Internet Spammer Walks Away From Florence Prison Camp

DENVER (LAWFUEL) – Edward “Eddie” Davidson, age 35, also known as the “spam king,” walked away from a federal prison camp in Florence on Sunday, July 20, 2008. Davidson, who was sentenced to serve 21 months in federal prison, is now officially in “escape” status. He was last seen in Lakewood. U.S. Marshals are leading the search for Davidson. The FBI, IRS, and the Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force are aiding in the search.

Davidson was housed in a minimum security facility. Minimum security institutions, also known as Federal Prison Camps (FPCs), have dormitory housing, a relatively low staff-to-inmate ratio, and are work and program-oriented. FPCs are generally located adjacent to larger institutions, where inmates help serve the labor needs of the larger institution.

On April 28, 2008, Davidson was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Marcia S. Krieger to serve 21 months (just under 2 years) in federal prison. Judge Krieger also ordered him to pay $714,139 in restitution to the IRS. As part of the restitution, Davis has agreed to forfeit property he purchased, including gold coins (which the IRS is selling today), with the ill gotten proceeds of his offense. At the time of sentencing Judge Krieger ordered Davidson to report to a facility designated by the Bureau of Prisons on May 27, 2008. He pled guilty before Judge Krieger on December 3, 2007. Davidson was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 5, 2007.

According to the stipulated facts contained in a plea agreement, on July 5, 2002 through April 15, 2007, Davidson conducted a business in Colorado using the name Power Promoters. The primary nature of Davidson’s business consisted of providing promotional services for companies by sending large volumes of unsolicited commercial electronic messages (“spamming”). The spamming was designed to promote the visibility and sale of products offered by various companies. Davidson utilized the services and assistance of other individuals who he hired as “sub-contractors” to provide spamming at his direction on behalf of his client companies.

During 2002 through the middle of 2005, Davidson’s spamming activities were provided on behalf of companies to promote watches, perfume, and other items. Beginning in the middle of 2005 through 2006, Davidson sent spam on behalf of a Texas company for purposes of promoting the sale of the company’s stock. The company generated its income through selling stock (commonly referred to as “penny stock”) on behalf of small companies on the public market. Davidson aided by several sub-spammers sent hundreds of thousands of unsolicited e-mail messages to potential purchasers throughout the United States and the world, which messages touted the penny stock as an excellent investment. Davidson possessed hundreds of thousands of e-mail addresses, which he and his sub-spammers would use to send email messages. Such e-mail messages contained false header information, which concealed the actual sender from the recipient of the e-mail. Davidson provided spammed messages for approximately 19 companies. Davidson operated his spamming activities from his personal residence in Bennett, Colorado, where he had a large network of computers and servers, which facilitated his business.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Denver field office, and the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Neff prosecuted the case.

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