The Spamhaus Project


Spam Kingpin's hench-woman pleads guilty

by The Spamhaus TeamOctober 15, 20082 minutes reading time

A person well known to Spamhaus, Judy Devenow, one of long time spamming kingpin and convicted felon Alan Ralsky's gang, plead guilty to conspiracy and aiding fraud in a US Federal court. She admitted she had sent millions of spam e-mails a day to generate excitement about junk stocks while working for Ralsky who has been indicted, accused of running the pump-and-dump spam scam.

Federal authorities say Ralsky made US$3 million in summer 2005 alone by trading in and out of Chinese stocks on U.S. exchanges. This is just the "icing on the cake" for the pump-and-dump spammers who are also paid large sums by the stock manipulators (such as Frankie Tribble) who hire them to push the scam via e-mail.

Devenow said she was paid US$150,000 to send e-mail and manage others from January 2004 through September 2005. She, Ralsky and nine other people were charged in January 2008. Thomas Dukes, who specializes in computer crimes at the U.S. Justice Department in Washington DC, is quoted as saying that Ralsky sent tens of millions of e-mails over a 20-month period - and that's a "conservative number," Dukes told the judge. We agree; Spamhaus regularly sees spammers like Ralsky and his gang sending tens of millions of spam e-mails each day. They use innocent people's virus infected PCs to do this and also forge the addresses of innocent people onto the spam's "From:" line ("spoofing") causing untold damage and costs.

Devenow faces 33 months to 41 months in prison, but reports state that her sentence in due in February could be cut to less than two years if the federal prosecutors are satisfied with her assistance. It seems Judy will be "rolling over" on Ralsky and other gang members. Her defense lawyer Richard Zuckerman said outside court today that "She intends to cooperate as needed" and "That includes trial testimony."

Spamhaus suggests to Mr. Ralsky that it may be time to look to try and get a plea bargain. 10 years (half the recommended sentence) in Federal prison would allow the 62 year old Ralsky to get released well into retirement age. And think of the plus-side to this, by then (considering the current state of the US stock market), any legitimate investments should have recovered enough to allow him to retire from spamming completely. That is, unless the IRS who are also involved in this case, takes these too.