Asic V Vizard Case Study: Business Data Privacy Violation and Prosecution Proceedings

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Task: What prosecution criteria were followed during the Asic V Vizard case study Data Privacy Violation Proceedings?


Introduction: According to the ASIC v. Vizard case study, community prosecution charges were brought before the Tribunal in the case filed on July 4, 2005 against Stephen William Vizard. As the company's administrator, Vizard allegedly circulated critical business data, generating profits for both himself and those who had access to it. This, according to ASIC, was a violation.

ASIC has confirmed that Steve Vizard exploited Telstra's confidential data throughout the period from March to July 2000 while selling the stocks of three significant publicly traded companies, namely Sausage, Computer Share, and Keycorp. In a media release, ASIC requested information and legal contracts and tenders relating to these three issues:

1. An admission of guilt that Vizard violated the law on three distinct times by relying on the words or actions of the management of the company.

2. Sanctions levied against him for violating or abusing rules and laws.

3. His name will be suspended for a period of time from serving as a director in any company due to intentional disorderly behaviour and insider trading.

Particulars of the case

Mr. Vizard was employed by Telstra Corporation Limited as a non-executive director in the case of ASIC v. Vizard. With this title, he has complete control over Creative Technology Investments Pty Limited (CTI), its bookkeeper, and its shareholders. Vizard and his family, which consists of his wife and kids, are shareholders in a company called Brigham Pty Limited. Following that, CTI received a loan from Brigham Pty Limited. This sum was provided by Mr. Vizard or one of his colleagues with the intent to launder money and steal CTI's stock-related profits. This profit was split between Brigham and CTI in proportions of 90% and 10%, respectively. In the final month of 1999, Mr. Vizard handed Brigham Pty Ltd with a $1 million check along with the business he owned. Brigham Ltd. intended to purchase a shared portfolio with the use of this cash. As Telstra's director, this transfer of money allowed Vizard access to private information, which made him think that similar transactions could be useful in the future [1].

Next, Telstra maintained a strategic holding of around 10% in Sausage Software Limited and Solution 6 Holdings Limited. On the subject of a potential alliance combining Solution 6 and Sausage Software and Telstra's purchase of a significant stake in the combined company, the three parties engaged in a private discussion (Solution 6 transaction). Following this conversation, BOD and Mr. Vizard communicated via messages regarding the potential Solution 6 sale. Once the merger was made public, it was assured that the stock price of the named company would increase. Steve Vizard delegated the purchase of the Sausage Software Ltd. shares to Mr. Lay. The stock price of Sausage Software rose sharply, and CTI realised a big gain of about $140,000, which was an unrealized gain. Following Mr. Steve Vizard's advice, Mr. Lay traded a small number of the shares after just 7 days of the information's release for a sizable profit. ? Following that, CIT suffered a loss, which caused Sausage Software LTD's stock value to decline significantly. As a result of trading Sausage software with a potential software business, CTI lost $150,720. [1] After that, CTI bought Computer Share Ltd.'s stock, giving them a 15% stake in the business. Justice Finkelstein acknowledged that Telstra's CEO had informed the board of directors that they would be financing the acquisition of Solution 6 by selling Telstra's interest in Computer Share at auction. Lays encouraged Stephen Vizard to sell the shares from which CTI could profit because Mr. Vizard believed that a decline in the stock's value would naturally result from the sale of Computer Shares stocks. Telstra made a public disclosure on July 13, 2000, announcing that they were prepared to sell their stocks. When Telstra finally announced that it was withdrawing its stock from Computer Share, the market value of those stocks fell, but Telstra was still able to keep the same amount.

The next step saw Telstra acquire Keycorp Limited, a problematic company. Justice Finklestein added that Telstra's CEO had asked the board to purchase a specific percentage of Keycorp shares, which would raise their price, and that Stephen Vizard had given Mr. Lay instructions to buy a specific quantity of Keycorp shares. They would succeed in their strategy to eventually sell Mr. Lay's shares and turn a profit because this raised the price. The total profit that CTI kept for itself was $38,364. They would still possess 15,937 KC stocks, each of which is only worth $1.68 [3].

Lawful Issues

After the incident, it was noticed that the director would divulge critical material to seize any chances. Vizard was the owner of Telstra's management and used his position to make illegal gains. He provided inaccurate news, influenced others to buy and sell shares, and made predictions based on the information. Through the corporation, CTI gained an advantage thanks to this false usage data. The court also found, in the ASIC v. Vizard case, that basic behaviour modification must be considered when setting punishment guidelines. Another problem is that the decline in stock market valuation is what caused the loss of profitability. A "reduction" in fines would be allowed if there was genuine confirmation of fraud or collaboration with the supervisor. ASIC suggested that a $130,000 fine would be appropriate for each offence. The court ordered Mr. Stephen Vizard to pay a fine of $390,000, but it also came to the conclusion that even the higher number would not significantly alter his situation. For the current harsh sentence sum of $200,000 for each conviction, Judge Finkelstein's competency is very well proven and has been in existence for more than 13 years; nonetheless, he may still need to be charged by Parliament. Violations of section 183(1) are subject to administrative suspension orders and statutory fines of up to $200,000 for each offence. The ASIC asserted that provisions should be made for any harm that was caused and that criminal responsibility would apply if there was any fraud or accusations of 1317E violations [3].

