200801006_1_27141.jpgHis bulk e-mails have been clogging inboxes all over the world. His name has been high on Spamhaus’ ten most wanted list.
Federal prosecutors say, his indictment by a federal grand jury has been touted as a major development in the legal battle against unwanted emails.

According to Reuters: Alan Ralsky, a 52-year-old resident of West Bloomfield, Michigan, has been indicted for 41 counts of fraud, along with his son-in-law, Scott K. Bradley, 46 and fellow Michigan resident Judy M. Devenow, 55. Included in the grand jury’s indictment are eight other individuals from Canada, California, Arizona, Russia and Hong Kong. Bradley and Devenow have been apprehended and arraigned.

The “Spam King” as Ralsky is referred to, allegedly sends tens of thousands of bulk e-mails to random addresses available on the Internet. The spam he peddles online ranges the gamut of services and penny stocks, the latter the most “popular” and “lucrative” for him. Unsuspecting respondees to the penny stocks e-mails purchased the low-priced stocks, which Ralsky massaged and inflated, allowing him and his cohorts to sell the stocks at much higher rates.

The spam ring led by Ralsky found ways of going about protective measures set up by e-mail providers. Their modus operandi included fabricating bogus e-mail headings and sending bulk e-mails from undetected proxy servers. The spammers widened their cheating range by infecting recipients’ desktops, turning them into automatic spam senders.

Three years of concerted investigations from the FBI, the IRS and the Postal Service have yet to reveal an exact figure on the spammers’ earnings, but the Department of Justice estimates that the defendants earned as much as three million dollars in the summer of 2005.

On top of the fraud charges heaped upon the defendants, other related charges such as mail fraud and money laundering have been added to their respective dockets.

The Detroit News reveals that Ralsky, reportedly in Europe, maintains his innocence, citing that his business was legitimate. Philip Kushner, Ralsky’s lawyer told the paper that his client was willing to turn himself in within the next few days. Kushner defends his client’s innocence, saying that “the charges… are brought under a federal statute that has not been interpreted by the courts”.

Contributed by: Arne Galang, TigerDirect News Correspondent.

Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.” Sophocles

Sources: ZDnet, CNET

Resources: Spamhaus