Australia Markets close in 3 hrs 49 mins

Clive Palmer charged with fraud, facing 12 years in prison

Lucy Dean
·2-min read
Photo taken on May 3, 2019 shows a ute driving past an election sign for mining magnate Clive Palmer's United Australia Party in Bowen in northern Queensland. - In conservative-leaning Queensland state, disillusioned voters are moving further right to support the anti-immigration One Nation Party and Clive Palmer's United Australia Party ahead of the election on May 18, 2019 (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP) / TO GO WITH: Australia-politics-vote, FOCUS by Glenda KWEK        (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)
Clive Palmer ran a well-known political campaign. Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images.

Australian billionaire and former politician Clive Palmer has been charged with fraud and breaches of director duties, facing years in jail for alleged transfers of more than $12 million.

Palmer has been charged following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which alleges he dishonestly obtained a financial benefit for the Palmer United Party and/or Cosmo Developments, after authorising the transfer of $10 million contrary to the purpose for which the money was being held.

The financial watchdog alleged Palmer used his position as director of mining company Mineralogy, which he owns, to obtain the advantage between 5 August 2013 and 5 September 2013.

Additionally, ASIC claims that Palmer dishonestly obtained a benefit for Media Circus Network and/or the Palmer United Party by authorising another transfer of $2.2 million contrary to the reason for which the funds were held in August and September 2013.

The maximum penalties for directorial breaches are $340,000 or imprisonment for up to five years, while the punishment for fraud by dishonestly gaining an advantage is five to 12 years imprisonment.

ASIC first raised the case in March in the Brisbane Magistrates Court, at which time it was adjourned until 17 July.

The case was again adjourned on Friday until 28 August 2020.

Speaking in March, Palmer said: “There was no merit in the ASIC summons and it would be shown to be yet another ASIC embarrassment.

"The ASIC summons relates to two payments that were paid by Mineralogy from its own account with its own money approved by its sole director and its sole beneficial shareholder - me.

"There is no accusation in the ASIC summons that I received any benefit whatsoever or that any person was denied or lost any property. The summons is a nonsense."

Make your money work with Yahoo Finance’s daily newsletter. Sign up here and stay on top of the latest money, news and tech news.
Follow Yahoo Finance Australia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.