Gunns chief pays $500k for insider trading

THE former head of Tasmanian forestry giant Gunns has agreed to pay $500,000 for insider trading two years ago.

John Gay sold more than $3 million of Gunns shares in December 2009 while he had sensitive insider information.

In 2013 he pleaded guilty to insider trading and was fined $50,000.

After that fine was widely criticised as too lenient, ASIC sought to go after Gay with the Proceeds of Crime Act and referred the case to the Australian Federal Police, which declined to pursue the matter.

ASIC then approached the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, which agreed to take it on.

The CDPP wanted to recover the entire amount gained from the trade, but Gay's lawyers argued he should pay only the amount he avoided losing by selling the shares when he did.

Ordered into mediation with the CDPP, Gay agreed to pay a $500,000 pecuniary penalty.

In a statement, CDPP deputy director Shane Kirne said the "interests of justice" had been met.

Gunns went into voluntary administration in 2012.


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