Alan Ralsky

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Alan Ralsky (born c. 1945) is a convicted American fraudster, best known for his activities as a spammer.


Ralsky was one of the most prolific sources of junk e-mail worldwide. Unlike most spammers, he has provided interviews to various newspapers, although he claimed to be a commercial e-mailer rather than a spammer. He claimed that his was a legitimate business which complied with all laws,[1] but was convicted of spamming and other fraudulent activities in June 2009.

Ralsky apparently began his spamming career in 1996, when his licenses to sell insurance were revoked in Michigan and Illinois.[1]

He gained much of his notoriety following a December 2002 interview with The Detroit News. The article was soon posted to Slashdot and the address of his newly built home was posted to Slashdot not long after that.[2] Hundreds of Slashdot readers then searched the Internet for advertising mailing lists and free catalogs and signed him up for them. As a result, he was flooded with junk mail.[3] In a Detroit Free Press article on December 6, 2002, he is quoted as saying, "They've signed me up for every advertising campaign and mailing list there is. These people are out of their minds. They're harassing me."[4]

Legal timeline[edit]

  • In 1992 he served a fifty-day sentence for selling unregistered securities.[5]
  • On August 7, 1995, he pleaded guilty to federal bank fraud in Ohio.[6] He served three years probation for a felony charge of falsifying banking records.[7]
  • On March 14, 1999, he pleaded guilty to misprision of felony in Michigan.[8]
  • In early October, 2005, a warrant was unsealed, showing the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided Alan Ralsky's home in September. In the raid, the FBI took computers, financial records, and even the Detroit News article cited above. They then raided his son-in-law's home. Ralsky's business was not legally shut down, but he was unable to operate following the raid.[9]
  • On January 3, 2008, Ralsky and ten others were indicted based on the results of a three-year investigation.[10] The indictment included stock fraud charges stemming from a "pump and dump" scheme.
  • On January 9, 2008, Ralsky was arraigned on the charges that he was indicted for on January 3, 2008. He was silent during the arraignment, so a plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf.[11]
  • On June 22, 2009, he pleaded guilty to wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering charges and violating the CAN-SPAM Act.[12] He agreed to assist in the prosecution of other spammers in exchange for sentencing consideration.[13]
  • On November 23, 2009, he was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Marianne O. Battani to four years, three months in jail. He was also fined $250,000.[14][15]
  • Alan Ralsky was inmate No. 19509-039 at the Federal Correctional Institution, Morgantown.[16]
  • He was released on 14 September 2012.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Joel Kurth (2002-08-04). "Junk e-mail foes target spam king". Detroit News. Archived from the original on 2014-01-24. Retrieved 2014-05-29.
  2. ^ "Another Millionaire Spammer Story - Slashdot". Retrieved 2013-03-02.
  3. ^ "HOWTO: Annoy a Spammer". Slashdot. Archived from the original on 2014-03-02. Retrieved 2013-03-02.
  4. ^ "'Spammer Gets Junkmailed'". TechSpot. 2002-11-12. Retrieved 2009-11-26.
  5. ^ [1] Archived February 2, 2004, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "ROKSO - Register of Known Spam Operations - The Spamhaus Project". Retrieved 2013-03-02.
  7. ^ [2][dead link]
  8. ^ "ROKSO - Register of Known Spam Operations - The Spamhaus Project". Retrieved 2013-03-02.
  9. ^ "FBI raid shuts down suspected spammer". USA Today. 2005-10-16. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
  10. ^ "Alan Ralsky, Ten Others, Indicted In International Illegal Spamming And Stock Fraud Scheme". U.S. Department of Justice. 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  11. ^ Ashenfelter, David (2008-01-09). "Man arraigned on charges he sent e-mail to inflate stocks". Detroit Free Press. Detroit, Michigan: Gannett Company. Retrieved 2008-01-16.
  12. ^ "'Detroit Spammer and Four Co-Conspirators Plead Guilty to Multi-Million Dollar E-Mail Stock Fraud Scheme'". Department of Justice. 2009-06-22. Archived from the original on 2009-06-26. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
  13. ^ "'Spam King' pleads guilty in Detroit". UPI. 2009-06-23. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
  14. ^ [3] Archived November 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ [4][dead link]
  16. ^ "Canned Spammer:". Retrieved 2013-03-02.
  17. ^ "Federal Bureau of Prisons". 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2013-03-02.
  18. ^ "ROKSO Register of Known Spam Operations - Peter Severa / Peter Levashov". Retrieved 3 February 2018.

External links[edit]