Australia's watchdog bans adviser for election rigging

Pedro Gonçalves
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Australia's watchdog bans adviser for election rigging

ASIC has permanently banned former financial planner Neil John Evans from providing financial services after an investigation found he had engaged in vote rigging of director elections.

Evans, of Wodonga, Victoria, was banned after ASIC found that he lacked the judgment necessary to discharge the duties and obligations imposed on a provider of financial services.

In 2017, Evans was examined twice by the corporate regulator about his conduct in vote-rigging the WAW Credit Union Co-Operative Limited (WAW) director elections by misusing the personal details of WAW members to cast ballots on their behalf and without their authorisation.

[Evans] demonstrate[d] a repeated lack of judgment, giving ASIC reason to believe that Mr Evans is not of good character and that he is likely to contravene financial services law"

ASIC said it found the evidence given by Evans in his February 2017 examination differed from the evidence he gave in his subsequent examination in August 2017, rendering his responses in the February 2017 examination false or misleading.

"The delegate was satisfied that Mr Evans' conduct, in respect of his unauthorised voting in the 2015 WAW elections and the false or misleading evidence given by him in the February 2017 examination, demonstrate a repeated lack of judgment, giving ASIC reason to believe that Mr Evans is not of good character and that he is likely to contravene financial services law," the watchdog said.

Between 4 November 2015 and 18 November 2015, WAW conducted elections to fill two vacant board positions. Evans misused the personal details of no less than 499 WAW members to cast ballots in the election for two candidates without the authorisation of those members.

The consequences of Evans's vote-rigging was that one person was improperly elected to the WAW board and another person, who should have been elected, was not.

He has sought a review of its delegate's decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

 

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