Spammer ordered to pay Facebook $873,277,200

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Chicago (IL) – Facebook has won a big judgment against a major spammer, who flooded members of the social networking site with “unwanted and, sometimes, inappropriate marketing messages.” Atlantis Blue Capital, run by Adam Guerbuez, will have to pay more than $873 million in statutory and aggravated statutory damages.  

Most sentences against spammers are not nearly high enough to have an impact on spamming operations. However, the latest case, filed by Facebook against Atlantis Blue Capital on August 14 of this year, is likely to put on company out of business. Federal Judge Jeremy Fogel awarded Facebook $873,277,200 in damages for accessing the company’s servers, setting up phishing websites to acquire Facebook logins and email addresses and sending more than 4 million emails to Facebook’s members.

Those numbers translate into a cost of about $218. Max Kelly, Facebook's director of security, said that the company does not expect that it will be able to “quickly collect” the funds. “It's unlikely that Geurbuez and Atlantis Blue Capital could ever honor the judgment rendered against them (though we will certainly collect everything we can),” he wrote in a blog post.

“But we are confident that this award represents a powerful deterrent to anyone and everyone who would seek to abuse Facebook and its users.”

The sentence against Atlantis Blue Capital also forbids Geurbuez to access or retain Facebook data, assist others to access the data and create or maintain a Facebook profile,

“This judgment is the result of the tireless effort of our security experts, legal team and the other significant resources we've devoted to finding, exposing and prosecuting the sources of spam attacks,” Kelly wrote. “These efforts complement the sophisticated technical systems we continue to develop to limit the impact of these attacks or to block them altogether.”