Forbes has an article on (alleged) spammer Robert Soloway, described as one of the top 10 spammers in the world. Other blogs including Ed Falk and Spamnation are also reporting on the story.
I don't have much new to add other than my response to a couple of quotes:
He continued his activities even after Microsoft won a $7 million civil judgment against him in 2005
So Soloway, even after a $7 million setback, was able to continue his activities. And, this was only two years ago. Obviously he rebounded quite nicely from adversity and spamming is still quite profitable for him. The article goes on:
In court Wednesday afternoon, Soloway pleaded not guilty to all charges after a judge determined that - even with four bank accounts seized by the government - he was sufficiently well off to pay for his own lawyer. He has been living at the ritzy Harbor Steps apartments near Pike Place Market and drives an expensive Mercedes convertible
I don't live in Seattle but I've been there a few times. Pike Place Market is in the heart of the downtown and you'd have to be pretty well-off in order to live there.
A couple of months ago I saw the movie "Thank-you For Smoking" where a smoking lobbyist says that the reason most people do unethical things is pretty much the same for everyone - it pays the mortgage. I guess in Soloway's case it does that, and then some.
Edit: Now that he's arrested, I wonder who's going to take over his botnet if it hasn't been done already? He could probably sell it to pay his legal defense.
> So Soloway, even after a $7 million setback, was
> able to continue his activities.
That's not clear at all. Some of his bank accounts were seized, but the article doesn't say how much was in them.
I have a court order against a former employer for 4.5 million yen (about 0.6 % of the amount of money involved in your discussion). I paid additional court fees in order to seize three of the company's bank accounts. That netted enough cash to pay about one-quarter of the court fees that I paid for seizing the accounts. It didn't come anywhere close to the court fees for the lawsuit in the first place, let alone the unpaid salary. The government also allowed the company president to continue operating the company, hiring new employees whom he also wouldn't pay.