A man some consider to be "public nuisance number one" when it comes to Internet spam is behind bars. Christopher W. Smith was hauled before a federal judge this week on multiple charges relating to Xpress Pharmacy Direct, an online drug marketing business. He was ordered held without bond pending a hearing.
According to the indictment, Smith generated millions of spam emails from March 2004 to May 2005, offering prescription drugs. He allegedly generated more than $20 million from illegal sales of drugs to people who did not provide proof of a prescription.
Under the indictment, Smith is accused of several counts of conspiracy to dispense controlled substances, wire fraud, money laundering, distributing controlled substances and introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce.
Smith is notorious among groups combating spam emails, who say he is one of the worlds largest producers of unwanted junk email. His spam operation was shut down earlier this year after federal officials seized the assets of Xpress Pharmacy and appointed a receiver.
Indicted along with Smith were Dr. Philip Mach, of Franklin Park, N.J., and Bruce Jordan Lieberman, of Farmingdale, N.Y. The indictment charges Mach, at Smiths behest, wrote 72,000 prescriptions for controlled substances over a 14 month period. Its alleged Mach wrote prescriptions for consumers all over the U.S. without having any contact with them. Lieberman, Smith former accountant, is accused of helping to launder money from the operation.