The former finance executive of an Australian-based infrastructure investment management company appeared in court yesterday after an ASIC investigation led to 67 separate charges of insider trading.
Sydney man Michael Hull was accused of acquiring the shares of nine Australian-listed companies while in possession of inside information on almost 70 occasions.
Allegedly the information was conveyed to him by a close friend who was employed in the investment banking department of a global financial services company.
The company worked on major corporate transactions involving the nine companies that Hull acquired shares in.
The profits from the trades, both realised and unrealised, totalled more than $600,000.
The alleged insider trading was identified by ASIC’s market surveillance team and referred to the market enforcement team for investigation and action.
Hull, who was not required to enter a plea, entered into a formal bail undertakings and the matter was adjourned until 8 July.
He faces penalties ranging from five years imprisonment and/or a fine of $220,000, and up to 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $450,000.
The Australian Federal Police currently has a Proceeds of Crime application underway to recover the profits made by Mr Hull as a result of the allegedly illegal trades.
ASIC said the investigation into the conduct of the person who conveyed the information to Mr Hull is ongoing.
Towards the end of March ASIC released its seventh report on the supervision of Australian financial markets.
The report highlighted that insider trading has been a particular focus of ASIC more recently, and in the period from July to December 2013 there were 14 matters put forward for further investigation, up from eight in the last report.
As a result, there were seven enforcement outcomes for insider trading offences.