Experts to determine Gay’s Gunns windfall
Former Gunns boss John Gay’s insider trading profits will be determined by expert evidence, the public prosecutor has told a Hobart court.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has launched a proceeds-of-crime action against Gay, who was convicted of insider trading in August 2013.
DPP lawyer Roslyn Shaw told the Tasmanian Supreme Court on Thursday the amount being pursued was yet to be determined.
Ms Shaw said expert evidence would be relied on to estimate how much Gay benefited when he offloaded $3 million of Gunns shares in 2009 with information not available to the market.
Chief Justice Alan Blow ordered the DPP to file its documents by August 21.
The application was filed just three days before a nine-month time limit on action under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The DPP is seeking a pecuniary penalty be paid to the Commonwealth by Gay, who was fined $50,000 when he changed his plea to guilty.
The grounds for the application are that Gay “derived benefits from the commission of the offence” and that the offence was serious.
The DPP action comes after the Australian Federal Police decided not to pursue Gay.
Australian Securities and Investments Commission chairman Greg Medcraft recently said Gay’s sentence disappointed “the whole country”.
The Australian Shareholders Association has also said Gay’s fine was too lenient.
In earlier court hearings, the prosecution estimated the windfall at more than $800,000, a figure challenged by Gay’s lawyers.
Sentencing judge David Porter said the crime fell into a less-serious category because Gay had decided to sell the shares in ill health and before he had the price-sensitive information.
He had faced a maximum penalty of five years jail or a $220,000 fine.
In April, Gay had a ban on holding company directorships partially overturned so he could continue to manage his family businesses.
Gay’s spokeswoman has said he will make no comment.