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Another Major Spammer Busted 487

Iphtashu Fitz writes "25 year old Christopher William Smith, considered one of the worlds biggest spammers by the Spamhaus Project, is now sitting in a jail without bond. Smith allegedly had a doctor issue 72,000 prescriptions in the space of one year in conjunction with orders obtained through spamming. The doctor, Philip Mach, had a license to practice medicine in New Jersey but he provided prescriptions to people throughout the United States without ever evaluating them, both of which are big no-no's. Federal authorities have already seized over $3 million in cash, luxury cars, and houses."
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Another Major Spammer Busted

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  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:12PM (#13399462) Homepage Journal
    From ABC News:
    A Minnesota man considered one of the world's most prolific e-mail spammers was indicted on more than a dozen federal charges related to the operation of his business, Xpress Pharmacy Direct.
    70-80% of my spam used to come from this guy. It seems every time one of these weasels gets hauled in there's a dip in spam. In the past two days my spammage has dropped to a trickle. The past three nights total spam: 173, 43, 17
    Also from ABC News:
    The indictment against Christopher William Smith, 25, was unsealed Wednesday after he was arrested at his home in Prior Lake. Dr. Philip Mach, 47, of Franklin Park, N.J., and Bruce Jordan Lieberman, 45, from Farmingdale, N.Y., were also charged in the indictment, federal prosecutors said.
    <Nelson Muntz*>
    Ha hah!
    </Nelson Muntz>

    Smith allegedly had a doctor issue 72,000 prescriptions in the space of one year

    Which just goes to prove to be a really big drug dealer you need a computer and connections, not just to hang out in your Accura in McDonald's parking lot late at night.

    * Nelson Muntz appears in this posting courtesy Twentieth Century Fox and Matt Groening.

    • There is a dip in spam? Who cares! Almost all of the junk mail I get these days are phishing mails, not spam.
    • 70-80% of my spam used to come from this guy. It seems every time one of these weasels gets hauled in there's a dip in spam. In the past two days my spammage has dropped to a trickle.

      Wow, and I thought it was just me... the past two days I was wondering if my e-mail server was broken! I run my own domain, and have port 25 blocked from all Chinese and Korean netblocks, but I still get a few a day. Almost none got through the past two days.

  • 72,000!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TurdTapper ( 608491 ) * <seldonsplan&gmail,com> on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:13PM (#13399469) Journal
    Holy Crap! FTA: Prosecutors allege Smith had Mach issue about 72,000 prescriptions from July 2004 to about May 2005.

    Now, I freely admit that I don't have a clue about how prescriptions are handled, but isn't 72,000 prescriptions just a little much? Would't someone have gotten a touch suspicious that this guy was writing them out at a rate of 1 prescription every 7 seconds? Or is there not enough infrastructure to be able to tell how many a doctor has written?

    It obviously had to be done electronically (Or else he would have had to write an awful lot). How does that work? I've only ever had prescriptions that were hand written out by the doctor.

    I guess I'm just amazed that it took them that long to realize something was wrong.
    • How does that work? I've only ever had prescriptions that were hand written out by the doctor.
      Usually,the doctor (or his office) can call or fax the pharmacy the prescription.
      Although in this case, it seems like a bit of the old illegality....
      This case also proves a bit of regulatory ineptness, I mean, doctors and pharmacies are highly regulated, how could they miss this guy writing this many prescriptions for so long?
      • Re:72,000!! (Score:3, Informative)

        by gcatullus ( 810326 )
        The scripts were all for use at the spammers own pharmacy
        • That explains it... I have one more question- didn't the pharmacutical companies suspect something was up? I mean, thats a lot of drugs shipped to a non-chain pharmacy....
          • Re:72,000!! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Golias ( 176380 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:32PM (#13399705)
            Think about it. You sell ED medicine and generic monoxydil products... or whatever.

            Are you going to ask a lot of questions if a new customer comes along and starts providing you with millions of dollars worth of orders? Would you be inclided to view their decision to order all these drugs from your manufacturing plant as "suspicious" or "lucky"?
      • My doctor regularly prints out prescriptions with his digital signature from his computerized prescription program. It's particularly handy in that it will flag a prescription that might cause problems in view of the other prescriptions the patient is taking.

        I would also mention that my doctor is younger than I am and so probably is more technologically savvy than some of the older GPs.

