Spam King Alan Ralsky Gets Four Years In Jail

from the how's-that-house-looking-now? dept

Remember Alan Ralsky? The "spam king" came to be well known online in 2002 after agreeing to a profile in the Detroit Free Press, where he bragged about all the spamming he did and the huge house it had bought him. The folks on Slashdot decided to do something about Ralsky, and started signing him up for all sorts of snail mail marketing offers, so his real life mailbox was overflowing with ads. The humor-impaired Ralsky apparently couldn't see the irony, saying he was going to sue the people involved. He never seemed to actually get around to that. Instead, while it took quite some time, law enforcement started investigating Ralsky. While he had loudly insisted that the CAN SPAM law wouldn't impact him, the FBI disagreed. Last year, he was finally indicted. Earlier this year he entered a guilty plea and has now been sentenced to four years in jail for his spamming and fraud activities -- reported in the same Detroit Free Press that ran that original profile of him. Maybe he should have avoided bragging about the mansion that spam built.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Robert Ring (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:57pm

    Looks like it got him a mansion ... with barred cells! *rimshot*

     

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  2.  
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    Robert Ring (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:58pm

    Re:

    (P.S. - Sorry.)

     

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  3.  
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    BBT, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:59pm

    Yeah, he got a big house...The Big House.

     

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  4.  
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    Toca, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 1:01pm

    Karma...

    Once again proof positive that Karma is B...th. "humour challenged...haha. Priceless.

    That should once and for all time be the definition of irony in Merriam Webster dictionary.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re:

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 1:12pm

    Seems to me that many people would trade four years in prison for millions of dollars.

    I've never been in prison, so I can't say for sure.

     

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  7.  
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    Nate (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Haha that's awesome. I'll bookmark that for later...

     

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  8.  
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    Eric, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 1:38pm

    Wonder if...

    ...the spam snailmail will get forwarded to his cell?

     

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  9.  
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    sexydiverguy (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 1:39pm

    Spam King in prison

    I'm sure he'll see lots of spam in prison...or something like that.

    How about computer privileges? Does he have friends on the outside so business can continue as usual? For the life of me I cannot see how people can make so much money in the way he did...

     

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  10.  
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    Tyanna, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 1:39pm

    Re:

    I'm willing to bet the FBI thought of that and have given him a hefty fine on it. If they didn't get the IRS involved to collect taxes on all that money....

     

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  11.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Wonder if...

    Dude why dont you forward his mail for him ....

     

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  12.  
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    John, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 1:58pm

    What's the big deal

    I don't get hte big deal behind spam? Why putt the guy in jail. You know how much crap I get from publisher clearing house. I wan Ed McMahon thrown in jail, now!

     

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  13.  
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    Big Al, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 1:58pm

    Re:

    Here in Australia, the government are permitted to seize 'proceeds of crime' and dispose of them to compensate the victims or that and other crimes (you should see some of the government/police auctions they have here - want a cheap Porsche?). So if it was an Australian case it is doubtful he would still own that mansion, and the Victims of Crime fund would be significantly larger as a result.

     

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  14.  
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    Martin Cohn (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Wonder if...

    Doubt it. The Postal Inspectors were one of the agencies taking a bite out of his ass.

     

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  15.  
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    TheStupidOne, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 2:52pm

    He shouldn't be in jail

    He should have all proceeds of his illegal activities seized, be put on probation for the rest of his life, be forbidden from owning or using a computer, and sentenced to several hundred hours of community service.

    One thing I hate about America is how we seem to think the only appropriate punishment for any crime is throwing people in prison. Make punishments fit the crimes!

     

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  16.  
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    Rich Kulawiec, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 3:05pm

    A slap on the wrist

    The damage this man (and his associates) have done goes FAR beyond the obvious, and he certainly deserves a correspondingly harsher sentence. The message that this sends to every other spammer out there is "Even if you put up a billboard announcing you're a spammer, it'll be years before anyone does anything about it, and even if they do, you'll face a token sentence -- and most of your money will be waiting for you when it's over".

     

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  17.  
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    BubbaCatts (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 3:14pm

    OBAMA is WHO should BE IN PRISON !!

    Keep your head up Alan!
    At least YOU WORKED for Your money!
    all those punks were saying you were gonna do 15 HARD YEARS! LOL!
    You can ease by these few months Alan!
    take care of yourself!
    You are one of the last STANDUP guys left!

    OBAMA and his administration should be the ones going to jail for what they are doing to this great country!
    The SECRET SERVICE needs to take a COUPLE DAYS OFF :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Sydney (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 4:40pm

    Prison, not jail

    He gets 4 years in prison, not jail.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison

     

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  19.  
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    KnightHawk, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:07pm

    Re: OBAMA is WHO should BE IN PRISON !!

    I don't suppose that maybe your a spammer to? I get off work today and find 10 pieces of spam in my email. 3 more an hour and a half later. Then another half hour later I have 2 more. I might have problems if the ISP starts to charge by the byte. Stupid spammers should be thrown in the pound you in the rear prison for no less then 10 years and have all money seized from them. I did not sign up on some list for a bunch of junk mail. And then you can't even unsubscribe cause then they start emailing twice as much. Spammers are some real low pieces of scum.

     

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  20.  
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    Lucretious, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:56pm

    does he get to keep any of his personal financial assets? If he does, it would seem to be that 4 years, while very unpleasant, is a small price to pay for knowing your millions will be waiting safe and sound for when you get out. I could do 4 years no problem with that knowledge.

     

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  21.  
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    Bob, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 9:06pm

    I think the sentencing guidelines should be simple.

    For every individual piece of spam sent, the sentence should be 1 minute in prison, and $0.01 fine.

