Facebook 'Spam King' Faces Criminal Charges

Dennis Faas's picture

One of the most infamous spammers in history has turned himself in to the authorities. Sanford Wallace, known to many as the 'Spam King' for his infiltration of thousands of Facebook accounts, has now been charged and could face a decade in prison if found guilty.

The 43-year-old Spam King is best known for breaking into 500,000 Facebook user accounts and then spamming them all with a total of about 27 million bogus messages. Wallace carried out the attacks in 2008 and 2009, and made considerable cash off the scheme by driving Internet traffic to various marketing companies who in turn paid him for each click. (Source: pcmag.com)

Wallace Well-Known to Security Experts

But this wasn't Wallace's only spam attack.

Security experts have known of him since the 1990s, when he voiced support for the web's early spammers. In the years since, his own spamming operations have made him a defendant in a number of civil cases. He's personally faced lawsuits from big-name websites and government organizations, including MySpace and the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

This is also not the first time Wallace has been in hot water with Facebook. Not long ago the social networking site won an astounding $711 million civil lawsuit against him, which also included a ban from the site.

After Facebook's civil victory the case was referred to the U.S. Attorney's office for possible criminal proceedings. That resulted in the recent indictment.

Wallace turned himself into authorities in early July. This is the first time he'll face criminal charges for his spam activity.

Facebook Elated with Case Moving Forward

Wallace appeared in court last week but was released on $100,000 bond. If convicted, he could face more than 10 years behind bars and fines of up to a quarter of a million dollars.

Unsurprisingly, Facebook is excited that the case is moving forward. "We applaud the efforts of the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI to bring spammers to justice," the company said.

"Now Wallace also faces serious jail time for this illegal conduct. We will continue to pursue and support both civil and criminal consequences for spammers or others who attempt to harm Facebook or the people who use our service." (Source: pcworld.com)

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