        I'd like to call up Dr. Philip Mach and see if he would be so kind as to renew a prescription I have just to hear what he

    • Its possible that they were selling the prescription notes (electronic or maybe not). Meaning the individual had to pick them up from their local pharmacy themselfs. This would have allowed the prescription pickup the be spread out enough to never no noticed by human hands.
    • Re:72,000!! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by EvilMagnus ( 32878 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:25PM (#13399616)
      And the corrolary from that is that how on *earth* did the doctor think he'd get away with that? The DEA has systems that track that kind of thing, and they're *very* public in letting doctors know about it. Supposedly the DEA monitors annual prescription rates of proscribed medications (pain meds, mostly) . I guess they saw the massive uptick in prescriptions by this doctor and called the goon squad.

      But again, how on *earth* did the doctor think he could get away with that?
    • Re:72,000!! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Golias ( 176380 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:26PM (#13399632)
      Several bits of news here that shocked me:

      72,000 people out there actually put pills in their bodies which came from a spammer who spells it "V1Ag ra!!!"

      There was an actual doctor writing precriptions for these drugs, not just some sleazy smuggler from bolivia or some nutjob with a lab for making counterfeit placebo replacements.

      The bastards are actually got caught at all, and did not turn out to be some distant Russian or Maylaysian hackers far beyond the reach of our law enforcement systems, but rather were a pair of US citizens dumb enough to think they could get away with it.

      This is terrific news. Hoist a beer to your friendly neighborhood cyber-cop tonight, folks. It's not often the spooks get to be universally seen as the Good Guys.
      • Re:72,000!! (Score:5, Informative)

        by ptbarnett ( 159784 ) * on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:47PM (#13399849)
        72,000 people out there actually put pills in their bodies which came from a spammer who spells it "V1Ag ra!!!"

        According to TFA: "The indictment claims that from March 2004 to May 2005 the operation generated sales of more than $20 million from medications containing a single addictive painkiller, hydrocodone."

        Hydrocodone is probably better known as Lortab or Vicodin. It's addictive. The recipients probably weren't that picky about their source.

    • Re:72,000!! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Clod9 ( 665325 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:26PM (#13399638) Journal
      > a rate of 1 prescription every 7 seconds?
      Your math is wrong. There are 86,400 seconds in a day, so 72,000 prescriptions every 7 seconds would have taken less than a week. Admittedly, his hand would be cramped at that rate... but 72,000 in 11 months works out to about 27 per hour (working 8 hours per day), a rate I think most of us could comfortably sustain if someone was paying six or seven figures. Heck, I'd do it for five figures; except I can't because I'm not a physician, and if I were, I'd expect to get thrown in jail right alongside my spammer friend if I did it.

      In other words, I think this scum-sucking doctor is at least as due for "due process" as the spammer. The spammer is annoying, the doctor is putting peoples' lives at risk. Well, OK, they both are. Throw the book at them.

      • Re:72,000!! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Golias ( 176380 )
        Considering that the average GP these days spends about 7 actual minutes with each patient, and in some cases prescribes more than one drug per visit, 27 scripts per hour is probably only slightly above the curve. I could easilly see this slipping under the radar if it wasn't for people hunting down the spammer he was working through.
        • Re:72,000!! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Dun Malg ( 230075 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @02:54PM (#13400583) Homepage
          Considering that the average GP these days spends about 7 actual minutes with each patient, and in some cases prescribes more than one drug per visit, 27 scripts per hour is probably only slightly above the curve. I could easilly see this slipping under the radar if it wasn't for people hunting down the spammer he was working through.

          Except, of course, these prescriptions were all for hydrocodone(Vicodin), which the DEA tracks. 27 scripts an hour when most of them are antibiotics or blood pressure meds might go unnoticed, but 27 a day, every day, of the same sched II controlled substance is just asking to be caught.

      • Re:72,000!! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by multiplexo ( 27356 ) *
        In other words, I think this scum-sucking doctor is at least as due for "due process" as the spammer. The spammer is annoying, the doctor is putting peoples' lives at risk. Well, OK, they both are. Throw the book at them.

