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Russian native who ran massive spamming network wants plea deal


MILWAUKEE, WI (WTAQ) - A man from Russia who’s charged in Milwaukee with running a major worldwide computer spamming network wants to make a plea deal. His attorney said Oleg Nikolaenko still denies running the spam network – but he could not elaborate because of the plea negotiations which are taking place. Authorities said Nikolaenko’s network placed malicious codes on a half-million U-S computers, and then sent out billions of e-mails selling things like counterfeit Rolex watches and fake Viagra. On some days, officials said the network accounted for one-third of the world’s unwanted e-mails. Defense lawyer Arkady Bukh said the government wants to send Nikolaenko to prison for about 10 years, while the defense wants to limit the sentence to the year-and-a-half he’s been in jail. Bukh says the final agreement will probably be somewhere in between. A Milwaukee FBI agent cracked the case, after a Kansas City man complained of having to spend $2 milion dollars to advertise fake watches on the network. Nikolaenko was arrested in the fall of 2010 in Las Vegas, where he was attending a car show.