One of the most prominent Internet spammers turned himself in after an indictment filed in San Jose federal court last week. Self-proclaimed ‘Spam King’ Sanford Wallace is accused of sending more than 27 million spam messages to Facebook users over a five-month period from November 2008 to March 2009.
CNET is reporting that Wallace was indicted on three counts of intentional damage to a protected computer and two counts of criminal contempt. It's believed that he compromised half a million Facebook accounts during three separate attacks spanning five months. He could face up to 40 years behind bars and over $2 million in penalties if convicted on all charges.
A career spammer, Wallace has a long history with the practice and its consequences.
‘Spamford’ got his start in the mid-90s by sending junk faxes before shifting to more lucrative email spam. Wallace publically retired from the spam business in 1998 but allegations cropped up a few years later that proved otherwise.
He's been on the receiving end of multiple lawsuits from the FCC and social networking website ever since, including a $230 million judgment to MySpace in 2008 and a $4 million fine to the FTC a couple of years earlier.
Facebook was awarded $711 million in damages from Wallace in October 2009, stemming from attacks on the site. The latest round of exploits are said to be different in nature than previous efforts.
Wallace pleaded not guilty during an initial court appearance and has since been released on $100,000 bail.