Escaped spammer back in federal slammer

Escaped spammer back in federal slammer

Jeffrey Kilbride, one of the first to be convicted under CAN-SPAM Act, was on the loose for just over 24 hours

Jeffrey Kilbride, one of the first to be convicted of charges stemming from the Controlling the Assault of Non-solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act, was returned to federal custody a day after he reportedly broke out of a minimum-security prison, according to local news reports.

Kilbride, 48, was discovered missing from the Lompoc federal prison on Friday, Dec. 27, around 1:30 p.m. PT, said the Lompoc Record last week. The federal facility is located in Lompoc, Calif., which is south of San Louis Obispo near the central California coast.

By late afternoon Saturday, Dec. 28, however, Kilbride was back in custody, the Lompoc Record said.

According to the newspaper, Kilbride had turned himself in to authorities.

Officials at Federal Correctional Institute, Lompoc were unable to confirm that Thursday. The prison's primary public information officer was absent, and an alternate said he was unauthorized to talk about inmates or their disposition.

Kilbride was notable for being one of two men who were the first to be charged and convicted under the CAN-SPAM Act, legislation passed by the U.S. Congress in 2003 and designed to stem the flood of spam email. By most accounts, CAN-SPAM was a failure, although it resulted in several jail sentences for spammers based in the U.S.

Kilbride, along with a partner, James Schaffer, were convicted of two CAN-SPAM violations in 2007. One of the counts accused the pair of sending commercial emails with falsified headers, while the other charged them with spoofing domain names in order to trick recipients. The emails promoted pornographic websites.

A federal judge sentenced Kilbride to 72 months in federal prison, and gave Schaffer 63 months. The same judge also fined the two $100,000 each, ordered them to pay $77,500 to America Online and required them to forfeit their $1.1 million in ill-gotten gains.

According to Kilbride's entry in the federal prison system's database, he was originally set for release in December 2015.

It was unclear what additional charges would be leveled against Kilbride for his escape, and how that would impact his slated release.

Schaffer, 48, is currently an inmate of Correctional Institute, Taft, a federal prison in Taft, California, near Bakersfield, that is operated by a private contractor. Schaffer is scheduled to be released in November 2014.

Lompoc may be best known as the setting for part of the Elmore Leonard novel, Out of Sight, which was later made into the 1998 movie by the same name, and starred George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Albert Brooks and Don Cheadle.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is

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