A Florida man was sentenced to four years in prison on Thursday for stealing emails of over 60 million people through hacking and profited more than $1.3 million, prosecutors said in Newark Federal Court.
Timothy Livingston, 31, of Boca Raton was in charge of A Whole Lot of Nothing LLC, which served in sending spam emails for its clients, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said. Some of Livingston’s clients had legitimate businesses but others, however, advertised online pharmacies which sold narcotics without prescriptions. All of which is illegal. Livingston’s business went back as far as early 2011.
Livingston then got help from Tomasz Chmielarz, 34, of Rutherford, to write computer programs which sent spam that concealed the originality of the email and evade email filters, authorities said. Livingston remained anonymous using proxy servers. The business then got into hacking corporate mail servers. They created software to get in email accounts of customers in an attempt to further their spam campaign.
Livingston allegedly charged between $5 and $9 for each spam email which became a completed transaction for a client, according to court documents.
In one instance in 2013, Livingston told Chmielarz through an online chat “here is the site I need scrapped” in which they stole confidential business information, according to court documents.
In 2015, Chmielarz, Livingston and Devin James McArthur of Maryland were arrested, officials said. In 2016, Chmielarz pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit fraud and related activity in connection to electronic mail. McArthur pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Chmielarz and McArthur received two years of probation.
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