By  | 

Two Tampa roommates are the targets of the first state lawsuits targeting computer spam.

Twenty-five-year-old Scott Filary and 34-year-old Donald Townsend could be ordered to pay up to $24 million in penalties for sending what the state says are more than 65,000 illegal e-mails.

The attorney general's office says one recent e-mail tried to capitalize on the slaying of nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford in Homosassa.

State law calls for fines for sending unsolicited commercial e-mail containing with false or misleading information in the subject line.

The civil suit claims the men have been at it for more than two years, pitching pharmaceutical drugs, cigarettes, Internet downloads, e-books and cash advances. The state has traced them to 350 Internet domain names.

Subjects have included messages like "I'll call later," "Urgent Sales Verification" and "Prescription Re-Order Notification."