Facebook sued for SEK240 million for fraudulent ads on the platform

Lawyer Lars Olofsson

On Thursday, March 21, 2024, Swedish legal representative Lars Olofsson filed a class action lawsuit against Facebook Sweden AB at the Stockholm District Court.

Olofsson represents 514 victims who have been deceived by ads published on Facebook in a cannabis ponzi scheme called Juicy Fields, which was initially and most successfully active between April 1 2020 and July 11, 2022.

“With this lawsuit, I am demanding that Facebook take responsibility for the fact that fraudulent ads appeared on the platform and further that they were not removed when

Facebook users (and my clients) reported them as fraudulent ads to the company,” Olofsson said. “I am demanding damages from Facebook for my clients.”

Olofsson is seeking damages totalling SEK 240 million (USD $23 million/EU €21 million). This amount represents the total amount that his clients lost in this one fraud advertised across the social media platform.

On Monday, March 25, 2024, the Stockholm District Court decided to transfer the case to Nacka District Court, which is the district court that handles class actions and is specially appointed for this type of legal process.

The case against Facebook has been assigned case number T5251-24.

Olofsson has submitted extensive evidence to the court, collected over the last 24 months of an international investigation. “Our evidence clearly proves that Facebook, despite repeated promises, and written commitment of the same, does not have a system in place to prevent fraudulent ads from being published across its ecosystem,” said Olofsson.

The evidence gathered by Olofsson’s team, which includes digital records as well as personal testimonies, also proves that Facebook refuses to remove fraudulent ads when Facebook users report them. It is also clear that Facebook has failed, so far, to be in compliance with the EU-wide whistleblower law. Olofsson’s evidence proves that the company blocks the ability of Facebook users to report fraudulent ads if they have attempted to report the same company multiple times (even if the company they are reporting is fraudulent and remains present within the platform).

Olofsson also has evidence of Facebook users being threatened by the company with account suspension if they continue to report fraudulent ads.

Last year, in 2023, Facebook had a total turnover of USD$135 billion, which was an annual, year-over-year increase of 25%. The company made a profit of USD $39 billion – a 70% increase from 2022. This represents a record year in both sales and profit  for the company.

Klas Wennström, a Swedish lawyer Mannheimer Swartling, acts as Facebook Sweden AB’s Chairman of the Board. The company has no appointed CEO in Sweden. This means that the board of this local company has operational responsibility for the business domestically.

Facebook Sweden has approximately 70 employees domestically and sales of USD$460.

Meta, which owns Facebook, maintains its larger server farm in the world outside of the US in Northern Sweden, a facility also known as “the Node Pole.”

The criminals who advertised on Facebook in this case are linked to the Russian mafia, which in turn is a close ally of the Russian security service, the FSB, There is extensive information that the criminals also carried out significant money laundering and terror/war financing during this fraud.

The criminals who advertised on Facebook in just one fraud case known as Juicy Fields, have defrauded a total of about 125,000 people all over the world, who together have lost more than USD$3 billion.