Share traders who manipulated market walk free


Two share traders who manipulated the market in their sale of biotech shares have escaped immediate jail terms.

Richard John Wade, 42, of East Melbourne, pleaded guilty to six counts of market manipulation after taking part in trading involving Genetic Technologies Ltd (GTG) shares.

Victoria’s County Court heard the former ABN Amro stockbroker received and acted on instructions to organise the buying of the shares between May and September 2006 which were likely to create or maintain an artificial trading price.

It heard Wade organised the sales to prop up the share price of the company at the request of his old friend and client Geoffrey Newing, who was GTG’s chief operating officer, despite knowing it was illegal.

He was given a 15-month suspended jail sentence and ordered to be of good behaviour for two years.

Former Bell Potter broker Rocco Musumeci, 28, of Rockdale, NSW, also pleaded guilty to three counts of market manipulation in his trading in GTG shares.

The court heard Musumeci received and acted on instructions to arrange the buying of shares between September and November 2006 which were likely to create or maintain an artificial share trading price.

It heard Musumeci was suspicious of the buy requests but maintained his silence for fear of losing his top client.

Musumeci was given a seven-month suspended jail term and also ordered to be of good behaviour for two years.

Judge Barbara Cotterell said neither man initiated the scheme nor personally benefited financially from it.

She said the crown could not specify any losses or damage and both men were of previous good character and had cooperated with authorities.

She also took into account their remorse.

“I’m satisfied … neither of you are likely to offend again,” she said.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission last year banned Wade from providing financial services for five years and Musumeci for four years.


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