The trial of spammer Jeremy Jaynes has revealed secrets of the trade. First off, Jaynes was able to run his business out of a small single family home outfitted with 16 high-speed (T1) lines, a multitude of servers, and little or no staff. Only his sister helped him run the operation at times. This server farm allowed him to send 10 million spam emails per day using stolen or purchased mailing lists. He would hawk porn and useless products and services, like an Internet history cleaner and work-at-home schemes that amounted to little more than a website for the buyers.

Most people ignore these emails, but even with a response rate of 1 in 30,000, he received $400,000 to $750,000 in credit card charges per month. His expenses for the high speed lines, servers, and electricity equated to roughly $50,000 per month. Which means that he was netting $350,000 to $700,000 each month!

This guys net worth is estimated at $24 million. He’s living hip-hop video large with big mansions and Bentleys and stuff. This all from spam. But, at the end, spam doesn’t pay. The judge in his case has recommended a nine-year sentence for him which is now under appeal. Due to the poor crafting of the anti-spam law and the first amendment, this guy may never actually see time behind bars.

Sadly, according to an expert witness in the case, there are more sophisticated spammers out there that use “zombie” servers off-shore to spam and are less likely to be caught. However, it is nice to know that we are finally starting to put pressure on spammers to stop.

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