falsifying the "from" field in e-mail addresses (spoofing), using deceptive subject lines, failing to identify the sender and failing to provide an electronic unsubscribe option, among other violations.

In the Brockwell judgment, U.S. District Court Judge Beverly B. Martin granted EarthLink's requests for monetary damages and injunctive relief, a ruling that prevents Craig Brockwell and BC Alliance from illegally spamming any internet user, regardless of the user's ISP.

EarthLink filed a lawsuit against Brockwell and BC Alliance in January, charging them with violating the CAN-SPAM Act and various other state and federal statutes, including the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Georgia Computer Systems Protection Act and state and federal racketeering laws.

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