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3 Charged in Hacking and Spamming Scheme That Targeted 60 Million People

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey say the scheme netted more than $2 million in profits.
Image: Man types on a computer keyboard
Three men are accused of engaging in a wide-ranging hacking and spamming scheme that targeted personal information of 60 million.Reuters

Three men were charged Tuesday in a computer hacking and spamming scheme that federal prosecutors in New Jersey said compromised the personal information of 60 million people and netted more than $2 million in profits.

Timothy Livingston, 30, of Boca Raton, Florida, operated a business known as A Whole Lot of Nothing that sent spam emails on behalf of clients including insurance companies and online pharmacies, charging $5 to $9 for each spam email that resulted in a completed transaction, according to authorities.

In addition to Livingston, the indictment charged Tomasz Chmielarz, 32, of Rutherford, New Jersey; and Devin McArthur, 27, of Ellicott City, Maryland, with conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with computers and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Livingston and Chmielarz also were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with electronic mail.

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Prosecutors said Livingston solicited Chmielarz in 2012 to write computer programs to bypass spam filters and to conceal the identity of the sender. McArthur is accused of helping to steal confidential business information. The names of the companies that hired them were not released.

Michael Koribanics, Chmielarz's lawyer, said his client would plead not guilty at a court hearing on Tuesday. A lawyer for Livingston did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and an attorney for McArthur could not be identified.