Spammers Sentenced, Ordered To Pay AOL

    October 15, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

It makes one wonder how convicted spammers are treated in prison. The most recent pair of spammers prosecuted saw witnesses from five states come to testify against them and co-spammers turned on them for (presumably) lighter sentences.

Jeffrey Kilbride, 41, of Venice California, and James Schaffer, also 41, of Paradise Alley, Arizona, were sentenced to 72 months and 63 months in prison, respectively, fined $100,000 and were ordered to pay $77,500 in restitution to AOL. They also were ordered to forfeit over $1.1 million in commissions they made spamming inboxes with pornographic emails.

Kilbride got a stiffer sentence, says the Department of Justice for obstructing justice "by attempting to prevent a government witness from testifying at trial." The DOJ didn’t say whether it was one of three "co-conspirators," one of eight citizen spam recipients from Massachusetts, Texas, Iowa, California and Arizona, or other witnesses.

After the passing of the CAN-SPAM Act in 2003, Kilbride and Schaffer logged into remote servers in Amsterdam to make it appear the messages were coming from outside the US. They were actually sent from Phoenix.

Evidence at trial established that they set up a shell corporation in the Republic of Mauritius, and were funneling proceeds to offshore accounts there, as well as on the Isle of Man.

Show there’s no honor among spammers, three "co-conspirators," Jennifer Clason, 32, of Tempe, Ariz.; Andrew Ellifson, 31, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Kirk Rogers, 43, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., all turned on Kilbride and Schaffer in court, and pleaded guilty for their roles in the operation.

The millions of unsolicited messages sent had fake headers and domain names, and included hard core pornography images in the emails themselves in order to entice recipients to sign up for memberships. Some were viewed by recipients’ children, even after filters were set up to block such content.