The so-called “Spam King”, who took part in an elaborate scheme to obtain private information from Facebook users between November of 2008 – March of 2009, has turned himself into the the FBI after being indicted in early July.
According to the US Department of Justice, 43-year-old Sanford Wallace used “phishing” attacks to steal the usernames and passwords from victims and then logged into the accounts of the those that were compromised and spammed their walls with links so their friends can click on them. The links directed users to a number of affiliate marketing websites, which earned him a certain amount of money per visit. A reported 500,000 Facebook accounts were compromised and 27 million spam messages were sent during the span of five months.
In 2009, Facebook sued him for compromising their services and a judge issued a $711 million civil judgment against him, and was barred from accessing Facebook again. However, he would later violate that order, as noted in the indictment.
Wallace, based in Las Vegas, could face over 40 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted, according to a grand jury indictment. He is being charged with three counts of intentional damage to a protected computer, six counts of e-mail fraud, and two counts of criminal contempt. He has pleaded “not guilty” to the charges and was released on a $100,000 bond.