Facebook Awarded $711 Million from “Spam King”
Facebook won a huge judgment from the spammer who already owes MySpace $234 million from an earlier suit.
Sanford Wallace has been a known spammer since the 1990’s and is one of the first to be crowned “Spam King”. His most recent spamming scheme was sending phishing messages to Facebook users that contained links to phishing websites asking for login information. The information submitted was used by Wallace to spam the phishing victims’ friends with the aim to pull in even more potential phishing victims. It’s also believed that Wallace was paid to redirect Facebook users to money generating web sites.
“The record demonstrates that Wallace willfully violated the statutes in question with blatant disregard for the rights of Facebook and the thousands of Facebook users whose accounts were compromised by his conduct,” Fogel said in his ruling.
Facebook sought $7 billion in damages, as allowed by the CAN-SPAM act and California business code. However, California federal judge Jeremy Fogel felt that was disproportionate to the actual damage caused by Wallace and awarded Facebook only $710,737,650 instead. Judge Fogel also turned Wallace over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to be prosecuted for criminal contempt and for willful violation of a temporary restraining order and injunction.
With Wallace possibly facing jail time and owing MySpace $234, it won’t be easy for Facebook to collect its money. But at least the “Spam King” as been caught and may be taken off the grid for a time.
More information on Information Week. Photo courtesy of Canadian Broadcasting Centre.