A Queensland lawyer who was accused of lying under oath during an ASIC examination has pleaded guilty to one count of giving false or misleading information to the corporate watchdog.
Mary-Anne Greaves, from Mount Sheridan, Queensland, has pleaded guilty before the Brisbane Magistrates' Court to one count of giving false or misleading information to ASIC.
The matter concerns Ms Greaves' involvement in an investigation being conducted by ASIC into a takeover bid made in 2015 by G8 Education Limited for Affinity Education Group Limited.
According to a statement on the ASIC website, the investigation included enquiries into alleged undisclosed arrangements between G8 Education and West Bridge Holdings Pty Ltd (West Bridge) for the acquisition of Affinity shares as part of the takeover bid.
“The charge related to Greaves’ false denial, on 2 June 2016, during an ASIC examination under oath, that she had not been provided information relating to the acquisition by West Bridge of Affinity shares at the time of the takeover bid by G8 Education,” the statement said.
The matter has been listed for a sentencing hearing before the Brisbane Magistrates’ Court on 24 May 2019.
Lawyers Weekly understands that Ms Greaves was initially charged with three counts of giving false or misleading information to the corporate regulator.
At the time of reporting the aforementioned information, ASIC issued a statement saying that: “Under section 64(1) of the ASIC Act, the maximum penalty for giving false or misleading information during an ASIC examination is two years imprisonment, 100 penalty units, or both.”
Update: On Friday afternoon, following ASIC's issue of its statement concerning Ms Greaves, G8 Education issued the following statement.
"G8 Education Limited (ASX: GEM) refers to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s (ASIC) Media Release dated 15 February 2019 regarding a matter brought by ASIC against Mary‐Anne Greaves.
"G8 Education wishes to confirm that Ms. Greaves has, at no time, been an employee or Board member of G8 Education. No allegations have been made by ASIC against G8 Education or any current Board member or employee.
"The charges relate to individual actions by Ms. Greaves and do not involve G8 Education."