The Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) has announced that a 31-year old Sydney resident, Mr. Fei Yu, was brought before a court today to be charged with eight counts of insider trading related to his mother’s online CFD stocks account, following an ongoing ASIC investigation.
The maximum penalty associated with insider trading offences in Australia at the time they were committed by Mr. Yu ranges from 5 years in jail and a fine of $220,000. For offences committed after December 13, 2010, the penalties increased to a maximum penalty for individuals of 10 years in jail and/or a fine of $495,000. Mr. Yu allegedly made approximately $25,000 from the trades.
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ASIC alleges that Mr. Yu procured the acquisition of securities and aided and abetted the acquisition of contracts for difference (CFD) in Veda Advantage Limited in January 2007, during which time he had inside information about a proposed takeover of Veda by Pacific Equity Partners. According to the charges, Mr. Yu received the information from his close friend, Mr. Bo Shi Zhu, an executive in the corporate finance advisory division of Caliburn Partnership Pty Ltd (now called Greenhill & Co, Inc) who was advising Veda regarding the proposed takeover.
Mr. Zhu pleaded guilty in 2012 to several counts of insider trading and in February 2013 was sentenced to 2 years and 3 months jail time, to serve a minimum term of 15 months. According to the charges he admitted guilt to, in late 2006, while he was an executive at the advisory firm, Mr. Zhu instructed Mr. Yu to open a trading account with the online broker, CommSec, in the name of Mr. Fei’s mother, Ming Fei, in an attempt to hide his connection to the account. They bought financial products relating to Veda, making over $81,000 in profits, of which Mr. Zhu’s share was about $55,000.
Appearing before Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court, Mr. Yu was not required to enter a plea today and the matter was adjourned to October 7, 2014.