    Oh, you sent 70,000,000 spams a day for a year? that will be $255,500,000 please, and we won't be seeing you again for 48,611 years.. Adios sucker..

     

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  22.  
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    BubbaCatts (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 9:09pm

    Re:

    buhaha
    well HELL YEAH!

    You think Alan only made what the feds FOUND???
    TRUST ME...he is MUCH SMARTER THAN THAT???
    Yeah, I know he GOT CAUGHT....but it was ONLY BECAUSE SOMEONE RATTED ON HIM!
    I retired in 2003 and I know Alan and consider him a friend and a VERY STAND UP GUY!
    WHEN HE GETS OUT HE WON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WORKING AGAIN, SO ALL YOU LITTLE BITCHES WHO THINK Y'ALL GOT THE BEST OF HIM..THINK AGAIN ! :-)

     

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  23.  
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    cc, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 3:32am

    Mike, any chance we can have BubbaCatts's email address? ;)

    Well, he certainly has the punctuation and capitalisation skills of a spammer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    BubbaCatts (profile), Nov 25th, 2009 @ 9:01am

    RE CC BubbaCatts email

    yeah mike, go ahead and give out my email address.
    I will make sure HELL RAINS DOWN ON THIS FORUM!!!!

    cc you dumb bastard, you can't read or comprehend???
    I said in the previous post that I RETIRED in 2003!
    Now...try and start some crap!

     

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  25.  
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    Michael Noblin, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 3:46pm

    Re: RE CC BubbaCatts email

    It doesn't matter if you retired in 2003. You yourself seem to think spam is just fine. So let us get your email address and then you can have all that spam you love so much. Me, I hate spam. I did not request spam. Spammers have no regard for users. The so call unsubscibe link is just there so they can verify it is a good address so they can make a new list of email to sell to other spammers. With snail mail you don't get junk mail like spam. Companies have to spend a lot more money for you to get junk mail then they have to spend on spammers. You tell us how to get off all the spammers email lists and then maybe we won't be so hard on a SPAMMER like you. Retired of not your still a spammer to me and everyone else that is tired of the crap you peddle.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Chings B, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 6:15pm

    Traffic getting Free SEO software No need for spam

    Hie, why worry about spam, it's wrong to spam,

    This software will eliminate the need for spam.

    Spam is not good at all.I hate it. the gurus are using the latest software to keep ahead and they hardly reveal their secrets. Thats why they dot need to spam, they allow you to opt in.

    and there are many ways to get for example free traffic

    Free Traffic-Getting SEO Plugin... that's what it is.

    Version 2.0 was just released and my clients absolutely love it.

    It's his newest free SEO software that you can use to grab more free traffic from the search engines.

    All you have to do it plug it into your blog and his software does all the rest.

    Absolutely free seo blog software and training:

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    Don't worry:

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    Enjoy!


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    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    BubbaCatts (profile), Nov 27th, 2009 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: RE CC BubbaCatts email

    Re: RE CC BubbaCatts email
    by Michael Noblin
    "With snail mail you don't get junk mail like spam"

    How STUPID are YOU??
    Where do YOU live..in a CAVE???

     

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  28.  
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    n0fx, Nov 28th, 2009 @ 11:25pm

    rofl

    Alan is the fucking man. fuck these antis. Spammers > you

    :)

    also does anyone else find it funny that there IS a spam in this comment section and ppl are arguing about spam hahaha go xrumer go.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous, Dec 7th, 2009 @ 5:19am

    Not just spam...

    Do you all realize why he's going to prison? It's not for spamming people. That's just the tip of the iceberg. The spam he sent out convinced people to buy crappy stocks, making them look like they were going to explode and make people a ton of money.

    Ralsky and his pals all bought the stocks as well then sold when they hit their highest. It's called a "Pump and Dump" scheme. It's not like they gave him five years for sending out viagra emails.

    He actually got 51 months, his son-in-law got 40 months. So, he'll be out in way less than 4 years.

    As to the money...the $250,000 that the Feds froze when they started the investigation were confiscated. I don't think there are any other financial penalties.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Shane, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 11:15am

    Re: OBAMA is WHO should BE IN PRISON !!

    You bet Bubba!! Right on! I use to do business and work with Al for a number of years. My father actually sold him his home here in Mi. BTW, a really beautiful home in a very exclusive area. I haven't talked with him in the last few years but he is a good and generous man, smart as hell and worked his ass off to earn what he got and started with nothing in the late '90s. Great family and all around great guy, despite what you may read. Amazing how much crap he gets for sending emails. He brought high value and volume marketing to the masses, so you don't have to spend $1,000,000+ to get your stuff in front of millions of people. If people only knew how he started with nothing and built an empire, and I do mean empire, it's a great story.

    Take care Al. I'll see ya soon buddy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 2:23pm

    So, considering Alan was just celebrating his Mom and Step-Father's 50th Anniversary, when is he going to prison? Sentenced in November, it's now February? What's up? How long does this guy get to walk free??? His family has happy pictures of him FREE up on Facebook. He got the sentence, time to do the time!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    LotusJump, Feb 16th, 2010 @ 4:11pm

    Spammer King

    Yay, 1 less spammer in the world! Too bad only a few million to go... :/
    -Jack

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    ozzy, Aug 24th, 2010 @ 1:40am

    Here in Australia, the government are permitted to seize 'proceeds of crime' and dispose of them to compensate the victims or that and other crimes (you should see some of the government/police auctions they have here - want a cheap Porsche?). So if it was an Australian case it is doubtful he would still own that mansion, and the Victims of Crime fund would be significantly larger as a result.
    SEO Pricing

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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