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An Australian firm and its director have been fined a total of A$5.5m (£2.2m) after it was held responsible for sending out more than 230 million spam emails, 75 million of which were successfully delivered, during a two year spamming blitz.

Wayne Mansfield, and his company Clarity1, of Perth in Western Australia, fell foul of the Spam Act 2003, which came into effect in April 2004. The court action stems from an April 2006 raid of Clarity1's offices during which investigators seized computer equipment.

According to court papers, Clarity1 ran its business under the name of Business Seminars Australia and Maverick Partnership.

The defendants claims that recipients had consented to receive junk mail messages were rejected by an Australian federal court earlier this year, clearing the way for the first successful prosecution under the federal legislation.

Federal Court Justice Robert Nicholson fined Clarity1 $4.5m and ordered Mansfield to pay $1m as punishment for their anti-social net activities, APP via The Age reports.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority, which brought the prosecution, welcomed the outcome of the case, which it said would act as a deterrent to would-be Australian spammers. ®

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