Seven months after being found guilty in Camden federal court for launching a malicious computer virus that infected more than 100,000 computers worldwide, including the Rick Ross Institute, Bruce Raisley was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Fishman said the case was tried in New Jersey, in part because of the damage claimed by the Ross Institute, a New Jersey based Internet Archive database agency founded in 2003.
Raisley, a former software developer, admitted to launching the nasty "Botnet" virus in retaliation for humiliating articles and photos published about him by Xavier Von Erck, founder of the Perverted Justice Foundation.
PJF once collaborated with Dateline NBC's television show, “To Catch a Predator,” “where volunteers would pose online as minors to attract pedophiles using a sting operation, said Fishman. Raisley, once a supporter, participated in the group’s chatrooms. He began questioning Von Erck techniques and later accused him of using his sons photograph as bait to lure an online pedophile. In 2005, the FBI investigated, but never substantiated that allegation, The Star-Ledger reported.
The men parted ways with Raisley blasting Von Erck and PJF, making disturbing threats and even identifying its volunteers. In 2005, Von Erck responded by creating a phony online profile using the name "Holly," and began an Internet relationship with an unsuspecting Raisley, who was then married and residing in Arkansas. After a lengthy Internet courtship and exchanging steamy photos with "Holly," Raisley fell in love and left his wife, ABC News said.
When he was set to meet "Holly," Von Erck arranged an airport meeting, but instead of "Holly" showing up, Von Erck sent a photographer who snapped shots of Raisley holding flowers and waiting for the fake woman. The embarrassing images, including suggestive transcripts of Raisley's exchanges with "Holly," circulated the Internet angering and humiliating Raisley. In 2007, he launched the vicious Botnet virus, which attacked computers remotely and shut down websites that republished the article about him and "Holly."
During his sentencing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Erez Liebermann requested a two-year prison sentence, telling the judge that “Botnet” did more than overwhelm host computers and shut down websites. Its attack led to more than $100,000 in lost revenues, and mitigation for Rolling Stone, Nettica, Corrupted Justice, Radar and the Rick Ross Institute.
As Kugler made his ruling, he called Raisley’s actions a vengeful attack on the First Amendment rights of online publishers, Philly.com reported. Raisley was also ordered to pay $90,386.34 in restitution and three years of supervised release.