A US spammer, alleged to have fraudulently raised over $100,000 through nine million emails, is facing charges filed by US financial authorities.
KC Smith, 20, of Kentucky, is accused of using the logo of US regulator the Security and Exchanges Commission (SEC) to add authenticity to two websites that claimed to offer high-return, low-risk investment.
The SEC alleged that between May 2002 and February 2003 Smith sent nine million spam emails, offering double-digit monthly returns on investments.
The offer came from the fictitious Kyrer Financial investment firm, and was insured by the United States Deposit Insurance Corporation (USDIC), another fictitious organisation. It was on the USDIC website that Smith used the SEC's official seal to add authenticity to his offers.
The SEC complaint alleges that the $102,554 Smith raised fraudulently was not invested but used to fund his personal lifestyle.
Smith is also accused of having used stolen mobile phones and internet accounts to contact the victims, and of using online payment methods that maintain payee confidentiality to help mask his identity.
He has so far agreed to pay back the money obtained plus interest to the tune of $107,510, without admitting or denying the allegations, the regulator said.
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