Three imbeciles who exploited stolen Facebook accounts to send spam were fined $711 million in damages on Thursday, payable to Facebook.
Sanford Wallace, Adam Arzoomanian, and Scott Shaw allegedly stole login credentials for Facebook accounts and used them to propagate a spam and phishing scheme that paid them for their referrals. The three will also face criminal charges (for criminal contempt) and jail time.
Facebook was less than sanguine about the big pay-off, acknowledging that the sum will probably get knocked down upon appeal. But they seem optimistic that the criminal charges will help deter future miscreants: “… [I]n addition to the judgment, [Wallace] now faces possible jail time. This is another important victory in our fight against spam. We will continue to pursue damages against other spammers,” the Facebook blog reports.
This is not the first time Wallace will owe a social network; in 2008 he was found guilty of spamming MySpace, and was ordered to pay $230 million.