'Buffalo Spammer' Convicted, Faces Up to 7 Years

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Howard Carmack, known as the "Buffalo Spammer," was convicted this week of sending hundreds of millions of forged, unsolicited e-mails through accounts he opened with stolen identities.

An Erie County jury in New York returned a guilty verdict on 14 counts after a four-day trial. This is the first such case filed by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office under the state's 15-month-old identity-theft statute.

Judge Michael D'Amico sent Carmack to Erie County Jail pending sentencing May 27. Carmack faces up to two to seven years in prison. Wayne C. Felle, Carmack's lawyer, plans to appeal the conviction.

Carmack was found guilty of stealing the identity of two Buffalo-area men and six others from Ohio and Washington, DC. He used their names to open Internet access accounts with EarthLink, using those identities or corporate e-mail addresses to sell products over the Internet. The stolen identities also were used to evade attempts to corner Carmack.

In another indictment, the 37-year-old spammer was found guilty of faking EarthLink's business records. He forged the subject headers of e-mail sent from the stolen EarthLink accounts.

All told, Carmack sent more than 825 million unsolicited e-mails through such fraudulent means, according to an estimate from the New York attorney general's office.

EarthLink in May gained a $16.4 million civil judgment against Carmack in Atlanta. He was arrested that month a year after the New York attorney general's office, New York State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Buffalo Cyber Task Force set their sights on him.

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