A Las Vegas man faces 11 federal criminal counts related to 27 million unsolicited spam messages authorities say he launched via Facebook servers, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Sanford Wallace, who surrendered to authorities last week, received “substantial revenue” for the scheme, which involved compromising the accounts of nearly 500,000 users of the popular social network, said the FBI.
Wallace pleaded not guilty and is free on a $100,000 unsecured bond. He faces more than 40 years in prison. According to the indictment, Wallace manipulated Facebook servers to send users bogus messages from unsuspecting friends, encouraging them to visit third party websites. Once users clicked on the links, their information was exposed and collected, including friend lists, which allowed the spam manipulation to spread widely. The operation took place between November 2008 and March 2009, prosecutors said. Facebook sued Wallace him in 2009 for compromising their servers. The judge issued a $711 million judgment against him and barred him from accessing Facebook.