When Is It More Than Spam?

AP reports, “A man convicted in the nation’s first felony case against illegal spamming was sentenced to nine years in prison Friday for bombarding Internet users with millions of junk e-mails.”  They believe he was responsible for 10 million emails a day and through fraud and deception grossed up to $750,000 per month.

To me though, this is not a case of someone going to prison for sending “spam” or “junk emails.”  This is someone going to prison for fraud and theft.  Not that I’m defending spammers, but to me spam is an email, that I didn’t ask for, soliciting a product that will supposedly enlarge my undercarriage or whatever.  When an email tries to bilk me with a scam, that’s fraud.  Does the fact that it came to me via email, and not by phone or in person, classify it as spam?  While spam is unsolicited bulk email and technically that’s what this guy sent, what he did is really much more than can be neatly characterized as spam.