Ex-AOL worker pleads guilty
A 24-year-old former America Online software engineer pleaded guilty Friday to stealing 92 million screen names and e-mail addresses and selling them to spammers, setting off an avalanche of up to seven billion unsolicited e-mails.
The soft-spoken Jason Smathers of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, entered the plea to conspiracy charges in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, where he was likely to face from 18 months to two years in prison at a May 20 sentencing. Smathers also faces mandatory restitution of between $200,000 and $400,000, the amount the government estimates AOL spent as a result of the e-mails.
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