A US spammer who sent 27 million spam messages to people on Facebook has been sentenced to two and a half years in jail and fined $310,000.
Sanford Wallace, dubbed the 'Spam King', admitted last year to sending the messages via 500,000 Facebook accounts during a three-month period from November 2008 to February 2009.
Wallace was indicted by a federal grand jury on 6 July 2011 and charged with multiple counts of fraud and related activity in connection with electronic mail.
"Wallace illegally obtained, stored and exploited Facebook user account information and earned money by redirecting users to other websites," said the Department of Justice in a statement.
"Specifically, 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-in to 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 Facebook users into following a link seemingly sent by a Facebook friend. However, it was just designed to boost clicks to the sites where the users were sent.
"Wallace further admitted that he earned money for directing traffic to the websites and stored users' email addresses and passwords in order to continue sending spam messages," said the DoJ.
Wallace did not help his case by admitting that on 17 April 2009 he disobeyed a judge's order banning him from Facebook by logging into his account while aboard a flight from Las Vegas to New York.
Wallace will begin the sentence on 7 September.
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