Where Does Spam Come From? This Guy, Allegedly

The FBI raided Michael Persaud's house in April
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2016 10:44 AM CDT
Where Does Spam Come From? This Guy, Allegedly
Authorities say Michael Persaud has been spamming for years.   (Shutterstock)

There's a decent chance Michael Alexander Persaud has sent you some spam. According to the FBI, which raided Persaud's San Diego home in late April, the 39-year-old is able to send a million unsolicited emails in less than 15 minutes, ABC News reports. Authorities have been investigating Persaud since at least 2013 for alleged spamming so voluminous he was awarded the last slot on the Top 10 Worst Spammers by UK-based Spamhaus. Now the FBI wants a federal judge to let it search Persaud's iCloud account, which is linked to two seized computers and an iPhone, for evidence of "illegal spamming" and wire fraud related to spamming. It's not Persaud's first tangle with the law.

In a 2014 article titled "Still Spamming After All These Years," KrebsOnSecurity describes Persaud as "an unabashed bulk emailer who’s been sued by AOL, the San Diego District Attorney’s office, and by anti-spam activists multiple times over the last 15 years. (Indeed, in 1999, a judge ordered Persaud to pay AOL $544,600 after the company sued him, alleging, in the words of a 1998 Los Angeles Times article, he "forged the aol.com domain name, or Internet address, on e-mail messages" to fool AOL users.) Persaud had no comment for ABC, but two years ago he did tell Krebs he sent unsolicited bulk email for "clients" but maintained that he didn't breach major US spam laws in doing so. As for the damage done, a special agent on the current case tells ABC the "costs of storing and delivering spam" can be in excess of $10 million annually for the innocent host company. (More spam stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.