Spammer ordered to pay Facebook $711 million

A U.S. District Court judge in San Jose has awarded Facebook $711 million in damages in an anti-spam case the social-networking giant filed against online marketer Sanford Wallace, who is known as the "Spam King."

The Palo Alto company claimed Wallace and two associates registered as Facebook members in November 2008 to start a spam and phishing scheme.

According to court documents, the firm said Wallace sent numerous Facebook members a link to a Web site that tricked them into revealing their login information. Some messages sent the Facebook user to other sites that paid Wallace for that traffic.

The spammers would repeat the cycle by logging into the compromised accounts and sending more messages, the suit said.

Facebook claimed there were 14 million violations of the federal anti-spam law known as CAN-SPAM. In March 2009, Judge Jeremy Fogel issued a temporary restraining order and then a preliminary injunction against Wallace.

In an order filed Thursday, Fogel said Wallace violated the law "with blatant disregard" for the rights of Facebook and its members. Fogel also wrote that he is referring Wallace, who did not appear in court for scheduled hearings, to the U.S. attorney's office for criminal contempt charges for violating the restraining order and the injunction.

Fogel rejected Facebook's request for $7.5 billion in damages.

In November, Facebook won a record $873 million judgment against a Canadian resident accused of sending more than 4 million bogus messages from members' profiles, many advertising male enhancement drugs.

In 2008, Facebook rival MySpace won a $234 million judgment against Wallace and another Internet marketer, Walter Rines.

Wallace, however, filed for bankruptcy in June.

"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," Sam O'Rourke, the company's associate general counsel, said in a Facebook message. "This is another important victory in our fight against spam."

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Spammer ordered to pay Facebook $711 million Spammer ordered to pay Facebook $711 million Reviewed by Bobby on 3:49 AM Rating: 5

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