Another former Big Un director faces insider trading charges, adding to ASIC’s hit list

Another former Big Un director faces insider trading charges, adding to ASIC’s hit list

The corporate watchdog has brought an insider trading charge against another former director of failed media company Big Un, hoping to add to its tally of successful convictions from the former ASX-listed company's collapse.

After laying insider trading charges against Big Un’s former CEO Richard Evans (also known as Richard Evertz) earlier this year, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is now targeting former CFO Andrew Scott Corner.

ASIC says Corner has appeared via his lawyer in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court charged with insider trading, with the allegations centred on information he is said to have possessed in late 2017.

The allegations relate to Corner’s procurement of two private companies to sell 1.7 million Big Un shares for more than $5 million.

“The information that Mr Corner allegedly possessed related to a funding arrangement between Big Un’s subsidiary, Big Review TV Limited, and Sydney-based financier, First Class Capital,” says ASIC in a statement.

“Big Un was one of the top performing shares listed on the ASX in 2017. Its shares were suspended from trading in February 2018 after information about Big Un’s funding arrangement with First Class Capital was released.”

Just ahead of the company’s collapse in February 2018, it was revealed that Big Un had granted First Class Capital security over its assets.

Big Un’s controversial history was heightened at the time by revelations that then CEO Richard Evans had previously allegedly been jailed for blackmailing men in public toilets by impersonating a police officer.

Although Big Un insisted that Evans’ past convictions did not require disclosure and did not amount to criminal conduct, he resigned as CEO of the company.

Big Un was placed into voluntary administration in early 2018 and was delisted from the ASX in August that year.

The company, and its Big Review TV subsidiary which started out providing marketing videos for businesses to post on YouTube, are both in liquidation.

The latest insider trading charges brought by ASIC follow a litany of charges brought by the corporate regulator involving Big Un.

These include company auditor Graham Rothesay Swan’s conviction for failing to conduct the 2017 audit of Big Un in compliance with auditing standards, and the 12-month suspension of Jakin Leong Loke’s auditor registration due to his involvement in the 2017 audit.

Former investment analyst Michael Ming Jinn Ho was sentenced to three years imprisonment, to be served via an intensive correction order, on five counts of insider trading and one count of communicating inside information relating to Big Un between 2016 and 2018.

The charges against Evans have alleged that he released inside information to Ho in 2017.

The case against Corner is listed for mention at the Downing Centre Local Court on 25 July 2023.

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