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$1 million bond set for alleged spammer's freedom

Virginia judge sets bail for North Carolina resident Jeremy Jaynes at $1 million, arguing that Jaynes is a flight risk.

Stefanie Olsen Staff writer, CNET News
Stefanie Olsen covers technology and science.
Stefanie Olsen
2 min read
Alleged spammer Jeremy Jaynes must pay $1 million in bail for sending as many as 15 million junk e-mails a day and bilking recipients of millions of dollars, a Virginia judge ordered this week.

Circuit Court Judge Thomas Horne of Leesburg, Va., set the record $1 million bond Monday on the condition that 30-year-old Jaynes wear a GPS leg monitor and not use a computer. Prosecutors had argued that Jaynes was a flight risk, given that he amassed as much as $24 million in assets from fraudulent e-mail scams and faced nine years in prison.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Jaynes had not posted bail.

Jaynes, a Raleigh, N.C., resident, was convicted last Wednesday in the country's first felony case involving a junk e-mailer. Prosecutors had recommended that Jaynes receive 15 years in prison, but the jury recommended nine years. The judge will sentence Jaynes on Feb. 3.

Jaynes, known as "Gaven Stubberfield" among other aliases, is thought to be among the 10 most wanted spammers.

Virginia does not outlaw spam. But in July 2003, the state created the first felony law to penalize people who mask their identity in order to send unsolicited bulk e-mail. The law targets people who misrepresent the transition and routing information used to send e-mail and which Internet service providers use to filter out spam. However, violators only run into felony territory with high volumes of spam--100,000 e-mails sent a day or more than 1 million pieces of spam per year.

Jaynes sent approximately 7.5 million pieces of spam on July 16 alone, according to prosecutors, who suspect that it was all targeted at America Online subscribers. The e-mail scams advertised penny stocks or a new career as a FedEx refund processor, prosecutors said.

Virginia Assistant Attorney General Russell McGuire said Jaynes has about $24 million in net assets in overseas accounts.

"Technology advances, but the crimes don't change. These are the modern-day snake oil salesmen," McGuire said.

The defendant's attorney, David Oblon, said he's confident that the jury got it wrong and that they will win on appeal on the grounds that Virginia's law violates Jaynes' right to free speech.