Spammer looks to cut jail time with guilty plea

A spammer in the US looks set to plead guilty as part of a plea bargain in what started as the first Can-Spam prosecution

A Detroit-area man is facing at least two years in jail on charges that he sent millions of spam messages over a number of high-profile company networks in violation of the Can-Spam Act.

Daniel Lin, of West Bloomfield, along with three other men from West Bloomfield, was charged in April 2004 with sending spam over compromised computers belonging to the likes of Ford, Unisys and the US Army Information Centre. They were the first people to face charges under the US Can-Spam Act.

A report in the Detroit News said the emails offered diet aids, herbs and drugs to fight impotence. US authorities claim the gang made approximately $100,000 for their efforts.

Lin is expected to plead guilty to charges including fraud in connection with electronic mail, as part of a deal with US prosecutors to reduce his sentence. Before the deal, Lin faced a maximum of 10 years in jail for two count of spamming plus 10 years for an unrelated gun charge.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, commented: "Spammers don't balk at exploiting the computers of innocent people and companies to relay their unwanted spam onto other computer users.

"Weight-loss products are just one of many goods plugged by spammers but many computer users faced by the growing tide of spam will probably like to see spammers go on a diet of bread-and-water."

CNET's Alorie Gilbert contributed to this report.