        More War on Some Drugs bullshit. How is this doctor putting people's lives at risk? They're willingly buying these drugs, he's not dumping the stuff into the water supply late at night. This doctor is no more putting these people's lives at risk than any bartender, beer company McDonald

    • Re:72,000!! (Score:5, Funny)

      by dmf415 ( 218827 ) * on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:27PM (#13399644)
      Maybe he got his medical degree from a non-acredited university for only $20.00!!
    • Re:72,000!! (Score:3, Funny)

      by ndansmith ( 582590 )
      Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
      How do you measure, measure a year?
      • Re:72,000!! (Score:2, Funny)

        by BikeRacer ( 810473 )
        How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of love.... Wait, shouldn't we be quoting from SpamAlot?
    • Smith had Mach issue about 72,000 prescriptions

      His son, Mach II, wrote 144,000 during the same time period.

      They had nothing on Dr. See. His numbers were relatively unfathomable.

    • Re:72,000!! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by operagost ( 62405 )
      I'm annoyed that 72,000 dipsticks responded to his spams.
  • NJ (Score:5, Funny)

    by trevordactyl ( 908770 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:15PM (#13399492)
    The doctor, Philip Mach, had a license to practice medicine in New Jersey but he provided prescriptions to people throughout the United States without ever evaluating them, both of which are big no-no's.

    He was giving out prescriptions without a proper medical exam? That's not a good idea. But...wait...he was practicing medicine in New Jersey? How CRIMINAL! ...Am I missing something here? What else is a big no-no?
  • by DroopyStonx ( 683090 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:15PM (#13399493)
    As much as I approve of crimes like this... I just don't get why they don't know when to stop.

    If you've made 3 million... walk away with what ya have. It's not worth pursuing another 3 million to risk losing it ALL.

    Greed.

    Ah well, no respect to dumb greedy criminals.
    • The problem with your theory is you have no idea when you are going to get caught. It is easier to look back after the fact and suggest you should have walked away one day prior to getting busted. Of course, even stopping the illegal activity 6 months prior to actually getting captured may not be enough. Investigations take a while. When the criminal feels the "heat", it is already way to late for them. The investigation from the past crimes alone could lead to the capture and any further crimes just
    • As much as I approve of crimes like this... I just don't get why they don't know when to stop.

      If you've made 3 million... walk away with what ya have. It's not worth pursuing another 3 million to risk losing it ALL.


      Oh, I'm sure there are plenty of criminals out there who DO know when to stop, or at least dial it down. You just never hear about them, because they are also the ones who don't tend to get caught.

      I vaguely remember reading about a bank robber who went quite some time (decade or two?) w
  • by Cytlid ( 95255 ) * on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:15PM (#13399497)
    Chinese Websites Used As Launchpads For Cracking
    Piracy Not To Blame In Decline of Moviegoers
    Another Major Spammer Busted

    Who gave those in charge a clue? It seems we're starting to see a paradigm shift... people who really abuse network resources are getting caught!
    • Who gave those in charge a clue? It seems we're starting to see a paradigm shift... people who really abuse network resources are getting caught!

      From the Editorial FAQ:
      Deciding the interest level of a story is a very subjective thing, and we have to take into account not only the intrinsic interest of the story itself, but what else is happening that day.

      So, no, it's the "editors" picking and choosing articles that will shape the look of Slashdot on any given day/week/month. Just like some days we have Goo
    • The Clue Train is moving through town. Once it passes, things will be back to normal.
    • I'm waiting for Ashton Kutcher to pop out from behind my cubicle and tell me i've been punk'd.
  • The doctor, Philip Mach, 1: had a license to practice medicine in New Jersey but he 2: provided prescriptions to people throughout the United States without ever evaluating them, both of which are big no-no's.

    So, it's against the law to practice medicine in New Jersey? Wow, the things you learn on Slashdot.
    • No, it's not against the law to practice medicine in New Jersey. However, it is against the law to issue prescriptions for patients with whom you've never had personal contact and on whom you've never performed an exam.

      Huge difference.
    • Re:Both big no-no's? (Score:5, Informative)

      by mikvo ( 587789 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:22PM (#13399584)
      Let's try an alternate reading:

      The doctor, Philip Mach, had a license to practice medicine in New Jersey but he 1: provided prescriptions to people throughout the United States 2: without ever evaluating them, both of which are big no-no's.

      Better?

    • "The doctor, Philip Mach, 1: had a license to practice medicine in New Jersey but he 2: provided prescriptions to people throughout the United States without ever evaluating them, both of which are big no-no's.

      "So, it's against the law to practice medicine in New Jersey? Wow, the things you learn on Slashdot."

