Information Week is reporting that Infamous “Spam King” Sanford Wallace, who hijacked over 300,000 MySpace accounts and used them to send massive amounts of spam to other users, and his phishing partner Walter Rines were slammed with a whopping $225 million judgment by a U.S. District Court on Monday.
“MySpace has zero tolerance for those who attempt to act illegally on our site,” said Hemanshu Nigam, chief security officer of MySpace, in an e-mailed statement. “The Federal District Court in Los Angeles awarded MySpace $223,777,500 under the federal CAN-SPAM Act and $1,500,000 under the California anti-phishing statute. User engagement is up 32 percent year over year while spam is significantly decreasing, proving efforts like this are working.”
Starting in 2006, the pair began creating MySpace accounts and hijacking existing ones to send hundreds of thousands of spam messages. They also bombed the comment area on thousands of MySpace pages with still more spam. A year later MySpace sued. Despite their victory, chances of them actually seeing any of that money are slim. Wallace responded to the judgment on his website:
“I just read that a court awarded MySpace a $224 million dollar judgment against me. That’s pretty amazing since I haven’t even been served in this case since the preliminary injunction about a year ago. Regardless, the check’s in the mail.”
I’m sure MySpace is relieved to hear that. This isn’t the first time Wallace has been sued. Since the mid 90’s he’s been sued by AOL, Earthlink, and CompuServe among others, and in 2006 was fined $4 million by the FTC for distributing spyware. It’s doubtful this latest judgment will faze him one bit!