The corporate watchdog will now offer immunity from prosecution for people who have manipulated the stock market.
On Wednesday, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) revealed its new immunity policy.
The new rules indicate that if certain criteria are met, those who conspired with others to breach the Corporations Act can apply for both criminal and civil immunity.
Such breaches can include serious share market offences like insider trading, market manipulation and dishonest conduct.
Those offences can attract up to 15 years in jail, a fine of $1 million or a penalty of 3 times the benefit derived from the crime.
“The Immunity Policy enhances ASIC’s ability to identify and take enforcement action against complex markets and financial services contraventions,” ASIC commissioner Sean Hughes said.
Applications can only be made by people, not corporations.
What’s the catch?
The biggest condition is that the person must be the first applicant who meets all the immunity criteria and reports the misconduct to ASIC before any investigation has started.
The immunity also doesn’t shield the applicant from any administrative (such as a ban on running companies) or compensation orders.
“Individuals who do not meet the criteria for immunity are still encouraged to cooperate with ASIC and will be given due credit for any cooperation received,” stated the commission…