Sanford Wallace or, as he prefers to call himself, the Spam King, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud and related activity in connection with electronic mail. He also pleaded guilty to one count of criminal contempt.
The Spam King was sentenced by the United States Court to 36 months in prison and court-ordered to pay $310,629 in restitution. After his criminal conviction is executed, Wallace will be on five years probation, time in which he will have to undergo mental health treatment.
For life, the spam king will be denied access to or possession of a computer or smart device without individual legal approval.
In the months of 2008 and 2009, Sanford Wallace illegally obtained access to Facebook’s computer network on several occasions.
The Spam King used Facebook to message a large number of its users a link to an external website. The site was engineered to obtain the log-in information of its visitors, without their knowledge or consent.
Using the illegally acquired log-in information, Sanford would share the link through those accounts, the end-result being a “Spam Plague” which ended up affecting over 27 million user accounts.
At the end of 2009, Facebook reported a total of 350 million worldwide accounts. Over more than 7 percent of Facebook’s total user base had been afflicted by the Spam King.
In 1991, the United States outlawed marketing via fax due to “Spamford”. This, however, was not a good reason for Wallace to stop his junk fax marketing spamming until 1994 when e-mail simply became a more efficient way to achieve the same goal.
In 2004, the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Sanford Wallace for infecting computers with spyware and then giving users a way to fix it for the cost of $30. The FTC sued Wallace a second time for the same reason in 2006.
In 2007, MySpace brought Sanford Wallace to trial for creating 11,000 fake user accounts which were then used for spamming and phishing legitimate users.
In 2009, after being brought to court by Facebook as well, Sanford Wallace had accumulated fines that summed up to $1 billion. He filed for bankruptcy, and he had received charges of criminal contempt, which could result in his incarceration.
In 2011. Wallace began undergoing what would be a two-year investigation by the FBI. Allegations included repeated infiltration attempts into several high-ranking Facebook user profiles.
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