Notorious email spammer Alan Ralsky – the so-called 'Godfather of Spam' – and a number of his nefarious accomplices have been jailed for four years in Detroit.

Ralsky, aged 64, describes himself as the 'Godfather of Spam' – a moniker he will have the next 51 months to ponder in a motor city slammer. He was charged for conspiring to commit wire and mail fraud and violating the CAN-SPAM Act, following an intensive three years investigation by the FBI.

US District Judge Marianne Battani also gave the spammer also faces five years probation and will return the $250,000 originally seized by the US government two years ago.

The federal judge also sentenced Ralsky's son-in-law Scott Bradley, who got 40 months in prison and five years probation.

Spam lawyer

Ralsky's accomplice, John Bown, was sentenced to 32 months in prison, plus three years of probation and has to forfeit $120,000.

"With today's sentence of the self-proclaimed 'Godfather of Spam', Alan Ralsky, and three others who played central roles in a complicated stock span pump- and-dump scheme, the court has made it clear that advancing fraud through the abuse of the Internet will lead to several years in prison," said US Attorney Terrence Berg, in a statement Monday.

Ralsky's lawyer, Steven Fishman, was not so celebratory, saying: "It was the most disappointing event that I have ever experienced in 36 years as a lawyer. The sentence was higher than even what the government recommended, and I never imagined that in a million years. Everyone in the court house was stunned."

Via cnn.com