Nine years for spam master

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Spam king Jeremy Jaynes was sentenced to nine years in prison on Friday, but allowed to remain free while he appeals the decision.

The 30-year-old from North Carolina stands convicted of sending millions of spam emails to AOL accounts in what is the first US felony conviction for spam.

Jaynes is allowed to walk free pending his appeal, which his attorney, David Oblon said he expects to be successful. Until then Jaynes will remain electronically tagged in Loudon County, where AOL is based.

"I'm satisfied that the court upheld what 12 citizens in Virginia have determined is an appropriate sentence," said Lisa Hicks-Thomas, a prosecutor with the computer crimes division of the Virginia attorney general's office, speaking to the Washington Post.

Jaynes was originally sentenced in November along with his sister Jessica DeGroot for sending millions of emails in a scheme that, at its height, made Jaynes the eighth most prolific spammer in the world and a millionaire.

His arrest was the first under 2003's Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act, or Can-Spam. Panned by some industry experts it has, nevertheless, produced the most high-profile spam conviction in the US.

Last month SC reported 28-year-old DeGroot had her sentence overturned when a judge was convinced no actual link could be made between the North Carolinian and her brother. Judge Thomas D. Horne overturned the conviction after deciding that he could find no "rational basis" for upholding the spam conviction.

Copyright © SC Magazine, US edition
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