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19-209MR Former financial advisor and consultant charged with dishonest conduct
Mark Damion Kawecki, of Frankston Victoria, has been charged with five counts of dishonest conduct. Mr Kawecki appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates Court today.
ASIC alleges that on five occasions between 19 January 2015 and 23 December 2016, while running a financial services business, Mr Kawecki engaged in dishonest conduct contrary to sections 1041G(1) and s1311(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
The charges follow an ASIC investigation into Mr Kawecki’s conduct when applying for shares in companies that were undertaking initial public offers (IPOs) or in the process of relisting on the ASX. ASIC alleges that Mr Kawecki submitted applications for shares which contained false or misleading information about the beneficial holder of those shares and/or false or misleading information about the applicant’s address.
Each offence carries a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 4,500 penalty units.
'ASIC considers attempts to satisfy the minimum spread requirement through artificial means as serious misconduct which interferes with the integrity of our markets,’ ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour said.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) is prosecuting the matter.
The matter has been listed for committal mention before the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 23 September 2019.
In June 2018, ASIC banned Mr Kawecki from providing financial services for a period of seven years following an ASIC investigation into the conduct (18-185MR).
Under the ASX Listing Rules, a company must meet the 'minimum spread requirement' (i.e. a minimum number of unrelated shareholders in the company) before its shares can be quoted and traded on ASX. The purpose of the minimum spread requirement is to demonstrate that there is sufficient investor interest in the company to justify its listing. This operates to ensure some level of liquidity at the time the company is initially listed and keeps poorer quality applicants that are not able to attract sufficient investor interest to meet the minimum spread requirement from being admitted to the ASX official list.
The committal mention has been adjourned to 4 November 2019.
Editor's note 2:
The committal mention has been adjourned to 2 December 2019.
Editor's note 3:
The committal mention has been adjourned to 22 January 2020.
Editor's note 4:
The committal mention scheduled for 22 January 2020 was adjourned to 12 February and then further adjourned to 4 March 2020.
Editor's note 5:
On 4 March, Mr Kawecki pleaded guilty to two counts of dishonest conduct. (Refer: 20-053MR)