The 28-year-old appeared in court yesterday, saying he committed his crimes to meet his desire for fine clothes and a luxury home. He sent more than 90 million emails in three months via two servers, according to court records. Usually, they had false headers and were made to look as though they had been sent by the recipient to avoid spam filters.
Soloway pleaded guilty in March this year to one count each of fraud in connection with electronic mail, mail fraud and failure to file a tax return. Investigators said he used ‘botnets' that sent out spam in bulk anonymously although his defence team maintains that there was no evidence to back this up.
He is he second person to be sentenced for violating the Can-Spam Act for sending out copious spam emails. Prosecutors wanted him jailed for nine years.
Soloway was alleged to have continued sending emails despite Microsoft and an Oklahoma ISP winning judgments against him. Microsoft won a $7.8 million (£3.9 million) civil judgement against Soloway in 2005, as some emails sent by Soloway's company contained false header information that made them appear to have been sent from MSN and Hotmail addresses.