Fake Drug Spammer Denied Bail

Russian citizen Oleg Nikolaenko used Mega-D, a spam botnet, to make approximately $500,000 in six months in 2007 while infecting a network of computers to use to send out junk emails hawking fake drugs. Given his access to money, and lack of ties in the U.S. he’s been denied bail by a Federal Judge.

Nikolaenko plead not guilty in federal court in Wisconsin to violating anti-spam laws on Friday, December 3. The judge ordered that he be held without bond, because he was a flight risk due to his access to cash and lack of ties to Wisconsin or the U.S., reports the Wall Street Journal. Additionally, because Russia does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S. he would be hard to re-capture if he returned to Russia. Mr. Nikolaenko had two passwords and $4,000 in cash at the time of his arrest.

Nikolaenko is charged infecting and controlling 136 computers located in Wisconsin alone and using hijacked computers such as these worldwide to send an estimated 10 billion spam emails per day. Court records claim that during a six month period in 2007 he received $459,000 for sending out emails advertising counterfeit prescription drugs and so-called herbal remedies, reports The Week.

Maximimum sentencing for Nikolaenko if convicted is 3 years in federal prison and $250,000 in fines.