The Financial Markets Authority secured notable fines in two long-running cases.
Two former senior executives at bankrupt honey exporter Oceania Natural have been ordered to pay nearly $2.1 million for allegedly trying to manipulate the company’s stock price and violating disclosure rules.
The High Court fined Wei (Walker) Zhong, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company, $1.33 million, and Lay (Regina) Ding, Senior Manager and Marketing Manager, $760,000.
The two men were found to have violated financial laws in April, and the court found Jong guilty of six market manipulation violations and three disclosure violations, and Ding guilty of six market manipulation violations and five disclosure violations.
This civil lawsuit was filed by the FMA. Authorities investigated and claimed the pair and two others colluded Allegedly, between April 2016 and April 2017, he used the identity of another person to inflate the company’s stock price without disclosing the details of the transaction.
In cases of this kind, the fine is the highest.
Two others, Zhongyang (Sean) Meng and Jiashun (Sam) Qian, pleaded guilty in 2022 and were fined a total of $310,000 for their roles.
The FMA declined to comment until the judge’s full ruling was announced.
Meanwhile, another FMA lawsuit was successful in which the sole director of a group of forestry companies was sentenced to community detention for failing to report financially and making false statements.
Rowan Kearns was sentenced in Nelson District Court to four months of community detention and 100 hours of community service with curfew from 9pm to 7am.
In 2020, the FMA filed criminal charges against Mr. Kearns over his management of 18 forestry companies, known as the Foresters Group.he pleaded guilty in February For making false statements, failing to file financial statements, and representative charges of failing to file financial statements.
The agency’s executive director, Margot Gatland, said financial reporting is critical to investor confidence in financial markets.
“The FMA has exercised its powers in this criminal case to hold Mr. Kearns accountable for his crimes and multiple violations of the Financial Reporting Act.”
“Courts agreed that financial reports must be accurate so that investors can make informed decisions and feel protected when investing,” he said.
The lawsuit arose from complaints from Forest Restaurants investors about a lack of information regarding the 2015/16 forest sale and $23.5 million in revenue sharing.
The FMA entrusted $18 million and forced the liquidation of 18 companies.
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/494213/failed-honey-company-fined-2-million-over-market-manipulations Bankrupt honey company fined $2 million for market manipulation