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WA man pleads guilty to market manipulation

3 minute read

ASIC said the man had conspired to manipulate the price of shares in a resources company.

Don George Evans has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to manipulate the price of shares in Quantum Resources, now known as Nova Minerals.

ASIC said that Mr Evans, from Inglewood in Western Australia, had conspired with former Quantum director Avrohom Kimelman and Benjamin Heath Cooper on 16 November 2015 to manipulate Quantum shares by creating an artificial price of the company’s shares.

In a statement issued on Friday, the corporate regulator confirmed that Mr Evans had entered a guilty plea before the Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court in WA.

The charge of conspiring to commit market manipulation carried a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment at the time of his offence.

The matter, which is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, has now been adjourned to the Supreme Court of Western Australia on 31 January 2023 for sentencing.

Previously, Mr Kimelman pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to manipulate the market in Quantum shares as well as one rolled up charge of procuring the acquisition of shares in Quantum while in possession of inside information.

ASIC said that Mr Kimelman procured the acquisition of 1,990,963 Quantum shares while possessing inside information about Quantum’s intention to acquire Manitoba Minerals.

Last November, he was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment to be released immediately after entering into a $5,000 recognisance and a two-year good behaviour bond.

“This is serious misconduct that prevents Australia’s financial markets from operating fairly and transparently,” ASIC deputy chair Sarah Court commented at the time.

Mr Cooper also pleaded guilty to conspiring to manipulate the price of shares in Quantum in June this year. The matter has been adjourned to the Supreme Court of Western Australia on 30 August for a directions hearing. 

Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.