Florida man pleads guilty to hacking, spamming scheme
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By Nate Raymond
(Reuters) - A Florida man pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges stemming from his role in wide-ranging hacking scheme that generated $1.3 million through the hijacking of customer email accounts to send unsolicited "spam" messages, prosecutors said.
Timothy Livingston, 31, entered his plea in federal court in Newark, New Jersey to three counts including conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with computers and access devices, prosecutors said.
His plea came ahead of a trial scheduled for Nov. 14, and followed guilty pleas in June by two other men in the case, Tomasz Chmielarz of Rutherford, New Jersey and Devin McArthur of Ellicott City, Maryland.
As part of a plea agreement, Livingston agreed to forfeit nearly $1.35 million as well as property he obtained using proceeds from the scheme, including a Ferrari and Cadillac, prosecutors said. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 27.
A lawyer for Livingston did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Prosecutors said Livingston, who owned a spam company called A Whole Lot of Nothing LLC, solicited Chmielarz to write computer programs that send spam in a manner that conceals their origin and bypasses spam filters.
In pleading guilty, Livingston admitted that he also hacked into individual email accounts and used corporate mail servers to further his spam campaigns, prosecutors said.
He also admitted he and Chmielarz created custom software that appropriated a corporate website belonging to a New York-based technology company in order to use its servers to send spam that appeared to be from the company, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors had previously said the scheme that targeted personal information of 60 million people, including customers of Comcast Corp, where McArthur worked during the period in question.
The case is U.S. v. Livingston et al, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, No. 15-cr-00626.
(Editing by Alistair Bell)
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