Former Bill Express salesman, Mr Enzo Di Donato, of Kew, Victoria, was sentenced yesterday in the County Court of Victoria for providing false or misleading information to ASIC during the course of an examination under the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act2001 (Cth).
Mr Di Donato, the sole director and secretary of 3D Salesforce Pty Ltd (under External Administration), was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, wholly suspended, upon giving security by recognisance of $5,000 to be of good behaviour for three years.
The charges were brought in connection with ASIC’s investigation into the manipulation of the share price of Bill Express Limited (in Liq) between May 2006 and March 2008. 3D Salesforce was one of a network of companies that operated from the same premises in Eaglemont, Victoria, as Bill Express and its parent company, OnQ Group Limited.
During an examination by ASIC under section 19 of the ASIC Act, Mr Di Donato provided false or misleading information in relation to the instigation of orders on 3D Salesforce’s trading account, the source of funding for this share trading, his recollections over the deposit of $1,048,500 into 3D Salesforce’s bank account, and denying that former OnQ Chief Financial Officer, Peter Couper, made or arranged payments to 3D Salesforce.
The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
Mr Di Donato is the third person to be sentenced as a result of ASIC’s market manipulation investigation into the share price of Bill Express.
In 2010, ex-Macquarie Equities Divisional Director, Newton Chan, pleaded guilty to charges of manipulating the Bill Express share price and providing false or misleading information to ASIC and was sentenced to a term of 20 months imprisonment, of which four months was to be served immediately.
Earlier this year, OnQ Group’s former Chief Financial Officer, Peter Couper, also pleaded guilty to several charges brought by ASIC including a charge of providing false or misleading information to ASIC and was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment (wholly suspended) and a $10,000 fine.