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back to article Spamford Wallace's MySpace riches come under attack

Anybody who says crime doesn't pay obviously hasn't talked to Sanford Wallace. In just six months' time, the prolific purveyor of spam and spyware engineered a scam on MySpace that netted at least $555,850, according to court documents filed this week. The brazen scheme used a combination of malware and social engineering to …

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Just wondering...

I know it's probably a silly question, but I wonder... has it ever even crossed this guy's mind to try to make a buck in any way other than by scamming people? No, I thought not. What a wart.

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Linux

MS have to pay

through the nose for their deal. I doubt Sanford and his business colleagues do any sort of lobbying. It doesn't seem quite fair they are riding on big software's coat tails. Of course there is less and less difference in the outcome or the product so maybe it's understandable

the courts have trouble differentiating.

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Thumb Up

Excellent.

The fork-and-knife icon for this article is pure class. Any chance we can get that added to the comment group? I can only imagine its creative applications...

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Jobs Horns

Time for Public Humiliation and Asset Recovery

It's long past time that any court should go lightly on spammers, regardless of their "inability to pay". This case involves particularly heinous computer crimes and Wallace is in direct contempt of the courts previous rulings AND lied about his ability to pay.

For first timers, 7 days standing naked in the stocks in Folsom Prison seems an appropriate punishment. Lube is at the "mercy of the Court".

Can you say "Not again Bubba"?

Second offenders should get the stocks again, followed by seizure all of their private assets, garnishment of current and future wages, pensions, and social security funds.

Third offenders should get the Spammer equivalent of Shariah Law.... cut off their fingers and gouge out their eyes with a spoon. That will make sure they never touch a computer again!

Last but not least, are fourth offenders. Start at the beginning and add "Caged Rats with nothing to eat but the Spammers privates".

If sentences like the aforementioned would dissuade spammers, just think how they might help the development of secure Microsoft browsers and other software if similarly applied?

The Evil Ballmer Icon representing my feelings on poorly designed software manufacturers as well as spammers.

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Anonymous Coward

Ehhh?

Is Anonymous Coward trying to turn this into an anti-microsoft diatribe, or something? For Chrissakes, people, leave it alone for a *minute*. Just a *minute*. I'd rather get spammed than hear your crap; at least the spammers give their work some variety.

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typical

Typical of the US "Justice" system to not deal effectively with the perpetrators. They're being dealt with as corporations, and are thus being given as many chances as they want to rip people off, then not being effectively censured for it.

The US authorities had them, barely gave them a slap on the wrist, then let them go without effective monitoring. Sounds like how the US deals with just about every other corporation that breaks the laws down there. At least Spamford is in "good" company.

In the US, individuals get life for stealing bread, but corporations... just get to try again and again.

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Flame

Punish him

So this guy invented junk faxing, was the spam king for years, and he's still at it.

Why hasn't someone killed him yet? If I didn't live 6000 miles away, I'd be very tempted to track him down, and at least give him a whack with a baseball bat.

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Happy

I wonder

Couldn't the victims of this miscreant, and the FTC take action agains the companies advertising through this scheme? If I remember correctly, the owner of the product advertised is responsible for making sure marketing is done lawfully, thus there should be an option for MySpace and each-and-every user to sue this miscreants customers, and thus set up a solid warning: If you do business with crooks. you WILL be held responsible for it.

This way those miscreants are probably better stopped, because there no longer exists any market for them to return to when they are done in court.

Now, the REAL fun part would be that those creators of the software he unlawfully spread, has two choices: They can file charges against him for illegally distributing their copyrighted work, or they can sit beside him as defendants (because they would be as responsible). If they are a little smart, they file charges for illegal distribution. Thus we have an opening for using the DMCA for something a little bit more useful than what the music-and-movie-mafia are using it for. This is a win-win-situation. :)

//Svein

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Stop

I have to wonder

Why they don't go after this sh1tbag, and every other spyware "vendor", for what they really are.

If you or I wrote a program which found it's way onto a computer via a dodgy website link, which caused that computer to malfunction, stole personal details, and turned out to be damn near impossible to remove, we'd be hunted down as the virus writers and identity thieves we were. If we used those details to access thousands of accounts without permission, we'd be charged with unlawful access, or something similarly cracker-ish. We *would* do jail time, have all our computer hardware seized, and probably have court orders slapped on us, Mitnick-style, preventing us from using computers or the internet, as part of our probation terms.

