The New York Times reports that Russian police have announced a criminal investigation of a suspected spam kingpin, Igor A. Gusev.
Authorities believe Gusev played a central role in the operations of SpamIt.com, which paid spammers to promote online pharmacies. He is being accused of operating a pharmacy without a license, as well as failing to register a business. Several hard drives, flash cards and laptops were recovered from Gusev's apartment, so computer-related charges may follow.
Shortly after the investigation began, SpamIt stopped operation, although the exact reason the site closed is unclear. Since the site went down, there has been a marked decrease in spam volumes, which has been noted by both Symantec and Google.