Banking Royal Commission: Defendants require expertise & experience

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Gavel on a Long TableOn Monday 4th February 2019 the final report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation, and Financial Services Industry will be publicly released.

In anticipation of potential criminal referrals stemming from the final report the Federal Government allocated an extra $51.5 million in extra funding to Commonwealth prosecutors and the Federal Court.

The necessity for potential defendants to secure expert representation from a specialist criminal law firm with a proven track record of responding to criminal charges stemming from Royal Commissions will be critical given the complexity of potential prosecutions and the severity of sentences that will likely be imposed if a finding of guilt is made.

This includes:

  • A dedicated team of accredited specialist criminal lawyers to review your case and prepare a robust defence.
  • A full understanding of the rules of evidence in criminal trials and particularly insight into the relationship of material before a Royal Commission and what is admissible in a criminal hearing.
  • The ability to secure Victoria’s leading criminal defence counsel through our established relationships.
  • A thorough review of evidence with a view to filing a ‘no case submission’ to halt potentially misguided prosecutions.
  • Expert case & trial perpetration coupled with a wealth of experience dealing with public prosecution authorities.
  • Experience dealing with Directors insurance, and associated funding arrangements.

Potential offences

Defendants, including company directors, officers and employees may find themselves facing a range of offences under both State and Commonwealth legislation, as well as the common law, which may encompass both criminal and civil penalties.

Victorian Crimes

  • Obtaining financial advantage by deception
  • False Accounting
  • Theft
  • Fraud
  • Fraudulently inducing persons to invest money.

Corporations Act:

  • Good faith use of information – directors and employees
  • False or misleading statements.
  • Providing False Information.
  • Obstructing or hindering ASIC.

S912A Offences:

  • General Obligations offences

s952 offences:

  • Offence of failing to give a disclosure document or statement.
  • Offence of giving a disclosure document or statement knowing it to be defective.
  • Offence of giving a defective disclosure document or statement (whether or not known to be defective).
  • Offences of financial services licensee providing disclosure material to an authorised representative (whether or not known to be defective).
  • Offence if a Statement of Advice does not comply with certain requirements.

Commonwealth Criminal Offences: (if the party involved is a commonwealth entity)

  • s134.1 – Obtaining property by deception (Penalty: Imprisonment for 10 years);
  • s134.2 – Obtaining a financial advantage by deception (Penalty: Imprisonment for 10 years);
  • s135.1 – General Dishonesty (Penalty: Imprisonment for 5 years);
  • s135.2 – Obtaining a financial advantage (Penalty: Imprisonment for 12 months);
  • s135.4 – Conspiracy to defraud (Penalty: Imprisonment for 10 years).

Doogue + George have acted for a number of clients where there have been recommendations that they should be prosecuted following Royal Commissions. To date none of these have resulted in findings of guilt. A number have never even ended up proceeding to charge.
Date Published: 1 February 2019

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