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Insider trading charges laid following ASIC investigation

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Roberto Gerald Catena, Colin Edward George Hebbard and Flemming Hood Nielsen, appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court, Western Australia, this week on multiple insider trading charges following an Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigation.

ASIC alleges that in July and August 2006 all three men possessed inside information regarding a possible takeover of Vision Systems Limited (VSL), a publicly listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Catena, 46, of Osborne Park, Western Australia, has been charged with 20 counts of insider trading. It is alleged that between 19 July and 7 August 2006, while employed as a broker with Citigroup Wealth Advisers Pty Ltd (Citigroup) in Perth, Catena advised five of his clients, including Nielsen, to purchase VSL shares.

Hebbard, 74, of Gwelup, Western Australia, has been charged with four counts of insider trading. It is alleged that between 19 July and 4 August 2006, while employed as a broker with Citigroup in Perth, he advised three of his clients to purchase VSL shares. It is further alleged that Hebbard also communicated the inside information to a fellow broker, Mark Richard McKenzie.

Nielsen, 54, of Floreat, Western Australia, has been charged with 13 counts of insider trading. AISC alleges that between 19 July and 4 August 2006, while a client of Catena, he received the inside information and purchased VSL shares through Citigroup and CommSec.

Catena, Hebbard and Nielsen were not required to enter a plea. The matter was adjourned to 27 April 2011 and they were bailed to appear on that date.

ASIC’s investigation arose from a referral from the ASX.

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