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Guilty plea in computer hijack


December 12, 2000

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) ? A man who took over a Westchester company's Internet service to send millions of anonymous e-mails about pornography and get-rich-quick schemes has pleaded guilty to forgery. Jason Garon, 46, of Mission Viejo, Fla., admitted Friday that he had committed second-degree forgery, said District Attorney Jeanine Pirro. The maximum sentence is up to seven years in prison. The district attorney said the Internet forgery prosecution was believed to be the first in the country.

Garon allegedly sent millions of ''spam'' messages to America Online subscribers and disguised them to look as if they had been sent from ibm.net, IBM's Internet provider.

He used the computer resources of the Irvington, N.Y.-based Market Vision, a graphics studio, and the load crashed the company's internal network. Ed Greenberg, owner of the company, said his losses amounted to about $18,000.

''This office will not relinquish the vanguard of technology to those whose intent and purpose is to commit old crimes in new ways,'' Pirro said.

Garon's e-mails were traced to his apartment, where he was arrested and his computer was seized by Orange County, Calif., investigators.

© 2000 Associated Press


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