LOS ANGELES — A man faces a sentence of up to 101 years in federal prison after being the first person in the U.S. convicted under a federal anti-spam law, authorities said.
Jeffrey Brett Goodin, 45, was found guilty Jan. 12 of running a “phishing” scheme that tricked people into believing they were giving personal information to a legitimate business. Prosecutors said Goodin then used the information to go on a spending spree.
Goodin is the first person in the U.S. convicted under the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act, the U.S. attorney’s office said. The law forbids e-mail marketers from sending false or misleading messages and requires them to provide recipients with a way to opt out of receiving future mailings.
During trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Goodin used several compromised Internet accounts to send e-mails to America Online users. The e-mails appeared to be from the company’s billing department and told customers to update their billing information or lose service.
The e-mails referred people to one of several Web pages controlled by Goodin where they could enter their personal information, prosecutors said.
In addition to the anti-spam conviction, Goodin was convicted of 10 other counts, including wire fraud, misuse of the AOL trademark and attempted witness harassment.
Goodin is scheduled to be sentenced June 11.