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Godfather of Spam Slapped with 4-Year Sentence

The notorious "Godfather of Spam" Alan M. Ralsky was sentenced to more than four years in prison for constructing a scheme that used spam to manipulate stock prices. U.S. District Judge Marianne O. Battani in the Detroit federal court also sentenced Ralsky's three co-conspirators as well for conspiring to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, and violating the CAN-SPAM act.

Macworld adds a little history to yesterday's statement from the U.S. Department of Justice, reporting that Ralsky proclaimed himself as the "Godfather of Spam" and was even sued by Verizon for sending unauthorized bulk e-mail on its networks. While Ralsky and his band of spammers had previous encounters with law enforcement, the latest "pump-and-dump" scheme finally landed them in prison.

The U.S. Department of Justice said that the conspiracy used spam e-mails to manipulate "thinly traded stocks." The four made profits by trading in those stocks once their share prices increased after recipients of the spam e-mails traded in the promoted stocks. The U.S. Department of Justice also said that Ralsky and his gang pushed the spam onto U.S. companies that were owned and controlled in Hong Kong and China.

Ralsky's son-in-law, 48-year-old Soctt Bradley, was one of the three co-conspirators, and received 40 months in prison. The other two, How Wai John Hui and John S. Brown, received 51 months and 32 months respectively.