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Lawsuit against Facebook over scam ads, filed by Australian mining billionaire

Australian mining magnate Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest is pursuing criminal ... criminal case against Facebook over scam ads in world-first.

SYDNEY, Feb 3 – Metallurgy officer Andrew Forrest said on Thursday he had filed a criminal complaint against Meta Platform Inc’s (FB.O) Facebook court in an Australian court, alleging violation of anti-money laundering laws and its use. cheating the people of Australia.

Forrest, Australia’s richest man and chairman of the Fortescue Metals Group (FMG.AX), said he was taking steps to prevent people from losing money as a result of click-through advertising scams, such as those using his image to promote cryptocurrency programs.

A lawsuit filed by Forrest in the Western Australian Magistrate’s Court alleges that Facebook “failed to create controls or business ethics to prevent its programs from being used to commit crimes.”

It also accused Facebook of being negligent in not taking adequate steps to prevent criminals from using social media to post fraudulent advertisements to defraud Australian users.


The case comes after Forrest said he had made several requests asking Facebook to block his image from being used to promote investment plans, including an open letter to Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg in November 2019.

Facebook, which changed its name to Meta last year, declined to comment on the case but said it had generally taken a “different approach” to stop similar ads and blocked advertisers.

“We are committed to removing these people from our area,” a Meta spokesman said in a statement.

Other advertisers, who have used Forrest’s image and claim to be promoting cryptocurrency investment programs, have appeared on Facebook since March 2019, the lawsuit said.


“This move is made on behalf of those Australian daily people – Moms and Dads, Grandmothers and Grandparents – who work all their lives to raise their money and ensure that the money is not saved by fraudsters,” Forrest said in a statement.

Under Australian law, the private prosecution of a foreign organization for alleged crimes under the Commonwealth Criminal Code requires the consent of the attorney general.

“The Attorney General has given him permission for a private prosecution on Facebook in connection with the charges under section 400.7 (2) of the Criminal Code,” said Steven Lewis, principal of Mark O’Brien Legal, who will represent Forrest in court. case.

The Office of the Attorney General Michaelia Cash did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


If Facebook is found guilty, it will face a higher fine of A $ 126,000 ($ 90,000) in each of the three cases, Lewis said.

The first hearing is scheduled for March 28, Forrest said.

In September last year, Forrest filed a separate civil lawsuit against Facebook in the California Supreme Court, County of San Mateo.

Facebook came under pressure in Australia after initially disagreeing with a new law that required Google (GOOGL.O) to pay for content links by media companies.


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