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.

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Comments on “Spam King Alan Ralsky Gets Four Years In Jail”

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Big Al says:

Re: 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.

TheStupidOne says:

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!

Rich Kulawiec says:

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”.

BubbaCatts (profile) says:


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!

KnightHawk says:

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.

Shane says:

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.

BubbaCatts (profile) says:

Re: Re:


You think Alan only made what the feds FOUND???
I retired in 2003 and I know Alan and consider him a friend and a VERY STAND UP GUY!

Michael Noblin says:

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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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.

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Anonymous Coward says:

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.

ozzy says:

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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