WATCH OUT - Corporate Act Offences

By Gavin King, Condon Advisory Group

The Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) sets out a range of criminal and civil offenses that relate to the operation of corporations in Australia. These offenses are designed to protect the integrity of the corporate sector and ensure that companies operate in a fair and transparent manner. Any person thinking about becoming a director should have a read of section 180- to 184 of the Corporations Act 2001 so that the are aware of the general duties that they have.

In addition to the general duties’ director have which If they breach these obligations, they may be considered to have committed an offence. Some examples of other corporate offenses in Australia include:

1. Breach of Director's duties

This involves a breach of the director's duties to act in good faith, act in the best interests of the company, and not use their position for personal gain.

2. Insider trading 

This involves trading in securities based on inside information, or information that is not generally available to the public.

3. False or misleading statements

This involves making false or misleading statements in company reports, prospectuses, or other documents that are provided to shareholders or the public.

4. Continuous disclosure 

This involves failing to disclose information that would have a material effect on the price of securities in a timely manner.

5. Breach of market manipulation rules

This involves manipulating the market for securities, such as by artificially inflating or deflating the price.

6. Breach of Competition and Consumer Law

This involves engaging in anti-competitive conduct or making false or misleading statements to consumers.

7. Breach of Financial Services Laws

This involves engaging in misconduct or failing to comply with regulatory requirements in relation to financial services.

The penalties for corporate offenses in Australia can include fines, imprisonment, and disqualification from managing corporations. In some cases, individuals may also be liable for civil penalties or compensation for losses suffered by shareholders or other parties.

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