[Politech] DOJ, FTC announce first CAN SPAM arrests [sp]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Thu Apr 29 2004 - 21:13:50 PDT

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    THURSDAY, APRIL 29, 2004	(202) 514-2008
    WWW.USDOJ.GOV	TDD (202) 514-1888
    	WASHINGTON, D.C. - Assistant Attorney General Christopher A. Wray of 
    the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Jeff Collins of the Eastern 
    District of Michigan today announced the arrest of two Detroit-area men 
    allegedly responsible for sending hundreds of thousands of commercial 
    electronic mail messages advertising diet patches and other devices, 
    while using false and fraudulent headers to hide their identities.  In a 
    related matter, the Federal Trade Commission worked in conjunction with 
    the U.S. Attorney's Office and has filed a civil actions against the 
    	The criminal charges in this case are the first under the Controlling 
    the Assault of Non-Solicited Marketing and Pornography ("CAN-SPAM") Act, 
    which was enacted in December 2003 and took effect on January 1, 2004. 
    The Act criminalizes, among other things, sending multiple commercial 
    electronic mail messages with materially false or fraudulent return 
    	"This prosecution, the first under the CAN-SPAM Act, clearly 
    demonstrates the benefits of a concerted effort by the Department of 
    Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and Internet service providers," 
    said Assistant Attorney General Wray.  "We will not allow marketers who 
    barrage the public with unwanted commercial e-mail to prey on consumers, 
    businesses and families."
    	A criminal complaint, unsealed yesterday, charges Christopher Chung, 
    Mark Sadek, James J. Lin and Daniel J. Lin, all of West Bloomfield, 
    Michigan.  Chung and Sadek were arrested in the Eastern District of 
    Michigan, and released on bond after making a court appearance in 
    Detroit.  The Lins have not been arrested at this time.
    	According to court documents, the four defendants named in the 
    complaint are allegedly responsible for sending out hundreds of 
    thousands of messages advertising medical and other products, which 
    resulted in over 10,000 complaints to the Federal Trade Commission's 
    unsolicited electronic mail database since Jan. 1, 2004.  The complaint 
    also alleges that the defendants were responsible for devising a scheme 
    to defraud others by selling these medical devices via the U.S. Mail by 
    means of false and fraudulent representations, in violation of the mail 
    fraud statute.
    	Felony violations of the CAN-SPAM Act carry a penalty of up to three or 
    five years' imprisonment. Violations of the mail fraud statute carry a 
    penalty of up to 20 years' imprisonment.
    	The charges outlined in the complaint are only accusations and the 
    defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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