The lead defendant in the country’s first case brought under the Can-Spam Act of 2003 is expected to plead guilty today and get at least two years in prison.
Daniel J. Lin is expected to plead guilty to three felony counts, including fraud related to electronic mail, according to reports. He faces between two years and 57 months in prison. Before the plea, he faced up to 5 years on each of the spam counts and 10 years on an unrelated gun charge.
Lin was one of four Michigan men charged in April of 2004 with sending millions of unsolicited e-mails pitching bogus diet pills and erectile-dysfunction drugs and illegally masking their blasts to appear to come from other companies’ servers. The other three men are still reportedly under investigation.
In March 2005, the Federal Trade Commission settled civil charges against Lin and the three men, along with their company, Phoenix Avatar LLC. The defendants agreed to pay a $20,000 civil penalty.
Lin is also listed on anti-spam Web site Spamhaus.org’s list of known spam operations.
The FTC, state attorneys general, Internet service providers and the U.S. Department of Justice have brought more than 50 cases under the Can-Spam Act since it became effective in January 2004, according to a recent report from the FTC.