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Originally published Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Spammer sentenced to 47 months in prison

The man crowned the "Spam King" by federal prosecutors was sentenced to 47 months in prison today for sending tens of millions of unsolicited e-mails.

Seattle Times staff reporter

The man crowned the "Spam King" by federal prosecutors was sentenced to 47 months in prison today for sending tens of millions of unsolicited e-mails.

Robert Soloway, 28, apologized for being a "nuisance" to people whose in boxes filled with his advertisements for what a federal judge called a "mini-spam factory" — software Soloway sold that allowed others to harvest e-mail addresses from the internet and create spam of their own.

"I built my entire life around a facade," Soloway told the court. "I'm very embarrassed and I'm ashamed."

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman said she realized that the unusual three-day Soloway sentencing hearing was being watched to see how she would apply new criminal statutes dealing with spammers. Pechman said nearly four years in prison would be enough, even though federal prosecutors had asked that she send Soloway away for more than twice as long.

Soloway, who suffers from Tourette's syndrome, was told he could surrender to the Bureau of Prison in two months after working out medication issues. Pechman also ordered him to pay more than $708,000 in restitution.

Mike Carter: 206-464-3706 or mcarter@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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