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ASIC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia in Sydney against Vocation Limited (in liquidation) and the company’s former executive managing director, Mr Mark Hutchinson; former non-executive chairman, Mr John Dawkins; and former company secretary and Chief Financial Officer, Mr Manvinder Gréwal.
The proceedings arise out of ASIC’s investigation of events leading to Vocation’s entry into Deeds of Settlement with the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development on 27 October 2014.
ASIC alleges that Vocation made representations in relation to its securities that were misleading; that it failed to notify the ASX of information that it was required to disclose; and that it provided the ASX with a defective cleansing notice relied upon to raise approximately $72.5 million from institutional and sophisticated investors pursuant to a placement in September 2014.
Further, ASIC contends that Mr Hutchinson, Mr Dawkins, Mr Gréwal were either involved in the failure of Vocation to meet its obligations or otherwise failed to discharge their duties to Vocation with the requisite degree of care and diligence that a reasonable person in their respective positions would exercise.
ASIC is seeking:
- declarations that Vocation, Mr Hutchinson, Mr Dawkins and Mr Gréwal contravened provisions of the Corporations Act
- orders that Mr Hutchinson, Mr Dawkins and Mr Gréwal pay penalties to the Commonwealth, and
- that Mr Hutchinson, Mr Dawkins and Mr Gréwal be prohibited from managing a corporation for such period as the Court thinks fit.
The matter has been set down for a Case Management Hearing at 9.30 am on 13 October 2016.