U.S. Indicts 4 in College Spam Scheme

April 30, 2009

The U.S. Justice Department has indicted several men for their alleged involvement in a broad scheme in which thousands of colleges were bombarded with spam e-mail used to sell millions of dollars of products to their students, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri announced Wednesday. The indictment alleges that Osmaan Shah, a student at the University of Missouri at Columbia, and his brother, Amir Ahmad Shah, used Missouri's campus network to launch programs that extracted millions of student e-mail addresses from more than 2,000 colleges nationally. They then used the database of student e-mail addresses to send spam that generated more than $4 million in sales of various products. The indictment charges that the men misled students at the various colleges into thinking that they were getting e-mails from campus officials, and cost the colleges and universities that received the spam significant dollar amounts to combat it.

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