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Russian Pleads Not Guilty In U.S. To Running Huge Spam Network

In the United States, a 23-year-old Russian man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he operated an e-mail business that violated U.S. laws against "spam," or unwanted e-mails, to make money through fraudulent products.

Oleg Nikolaenko entered the plea in an appearance on December 3 in U.S. federal court in the city of Milwaukee. The judge ordered him held without bond, saying there was a significant risk he would try to flee the United States.

Prosecutors say Nikolaenko ran a massive network that involved placing a code on the personal computers of unsuspecting people and using their machines to send out billions of emails.

In court documents, it is alleged that his network was so big that on some days, it accounted for a full one-third of all unwanted spam e-mails in the world. He could face three years in jail and a fine of $250,000 if convicted.

Nikolaenko was arrested in Las Vegas in November after U.S. investigators bought fraudulent products through e-mails that have been linked to his alleged operation.

compiled from agency reports