Australia’s richest man sues Facebook for aiding scams

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Mining mogul Andrew Forrest is launching criminal proceedings against Meta Platform Inc’s Facebook in an Australian court.

Forrest claims Facebook breached anti-money laundering laws and its platform is used to scam Australians.

Forrest, Australia’s richest man and chairman of Fortescue Metals Group took the action to stop people losing money to clickbait advertising scams.

The lawsuit filed by Forrest in the Magistrates Court of Western Australia alleges Facebook “failed to create controls or a corporate culture to prevent its systems being used to commit crime.”

It also alleges Facebook was criminally reckless by not taking sufficient steps to stop criminals from using its social media platform to send scam advertisements to defraud Australian users.

Some advertisements, which have used Forrest’s image and claimed to promote cryptocurrency investment schemes, have appeared on Facebook since March 2019, the lawsuit said.

Under Australian law, a private prosecution of a foreign corporation for alleged offences under the Commonwealth Criminal Code requires the consent of the country’s attorney general.

If Facebook is found guilty, it will face a maximum penalty of A$126,000 ($90,000) on each of three charges.

An initial hearing has been set for March 28.

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