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Home » Hacking News » Former AOL employee jailed

Former AOL employee jailed

by Nikola Strahija on August 21st, 2005 A former AOL engineer was sent to jail for 15 months after he confessed to stealing 92m screen names and email addresses belonging to an estimated 30m AOL members and selling them to spammers.


Jason Smathers was also ordered by the judge to pay $83,000 in compensation or three times the $28,000 he made flogging off AOL screen names and email addresses to a spammer, named in court as Sean Dunaway, 22, of Las Vegas.

USA Today reports that Dunaway used the addresses to promote a net gambling business prior selling them on to other junk mailers for $52,000, who subsequently bombarded AOL members with penis pill offers and other assorted tat. Criminal charges against Dunaway are pending, the paper reports.

Smathers might have faced up to 15 years in jail and a $500K fine prior to a plea bargaining agreement earlier this year. Smathers' lawyer, Jeffrey Hoffman, described his client's actions as a "dumb, stupid, insane act" that he now profoundly regrets. -I know I've done something very wrong, Smathers told Judge Hellerstein prior to sentencing. The judge accepted that Smathers had demonstrated genuine contrition and refused a probation request to prohibit Smathers from working as a software engineer after his release.


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