Post: Former Continental Coal Company Secretary sentenced

Former Continental Coal Company secretary Jane Rosemary Flegg was sentenced to 3 years, 6 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 21 months following a hearing in the Supreme Court of Western Australia on the 15 March 2024.

Ms Flegg was also sentenced to a further 8 months imprisonment for giving false information to the ASX, to commence at the expiration of her non-parole period. Ms Flegg must serve 4 months of this sentence prior to being released upon her entering into a recognisance in the sum of $1,000.

The sentence was handed down after Ms Flegg pleaded guilty on 17 January 2024 to:

one count of making available false or misleading information to the ASX, where Continental Coal failed to disclose its only income-generating asset had gone into administration and another statement that said assets had been sold when they had not, contrary to subsections 1308(2), 1309(1)(c) and 1311(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
one count of stealing approximately $2.2 million of applicant funds from a Citation bank account, contrary to section 378 of the Criminal Code (WA); and
one count of forging and uttering a bank statement that falsely showed $675,658 in a Citation bank account when there was only $117.55 in the account, contrary to subsection 473(1) of the Criminal Code (WA).
In sentencing, Justice McGrath remarked in relation to the stealing offences, that while he accepted former Continental Coal director Peter Landau instructed her to commit the offences, Ms Flegg engaged in persistent dishonest, repeated breaches of trust over a nine-month period.

His Honour further remarked that in relation to the offences contrary to the Corporations Act, the seriousness of this type of offending was the effect false and misleading information may have on the behaviour of respective investors and shareholders who erroneously believe they are making fully informed decisions.

The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Australian Securities & Investment Commission’s (ASIC) investigation was assisted by the receipt of a comprehensive report prepared by Continental Coal’s liquidator. ASIC assisted the liquidator to investigate and report their findings by providing funding from the Assetless Administration Fund.

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