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Monday 6 June 2016

16-180MR Oliver Curtis found guilty of insider trading conspiracy

Sydney man, Oliver Peter Curtis, has been found guilty of an insider trading conspiracy charge brought by ASIC. 

Mr Curtis was found guilty, on 2 June 2016, after a three week trial before a jury in the Supreme Court of New South Wales of one count of conspiring to commit an insider trading offence, contrary to sections 1043A(1)(d) and 1311(1) of the Corporations Actand section 11.5 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code.

The offence related to an alleged agreement between Mr Curtis and convicted insider trader and tipper Mr John Hartman. It was alleged that as part of this agreement, Mr Curtis traded on 45 separate occasions between 1 May 2007 and 30 June 2008 using a company he controlled and made a total profit of over $1 million.

At the time of the alleged offence, Mr Hartman was employed as an equities dealer at Orion Asset Management Ltd (Orion). It was alleged that Mr Hartman and Mr Curtis agreed that Mr Hartman would procure Mr Curtis to trade in contracts for difference (CFDs) on the basis of inside information Mr Hartman possessed about Orion’s trading intentions. In doing so, the pair allegedly sought to take advantage of expected movements in the share price caused by Orion’s trading and share the profits.

In return for providing trading instructions, it was alleged that Mr Curtis provided Mr Hartman with a share of the profits in the form of cash and by using the funds to purchase items for Mr Hartman.

Mr Curtis has been bailed to appear for a sentencing hearing in the Supreme Court of New South Wales on 17 June 2016.  He faces a maximum of five years imprisonment and/or a fine of $220,000.

Mr Hartman pleaded guilty to related, and unrelated, insider trading offences on 6 April 2010 and was ultimately sentenced to three years imprisonment with a single pre-release period of 15 months (refer 10-258AD and 11-285AD).

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.

Editor's note:

On 17 June 2016, following a sentencing hearing, the matter was stood over to 24 June 2016, for sentence.

Last updated: 06/06/2016 12:00