Two Sentenced for Fraud in E-Mail Scam

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Two men received two-year prison terms last month for sending more than 50 million e-mail messages as part of a scam that involved some of the largest Internet service providers in the United States.

Steve Shklovskiy and Yan Shtok, both 23, were sentenced Dec. 27. They must pay more than $100,000 in restitution for their role in a September 1999 scheme that defrauded more than 12,000 people, authorities said.

The two men devised a way to use PCs equipped with off-the-shelf software to collect e-mail addresses. They then sent a mass e-mailing asking recipients to pay a $35 "processing fee" in exchange for a chance to work at home stuffing envelopes.

America Online Inc., AT&T and Mindspring Inc. said their servers were nearly overloaded after customers complained about the spam messages they were receiving. Under terms of their sentencing agreement, the two men must reveal to the ISPs how they accomplished their scheme, authorities said.

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