A student accused of being one of the world's most prolific spammers has been charged by the Texas state authorities.
Ryan Samuel Pitylak, a student at the University of Texas, and his associate Mark Stephen Trotter are charged with sending millions of spam emails in a business reported to have netted huge sums of money.
The two are accused of setting up three shell companies, PayPerAction LLC, Leadplex LLC and Leadplex Inc, to process the funds from spamming activities.
"Spam is one of the most aggravating and pervasive problems facing consumers today," said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
"Unwanted, unsolicited email clogs the computers of Texas consumers and businesses, wasting precious time and money. Texans are fed up, and today's action aims to give them relief by shutting down one of the world's worst spam operations."
Anti-spam organisation Spamhaus rates the duo as being the fourth biggest spammers in the world.
The case was brought after volunteers, including Microsoft, collected and collated over 24,000 spam emails over a six-month period. These were then traced back to the senders.
The charges were filed under the 2003 Can-Spam Act that was designed specifically to stop spam activity.
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