Australia's corporate regulator has welcomed the conviction of John Gay for insider trading saying it sent a message to big business.
Gay, 70, was fined $50,000 this morning in the Supreme Court Launceston for selling more than 3.4 million Gunns shares while holding price sensitive information that had not been released to the market.
He was chairman of Gunns at the time.
Australian Securities and Investment Commission boss Cathie Armour said Gay was the most senior executive ever convicted on insider trading in Australia.
``The conviction of Gay sends a message to directors to carefully consider the information they possess when making a trading decision,'' Ms Armour said.
``Prosecuting insider trading has been a real focus for ASIC. Our ability to see trading as it occurs, to look out for trading in stocks we know are in play, and to invoke our investigatory powers early has meant ASIC is a credible insider trading enforcement agency.
Gay's conviction was a reminder the regulator was committed to combating this serious criminal offence, she said.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions took on the matter for ASIC and had urged a suspended prison sentence.