      The article states no such thing! It merely says that having a license to practice medicine in New Jersey is a no-no. It's a lot like living in New Jersey, which I also understand is a big "no-no
  • by Daytona955i ( 448665 ) <flynnguy24.yahoo@com> on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:15PM (#13399505)
    Is smack every one of the 72000 people who bought perscriptions from this guy. I don't think we'll ever really get rid of spammers until it's not profitable for them anymore. The best way to do that is to not buy anything from them.
  • Spammers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kevin_conaway ( 585204 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:15PM (#13399507) Homepage
    Are most spammers spamming for their own business like this guy did

    I was under the impression that most of the spammers were "for hire" by marketing firms, companies, mafias, etc.
    • Re:Spammers (Score:2, Interesting)

      by sm00f ( 819489 )
      I know a pretty big adult spammer, the trick is you have to know the owners / top guys at the companies you spam products for, then they will just "comply" with reported spam and "delete" accounts and whatnot when trouble shows up, but since you know the guys at the top, they just pay you anyways and give you new accounts to keep on spamming with since both parties are making tons of cash (he makes around $20k/month last time I knew off it, and has a shiney dodge viper in his driveway.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:16PM (#13399516)
    is using an apostrophe to make a plural. Maybe we can harness the awesome power of the spammers to send out remedial spelling emails?

    PUTTING As IN DEFINITELY? Es IN RIDICULOUS? WE CAN HELP!
  • Oh great (Score:5, Funny)

    by Trailer Trash ( 60756 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:17PM (#13399519) Homepage
    I guess my viagra and ciliax orders are going to be delayed.
  • by BlackCobra43 ( 596714 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:18PM (#13399532)
    It's as if a thousand annoying voices screamed "C1ALIS" in unison, and were then silenced.

    It's not butchered, it's creatively adjusted!
  • Good... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Tyro ( 247333 ) * on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:18PM (#13399535)
    Burn, you son-of-a-b*tch.

    Prescription drug abuse/diversion is a major problem... I get hit with drug seekers in my ER every single day. Some of these people have legitimate chronic pain conditions and need to be under the care of a pain specialist, while others are simply using narcotics to treat their psychological pain (or just gathering "party supplies" for the weekend). Some of these people self-medicate and push their vicodin/lortab dose until they get acetaminophen toxic... bad way to end up on the liver transplant list.

    And before somebody says it, no, I don't think drug legalization is the answer.
    • Re:Good... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:30PM (#13399689)
      Some of these people self-medicate and push their vicodin/lortab dose until they get acetaminophen toxic...

      So why the *hell* do the pharma companies use acetaminophen to "denature" their hydrocodone tablets? Wouldn't it be better not to add the acet. and just treat drug addicts who are a danger to themselves/others?

      Either that, or add something that has fairly immediate and unpleasant effects when overdosed upon, rather than acet. which has no immediate unpleasant effects, is seen by the public as "safe" (after all, it's in nonprescription Tylenol, and the nanny-state won't allow any truly *scary* drugs to be sold OTC, right?), but which often causes fatal liver/kidney damage a few days after overdosage.

      Tylenol is nasty shit - I prefer taking aspirin for my headaches. Apart from the small risk of stomach problems, it's actually a lot less toxic than Tylenol.

      -b.

      • Re:Good... (Score:4, Informative)

        by brokenwndw ( 471112 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:56PM (#13399950)
        The acetaminophen, I believe, acts in synergy with the hydrocodone, so they don't have to put as much dope in the pill to make it work.
    • Re:Good... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Morgalyn ( 605015 ) <slashmorg@gmail.com> on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:32PM (#13399704) Journal
      I've always wondered about this. Do ERs have some sort of checklist / questions they ask to try and decide who is actually in pain, and who is just looking for the medicine? I was in the ER recently (thought it was appendicitis, was a ruptured cyst in my reproductive system.. so much fun, being a girl) and I had forgotten how many people use the ER for stuff like.. a hangnail, because they have little/no insurance. There was one person there who seemed to be in much more pain when any hospital officials were watching than when they were not. All she said she wanted was a refill of her medications. It made me wonder a little!
      • Re:Good... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by The Tyro ( 247333 ) *
        Do ERs have some sort of checklist / questions

        We used to... until JCAHO decided that it was a violation of confidentiality. Most ERs kept a "frequent flier" list of their drug seekers: a recipe box with index cards was the usual method, complete with name (including aliases), preferred drug, and typical cover stories used. Those boxes were absolutely invaluable for keeping patients from doctor-shopping by surfing from ER to ER, stocking up.

