Computer Crime Research Center


'Spam King' once felt 'invincible'

Date: August 06, 2008

Strangers hated him, blamed him for wrecking their lives, deemed him a time-sucking pariah who grated on millions of people worldwide.

None of that mattered to Robert Soloway; it was part of his fortune, his way. As he vexed others, he drove Porsches, dressed in Prada, had a penthouse and lived a playboy's life.

But his insecurity was never far behind. By the time federal agents arrested him for spewing illegal e-mails, he didn't much protest the moniker they gave him – the Spam King.

"Here's my dysfunction," Soloway said recently. "It was that notoriety. People knew me. No one clapped for me at my high school graduation. Maybe it's not how I want to be famous, but (my thinking was) 'At least people know who I am.' "

These days, the 29-year-old felon appears less a villain and more a jumbled study in contrasts.

In his first lengthy, local interview, Soloway was mostly contrite, with a touch of defiance. He was elegantly composed in Italian loafers and a chic velvet jacket. His body, afflicted with Tourette's syndrome, twitched with tics.

He spoke candidly but declined to provide friends and family to corroborate his story.

His fall was swift and stunning.

He once thought nothing of jetting to Vegas and tipping a cabbie $1,000.
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