ANZ, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank committed for trial in Federal Court on criminal cartel charges

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ), Citigroup Global Markets Australia Pty Limited (Citigroup), Deutsche Bank AG (Deutsche Bank) and six senior banking executives have today all been committed to the Federal Court of Australia for trial on criminal cartel charges.

The banks and the executives, John McLean, Rick Moscati, Michael Ormaechea, Michael Richardson, Stephen Roberts and Itay Tuchman, were committed from the NSW Local Court in Sydney today following committal proceedings.

Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, ANZ and the executives were charged in June 2018 following an ACCC investigation. The prosecution is being conducted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).

The charges involve alleged cartel arrangements in 2015 relating to trading in ANZ shares held by Deutsche Bank and Citigroup. ANZ and each of the executives charged are alleged to have been knowingly concerned in some or all of the alleged conduct.

“As this matter involves criminal charges, we will not be commenting further at this time,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

The matter will be heard in the Federal Court at a later date.

Note

The ACCC investigates cartel conduct, manages the immunity process and, in respect of civil cartel contraventions, takes civil proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia.

The CDPP is responsible for prosecuting criminal cartel offences in accordance with the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth. The ACCC refers serious cartel conduct to the CDPP for consideration of prosecution in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the CDPP and the ACCC regarding Serious Cartel Conduct.

For corporations, the maximum fine for each criminal cartel offence is the greater of:

  • $10 million
  • three times the total benefits that have been obtained and are reasonably attributable to the commission of the offence, or
  • if the total value of the benefits cannot be determined, 10 per cent of the corporation’s annual turnover connected with Australia.

An individual convicted of a criminal cartel offence may be sentenced to up to 10 years’ imprisonment or fined up to $420,000, or both.

Anyone with information about cartel conduct is urged to call the ACCC Cartel Hotline on (02) 9230 3894.

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