No federal police action on Gay

THE AUSTRALIAN Federal Police has declined to go after disgraced former Gunns chairman John Gay by launching a proceeds of crime action. 

Gay was convicted of insider trading last year after selling about $3 million worth of Gunns shares in 2009 while privy to price sensitive information. 

Justice David Porter fined Gay $50,000 in Launceston's Supreme Court last August.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission, which had prosecuted Gay, then referred it to the federal police for a possible proceeds of crime action.

Such action provides a scheme to trace, restrain and confiscate money or property received by breaking Commonwealth laws.

During court proceedings, prosecutors said Gay had benefited by about $800,000 when he made the illegal trade. 

However Justice Porter said in his sentencing remarks that he was unable to determine how much Gay made from the sale. 

A federal police spokeswoman said following an evaluation ``a decision was made not to proceed with any proceeds of crime action'' against Gay.

Shareholder activist Stephen Mayne, from the Australian Shareholders Association, said the decision was disappointing.  

``I think it continues a theme of soft justice we've seen all the way through with this,'' Mr Mayne said yesterday.

``It's a lost opportunity to send a message about insider trading.''

pbillings@examiner.com.au

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop