SEATTLE (AP) — The Department of Justice says a 37-year-old 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 was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman in Seattle. He was arrested in Denmark in January of 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 co-horts 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.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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