A man convicted in the nation’s first felony prosecution for illegal spamming was sentenced to nine years in prison Friday, but the judge postponed the sentence while the case is appealed.
Loudoun County Circuit Judge Thomas Horne said that because the law targeting bulk e-mail distribution is new and raises constitutional questions, it was appropriate to defer the prison time until appeals courts rule.
Jeremy Jaynes was convicted in November for using false Internet addresses to send mass e-mail ads through an AOL server in Loudoun.
A jury had recommended the nine-year prison term.
Virginia, where AOL is based, prosecuted the case under a law that took effect in 2003 barring people from sending bulk e-mail that is unsolicited and masks its origin.
Prosecutors said Jaynes used the Internet to peddle sham products and services such as a “FedEx refund processor.”
Imagine how good advertising would be if we handed out costly citations