        Thanks JCAHO... thanks a lot for leaning forward to help us in our
        • Re:Good... (Score:3, Informative)

          by sessamoid ( 165542 ) *

          We used to... until JCAHO decided that it was a violation of confidentiality.

          It was my understanding that JCAHO's regulation allowed such lists as long as they were not available to the general hospital staff and was restricted to the treating physicians in the ER. One hospital I worked at fairly recently still kept such a list on a corkboard in the physician break room. We didn't even have to compile the list ourselves since the state Dept of Health sent out a letter to all physicians who had treated pa

      • Please mod parent up. She's a girl. We want to be really, really nice to her so she'll stick around.
    • Re:Good... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DroopyStonx ( 683090 )
      Um... right. Your ER? You're a doc I take it, huh?

      Drugs shouldn't be illegal to begin with - that is the very problem here. Who cares what someone wants to put into their own body?

      Saying "no no" or giving them punishments for it isn't a logical deterrent, because if you don't give it to them, they'll get it elsewhere.

      The ridiculous laws make it harder for people with legitimate pain to get proper treatment. I experienced it firsthand when I had my tonsils taken out a few months back and was in HORRIBLE pain
  • by Cr0w T. Trollbot ( 848674 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:19PM (#13399536)
    ...ten years in a Federal "pound pestle into your mortar" prison.

    - Crow T. Trollbot

  • Now that all those old computer geeks can't get their viagra and other drugs, they'll stop downloading all that pr0n and when they remember that computers aren't just for 'getting off' anymore, we can expect to see a whole range of new and serious uses for the computer, and faster downloading times for everything else! ;^)
  • by Stanistani ( 808333 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:21PM (#13399564) Homepage Journal
    Too much vertical integration.

    If he'd just stuck to the marketing side..

    He'd still be living large...
  • NOT BUSTED FOR SPAM! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sooner Boomer ( 96864 ) <sooner.boomrNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:23PM (#13399586) Journal
    Read TFA! They were NOT busted for spam! They were drug dealers, caught illegally selling narcotics. Spam was how they advertised, but they are getting NO punishment for it.
    • You're new here, aren't you? Just so you are aware it is common knowledge that the editors of this site don't actually read the articles which are submitted. Witness the weekly posting of articles which were previously posted.

      Further, these same editors don't actually check to see if the headline of a story fits with the story itself.

      Please keep this in mind and you too can experience the bliss of ignorance.
    • They sort of were. The charge of "wire fraud" seems to reference the spam aspect of the case.

      -b.

    • They were NOT busted for spam! They were drug dealers, caught illegally selling narcotics. Spam was how they advertised, but they are getting NO punishment for it.

      I see this as a good thing on balance. I would have liked the spam to be taken into consideration as a detail somewhere, but what this shows is that the correct approach is to go after the traditional side of the crime - in this case, fraud and drug dealing. There are already laws in place to deal with this, and the judicial system understands

    • They might've not, but the fact that this ass maggot spammed you, me, your dog, my cat, the prosecutor in the case, his daughter, hurricane Katrina and a billion other people made the authorities to notice him quite quickly.
  • Spammers aren't the problem. They are just a symptom. Email is a broken standard. We need to create a system that cannot be taken advantage of.

    We could even just add a bit onto the current email systems. Have clients either sign outgoing messages with a GnuPG key, or encrypt messages with the recipient's public key. All mail that isn't signed by a friend or encrypted to the recipient is trashed.

    Spammers wouldn't have an accepted sig, and they sure wouldn't have the time to encrypt each message to each
    • A few news flashes for you:

      1) users hate PGP/GPG. They don't understand it, can't get it to work, and it's not worth anything to them. (google for "why johnny can't encrypt" for two good discussions of the subject.)

      2) Spammers aren't even using their own machines to send email at this point, why should they care about an extra second or two to sign or encrypt a message? It's someone else's CPU cycles, not theirs.

      3) Mailing lists, support addresses, public accounts, sales folks, etc, would all fail in you
  • by HotNeedleOfInquiry ( 598897 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:27PM (#13399643)
    It's the illegal prescriptions.

    He sold $20,000,000 of hydrocodone in less than a year. I think the bigger question is how the hell he could sell that much of a tightly controlled narcotic before getting busted.
  • And yet... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gubbas ( 651881 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:32PM (#13399703)
    And yet, the drug maker that supplied all these over priced pills to a single doctor in such a short time gets what? Fined? Prosecuted? No, they get richer! I love the US medical industry.
    • Re:And yet... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Just Some Guy ( 3352 )
      And yet, the drug maker that supplied all these over priced pills to a single doctor in such a short time gets what?

