ToS says about this:
"In addition to our other rights and remedies, we may (a) withhold and offset any payments owed to you under the Agreement against any fees you owe us under the Agreement or any other agreement, or (b) require you to refund us within 30 days of any invoice, any amounts we may have overpaid to you in prior periods."
So really their only recourse is to annul the payments that were made based on the click farm, and in the likely case that it puts their account into arrears, send the account holder to collection if they don't refund the money.
This particular account holder owns Google shares, so coincidentally those shares could be sold to raise the money to pay their debt, but Google can't go after the shares directly.
Presumably the advertisers would then receive a refund for that ad traffic.
That does seem like the way it should play out.
Aside from the whole 1984 spying thing, this is one of the most annoying things about Google.
They're constantly introducing a product, pushing you to adopt it...in some cases even forcing the issue - and then discontinuing the product or merging it into something else. Business or consumer, other than geeks, who are always looking for the new shiny toy, most people are not a fan of change....especially change that they did not choose.
Even for an expired geek like me that still enjoys the new shiny toy - I have hesitated to use Google Docs over MikeySoft or Google+ over LiveJournal simply because I consider it likely that in 6 months they'll decide they don't want to support it anymore and go after something else instead.
I used google docs/google for your domain for years, it was okay and it was nice to be able to share documents
but it wasn't up to speed yet. I use google drive for a publicly viewable embeded into a webpage
spreadsheet but it lacks some features that are important to me.
When I got my current Android phone, one of the first things that I did was to install a text messaging app. I didn't really dig having the carrier's SMS merged with Google Hangouts because it was unclear which one I was in at any given time.
That having been said, I don't mind having Voice and Hangouts merged together since they're both tied in to my Google account anyway.
Presumably the advertisers would then receive a refund for that ad
The cynic in me is laughing at this all the way to the bank.
forwarding messages to my phone, which I have turned on. What I don't like about Google voice is I don't see a
way of sending a photo message.
*feeds the cynics some more*
ATTENTION: Please do not feed the cynic. 300 hundred deaths last year alone were caused by cynic maulings. A cynic that has lost its fear of humans, is a dead cynic.
Google pays me to be a cynic 20% of the time.
And I don't even work for them.
In fact, I'm so blasted right now I forgot that I don't work for Google and don't want to.
but you do work for them.