Don George Evans has been sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment by the Supreme Court of Western Australia for conspiring to manipulate the price of shares in Quantum Resources.
Mr Evans, of Woodlands in Western Australia, was sentenced for conspiring with former Quantum director Avrohom Kimelman and corporate consultant Benjamin Heath Cooper to push Quantum’s shares to a predetermined price. He pleaded guilty in August last year.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said that Mr Evans will be released immediately upon entering into a recognisance of $5,000 to be of good behaviour for two years.
The regulator explained that Mr Evans was introduced to Mr Kimelman by Mr Cooper, whose firm, Cooper Corporate & Consulting, had been engaged by Quantum as a consultant.
The court found that Mr Evans, along with Mr Cooper and Mr Kimelman, used an online group chat to coordinate a series of trades in Quantum shares, with the purpose of artificially increasing the Quantum share price and encouraging additional investor activity.
“The sentencing decision finalises our suite of actions in relation to the manipulation of Quantum shares in November 2015, with each of the people the subject of charges being sentenced to terms of imprisonment,” said ASIC deputy chair Sarah Court.
“ASIC is committed to acting against conduct that damages the integrity of Australia’s markets. Market manipulation undermines investor confidence and ASIC will take strong and considered action to combat it.”
In sentencing, Justice McGrath noted the need to impose a sentence which would deter others who might be tempted to engage in similar unlawful conduct.
“Compliance with [the prohibition on market manipulation] is vital to maintain market integrity and promoting the confident and informed participation of investors in the financial market operated by the ASX,” Justice McGrath said.
As a result of the conviction, Mr Evans is automatically disqualified from managing corporations for five years. The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions following a referral from ASIC.