Work-at-home Mom Pleads Guilty To Massive Porn Spamming

Working at home, she operated the website MommyJobs.com, but authorities say the homemaker was also part of a gang that sent massive quantities of spam messages containing pornographic images.

March 9, 2006

3 Min Read
Network Computing logo

A work-at-home mom pleaded guilty this week in federal court to sending millions of spams hyping Internet porn sites, prosecutors said.

Jennifer Clason, 33, of Raymond, N.H., was part of a spam gang that sent mass quantities of messages containing pornographic images, said officials from the Department of Justice. She admitted conspiring with two others, Jeffrey Kilbride, 39, of Venice, Calif., and James Schaffer, 39, of Paradise Valley, Ariz., in sending the messages, which advertised various Internet porn sites.

Clason, who pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the federal CAN-SPAM Act and to one count of criminal conspiracy, will forfeit her ill-gotten gains under the agreement she struck with authorities. She also faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Two other members of the gang, Andrew Ellifson, 31, of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Kirk Rogers, 43, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., have already pleaded guilty to charges under the CAN-SPAM Act.

Clason now runs a Web site for work-at-home moms, MommyJobs.com, which was not part of the investigation. According to anti-spam advocate Brian McWilliams, MommyJobs.com -- which bills itself as "a support site for other work at home mothers and others who wish to quit their jobs to be home" -- contains no pitches to join Clason's affiliate program for porn spammers (PhatBucks.com), nor to visit her porn "thumbnail" site (Galleriesblog.com) or her porn content search site (Contentshopper.com).While MommyJobs.com lacks direct porn connections, it does advertise get-rich-quick schemes on its forums, including "auto-surf" sites. Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shut down a major auto-surf site, and charged its owner with operating a Ponzi scheme to dupe investors.

Clason came clean on the MommyJobs.com message forum Thursday in a long letter to her site visitors, but claimed she was victimized by a man who convinced her that spamming wasn't illegal. Recently, she said, she left the spamming business.

"Apparently this guy that I had trusted for 5 years had lied to me," she wrote. "Not only was his spam operation illegal, but he was also doing other shady stuff that I had no knowledge of like money laundering!!"

To replace her $9,000-per-month income as a spammer, Clason said she went legit. "I had several sites of my own and have since opened new ones trying to make ends meet. I have had the best year of my life working for myself and not for him with my own sites and not working for someone else."

Those sites, however, include numerous porn and porn-related sites. Phatbucks.com, Galleriesblog.com, and Contentshopper.com are all registered to a company called Coast To Coast Cash, and to a "Wendy Miller." As it turns out, so is Clason's MommyJobs.com. In a press release she issued in January to mark the launch of MommyJobs, Clason wrote "MommyJobs.com is a Coast To Coast Cash site venture."

In fact, Clason's bragged in articles published on numerous Web sites that she's "been running a full-time home-based internet business for 7+ years and owns more than 10 different internet sales websites."To top it all, Clason admitted in her MommyJobs.com message that she's not even a mother.

"I felt that in order to run a WAHM [Work-At-Home-Mother] site I had to be a WAHM," she wrote. "Indeed I do work at home with my spouse, but I don't have any children. The 'son' that I speak of is actually my nephew whom I feel very close to as if he were my son! So I have not lied about having a little man in my life, I only embellished that he was mine in order to have more credibility."

She also said she pleaded guilty to avoid jail time. "I could either plead guilty to sending the spam and take a reduced sentence (which I'm not allowed to discuss) or I could take my chances at a jury trial and possibly go to jail," she said."

I have never even been in a jail in my life. I would be mortified to go to jail. So I plead guilty on all charges. That's why I was in Phoenix the other day."

Clason will face sentencing June 5 in a Phoenix federal court.0

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like


More Insights