      Unless he had the prescriptions filled at Pfizer's loading dock, WTF would you expect them to do about it? For all you know, they might have been the anonymous tipsters that got the whole prosecution started, but I know it's a lot more fun to rant and wildly speculate.

      Your irrational hatred for the pharmaceutical companies does nothing to help your credibility.

    • Re:And yet... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by z4ce ( 67861 )
      You must not be aware of how the prescription system works (at least in the US). When a doctor writes a prescription, you take it to a pharmacy which fulfills the prescription. The drug company has no idea that a single doctor is filing many of the prescriptions.
      • Re:And yet... (Score:3, Informative)

        by aaarrrgggh ( 9205 )

        When a doctor writes a prescription, you take it to a pharmacy which fulfills the prescription. The drug company has no idea that a single doctor is filing many of the prescriptions.

        So wrong! The drug companies actually track their success rates with specific doctors to help their marketing. They need to know what kinds of junkets are most effective!

        When a perscription is filled, the information goes into a DEA database and a drug company database. I don't know the specifics on the system, but the DEA

  • You know that they have half their cash in overseas accounts.
  • by dustinbarbour ( 721795 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:38PM (#13399763) Homepage
    It seems that the market is losing some of its biggest players. With the immense amount of money to be made spamming, now seems to be the best time to get into the business!
  • by MrCopilot ( 871878 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:38PM (#13399769) Homepage Journal
    From TFA:
    In May, a federal judge shut down Xpress Pharmacy and appointed a receiver to take control of the business' assets. Federal authorities seized $1.8 million in luxury cars, two homes and $1.3 million in cash.

    Figures, they had to wait till it was profitable.

    Now what are all those HydroCodine Junkies gonna do? Head straight to Crack and Crystal Meth. Ahhh, Justice.

    The indictment contains various counts of conspiracy to dispense controlled substances, wire fraud, money laundering, distributing controlled substances and introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce.

    I'm all for prison-raping the spammers, but if they don't charge him with any spam offenses, then we're all jumping on the War on Drugs Bandwagon. Count me out.

    Make it a crime to repeatedly use my computer equipment for unsolicited Advertisements. Fine them at an advertiser rates. 5 cents a email. Charge him with this crime & let the bunkmates line up.

    The doctor faces what charges?

    The U.S. Attorney's Office said Mach was represented by Bruce Levy of New Jersey. A call to his office was not immediately returned Wednesday.

    Oh.

  • So, let me get this straight: you actually get something when you respond to spam email? Like, a prescription?
  • I'm always amazed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zunni ( 565203 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:40PM (#13399788)
    It never ceases to amaze me that people (users) continue to do business this way.

    People wonder why the spamming never ends, it's because 72,000 perscriptions were bought through an email ad.

    Spamming really does work, it's cheap, and highly effective as evidenced by the above numbers.
  • I had between 16,000 and 17,000 spam messages last year (~45/day). So far this year I've had about 6,200 (~26/day). In the last week I seem to have been getting 80-110/day, which is a massive increase over the rest of the year.

    Anybody else seen a massive increase?
  • Can anyone else figure out why doctors, who are trained mostly to follow the money, are the gatekeepers on otherwise illegal drug trafficking?
  • Wow! I think the 72000 prescriptions disturbs and riles me up more than the spam. We're talking about one greedy twisted doctor here. I only wonder how many more like this are out there yet to be caught. I wonder if this guy was any good with his patients or really just in medicine for the money, which I guess obviously just wasn't enough!
  • by WormholeFiend ( 674934 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:57PM (#13399971)
    I would like to offer him some herbal rectal relief medications at a very reasonable price, no prescription needed!
  • by Phiro ( 670186 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @01:58PM (#13399978)
    Other than the naughty bit about paying his pet doctor $7 for each non-exam script, this was a stand-up guy. He did exactly what he claimed he would. How many so-called spammers out there can say that? This guy had _thousands_ of satisified, repeat customers. Nobody was getting ripped off, in fact I'd wager the majority of the scripts that were filled were cheaper to the customer than if they went to Walgreens/Target/whatever and had it filled. This guy SAVED the health industry millions and he's demonized for fraud. Fraud? In what way? How did he defraud customers? Didn't he supply them with exactly what they were ordering at a fraction of the usual cost? Spamming? How is he different than Ford or GM putting their commercials on every 6 minutes during your prime time show? --- It wouldn't take much to turn this guy into a modern day Robin Hood. You all act like he's satan incarnate, in reality it's nothing but a very successful businessman with an overly invasive advertising scheme (but no spyware or adware!) who gave his customers exactly what they wanted at a price both parties were happy with. How many other businesses can match that?
  • 25 : ) (Score:3, Funny)

