30 witnesses for lengthy GetSwift trial
Written on the 5 April 2019 by Business News Australia
The corporate watchdog has flagged that it intends to throw 30 witnesses at software company GetSwift in its now delayed trail.
The large number of witnesses, expected to take around six weeks to get through, has compelled Federal Court judge Michael Lee to delay the trial until 2020 to allow GetSwift to prepare for the bout with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The proceedings relate to a series of ASX announcements made by GetSwift between February and December 2017 relating to agreements with clients for the use of the company's software-as-a-service platform.
The watchdog is alleging that the company made representations that were misleading, and that Hunter and Macdonald were either involved in the failure of GetSwift to meets its obligations and failed to discharge their directors' duties.
It's been alleged GetSwift breached its obligations to the market in announcing deals with The Fruitbox Company, the Commonwealth Bank and Fantastic Furniture, with those deals subsequently either cancelled or subject to ongoing review.
ASIC is seeking declarations from the court that the Corporations Act was contravened, penalties, and a ban over Macdonald and Hunter from managing a company for a period of time.
GetSwift says that it irrefutably denies the allegations made by ASIC and will vigorously defend the proceedings.
GetSwift was facing up to three separate class action law suits over allegations it has engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct relating to continuous disclosure breaches to the market, however only the class action from Phi Finney McDonald was given the green light to go ahead.
The company confirmed in February 2018 it received notice from ASIC that it was "under investigation" as the company revealed a blowout in losses of nearly 1,000 per cent.
In its half yearly update released to the market shortly after the ASIC investigation was announced, the company revealed its net loss after tax had blown out by 964 per cent to $5.5 million from $516,000 in the prior corresponding period.
Ahead of the ASIC investigation and the class action being lodged, GetSwift spent nearly a month in a trading halt as it worked through its disclosure issues with the ASX.
Shares in GetSwift are down 6.25 per cent to $0.30 per share at 10.38am AEDT.
Business News Australia
Author: Business News Australia