Swedish man gets prison in useless anti-virus scam

SEATTLE — The Department of Justice says a Swedish man has been sentenced to four years in prison for facilitating payments in a scheme that tricked tens of thousands of people into buying useless anti-virus programs.

The department says Mikael Patrick Sallnert, 37, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman in Seattle. He was arrested in Denmark in January 2012.

Authorities say Sallnert took part in a “cybercrime ring” that reached about 960,000 people. They say Sallnert’s payment system allowed the cybercrime rings to collect millions of dollars from people duped into believing their computers were infected with a virus.

Sallnert and his cohorts used a variety of ruses to trick consumers into unknowingly infecting their computers with the malicious products known as “scareware” — including Web pages featuring fake computer scans.

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