Evidence from the Metropolitan Police's computer crime unit has helped to convict Robert Matthew Bentley for infecting a company's network of computers in Europe with "adware" that cost thousands of pounds to detect and repair.
Bentley pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit, and committing computer fraud. He will pay £32,000 restitution costs and serve 41 months in jail followed by three years' supervised release, the Florida court ordered.
In December 2006 the Metropolitan Police's computer crime unit worked with international anti-virus company Sophos and the US Secret Service to identify Bentley. Other conspirators remain unidentified, a statement from the Metropolitan Police said.
Bentley received "thousands of dollars" from Netherlands-based Dollar Revenue. He was paid every time an advert was downloaded from a botnet he had set up inside a multinational firm's European computer network using Florida-based computers. He committed the offences between October 2005 and November 2006.
The victim had 58 of its computers compromised and taken down for four days, costing £30k in damages. The investigation took over a year to complete and established Bentley was paid for these downloads.
The US Secret Service used evidence from the Met investigation to pursue the arrest and indictment in November 2007. Bentley pleaded guilty on 10 March 2008.
DC Bob Burls, from the Met's computer crime unit, said, "These computer criminals have no qualms about infecting computers around the world and causing thousands of pounds of damages. In their greed they cause devastating damage to both private and company computers. The sentence Bentley has received will act as a deterrent and show that regardless of where you are in the world, if you commit this type of crime, we will bring you to justice."