Russian accused of running spam ring is indicted in US

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Russian man described as one of the world's most notorious criminal spammers has been indicted by a U.S. grand jury.

Thirty-six-year-old Pyotr Levashov is accused of running a computer network that sent hundreds of millions of spam emails worldwide each year. He was arrested in Barcelona this month in a joint U.S.-Spanish operation, and the Justice Department is seeking his extradition.

Federal prosecutors in Connecticut announced Friday that Levashov was indicted Thursday on charges including accessing protected computers in furtherance of fraud.

A message seeking comment was sent to an attorney for Levashov in Spain.

American authorities say the sprawling Kelihos botnet was made up of compromised computers that sent phony emails advertising counterfeit drugs, harvested users' logins and installed malware that intercepted bank account passwords.