Former Tesla Australia director Kurt Schlosser has been sentenced to two years and six months imprisonment after pleading guilty to two insider trading offences late last year.
Mr Schlosser was sentenced in the Sydney District Court on 17 March and will be released immediately upon entering into a recognisance on the condition that he be of good behaviour for two years and six months, according to a statement released by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on Tuesday.
As country director, the regulator said that Mr Schlosser was informed of a confidential, in-principle agreement to be entered into by Tesla Australia’s ultimate holding company, Tesla Inc, in relation to the supply of lithium from ASX-listed company Piedmont Lithium.
Mr Schlosser subsequently purchased 86,478 shares in Piedmont over two transactions and also communicated the inside information to a friend in circumstances where it was likely that individual would also acquire shares in the lithium mining company.
Shortly after the announcement was made public, Mr Schlosser sold the shares for a realised profit of $28,883.53. An order has been made by consent for Mr Schlosser to forfeit this profit to the Commonwealth.
“ASIC is committed to acting against conduct that damages the integrity of Australia’s financial markets,” ASIC deputy chair Sarah Court said.
“Insider trading undermines investor confidence and gives individuals an unfair advantage. This criminal outcome demonstrates the serious consequences for trading when in possession of inside information.”
Due to his conviction, Mr Schlosser is automatically disqualified from managing corporations for a period of five years. The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions following a referral from ASIC.