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Perth man sentenced for market manipulation

Gavin Brown, a former director of Astron Limited, has been sentenced in the Perth District Court on four charges of market manipulation, laid by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Mr Brown was fined a total of $30,000, comprising a cumulative fine of $10,000 for each count, with counts two and three to be imposed concurrently. Mr Brown, 34, was found guilty of the offences by a jury in February. As a result of his conviction, Mr Brown is also disqualified from managing corporations for five years. The charges against Mr Brown related to his trading of shares in Astron between August and December 2001. Mr Brown had previously been a director of Astron, which is involved in the distribution and sale of zirconium chemicals and related materials. ASIC alleged that Mr Brown placed orders through three brokers in a manner that was likely to create a false or misleading appearance in the market for Astron. Two of the brokers were used to predominantly place buy orders, whilst one broker was used exclusively to place sell orders. The charges were laid following a referral from the Australian Stock Exchange, and were prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

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