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US arrests internet spam king

A man nicknamed the "spam king" for allegedly sending out millions of junk e-mails has been arrested in the US.

Robert Soloway, 27, was arrested in Seattle, Washington, after being indicted on charges of mail fraud, identity theft and money laundering.

Mr Soloway has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Prosecutors say Mr Soloway became one of the world's biggest spammers, using computers secretly infected with orders to send out millions of his e-mails.

Such computers are known as "zombies" because their owners often have no idea they have been hijacked for another purpose.

Identity theft laws
According to prosecutors, Mr Soloway was responsible for tens of millions of unsolicited e-mails promoting his own company between November 2003 and May 2007.

He is said to have frequently changed the web address of his internet marketing business to avoid being caught.

A US lawyer said Mr Soloway was the first person to be prosecuted for sending out spam e-mails using federal laws against identity theft.

Prosecutors want to seize the sum of $773,000 (391,000) that Mr Soloway is said to have made from his firm.

If convicted of all the charges, he also faces a fine of $250,000 (126,500) and a maximum prison term of 65 years.

BBC Technology News
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