Facebook Wins $711 Million Verdict Against Spam King Sanford Wallace

Facebook.com was awarded $711 million in damages against “Spam King” Sanford Wallace in a court judgment on Thursday. U.S. District Court judge Jeremy Fogel awarded a default judgment against Wallace for massive violation of the Can-Spam Act, which bands “false and misleading” marketing e-mails.


Facebook.com sued self-described “Spam King” Sanford Wallace and two others earlier this year for illegally obtaining access to Facebook accounts and sending spam messages to users of the social networking site.

“The record demonstrates that Wallace willfully violated the statutes in question with blatant disregard for the rights of Facebook and the thousands of Facebook users whose accounts were compromised by his conduct,” Fogel wrote in his judgment against Wallace.

Sanford Wallace already owes $234 million to social networking site MySpace.com after a judgment against him for violating the Can-Spam Act in sending spam to the site’s users. Wallace has also been sued by the Federal Trade Commission, AOL and other web sites for spamming. FaceBook claimed in their lawsuit Wallace was guilty of 14 million violations of the Can-Spam Act. Wallace filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

“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,” Facebook.com lead counsel Sam O’Rourke wrote in a blog post on the site. “This is another important victory in our fight against spam. We will continue to pursue damages against other spammers.”

The largest judgment so far against violators of the Can-Spam Act was a ruling in favor of Facebook against a Canadian man last year for $873 million in damages.