A Las Vegas man known as the “Spam King” was sentenced Monday to 2.5 years in federal prison. He pleaded guilty last year to one count of fraud.
The federal judge in San Jose, California also ordered Sanford Wallace to pay over $310,000 in restitution.
Prosecutors wrote that by his own admission, Wallace executed “a scheme from approximately November 2008 through March 2009 to send spam messages to Facebook users that compromised approximately 500,000 legitimate Facebook accounts, and resulted in over 27 million spam messages being sent through Facebook’s servers.”
Wallace lost civil suits from MySpace and Facebook, among others, and was hit with nearly a total of $1 billion in outstanding default judgments, for which they have been unable to collect.
In 2011, he was finally hit with criminal charges.As prosecutors wrote in their pre-sentencing memorandum, asking the judge to impose a three-year sentence:
The defendant’s history demonstrates that he has yet to suffer a consequence – other than a default judgment that cannot be collected — for his spamming activities.
A sentence of 36 months’ imprisonment will impress upon the defendant the seriousness of his actions and deter him from engaging in similar conduct again.
Ars editor Nate Anderson profiled Wallace in a section of his 2013 book, The Internet Police, which we excerpted here.