FBI vs spamDate: October 20, 2005
Warrants unsealed last week revealed that agents in September seized computers, laptops, financial records and disks from the 8,000-square-foot home of Alan M. Ralsky. The $750,000 West Bloomfield mini-mansion was built off profits from the 100 million electronic offers for everything from Botox to mortgages that Ralsky sends every day.
FBI agents even took a copy of a 2002 Detroit News story that called Ralsky the "poster boy for spam."
"We're out of business at this point in time," Ralsky said last week. "They didn't shut us down. They took all our equipment, which had the effect of shutting us down."
The raid is the latest episode in a cat-and-mouse game between anti-spammers and Ralsky, 60, a gregarious, heavy-smoking ex-convict considered Public Enemy No. 1 in some pockets of the Internet.
In 2002, Ralsky agreed to an undisclosed cash settlement to end a landmark lawsuit from Verizon Internet Services, which alleged he twice paralyzed its network in 2000 with his pitches for diet pills, vacations and such. The deal forbade Ralsky's companies from sending spam on its networks. m/2005/technology/0510/16/B01-349738.htm
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