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Former Opes Prime boss ordered to stand trial

Former Opes Prime boss ordered to stand trial

The former director of failed stockbroking firm Opes Prime has been told to stand trial in the Victorian Supreme Court.

THE former director of failed stockbroking firm Opes Prime has been told to stand trial in the Victorian Supreme Court.

Corporate watchdog, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is prosecuting former CEO and managing director, Laurie (Lirim) Emini, and directors Julian Smith and Anthony Blumberg for breaching their duties as directors.

Emini pleaded not guilty to 26 charges today in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court, and has been sent for trial in the Supreme Court next month.

Emini, 47, from Victoria, did not contest his committal, and will appear in the Supreme court on 21 March this year.

ASIC alleges that on a number of occasions between July 2006 and February 2008, Emini caused the transfer of securities between OPSL and another company of which he was a director, Leverages Capital. The value of the securities was over $100 million.

Emini is facing 22 charges that, in causing the transfers to be made, he was intentionally dishonest and failed to exercise and discharge his duties in good faith in the best interests of the two companies.

Emini is also charged with four separate offences of breaching his duties as a director of OPSL and associated companies.

According to ASIC, on 20 March 2008, shortly before Opes Prime collapsed, the directors signed financial documentation with ANZ Bank to obtain a term loan for OPSL and its parent company, Opes Prime Group Limited (OPGL) and pledged the companies’ assets as security to meet the obligations of Leveraged Capital.

Emini was released on bail subject to surrendering his passport, that he does not leave Australia or attend any international point of departure, that he he does not contact any witnesses or his co-accused, and as long as he resides at his residential address.

Blumberg, meanwhile, requested and was granted an adjournment of his committal until 11 March 2011. He is yet to enter a plea. Smith has pleaded not guilty and his committal was adjourned until 7 March 2011.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.


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