FACEBOOK HAS HIT the spam lottery by having been awarded a $711 million (£430 million) judgment against recidivist spam king Sanford Wallace by a California court.
The court found Wallace guilty of violating the Can-Spam Act by sending false or misleading marketing emails.
"Today a San Jose court awarded Facebook $711m in damages against Sanford Wallace, one of the spammers who accessed people's accounts without their permission and sent phony Wall posts and messages," said Sam O'Rourke, lead council for litigation and intellectual property at Facebook, in a blog post.
"While we don't expect to receive the vast majority of the award, we hope that this will act as a continued deterrent against these criminals."
The case reached court in March, and Facebook hopes that the court's verdict, judgment award and other punishment meted out to Wallace will mean less spam for its users.
"Most notably, the judge referred Wallace to the US Attorney's Office with a request that Wallace be prosecuted for criminal contempt, which means that, in addition to the judgement, he now faces possible jail time," said O'Rourke.
"This is another important victory in our fight against spam. We will continue to pursue damages against other spammers."
It's not clear whether defendant Wallace has sufficient financial resources to pay Facebook. µ