Spammer ordered to pay Facebook $711m

Facebook has been awarded damages of $711 million against Sanford Wallace, who spammed the social network with fake messages. Wallace was sued in February, alongside Adam Arzoomanian, for obtaining login details for accounts and using them to send links to phishing or commercial sites that paid spammers for referrals.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California came up with the $711 million figure by issuing $50 per violation of the CAN-SPAM Act - of which there would be approximately 1.4 million.

According to the company blog, Facebook "doesn't expect to receive the vast majority of the award" however, they are hoping that a separate criminal action will send him to jail.

In addition to the damages, Wallace has also been referred for prosecution for criminal contempt of court by Judge Jeremy Fogel.

This isn't the first time Wallace has been fined for spamming. He was found guilty of violating the CAN-SPAM act in May 2008. That time he was ordered to pay $230 million for spamming and phishing on MySpace. He was also fined $4 million by the FTC in 2006 and has had many other lawsuits filed against him in between.

Thanks to lee26 for the news tip.

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Facebook is the only victim here so they are the only ones who get any money.

And we thought they made all their money from ads...

This is ridiculous. How is fining this guy $711m efficient in any way ? Now the guy's life is destroyed and he can't even get a job. So instead of putting him in jail so he could at least hope to have a new life when he gets out, they're condemning him to continue doing the same thing. He has nothing to lose, he's already ruined !

I think we should make him buy every product and service he's ever spammed to people : ) Or if he goes to jail, he's only allowed to eat SPAM.

As a bonus, we all get to throw a can of spam at him.

This isn't the first time Wallace has been fined for spamming. He was found guilty of violating the CAN-SPAM act in May 2008. That time he was ordered to pay $230 million for spamming and phishing on MySpace

Um so basically the fines haven't affected him. Why not just try jail time,10-15 years might work.

IMHO : Sandford Wallace (a John Doe?), if really exist, is used for scare and cause fud against the spammers and nothing much else.

In fact, it is a bit trivial to hide your identity on the net, let's say, you (anonymous) can rent a server in russia or china, then send spam through here.

The Original Article,
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California came up with the $711 million figure by issuing $50 per violation of the CAN-SPAM Act - of which there would be approximately 1.4 million.

My maths isn't great, so forgive me... but doesn't 1.4m times $50 come to $70m, not $711m?

TCLN Ryster said,
My maths isn't great, so forgive me... but doesn't 1.4m times $50 come to $70m, not $711m?

plus intrest/taxes

;)

Lol. The interest and taxes are more than the fine!

Seriously though, that brings up a good point. I wonder if it's $500 per incident or 11.4 million violations. There's a misplaced deimal point somewhere!

Justice served, considering how some dead people's accounts were compromised by these same low lifers for the purposes of spamming.

Those people who's accounts were compromised were not entirely blameless you know. It's not like the accounts were "hacked" or anything. Those people were foolish enough to give away their logon details to any old tom-dick-harry website they came accross.

They are in the same category as the people who get emails supposedly from their bank asking them to enter all the personal details and bank logon information into a website that clearly doesn't belong to the bank. Some people are just stupid enough to fall for it.

Minimoose said,
He didn't say that?

Thanks Minimoose. You are correct, I didn't say that. I said the people who were connected are not ENTIRELY blameless.

Yeah sounds good but then this leads to a slippery road ending at debtors prison which was done away with many many many years ago in part because it didn't work and led non-violent people to violent acts (oddly enough - they did it to avoid a form of prison in the first place).

These fines are ridiculous. He will not pay any of those fines. A persons ability to pay the fines has to be taken into consideration.

what they well do

is take everything he own from him including his clothes that he wear currently loolz

and make him right in a board "i wont spam again" for the next 20 years

now that is a real punishment hahahaha

because he was sued by a company, not the state/city/county/federal courts, it was a civil suit.
from how i read this he broke a law yes, but he wasnt officially "charged" with the crime.

Untill he does hes free to go D:

This isn't the first time Wallace has been targeted and fined. In May 2008, he was found guilty of violating the CAN-SPAM act and was ordered to pay $230 million for spamming and phishing on MySpace
. Wallace was also hit with a nice $4 million fine from the FTC in 2006 and has faced numerous other suits in between.

$4 million fine
$230 million fine
$711 million fine

Wow, what an effective system!

Chris4 said,
I highly doubt he's paid all that money. Who's got a billion dollars lying around?

True, but he should have trouble getting a loan or a credit card in the future. :-p Or perhaps even a job.

Hendrick said,
I want a picture of this guy. He should never be allowed to have a computer again.

LOL, I think the $711M charge is enough for him. I can gladly let him use a computer.

Jugalator said,
LOL, I think the $711M charge is enough for him. I can gladly let him use a computer.

Yah, but, he has had multiple court cases before, and his multimillion dollar fine didn't stop him then obviously.

But I do want to see what he looks like.

Why bother paying when the amount is too much and almost impossible for an average person to pay? A prison sentence sounds more meaningful. By the time he's out, the spam world would have changed and he wouldn't be able to do it anymore.

Well I think the point is that they can cause a great deal of misery for him now. The judgement will show up on his credit, he'll never get a loan, and they can try to garnish his wages (if he ever gets a legit job) and seek discovery of assets. He's basically broke for the rest of his life. I thought bankruptcy would have cleaned the slate but I'm not familiar with the new bankruptcy laws and how they deal with judgements.

In a way this almost forces him into a life of continued crime (to avoid wage garnishment for instance). Then he better have someone he trusts a lot to put all his assets in their name to keep them from being seized. Any way you look at it, they can make his life unhappy which I'm sure is the point to thrwart current and future spammers and make an example of him.

You'd think that it would be enough wouldn't you, but ...

2004: Warned about distributing scareware
2004: Fined $5 Million for distributing scareware
2006: Fined $230 million for abusing MySpace in the name of space
2009: Fined $700 million for doing the same to facebook

This guy had over a quarter of a billion dollars to pay BEFORE this ruling, what makes anyone thing he'll stop now?

Majesticmerc said,
You'd think that it would be enough wouldn't you, but ...

2004: Warned about distributing scareware
2004: Fined $5 Million for distributing scareware
2006: Fined $230 million for abusing MySpace in the name of space
2009: Fined $700 million for doing the same to facebook

This guy had over a quarter of a billion dollars to pay BEFORE this ruling, what makes anyone thing he'll stop now?

You haven't even begin to touch the trouble Spamford has caused...

Spamford has been around since the mid 90's doing this kind of crap.

http://www.ecofuture.org/jmcyberp.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanford_Wallace

Hi I'm a Nigerian prince and I need to move some money, would anyone help me move my millions out of the country? I'll give you 10%

You know I'm legit because I'm on your Facebook.

Vice said,
Hi I'm a Nigerian prince and I need to move some money, would anyone help me move my millions out of the country? I'll give you 10%

You know I'm legit because I'm on your Facebook.

Sad part is that there are still people out there who give these jackass's money. every years millions are scammed