A US federal grand jury in Detroit on the 3rd of January, 2008, indicted 11 people over a wide ranging international fraud. The people included: several Americans, a Russian and a man with Canadian and Hong Kong citizenship. The fraud involved spamming, sending out millions of messages in a "pump and dump" scheme.

The charges came out of a three-year investigation with the assistance of the US Postal Inspection Service and the US Internal Revenue Service revealed a sophisticated and extensive spamming operation that is alleged their involvement in a "pump and dump" scheme. The idea of the scheme is to send out a large volume of spam that focused mainly on Chinese penny stocks. The idea was to artificially drive up the stock prices by inflating their psychological worth and then make a profit. The people in the scheme are alleged to have used methods to try to avoid spam blocking. These included techniques like using falsified headers and e-mail messages, using proxy computers to relay the spam, using falsely registered domain names to send the spam, as well as making misrepresentations in the advertising content of some of the underlying messages.

The indictment also alleges that the defendants tried to send their spam by utilising a tool known as a botnet, which is a network of "robot" computers that have been infected with malicious software code such as viruses which in turn instruct the computer to send spam.