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Three people accused of running a huge computer spam operation have been indicted on charges of violating a law aimed at cracking down on unsolicited e-mails, prosecutors said. James R. Schaffer, Jeffrey A. Kilbride and Jennifer R. Clason were each charged on Thursday with two counts of fraud and one count of criminal conspiracy under the U.S. law known as CAN-SPAM, short for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act. The law, in effect since January 2004, is meant to diminish unsolicited e-mail messages, commonly known as spam. Kilbride and Schaffer also were charged with transportation of obscene material using a computer service and one count of money laundering. Money laundering charges could result with prison sentences of up to 20 years. The obscenity charges carry a maximum sentence of up to 5 years in jail. Over four months in 2004, more than 600,000 complaints were made to America Online about e-mails sent by the spamming operation, prosecutors said. Authorities said a fourth person involved in the conspiracy, 31-year-old Andrew Ellifson, had pleaded guilty to a spamming charge and a criminal conspiracy charge. Ellifson’s guilty plea, made in February, was unsealed Thursday. Ellifson allegedly assisted in creating and operating the network used to send the spam. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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