Facebook Wins $711 Million Lawsuit Against ‘Spam King’

A federal judge on Thursday awarded social networking giant Facebook a $711 million judgment against notorious long-time spammer Sanford Wallace. Talk about being unfriended.

CNET News.com’s Steven Musil reports:

Judge Jeremy Fogel of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California granted Facebook’s application for a default judgment against Wallace for violating the Can-Spam Act, which bans “false and misleading” marketing e-mails. Fogel also found that Wallace “willfully violated” a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction issued in the case and referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution of criminal contempt.

Whether Facebook will ever see a dime from Wallace — who calls himself the “spam king” and has been polluting the Internet with trash since 1997 — is questionable. Wallace previously has been sued by the Federal Trade Commission (in 2004) and MySpace (in 2007). Last year Wallace was ordered to pay MySpace $234 million, but he filed for bankruptcy this past June. (Sorry, MySpace, don’t hold your breath.)

Despite the remote chance of collecting, Facebook lauded the court ruling in a blog post:

While we don’t expect to receive the vast majority of the award, we hope that this will act as a continued deterrent against these criminals. Most notably, the judge referred Wallace to the U.S. Attorney’s Office with a request that Wallace be prosecuted for criminal contempt, which means that in addition to the judgment, he now faces possible jail time.

Bummer. That’d really put a crimp in Spamford’s DJ career.

Publish date: October 30, 2009 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/facebook-wins-711-million-lawsuit-against-spam-king/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT