Two men face 10 years’ jail for insider trading of ASX shares

Ex-project manager and Competent Person allegedly held sensitive info, and either encouraged others to buy shares or bought some themselves.

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Two men are each facing 10 years in prison and a possible $810,000 fine for alleged insider trading of ASX shares.

Former Beacon Minerals Ltd (ASX: BCN) project manager Alexander McCulloch and external services provider Darryl Brian Mapleson both faced Perth Magistrates Court on Friday.

McCulloch faced 2 charges of insider trading, while Mapleson was charged with 3 counts.

According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), both the accused allegedly knew of confidential results from Beacon’s stage one drilling program at the Jaurdi Gold Project.

McCulloch is accused of encouraging two associates to buy up shares before the result was announced to the ASX.

Beacon had commissioned Mapleson to be its Competent Person to handle announcements to the ASX. A competent person is a person that mitigates risk for a company.

He allegedly bought up 12,792,850 shares between 19 and 24 January 2017.

The drilling result was then revealed on the ASX on 31 January, which immediately pushed the stock price up 33%.

If found guilty, the maximum penalty for their insider trading charges is 10 years imprisonment or an $810,000 penalty — or both.

Mapleson’s case has been adjourned to 4 June, while McCulloch will return to court on 2 July.

Beacon shares were up 1.37% on Friday, changing hands for 3.7 cents.

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Motley Fool contributor Tony Yoo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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