Two men have been sentenced to more than five years in prison for organizing and running an international pornographic spamming business that grossed over $1 million.
Jeffrey A. Kilbride, 41, of Venice, Calif., and James R. Schaffer, 41, of Paradise Valley, Ariz., were sentenced by U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell of the District of Arizona in a hearing that began on Sept. 24, 2007, and concluded yesterday. Kilbride was sentenced to 72 months in prison and Schaffer was sentenced to 63 months in prison.
Beginning in 2003, Kilbride and Schaffer established a spamming operation in the United States. Their business model consisted of sending millions of unsolicited email messages which advertised commercial Internet hard-core pornography Web sites.
Kilbride and Schaffer earned a commission for each person they caused to subscribe to one of these Web sites. Hard-core pornographic images were embedded in each email they sent and were visible to any person who opened the email.
In all, AOL and the FTC received over 1.5 million complaints from spam recipients. The evidence at trial established that the defendants falsified header information and domain names of the messages they sent by creating a fictitious employee at a shell corporation in the Republic of Mauritius, in order to hide their criminal conduct.