An Australian man faces a multi-million dollar fine after being accused of sending 56 million spam emails. The charges are the first to be bought under that country's stringent anti-spam laws.
The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) alleges Wayne Mansfield and his companies Clarity1 and Business Seminars sent out the emails for 12 months after the Spam Act came into effect in April 2004.
The court action follows a raid in April on the company's offices in Perth where computer hard disks and other materials were seized. The raid involved the Australian Government Solicitor's Office and computer forensic experts.
Acting ACA chairman Dr Bob Horton said the authority was seeking an interim injunction against Clarity1 because of the scale of the alleged breaches. The injunction, if granted, would be in force until the court hearing. The ACA said the man was in anti-spam watchdog Spamhaus's list of the world's top 200 spammers.
If found guilty, Mansfield would be fined AUS$220,000 for each day of breaking the law. Mansfield told Australian media that he is eager to clear his name.