Friday, 16 January 2015

23 Years Old Owes Facebook $1.4M for Ad Scam


A baby-faced financier from Brooklyn taunted Facebook officials and a federal judge one too many times — and now has to pay the social network up to $1.4 million.

Martin Grunin, 23, was hit with the default judgment for repeatedly failing to properly respond to a lawsuit filed against him by Facebook, and could even face federal criminal charges, The Post has learned.

Facebook sued Grunin, who lives in his dad’s Manhattan Beach house, in San Francisco federal court last year, saying he duped the company into extending big advertising lines of credit that he then sold off for more than $350,000.

Instead of negotiating a settlement, Grunin, who once told his St. Francis College newspaper that “money drives me completely,” repeatedly mocked the proceeding and, at one point, offered a check for just $250 “to settle the matter,” court papers show.

Addressing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg directly in a filing, Grunin warned that failure to accept the three-figure deal would result in a $50,000 “penalty,” according to court papers. Grunin even demanded a $2,000-per-call fee to talk to attorneys.

“I do not consent to these proceedings,” he wrote in one court filing.

After giving Grunin several chances to negotiate the case, Judge William Alsup entered a default judgment in favor of Facebook.

The company was asked to submit its payment demand, and hit Grunin with the $1.4 million figure, which included damages and attorneys’ fees.


Grunin has until Jan. 27 to dispute the amount. He refused to comment outside his home Thursday as he climbed into a black BMW that bore a vanity plate that read, “IM QUICK.”

The amateur stock picker, who frequently poses with luxury cars and stacks of cash in online posts, ignored a slew of cease-and-desist orders from Facebook and saw more than 70 sham accounts shut down by the company before it sued, court papers allege.

He has represented himself for most of the case.

In addition to financial disaster, Grunin’s insolence might just land him in prison.

At the end of his ruling, Alsup said he was referring the case to federal prosecutors for criminal investigation.

“In light of the serious nature of the allegations herein, the clerk shall send a copy of this order to our US attorney for her consideration and possible investigation,” he wrote.