As one of the world’s most prolific spammers, Jeremy Jaynes pumped out at least 10 million e-mails a day with the help of 16 high-speed lines, the kind of Internet capacity a 1,000-employee company would need. Jaynes’ business was remarkably lucrative; prosecutors say he grossed up to $750,000 per month. If you have an e-mail account, chances are Jaynes tried to get your attention, pitching software, pornography and work-at-home schemes, according to the Associated Press. The eight-day trial that ended in his conviction this month shed light on the operations of a 30-year-old former purveyor of physical junk mail who worked with minimal assistance out of a nondescript house in Raleigh, N.C.
A state jury in Leesburg, Va., has recommended a nine-year prison term in the nation’s first felony trial of spam purveyors. Sentencing is set for February. During the trial, prosecutors focused on three products that Jaynes hawked: software that promises to clean computers of private information; a service for choosing penny stocks to invest in; and a “FedEx refund processor” that promised $75-an- hour work but did little more than give buyers access to a Web site of delinquent FedEx accounts. Relatively few people actually responded to Jaynes’ pitches. In a typical month, prosecutors said , Jaynes might receive 10,000 to 17,000 credit card orders, thus making money on perhaps only one of every 30,000 e-mails he sent out. But he earned $40 a pop, and the undertaking was so vast that Jaynes could still pull in $400,000 to $750,000 a month.