November 5, 2020 | AtoZ Markets – A Melbourne County court in Australia has convicted and imposed a $30,000 fine on Mark Damion Kawecki, of Frankston, Victoria. The fine was as a result of Mr. Kawecki engaging in dishonest conduct related to attempts to artificially satisfy the minimum spread requirement for companies seeking to be admitted to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
As a result of his conviction, Mr Kawecki is disqualified from managing corporations until 4 November 4, 2025.
Australian court fined financial advisor over ASX lies
According to a press release by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), under the ASX Listing Rules, a company must hold a minimum number of unrelated shareholders before its shares can be quoted and traded on the ASX. This requirement must be met in order to demonstrate sufficient investor interest and ensure adequate liquidity at the time of listing.
This is the first criminal prosecution for offending of this kind.
Mr Kawecki was charged with and pleaded guilty to, two counts of dishonest conduct in relation to a financial product in contravention of sections 1041G and 1311(1) of the Corporations Act (20-053MR).
ASIC alleged that between January 19, 2015, and December 23, 2016, Mr Kawecki applied for shares in four companies that were undertaking initial public offerings (IPOs) or were in the process of relisting on the ASX. These applications for shares in these companies, however, contained false information about the beneficial holder of those shares or false information about the applicant’s address.
The Crown submitted that Mr Kawecki’s conduct was designed to artificially satisfy the minimum spread requirement in the ASX Listing Rules.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuted the matter.
Mark Damion Kawecki pleaded guilty to dishonest conduct
It is worthy of note that the Australian watchdog banned Mr Kawecki back in June 2018 from providing financial services for a period of seven years. The ban was a result of an ASIC investigation into his dishonest conduct.
Mr Kawecki was again charged with dishonest conduct on July 17, 2019. On March 4, 2020, Mr Kawecki pleaded guilty to two counts of dishonest conduct in relation to a financial product.
ASIC has urged market participants of their obligations when acting on behalf of companies seeking admission to the official list of ASX Limited, pursuant to both the ASX Listing Rules and the Corporations Act 2001.
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