15 Aug 2013

Spammer fined nearly $100,000

9:55 pm on 15 August 2013

An Australian man has been fined almost $100,000 for sending spam emails to people in New Zealand.

The Department of Internal Affairs prosecuted Wayne Robert Mansfield of Perth for breaching the Unsolicited Electronic Mail Act, by sending spam promoting business seminars in New Zealand.

In a reserved decision released on Wednesday, Justice Edwin Wylie fined Mansfield $95,000 and imposed another $10,000 in court costs.

Mansfield ran business seminars, initially through a company Business Seminars NZ Ltd.

Internal Affairs had dozens of complaints from people who received the spam over a six-month period in 2010.

Internet law specialist Rick Shera says the Act is a strong deterrent for commercial spammers and the conviction is a good lesson that they are not immune from fines and prosecution.

"It's a good lesson for the high-level commercial spammers to learn that they're not immune from prosecution and receiving a fairly substantial fine."

He told Checkpoint arrangements between New Zealand and Australia should make enforcing the penalty against Mansfield simple.