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‘Spam King’ of Facebook faces up to three years in jail

Scammer guilty of 30 million dodgy Facebook posts

Jail

Sanford Wallace, one of the internet's most prolific spammers and scam artists, has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and criminal contempt after spamming millions of Facebook users with unsolicited messages. 

Wallace is due to be sentenced on 7 December, and faces up to three years of prison time and a fine of up to 160,000. This follows an unspecified plea deal, after he was arrested in Las Vegas in 2011 for breaking a court order.

The 47-year-old American also known as Spamford Wallace' and the Spam King' - hacked into roughly half a million Facebook accounts, using them to post links to malicious websites.

The sites would harvest users' personal details and account credentials, before redirecting them to affiliate links which earned Wallace money.

The scam which spanned five months in 2008 and 2009 is estimated to have resulted in over 30 million spurious Facebook posts.

This resulted in a civil suit from Facebook, who were awarded over $700 million in damages. Wallace was also ordered to stay off Facebook, a ruling he breached to earn him the current contempt charge.

These offences are the latest in a long and storied career. In the 1990s, his company Cyber Promotions was responsible for over 30 million spam emails a day, and he was also hit by a court case from MySpace after he pulled a phishing stunt similar to his Facebook crimes.

Prior to that, he also had a case brought against him by ISP Earthlink, the loss of which cost Wallace a further $2 million.

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