British spammer gets six years in prison

An internet spammer convicted of running a £1.6m e-mail scam from a bedroom in his father’s house has been jailed for six years.
Peter Francis-Macrae, of St Neots, Cambs, was found guilty of threatening to kill and blackmail.

The 23-year-old was also convicted of threatening to destroy or damage property, concealing criminal property and fraudulent trading.

He had offered thousands of e-mail and website names when he had no right.

And when victims complained, he threatened to destroy their internet systems by sending millions of spam e-mails.

Peterborough Crown Court heard he also threatened to fire-bomb the headquarters of the county’s trading standards department and petrol-bomb his local police headquarters.

When internet policing group Nominet posted warnings about his activities, he responded by saying he would attack its servers.

Francis-Macrae, who made more than £100,000 per week from the scam, spent £28,000 on designer clothes and on learning to fly helicopters, the court heard.

During the trial, Francis-Macrae defied Judge Nicholas Coleman QC by refusing to reveal where he hid up to £425,000, saying Cambridgeshire Police would “steal” it.

After sentencing, Pc Jody Faro said: “This investigation highlights just how easy it can be to deceive and lie to people using the internet.”

Francis-Macrae was found guilty of two counts of fraudulent trading, one of concealing criminal property, two of making threats to kill, one charge of threatening to destroy or damage property and one count of blackmail.

The 23-year-old was cleared of two charges of making threats to kill.

From BBC News.

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