A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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February 18, 2005

Teen busted for spam extortion attempt

DOJ emblemA teenager from Buffalo, New York is facing serious prison time for spamming, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.

Anthony "Tony" Greco, 18, who runs a set of porn sites called TGcashin, allegedly exploited security flaws at MySpace.com to spam its members.

According to a Secret Service affidavit, in October 2004 Greco created some sort of automated system for signing up for over 27,000 free MySpace accounts, which he then used to send spam advertising sites including adultactioncam.com.

To make matters worse, Greco later allegedly tried to get MySpace to pay him not to tell other spammers at Spamfiles.biz about his little trick. According to the affidavit, Greco sent MySpace's owners a message saying, "Me giving out my source will just open a Pandora’s box of Spam on your server, which based on your downtime, it’s obvious you don’t need that."

Greco was arrested Wednesday at the LA airport -- on his way to a meeting with MySpace that was actually a sting set up by the Secret Service.

Greco is hardly a major player in the spam business. But this case is still significant. I think it shows the risks spammers take when they try to exploit security flaws to support their spam operations.

Greco faces a maximum possible penalty of 18 years in federal prison if convicted on all three counts: violating the CAN-SPAM Act, threatening to cause damage to MySpace.com's computers with the intent to extort, and causing damage to a protected computer.

Posted by brian at February 18, 2005 1:24 PM


I hope other spammers amd hackers learn not to mess with companies or they can go to jail for a long, long time.

Posted by: Howie at February 19, 2005 5:53 PM

18 years managed down to 18 months managed down to 8 months managed down to probation.

I think they need to either make these sentences stick or they need to just say he is going to get probation. These media people need to add in that often, 9 times out of 10 people will NOT get those type of sentences. People need to wake up and realize that those sentences are the maximum and NO ONE ever gets the maximum, matter of fact they don't even get a minimum. They usually DROP the case or send the guy to some boot camp or even give them a job.

I wish the media would start telling it like it is.

Greco will face a maximum 18 years but its more like 8 months or less. He will probably do all his time waiting for trial in jail and when he goes to plead guilty he will get time served. CASE CLOSED.

Now go back out and do it again and again because Greco isn't doing any time at all until he kills someone. Then he will do 2 years.

We save our prison space for drug users and mental defectives.

Thieves, Killers, Rapists and Child Molesters often go free.

Jimbo JoBob Jones

Posted by: Jimbo Jones at February 20, 2005 10:40 PM


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