Indian-origin spamster charged in fraud case in US

The indictment charges Persaud with ten counts of wire fraud and seeks the forfeiture of four computers.

By: PTI | Chicago | Published:February 8, 2017 4:07 pm

A 36-year-old Indian-origin man has been indicted on federal fraud charges for sending over a million spam emails to people in the US and other countries and damaging several computer networks. Michael Persaud, of Scottsdale, used multiple Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and domains – a technique known as “snowshoe spamming” – to transmit spam emails over at least nine networks, according to an indictment returned in federal court in Washington.

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Persaud often used false names to register the domains, and he created fraudulent “From Address” fields to conceal that he was the true sender of the emails, the indictment states. The charges also accuse Persaud of illegally transferring and selling millions of email addresses for the purpose of transmitting spam. The indictment charges Persaud with ten counts of wire fraud and seeks the forfeiture of four computers.

Persaud gained access and use of the victim networks by falsely representing that he would not use their systems to send spam, and that he would comply with their policies prohibiting spamming, according to the indictment. He used a California company called Impact Media LLC and other aliases to send spam on behalf of sellers of various goods and services, it states. He earned commissions for each sale generated by the spam. He pleaded not guilty and was ordered released on his own recognisance.

Each count of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. If convicted, the Court would impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory US Sentencing Guidelines. Persaud was arrested in January in Arizona and produced before Federal Magistrate Judge Susan E. Cox in Chicago yesterday.

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