WHO: Michigan “Spam King” Alan Ralsky
WHAT: Four Detroit spammers were sentenced in federal court for running a multi-million-dollar international stock fraud scheme involving mass e-mailing of fraudulent investment tips.
HOW: In what is known as a “pump and dump” scheme, lying spam e-mails drove up prices on thinly traded stocks that were previously purchased by the manipulators, who sold their holdings at the top of the price run-up.
WHAT’S BEING DONE: Alan Ralsky and accomplices Scott Bradley, How Wai John Hui and John Bown were each sentenced to as much as 51 months in prison and five years of supervised release, along with forfeiture of up to $250,000. Four more defendants are due for sentencing Monday.