Cartels cave as ACCC hits three a year

Original article by Ben Butler
The Australian – Page: 17 & 28 : 16-Apr-19

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims says it plans to run three cartel prosecutions a year for the foreseeable future. He says a memorandum of understanding with the FBI to share information with the ACCC will help it to prosecute criminal cartel behaviour. The ACCC currently has five criminal cartel cases before the courts, covering industries such as banking and construction. Forming a cartel in Australia has only been illegal since 2009, although it has been illegal in the US since 1890.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, UNITED STATES. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, AMCOR LIMITED – ASX AMC, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, NYK LINE (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, VISY INDUSTRIES AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, KAWASAKI KISEN KAISHA LIMITED

Criminal charges await bankers

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 3 : 20-Feb-19

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission released its response to the final report of the Hayne royal commission on 19 February. ASIC has disclosed that it is prioritising 11 instances of misconduct by eight companies or individuals in the banking sector that were referred to it by the inquiry, with a view to recommending criminal charges. ASIC is assessing an additional 16 cases to determine if there are grounds for prosecution, while it is also investigating 12 case studies that were presented to the royal commission but were not specifically referred to the corporate watchdog.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK ASIA, DOVER FINANCIAL ADVISERS PTY LTD, CLEARVIEW WEALTH LIMITED – ASX CVW

Prosecutors told to push the envelope

Original article by James Frost, Liz Main
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 6-Feb-19

The fees-for-no-service scandal has cost Australia’s four major banks and wealth manager AMP more than $2bn to date. They may also face prosecution under section 1041G of the Corporations Act, after the final report of the financial services royal commission recommended that ASIC should expand its existing probe into potential breaches of this section to include more companies. This is in addition to a recommendation by commissioner Kenneth Hayne that 24 cases of misconduct should be referred for potential civil or criminal action.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, IOOF HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX IFL, SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, COLONIAL FIRST STATE GROUP LIMITED

Criminal cases will take a decade to resolve

Original article by Ben Butler
The Australian – Page: 5 : 5-Feb-19

The banking royal commission’s final report has recommended criminal charges against two unnamed financial institutions over the fee-for-no-service scandal. Commissioner Kenneth Hayne has also indicated that the Australian Securities & Investments Commission is considering charges against a third, while 15 financial institutions have been referred to ASIC and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority for further investigation. Professor Dimity Kingsford Smith from the University of New South Wales says it may take up to 10 years for all of the proposed criminal proceedings to be completed.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, IOOF HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX IFL, ALLIANZ AUSTRALIA LIMITED, TAL HOLDINGS, YOUI PTY LTD

CFMEU faces cartel criminal charges

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 17-Aug-18

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has launched legal action against the construction union, alleging that its Australian Capital Territory branch engaged in cartel activity. The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union’s ACT secretary Jason O’Mara has also been charged with cartel offences. He could face up to 10 years’ jail if convicted, while the CFMMEU could be fined up to $10 million or 10 per cent of its turnover. The charges arise from a joint investigation by the ACCC and an Australian Federal Police taskforce in the wake of the trade union royal commission.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO TRADE UNION GOVERNANCE AND CORRUPTION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

New spy laws to hinder legitimate work of media

Original article by Ean Higgins
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 6-Feb-18

Attorney-General Christian Porter has conceded that some changes to proposed foreign interference laws may be needed to alleviate the concerns of the media industry. Robert Todd of law firm Ashurst has warned that the laws as presently drafted could potentially make a wide range of persons criminally liable for dealing with confidential information. He says the proposed laws provide very limited protection for journalists, while there would be almost no protection for other people, including social media users.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, ASHURST AUSTRALIA, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS

Spy law imperils journalists, ex-judge warns

Original article by Nicola Berkovic
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 2-Feb-18

Transparency International Australia chairman and former Supreme Court of New South Wales judge Anthony Whealy has warned about the potential effects of the Federal Government’s proposed foreign interference laws. He says the new secrecy laws could be used to prosecute journalists if they receive classified ­information. Whealy has called for the Government to provide an exemption for journalists if they are acting in the public interest. The media industry has expressed similar concerns about the proposed laws.

CORPORATES
TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL AUSTRALIA, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, HUMAN RIGHTS LAW CENTRE LIMITED

100 CFMEU militants in court

Original article by Elizabeth Colman
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 17-Mar-16

New figures show that the Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union, its state branches and union officials have been fined a total of $A6.98m since 2002 for failing to comply with industrial laws. Meanwhile, 100 of the union’s officials and delegates have been charged with more than 1,000 offences in total, including coercion, intimidation and unlawful industrial action. Federal Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has urged Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to support a bill to reinstate the Australian Building & Construction Commission.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION, FAIR WORK BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, QUEENSLAND UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO TRADE UNION GOVERNANCE AND CORRUPTION, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO THE BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE FAIR WORK BUILDING INDUSTRY INSPECTORATE

7-Eleven operators to face court amid wage scandal

Original article by Adele Ferguson, Sarah Danckert
The Age – Page: 3 : 12-Oct-15

The Fair Work Ombudsman will prosecute Yiran Gu and Haiyao Xu over allegations that they underpaid staff at a 7-Eleven store in the Melbourne suburb of Parkville. They potentially face fines of up to $10,200 for every breach of workplace laws, while their private company could be fined up to $A51,000 for each offence. The Parkville store and 19 other 7-Eleven outlets were raided by the FWO in September 2014. Gu and Xu are also accused of falsifying payroll records.

CORPORATES
7-ELEVEN STORES PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN, HIYI PTY LTD