New Zealand authorities are taking action against an international email spam ring located in the country.
Three men have been accused of being part of a spam ring that sent out billions of emails selling items such as unlicensed prescription drugs, "male enhancement" products and weight-loss pills.
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New Zealand's Department of Internal Affairs alleges that company director Shane Atkinson, his brother Lance Atkinson, and associate Roland Smits sent over two million spam emails to New Zealand addresses between September and December 2007.
Lance Atkinson is also being pursued by US authorities after being the subject of a US Federal Trade Commission complaint in a US District Court. That complaint names several US citizens allegedly involved in a spam ring.
In New Zealand, sending out spam is not a criminal offence and carries no prison term. The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs is therefore using civil law to bring a case for compensation against the trio.
The case, filed in New Zealand's High Court, claims the three men made over £1m from their global operation.
The civil trial is expected to take place some time next year.