    by milimetric ( 840694 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @02:01PM (#13400013) Journal
    25 year old, hm... 3 million dollars worth of stuff is pretty nice at 25. The only problem is... when you go to hit on a girl... what do you say you do? SPAM? Hey baby... I'm a spammer. Wanna SPAM? You know baby, I could make a couple of calls and all that spam in your inbox would be gone?

    HEY, there's an idea, do you think these people know how to protect THEMSELVES from SPAM???? WOA!! I'm a freakin genius. I'm sure this guy's girlfriend isn't getting Viagra adds, how do they do it? Maybe we can just use their methods against themselves.

    I rock so hard.
  • by s7uar7 ( 746699 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @02:08PM (#13400110) Homepage
    My website gets around 30 hits a minute (from seperate IPs) with fake referrer spam for sites selling prescription drugs. Anything with a drug name in the referrer, Phentermine, Xanax etc, gets an http 302 redirect to dea.gov; the original referrer isn't replaced. Who knows, maybe no one there ever looks at the logs, but if they do there's a few sites they might be interested in.
  • by techno-vampire ( 666512 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @02:11PM (#13400138) Homepage
    Back during Prohibition, a number of gangsters were sent to prison for tax evasion. The Feds couldn't get any evidence about the really bad things like extortion, robbery and murder, so they used what they could get. This is just more of the same thing, and a great idea. Professional spammers are likely to be breaking a number of laws, so investigate them and charge them with whatever you can find. Selling drugs, tax evasion, fraud, whatever.
  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @02:22PM (#13400271) Homepage
    He was busted for something else right? Something related to illegal drug activity, wire fraud, money laundering...? Stuff like that?

    So far, all this does is make "illegal" activities proliferated by spam something that will get you busted....

    Hrm... okay so this WILL make a dent in the war on spam. But I would still like to see more people jailed for the activity of spamming rather than for more common reasons.
  • 72,000 More... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by catdevnull ( 531283 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @03:19PM (#13400839)
    They should fine each person who answers illegal ads, too. If a spammer sends out 1,000,000 junk mails for almost no cost and one ass clown answers, it makes it worth his trouble. It's like prostitution or drug dealing: both buyer and seller should be busted.
  • Why he's in jail (Score:5, Informative)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday August 25, 2005 @03:25PM (#13400905) Homepage
    A bit of history. Back in May, his company was shut down by court order. [indystar.com] His assets and house [indystar.com] were seized. An injunction was issued to stop him from further spamming. A court-appointed receiver took over the operation, paid off the employees, and shut the operation down. Meanwhile, a criminal indictment was in progress, but not yet completed.

    So Smith went to the Dominican Republic and tried to restart spamming from there. On June 28th, a judge issued an arrest warrant for him. When he returned to the US, he was arrested, but released on bail, with home monitoring.

    The prosecution then asked for a six-month criminal contempt sentence for trying to violate the injunction and fleeing prosecution. Smith had a court date for that in July, and lost. So now he's in jail for six months.

    This is somebody who just didn't get it when the court ordered him to stop.

    This is just the first phase. The felony case is just getting underway.

  • by halcyon1234 ( 834388 ) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Thursday August 25, 2005 @03:55PM (#13401221) Journal
    Federal authorities have already seized over $3 million in cash, luxury cars, and houses."

    Okay, great. Now that just means things'll be quiet for a couple months, and then it will be business as normal. If we really want to stop future spam, here's what we can don:

    1. Sieze the customer list.
    2. Send each of those customers a bottle of cyanide pills, but label the bottle "Teh Medz u 0rdred!!!!!!!"
    3. Pass the customer list on to Poison Control, so they can block the phone numbers.

    Now you've eliminated the customer base of spam messages. With no customers, spamming won't be profitable ($3 Million?!?!). If it's not profitable, it'll stop.

    Tah-dah.

You see but you do not observe. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes"

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