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05-91 Rodney Adler sentenced to four-and-a-half years' jail

Thursday 14 April 2005

Mr Jeffrey Lucy, Chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), today announced that Mr Rodney Adler, a former director of HIH Insurance Limited (HIH), has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years’ jail, with a non-parole period of two-and-a-half years, on four charges arising from his conduct as a director of the HIH group of companies in 2000.

‘ASIC is fully satisfied and believes this sentence appropriately serves the public interest, and reflects the serious nature of the charges on which Mr Adler has been convicted’, Mr Lucy said.

‘The custodial sentence handed to Mr Adler sends a clear message to corporate Australia that ASIC, the community and the Courts will not tolerate criminal behaviour against the interests of shareholders.

‘Mr Adler was in a position of trust as a director of HIH but he put his own financial interests before the interests of HIH shareholders.

‘The law is very clear, company directors must act honestly and in the best interests of shareholders. The sentence delivered today by Justice Dunford shows how the courts will deal with directors who fail to uphold their legal duty’, Mr Lucy said.

In sentencing, Justice Dunford said:
‘It is in the public interest that time and resources are saved by defendants pleading guilty early and, as required, the judge has recognised this in the sentence. He also recognised that these types of matters are notoriously difficult to investigate and successfully prosecute’, Mr Lucy said.

‘ASIC would like to thank the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, who has worked closely with ASIC’s HIH Taskforce and prosecuted this matter in the courts’, he said.

Mr Adler was sentenced after pleading guilty on 16 February 2005 to four criminal charges: Background
Today’s sentencing of Mr Adler follows ASIC’s successful civil penalty proceedings against him, which were commenced in 2001 and resulted in him being: ASIC’s HIH investigation has already led to criminal prosecutions of 9 former senior executives, including directors, of FAI, HIH and associated entities on 31 Corporations and Crimes Act charges. These criminal prosecutions include:
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