Sanford “Spamford” Wallace, a 47-year-old man from Las Vegas also known as the “Spam King,” was sentenced to 30 months in prison for his infamous activities. According to court documents, he stole 500,000 Facebook accounts and used them to flood other users with 27 million bogus messages.
The Department of Justice said the man will start serving his sentence in September. But after he is released from jail he will be supervised for five more years. He will also have to pay $310,628.55 in the meantime.
Although the FBI has been tracking Wallace for nearly two decades for his spamming activities, he could only be brought to court for a fraud and criminal contempt charge. Last summer he pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and admitted he stole hundreds of thousands of Facebook accounts to use them in his spam activities.
Federal investigators said that the Spam King used the “illegally obtained” data to gain money by directing legit Facebook users to various websites. But he first had to create a bogus account under the name of David Frederix which he used to fraudulently log into other users’ accounts.
Once inside an account, he spammed the users’ friends tricking them into going to certain sites where they left their personal information before visiting another dubious websites. It was a successful strategy to convince people to click on links because the messages came apparently from their Facebook friends.
He had employed this strategy with sheer success on MySpace were click rates were so high that they must have yielded a $555,850.04 profit which Wallace split with a friend.
In 2009, he even conducted spam attacks from within Facebook’s own computer network, which prompted the company to sue him and his friend under the CAN-SPAM Act. Shortly after, a U.S. district court judge ordered him to stay away from Facebook, a order the man failed to comply with.
Two years later, Wallace was indicted and he turned himself in to the federal investigators.
But this year, prosecutors wanted a 3-year sentence. In their memorandum they argued that the man’s spamming activities needed a harsher punishment than a “default judgment that cannot be collected.” Prosecutors also said that three years in prison should make the defendant realize the seriousness of his actions and prevent him from trying to spam people again.
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