Virginia nabs two big spammers

Friday, 12 December 2003, 11:46 AM EST

Two North Carolina men were indicted for violating the state's junk e-mail law by sending thousands of e-mail pitches for investments, software and other products, in what prosecutors said was the nation's first felony charges for unsolicited e-mail.

Jeremy Jaynes, 29, who uses the aliases of Jeremy James and Gaven Stubberfield, and Richard Rutowski each face four felony counts of transmission of unsolicited bulk electronic mail, Virginia Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore said Thursday.

Each count carries up to five years in prison and fines of up to $2,500.

The indictments, returned Monday by a grand jury in Loudoun County, Virginia, were based on Virginia's antispam law, which took effect July 1. Kilgore's office launched its investigation into what he described as a massive spamming operation that used the America Online computer network, which is headquartered in the county.

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