A major spammer who was accused of sending up to 25 million emails per day has settled a lawsuit with Microsoft and the State of Texas.
The settlement has cost Ryan Pitylak $1m (£530,000), as well as the seizure of many of the assets he accumulated during a short-lived career as one of the world's worst spammers.
At the peak of his spamming activity, the 24-year-old Texas resident was listed as the world's fourth most prolific spammer by anti-spam group Spamhaus.
Now Pitylak is claiming something of an epiphany, saying he has seen the error of his ways and will dedicate his efforts to trying to rid the world of nuisance email. He has even taken to referring to himself as an "anti-spam activist" in a change of heart of epic proportions.
Pitylak wrote on his blog: "Over time I have come to see how I was wrong to think of spam as just a game of cat and mouse with corporate email administrators. I now understand why so much effort is put into stopping it.
"The settlements with Microsoft and the Attorney General's Office have been a serious reality check: harsh but good, and in the public's best interest."
He added: "I am pleased to announce that I am now a part of the anti-spam community, having started an Internet security company that offers my clients advice on systems to protect against spam.
"I'm now working earnestly to help other entrepreneurs avoid the traps that deceived me and led me to make questionable business choices."