Self-Professed Facebook Spam King Sentenced To 30 Months In Jail For Sending 27 Million Messages

Some amount of justice has been doled out to Sanford Wallace, better known as the "Spam King," who will serve 30 months behind bars for sending millions of spam messages to Facebook users and essentially thumbing his nose at a court order to stay away from the social networking site. He was also assessed a fine of $310,628.55, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California announced.

As part of the plea agreement, Wallace fessed up to sending more than 27 million spam messages to legitimate Facebook accounts from November 2008 through March 2009. In the process, he admitted to compromising half a million Facebook accounts by redirecting them to other websites, which he was monetarily compensated for.


"Wallace admitted he opened a fictitious Facebook account in the name of 'David Frederix' to test his spam messages and created an automated process to sign into a Facebook user’s account, retrieve a list of all of the user’s friends, and then send a message to each of the user’s friends’ Facebook accounts. The message was designed to trick legitimate Facebook account holders into accessing a website listed in the message that was purportedly from a Facebook friend,"  the U.S. Attorney's Office explained.

Back in 2009, U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel ordered Wallace to stay away from Facebook and not to attempt to access the social network's computer network in any manner whatsoever. He was also ordered not to create a Facebook account. He admitted to disobeying the court order by logging into a Facebook account while aboard a flight from Las Vegas to New York on April 17, 2009.

The self-professed Spam King has been sending junk email to Internet users before Facebook existed. He even sent junk faxes in the early 1990s. His efforts to date have resulted in more than $1 billion worth of fines, the bulk of which come from 2009 and remain unpaid. Though many will view this latest plea agreement as a slap on the wrist, it will be his first time behind bars.