The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has informed the public that, following its earlier investigation, Ms Jennifer Joan Hutson, 50, of Red Hill in Queensland, has appeared before the Brisbane Magistrates’ Court on 3 April 2018 charged with:
- one count of dishonestly failing to exercise her powers and discharge her duties as a director under section 184(1) of the Corporations Act (maximum sentence of imprisonment of five years);
- two counts of dishonest use of her position as a director under section 184(2) of the Corporations Act (maximum sentence of imprisonment of five years);
- ten counts of authorising the giving of false or misleading information to an operator of a financial market (maximum sentence of imprisonment of 5 years);
- two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice under section 43 of the Crimes Act (maximum sentence of imprisonment of twenty five years); and
- fifteen counts of giving false or misleading information under section 64 of the ASIC Act (maximum sentence of imprisonment of two years).
The charges were brought by ASIC following an investigation into a takeover bid made in 2015 by G8 Education Limited (G8 Education) for Affinity Education Group Limited (Affinity).
The charges have been listed for mention at the Brisbane Magistrates’ Court on 8 June 2018.
The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
G8 Education is a childcare provider listed on the ASX.
In July and August 2015, G8 Education announced takeover bids for all the shares in Affinity, which was at the time also an ASX-listed company. Ms Hutson was a director and the chairperson of G8 Education until 15 October 2015. On 5 October 2015, the Takeovers Panel made a declaration of unacceptable circumstances in relation to the takeover bids.