Old 6th January 2008, 04:00   #1
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"Spam king" indicted in stock fraud scheme

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal grand jury in Detroit has indicted a Michigan man dubbed the "spam king," and 10 others, in an international illegal bulk e-mailing and stock fraud scheme, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday.

The 41-count indictment charges Alan Ralsky, 52, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, his son-in-law, and nine others with operating an spamming operation that focused on running a stock "pump and dump" scheme.

"Today's charges seek to knock out one of the largest illegal spamming and fraud operations in the country, an international scheme to make money by manipulating stock prices through illegal spam e-mail promotions," U.S. Attorney Stephen Murphy said in a statement.

Under the scheme, the group sent spam touting thinly traded Chinese penny stocks, drove up their stock price, and reaped profits by selling the stock at artificially inflated prices, the statement said.

The Detroit Free Press said prosecutors described Ralsky as one of the most prolific spammers in the United States.

According to the indictment, the Ralsky's group used various illegal methods in order to maximize the amount of spam that evaded spam-blocking devices and tricked recipients into opening, and acting on, the advertisements in the spam.

The indictment followed a three-year investigation. Investigators estimate that those charged earned approximately $3 million during the summer of 2005 alone as a result of their illegal spamming activities.

Three people have been arrested, including Ralsky's son-in-law Scott Bradley and How Wai John Hui, a dual national of Canada and Hong Kong. The others, including a Russian national, still are being sought, the Justice Department said.

The Detroit News reported that Ralsky was believed to be in Europe and quoted his attorney, Philip Kushner, as saying Ralsky would voluntarily surrender to federal authorities in the next few days.
Fri Jan 4, 2008 9:30am EST
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Old 6th January 2008, 15:39   #2
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Legal or not, this is brilliant. I've been privy to getting some of those spam emails and have also watched what happened to the stocks. I saw one go from $0.12 to trading at $2.10 three days later. It then gradually fell back down to $0.12.

Yeah. They made a mint.

Now let me ask this: don't companies to the same sort of thing to help drive up the price of their stocks?
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Old 6th January 2008, 15:48   #3
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I wonder what would have happened if you had bought the stock? Do you think you'd be open to a legal action?

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Old 9th January 2008, 22:46   #4
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Sign you've been playing WoW too long: When I read this headline I immediately thought of "Kah," a douchebag on my server that is constantly selling shitty runs through the Deadmines and WC and shitty bags and stuff.

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