Alleged Facebook spammer might face the slammer

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His name is Sanford Wallace, and his alleged spamming might possibly make him the most disliked man on the Internet. Facebook has a civil lawsuit pending against him, which has been stalled by his filing for bankruptcy. Myspace has already been granted a $230 million judgment against him for slinging pornography and gambling links onto its site. At last however, Sanford Wallace may have to face the music by doing hard time.

PC World has reported that the courts have determined that Wallace has set himself up for criminal prosecution. The article states in part: "Judge Jeremy Fogel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California referred Sanford Wallace to the U.S. Attorney General's Office for criminal proceedings for allegedly violating an injunction that prohibited him from accessing Facebook."
Sanford Wallace began his unsavory cyber career with fax spamming. That's the practice which causes those unsolicited offers for timeshares, insurance policies, and foreclosed real estate deals to randomly pop up on your fax machines at work.

Next, Wallace entered the world of email spamming. He was pretty good at that, becoming the number-one source of unsolicited email. Unfortunately for him though, he was also successful in initiating powerful efforts to thwart his brand of seedy tactics. He was also too thick-skulled to effectively defend his sinister web antics or to retain virtual invisibility.

For a brief time in 1998, Wallace attempted to go legitimate -- or at least that's what he told us. As luck would have it though, his "opt-in" email venture went belly up within a year. Then, in 1999 he had his web connection severed for spamming once again. He tried to counter-punch the disconnection by filing suit against elements of the anti-spam camp. But alas, he failed at that venture also and abandoned the lawsuit in about 30 days.

At this point, spammers similar to Sanford Wallace generally face criminal charges based on a two-tier approach. First, they must be found guilty through a civil tort, which then allows judges to place restraining orders upon the spammer's actions. Then, if the spammer violates a court order, they can be criminally prosecuted for those specific violations.

Perhaps the only thing worse than a crook who isn't particularly good at covering his tracks, is a crook who has a chance to get out of the game -- but is too dumb to do it.
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