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Alan Ralsky

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Alan Ralsky Index

Country: United States
State: Michigan
Convicted fraudster, spams using hijacked proxies & virus infected PCs and in the past by hijacking mail servers and mail accounts. One of the first people to host spam-websites in China to evade US law. Served years in prison due to stock-fraud spamming, but soon after being released, seemed to get right back into spamming.

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MEDIA: Notorious Spammer Sent to Prison

Nine of his co-conspirators convicted as well

By Lucian Constantin, Web News Editor
25th of November 2009, 13:43 GMT

The U.S. Department of Justice announces that former spam kingpin Alan M. Ralsky was sentenced to 51 months in jail, on Monday, for instrumenting a stock fraud scheme. Nine of his accomplices have also received prison sentences for their role in the operation.

Alan M. Ralsky, 64, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, used to sit at the top of "The 10 Worst Spammers [in the world]" list maintained by the Spamhaus Project. According to the authorities, the spammer is directly responsible for millions of unsolicited commercial emails sent between 2004 and 2005.

Ralsky's spamming activities supported what is known as a "pump and dump" stock fraud scheme, which involves artificially inflating the stock value of companies. First, the fraudster invested into shares from several relatively unknown Chinese companies, identified on the market as CDGT, WWBP, CWTD or PGCN.

Together with his accomplices, he then proceeded to sending millions of junk emails in order to promote their stocks. Once they reached a high enough value, Ralsky proceeded to sell his shares for a profit, which was later split amongst all members of the gang. The operation is estimated to have earned them almost $3 million.

Judy M. Devenow, 56, of Lansing, Michigan, was the first member of the fraud ring to plead guilty and agree to testify against Ralsky. Because of her cooperation, she only received an 18 months in jail penalty and was ordered to pay a fine of $7,500. Following her release, she will be on probation for another three years.

David Patton, 49, of Centreville, Va., a software developer who admitted to helping Ralsky with spamming software tools, got off with only a single day in prison, followed by one year of supervised release. He was also ordered to forfeit $50,100 and pay a $3,000 fine.

Scott Bradley, 48, of West Bloomfield and Ralsky's son-in-law was sentenced to 40 months in prison. Bradley and Alan Ralsky also forfeited $250,000 each to the United States Government and will be on parole for 5 years after their release. They both pleaded guilty back in June.

Frank Tribble, 42, of Bayside, N.Y., was sentenced to 51 months in prison, five years of supervised release and forfeiture of $500,000. How Wai John Hui, 51, of Hong Kong, also received 51 months in prison and had to forfeit $500,000. John S. Bown, 45, of Fresno, California, who constructed a spam botnet to be used by the gang, was sentenced to 32 months in prison. He forfeited $120,000.

The other co-conspirators sentenced to prison are William Neil, 46, of Fresno, California (35 months), James Bragg, 40, of Sun Lakes, Arizona (12 months) and James Fite, 36, of Culver City, California (12 months). Together they forfeited nearly $200,000.

These convictions are the result of a three-year investigation, led by the FBI with assistance from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the IRS Criminal Investigative Division. "With todays sentence of the self-proclaimed Godfather of Spam, Alan Ralsky, and [...] others who played central roles in a complicated stock spam pump and dump scheme, the Court has made it clear that advancing fraud through abuse of the Internet will lead to several years in prison," commented U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg for the Eastern District of Michigan, who prosecuted the case.

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