Buffalo spammer gets 3.5 to 7 years

A New York man convicted of using the network of Internet service provider EarthLink to send out hundreds of millions of unsolicited commercial (spam) e-mail was sentenced to between three-and-a -half and seven years in prison Thursday, according to Brad Maione, a spokesman for New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

Howard Carmack of Buffalo, New York, also known as the "Buffalo Spammer," was sentenced by senior Erie County Judge Michael D'Amico in Buffalo. The sentence is the first obtained following a conviction using the state's identity theft law, Maione said.

Carmack was found guilty in April by a jury in Erie County, New York, on 14 counts, including charges that he stole the identity of two Buffalo-area residents, which he then used to send out more than 800 million spam messages, the attorney general's office said.

The New York State case followed a civil suit against Carmack by EarthLink that resulted in a US$16 million award against Carmack in May, 2003.

EarthLink cooperated with the Attorney General's office in its investigation and testified against Carmack in the criminal case, according to New York Assistant Attorney General Paul McCarthy.

The jail sentence is the maximum allowed under the law, due to Carmack's prior felony conviction for fraud in a federal case involving fake money orders, McCarthy said.

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