Yet these low-lifes do it, and call it "advertising", and call themselves "businessmen", and somehow they can f**k with whoever's computers they want and get little more than a slap on the wrist? So he turns around and does it all over again almost as soon as he gets home from the last court date. Why is anyone surprised that he'd do that when he knows he's got away with it so far, and no doubt understands the legal aspects well enough to know that it's stacked very much in his favor?

Spyware == Malware == Viruses. Unlawful access to accounts is pretty clear cut too. The sooner the legal system understands that, the sooner people like Wallace will face punishment that might deter them from what they do.

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Happy

bigger fines

If the FTC is not allowed to seek punitive damages, can someone else file an amicus curiae brief during one of the cases the FTC brings, requesting just that. If they can demonstrate the harm these guys do, and how tied the FTC's hands are, perhaps a judge might be persuaded to set a more appropriate level of fines?

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he did own a nightclub in between there too

I believe it was in Rhode Island...but it was a dismal failure.

I was there when he said he would give up spamming - he made a big announcement at the Philadelphia, PA PBS station WHYY in the 1990's - but we did not believe him.

Hope they finally nail this guy.

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RE: Just Wondering

Yeah, Wallace did own a nightclub in Rochester Rhode Island a few years ago:

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2003/10/60714

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Anonymous Coward

@peter cook

It was in Rochester New Hampshire.

You can find info on him using Zabasearch:

http://www.zabasearch.com/advanced.php

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Anonymous Coward

@ "yeah, right " - the UK is just as bad

I know a guy that is scamming UK companies and Inland Revenue for all it's worth. I've been following this guy a bit because he once tried scamming me.

He sometimes works as a contractor. He takes his earnings into companies he sets up (for which he gets VAT paid back), then the money vanishes abroad and he thus never pays income tax. He can ship money offshore because he has once lived abroad and thus still benefits from offshore banking - this also means that bailiffs have no grip on him because "he doesn't own anything" in the UK. In addition, he tends to set up companies with circular ownership (company A is owned by company B, which owns company C, which owns company A) which means nobody will ever be able to work out asset ownership when they lift up the lid.

If someone tries to stop him (because, for instance, he has scammed them out of money) he files false ownership and address changes records at Companies House who do no checking whatsoever and causes thus huge problems with banks and creditors for the complainant.

With that method he has even managed to make HSBC UK pay out funds without a valid mandate, leaving the real owners to choose between waiting for the Financial Ombudsman to clear a year's worth of Northern Rock backlog or waste huge amounts of money on a court case.

As far as I can see, the UK is tailor made for fraud. Everyone has someone else to blame instead of accepting responsibility, the police appears not to have the competency and so anyone who can work the system will have absolutely nothing to worry about.

I thus do not believe the US legal system has an exclusive right on being called hopeless. As a matter of fact, it may be worth it for Spamford to move over here. The Euro and UK Pound are presently much more stable currencies than the US Dollar..

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Still around?

So tell me... why is this guy still around the 'net? Never mind baseball bats and prisons, who the blazes has given him net access? Being Spammy should've been enough reason to give him a life-long keyboard ban - he should never have been able to get to MySpace let alone trick anyone.

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Welcome to the US Legal System

It has been, ever since a Supreme Court clerk granted "personhood" to corporations, very friendly to incorporated businesses and hostile to natural persons.

Sanford Wallace is one of the people who is aware of this and who is also totally amoral, and perfectly willing to "game the system" for his own benefit, no matter who gets hurt in the process.

I was among those who fought against his spamming operations a decade ago. Clearly, the "smart" thing to have done was to start my own, competing spam operation, as it is clear that spammers in the USA get rich, while the rest of us get shafted.

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Anonymous Coward

Leopards and spots.

Sanford Wallace is THE reason the USA enacted their antifax laws - and supposedly gave up fax spamming when the TCPA was enacted. He's been at these kinds of despicable practices more than 20 years and it wouldn't surprise me at all to find that he's still involved in that too.

Given all the millions of dollars in outstanding judgements against him, I just hope that the USA authorities find some form of criminal charges they can make stick, then lock him away in solitary confinement for 20 years.

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