The ex-CEO of Australian Bight Abalone (ABA), has been found guilty by the South Australian District Court on 17 counts of providing false or misleading information to ABA’s Board and prospective investors, in particular relating to its abalone harvesting prospects.
ABA was Australia’s largest off-shore abalone farmer and raised about $44 million from 1400 investors over four years from 2005. It also operated managed investment schemes, by which investors were entitled to returns from the sale of harvested abalone. Administrators were appointed in July 2009 after ABA could only undertake a limited harvest of its abalone stock.
The defendant was remanded in custody and faces a maximum 5 years’ gaol and/or a $22,000 fine for each count. Sentencing submissions will take place in April 2018.