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Woohoo! It appears that the losers that got this web site started back in January 2005 have finally been caught and charged. See SEC Says Hijacked Computers Aided Stock Scam and The Useltons for more information.

And even more info at the SEC: SEC Charges Two Texas Swindlers In Penny Stock Spam Scam Involving Computer Botnets and Litigation Release No. LR-20187.

One Comment

  1. Steven says:

    Former GFET CEO, Darrel Uselton, set for trial in September. Fellow co-conspirator, Eddie Davidson found dead of an apparent murder-suicide:

    Federal law enforcement and media across the country called him the “Spam King,” a legacy more than a decade in the making that ended with a gunshot Thursday.

    After earning millions pushing everything from cheap thrills to penny stocks with anonymous, unsolicited e-mails, 35-year-old Eddie Ray Davidson became a “consultant” to the FBI, giving up names and methods, before he landed in a federal prison camp in Florence on May 27.

    Davidson had regular meetings with an FBI agent and his cooperation was “complete, truthful and reliable,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Neff said in court documents.

    Besides telling the agents about methods, software and financial transactions used by spammers, Davidson provided information on one-time business partner Darrel Uselton, who is scheduled for trial Sept. 29 in Texas on organized-crime and money-laundering charges.

    Uselton and Davidson sold low-cost, high-risk “penny” stocks in 2005 and 2006. Davidson sent thousands of unsolicited e-mails to promote stocks in Uselton interests, Neff said.

    In return, Uselton paid Davidson based on sales increases, Neff said. Davidson told agents he and Uselton manipulated stock prices with bogus news releases and announcements.

    Davidson had Web-based businesses in Colorado, Ohio and Florida, records show.

    Before last year, he had been arrested only once before: a domestic-battery charge in Palm Harbor, Fla., in November 1998, which resulted in a misdemeanor charge on his record.

    His 21-month federal prison sentence was the result of a guilty plea to tax evasion and falsifying computer records. He surrendered $714,139 to the Internal Revenue Service.

    Prosecutors estimated Davidson earned $3.5 million from 2003 to 2006.

    He was a veteran of the game. At just 24 years old in March 1998, Davidson was sued by America Online, which also published an online article calling him one of the country’s “Ten Most Wanted Spammers.”

    His pitch for “generic Viagra” flooded America Online’s systems with more than 74 million messages in five months.

    Davidson dodged the case and a default judgment was entered in July 2000 for $1.58 million, most of it for restitution from using AOL’s system as an advertising vehicle without paying for the privilege.

    Playboy Enterprises sued in 1997 for copyright infringement claiming Davidson used its nude photos on his websites. Playboy got a $120,000 default judgment in 1999.

    Another business permutation — Snagster Inc. — was sued in April 2003 by Yahoo. That suit was dismissed.

    In 1997 his company was targeted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for scamming people into paying $39.95 for a kit that helped them track down HUD mortgage refunds then take a commission for returning the funds to the rightful owners.

    Staff researcher Barry Osborne and staff writer David Migoya contributed to this report. Joey Bunch: 303-954-1174 or