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SIBLING SPAMMERS CONVICTED OF DEFRAUDING AOL MEMBERS

A brother and sister who sent unsolicited junk e-mail to millions of America Online customers were convicted Wednesday in the nation's first felony prosecution of distributors of spam.

Jurors who convicted Jeremy D. Jaynes, 30, and Jessica DeGroot, 28, later sentenced Jaynes to a nine-year prison term and fined DeGroot $7,500 for three convictions each of sending e-mails with fraudulent and untraceable routing information.

A third defendant, Richard Rutkowski, was acquitted of similar charges.

Prosecutors compared Jaynes and DeGroot, both of the Raleigh, N.C., area, to modern-day snake-oil salesmen who used the Internet to peddle junk.

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