OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
JULY 13, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW JERSEY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO
E-MAIL SPAM CONSPIRACY
MILLIONS OF E-MAIL ADDRESSES ILLEGALLY HARVESTED
FROM COMPUTERS AT HUNDREDS OF UNIVERSITIES
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a New Jersey man pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in a nationwide e-mail spamming case that victimized students at hundreds of colleges and universities across the United States, including the University of Missouri.
Paul Zucker, 57, of Wayne, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to the charge contained in an April 23, 2009, federal indictment.
By pleading guilty today, Zucker admitted that he participated in a spam e-mail scheme that, from January 2004 to April 2009, targeted hundreds of colleges and universities across the United States. Conspirators developed e-mail extracting programs, which they used to illegally harvest more than 8 million student e-mail addresses from servers at colleges and universities across the United States. According to today’s plea agreement, conspirators used this database of e-mail addresses to send targeted spam e-mails selling various products and services to those students.
Zucker admitted that he provided proxies (computer servers that allow clients to make indirect network connections to other computers in order to camouflage the originating source of an e-mail), which were intended to be used both inside and outside of the United States for the purpose of sending spam e-mail messages.
Zucker also admitted that he provided bulk e-mail software that was designed to falsify e-mail header information and rotate subject line entries, reply-to addresses, message body content, and URLs in their messages. This allowed conspirators to penetrate university and college spam e-mail filters.
Conspirators initiated their spam campaigns, and therefore millions upon millions of spam e-mail messages, through the University of Missouri’s computer network, the plea agreement says, causing damage to the network and its users.
Under federal statutes, Zucker is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew P. Wolesky. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at