Mining mogul Clive Palmer has been charged with two counts of breaching directors' duties and two counts of fraud, with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) alleging he dishonestly enriched his own political party.
The corporate watchdog alleges Palmer dishonestly obtained a benefit for both his company Cosmo Developments and/or his political vehicle Palmer United Party (PUP) by authorising the transfer of $10 million between 5 August 2013 and 5 September 2013.
Further, ASIC alleges that Palmer dishonestly used his position as a director of Mineralogy, a mining company owned by him, in obtaining that advantage.
The watchdog has also charged Palmer for allegedly dishonestly obtaining a benefit for Media Circus Network (a PR firm that ran the PUP election campaign) and/or PUP by authorising the transfer of $2.1 million. ASIC again alleges Palmer dishonestly used his position as a director of Mineralogy in obtaining this advantage between 31 August 2013 and 3 September 2013.
Palmer is looking at a fine of $340,000 and/or five years imprisonment per offence relating to the breaches of the directors' duties.
The maximum penalty for the two counts of fraud is five years' imprisonment. However, if it can be established that there are circumstances of aggravation, the maximum penalty can be increased to 12 years.
The matter has been adjourned until 28 August 2020 and is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions in the Brisbane Magistrates Court.
This is hardly the first time Palmer has found himself in court facing charges for breaching the Corporations Act.
In April 2018 the notorious Queensland businessman was charged with breaching takeover law arising from a proposed takeover of The Presidents Club (TPC).
There was also the issue of his failed nickel mining venture Queensland Nickel, which resulted in Palmer suing the administrators of the company for $1.2 billion.
Queensland Nickel, which operated the Yabulu refinery in Townsville, was placed into administration in April 2016, owing more than $150 million to creditors.
Business News Australia