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Friday 6 December 2013

13-327MR Managing Director charged with 'share warehousing' and market manipulation offences

A 58-year old Melbourne man has been charged with 25 'rolled up' charges relating to market manipulation and concealing his interests in shares of listed companies.

Mr Paul Gerard Choiselat was a director of two ASX Listed companies, Q Ltd (from 2001 to 2013) and Jumbuck Entertainment Ltd (from 2004 to 2008). During most of this period, Mr Choiselat held the role of managing director or executive chairman.

Twenty of the charges relate to disclosures by Mr Choiselat of his interests in Q Ltd and Jumbuck Entertainment Ltd in the period 2003 to 2009:

  • to the boards of these companies;

  • in documents lodged with the ASX including director's interest notices, substantial holder notices, notices of shareholder meetings and preliminary annual reports; and

  • annual reports and prospectuses lodged with ASIC

ASIC alleges that the disclosures of Mr Choiselat's interests were false as they did not include his total interest in the companies. The disclosures excluded interests held though various offshore entities registered in the British Virgin Islands and managed from Hong Kong.

A further five charges relate to alleged manipulation of shares in three separate periods:

  • manipulation of Q Ltd shares in November and December 2007 to support a rights issue by the company

  • manipulation of Q Ltd and Jumbuck Entertainment Ltd shares in January to March 2008 to reduce a margin position in relation to shares lent to Opes Prime Stockbroking Ltd

  • manipulation of Q Ltd and Jumbuck Entertainment Ltd shares in October 2008 to boost a proof of debt claim against the liquidators of Opes Prime Stockbroking Ltd.

The matter has been adjourned for a committal mention on 26 February 2014.

This matter was commenced by ASIC following the collapse of Opes Prime Stockbroking Ltd. ASIC requested the Australian Securities Exchange monitor any trading that might have been undertaken in order to increase the claims creditors had against the liquidators of Opes Prime. As a result of this surveillance the ASX referred this matter to ASIC.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.

Background

In November 2013 Mr Thai Quc Tang was sentenced to two years jail in the Brisbane District Court on market manipulation charges following an ASIC investigation. (refer: 13-309MR)

Editor's note 1:

On 26 February 2014 the matter was set down for committal starting on 12 May 2014 for three days.

Editor's note 2:

On 20 March 2014 in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, the court ordered that the committal dates previously set (12 May 2014 for 3 days) be vacated and that the matter be adjourned for a committal mention on 7 April 2014.

Editor's note 3:

On 7 April 2014 the matter was adjourned to a date to fixed.

Editor's note 4:

On 5 August 2014 the matter was listed for committal starting on 22 October 2014 for three days.

Editor's note 5:

On 17 October 2014 the committal was adjourned to a date to be fixed.

Editor's note 6:

On 27 November 2014 the contested committal hearing was set down to start on 25 February 2015 for three days.

Editor's note 7:

The committal was part heard and on 27 February 2015, was adjourned until 21 April 2015.

Editor's note 8:

On 21 April 2015 Mr Choiselat entered a plea of not guilty and was committed for trial. The trial start in the County Court at Melbourne on 25 July 2016 and is expected to run for eight weeks.

Editor's Note 9:

On 25 July 2016, the matter was adjourned for further mention in the County Court at Melbourne to be held on 19 August 2016.

 

Last updated: 22/04/2015 12:00