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20-033MR ASIC charges Jan Cameron, former director of Bellamy’s Australia
Janet Heather Cameron, 67, of Hobart, a former director of Bellamy’s Australia Limited (Bellamy’s), will appear before the Hobart Magistrates’ Court on criminal charges following an investigation by ASIC.
ASIC alleges that on or about 1 August 2014, when Bellamy’s became a listed company, Ms Cameron began - by herself and along with her associate The Black Prince Foundation (Black Prince), an entity domiciled in Curaçao - to have a substantial holding in a listed company through a holding of 14 million Bellamy’s shares. That holding represented 14.74% of Bellamy’s total issued capital and it is alleged that on or about 5 August 2014 Ms Cameron failed to disclose that interest as required.
ASIC also alleges that on or about 15 February 2017, Ms Cameron lodged with Bellamy’s an initial substantial holder notice that was misleading on the basis that it failed to properly disclose her true and complete relationship with Black Prince and the basis upon which she had an interest in 14 million Bellamy’s shares.
Ms Cameron has been charged with contravening sections 671B(1) and 1308(2) of the Corporations Act, with the charges listed for a mention hearing before the Hobart Magistrates’ Court on 12 March 2020.
The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
Bellamy’s is a Launceston-based producer of organic food and formula products for babies and young children. Ms Cameron was a director of Bellamy’s between 14 May 2007 and 5 May 2011.
Under section 671B of the Corporations Act, a person must, if they begin to have a holding of shares in a listed company that results in 5% or more of voting power, lodge a substantial holder notice with the company and the relevant market operator (in this case, the Australian Securities Exchange). The maximum penalty applying in August 2014 for failing to lodge a substantial holder notice was six months’ imprisonment or 25 penalty units, or both.
Under section 1308(2) of the Act, a person must not make a false or misleading statement in a document required by or for the purposes of the Act or lodged with or submitted to ASIC. The maximum penalty for contravening this section is five years’ imprisonment or 200 penalty units or both.
On 11 March 2020, the Hobart Magistrates’ Court adjourned the mention hearing to 2:15pm on 15 April 2020.
Editor's note 2:
On 15 April 2020, the Hobart Magistrates’ Court adjourned the mention hearing to 9:45am on 24 July 2020.
Editor's note 3:
On 24 July 2020, Ms Cameron (via counsel) entered a plea of not guilty to both charges. The matter has been listed for a case management hearing on 26 August 2020.
Editor's note 4:
On 26 August 2020, at the case management hearing in the Hobart Magistrates’ Court, Magistrate Hay made orders in relation to material to be provided by the Crown to defence within 28 days.
The penalty for a s1308(2) offence listed in the background section above applies if the matter is tried on indictment. As an election has been made for the s1308(2) charge to be heard summarily in the Magistrates Court, the court may impose a lesser maximum sentence of 12 months' imprisonment or a fine not exceeding 60 penalty units, or both.
The matter was listed for a further case management hearing on 12 October 2020.