ASIC v. Vizard: Court's Decision On July 28, Justice Finklestein submitted his decision about the penalties to be imposed on Mr. Stephen Vizard. According to Section 183(1) of the Act, anyone who gets information because they are a director or associate of a corporation is prohibited from using it for any of the following purposes:

• Have a company weakness

It specifies that anyone who obtains information due to holding one of the firm's senior positions is forbidden from using it to harm others or the company. The information cannot ultimately be made public. As in this specific instance, Mr. Vizard was Telstra's manager when he received sensitive material. In essence, it might be said that Stephen Vizard had access to private information by virtue of his position as a director of Telstra, which he then used to buy shares in three distinct IT companies in which Telstra had also expressed interest. In the end, Steve Vizard entered a guilty plea for every charge of his violation. A statutory fine of $3,90,000 was imposed, with $130,000 being assessed for each infraction. Any behaviour that is neither demanding nor harsh is barred by Sections 283 and 183. He was then prohibited from holding any directorships in any companies for the following ten years. Additionally, damages would have been covered by compensation. If there had been any misrepresentation, there might also be a criminal case. However, the judge found that if an accused person cooperates and admits any misconduct, the severity of the punishment will be reduced. The judge thoroughly examined the procedures in ACIS v. Vizard and was very critical of Vizard's actions. Both Vizard and ASIC appeared to be cunning, and there had been a major violation of trust. Vizard also felt what he was doing was wrong since he understood what he was doing. We come to the conclusion that Vizard was not accused of a felony crime. In conclusion, we can all agree that Vizard used secret information he obtained from his position as Telstra's director to buy stock in three IT companies that Telstra was also interested in. The maximum penalty for every breach of the three contracts might have been $600,000, or $20,000 per offence. While reviewing the ASIC proposal, Justice Finklestein also arbitrarily decided to double the ASIC's suggested punishment for a 5-year ban order and substitute a 10-year prohibition order in its place. [4]


Finally, we observe that given the vast diversity and criticism of their policies, ASIC's reputation has demonstrated harm in the case of ASIC v. Vizard. More lessons about ASIC need to be learned than what we can infer from the Vizard situation. In their news release, which was released on July 4, 2005, there were two errors. There is little information available regarding the hidden facts. The critical role of the DPP was also not addressed. The DPP expressed the opinion that there had been a dearth of evidence to demonstrate illegal actions and activity carried out by an insider throughout transactions and provided an effective assessment of the findings of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's investigation into Stephen William Vizard's holdings of transactions. The press had not received this information. Additionally, press organisations were denied access to any information regarding the legal options provided to ASIC and the DPP for initiating action against Vizard. On July 28, the public and media exerted significant pressure on the DPP and the ASIC to focus and emphasise their decision-making on the Vizard issue. A media statement was made by the DPP. ASIC's opinions were largely derided and misrepresented in the news because to the abundance of false material that was printed. The ASIC v. Vizard case was commonly believed to include the trade of insider information, and Vizard was subject to punishment; nevertheless, the press reported to the contrary. Finally, it can be said that if accurate information had been made public from the beginning of ASIC, it might have been possible to avert criticism. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission's investigation into Stephen Vizard's share of the transactions was amplified, and the DPP successfully dispelled the notion that there wasn't enough evidence to pursue an unlawful insider trading lawsuit. In doing so, Justice Finklestein revealed the clemency sought by ASIC in the case and increased the restriction to double the prior number wanted by ASIC. After considering the available information, the court determined that Mr. Stephen Vizard's actions were "dishonest." However, the facts that were employed would reveal whether it is a matter for criminal or civil actions. The DPP stated that Vizard's case was not one of litigation because it was subject to statutory reorganisation. It was an instance of inside information being leaked that may have been avoided with more investigation. The court went on to say that perhaps the punishment imposed is invalid and inadequate for the seriousness of the offences, and that Parliament should also have full ability to increase this. Justice Finklestein was confident that the government might come to the same conclusion. The Asic V. Vizard case, which was given to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for review, must not be submitted to any courts for consideration because the court and the community have made some significant arguments [5].

[1] J. Mayanja, "Enhancing private enforcement of Australia's corporate continuous disclosure regime: why unshackling litigation funders makes eminent sense," Australian Journal of Corporate Law, vol. (1), no. 25, pp. 48-69, 2010.

[2] L. teacher, "Director Duties," 2005. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 27 November 2016].

[3] ASIC v Vizard (2005)145 FCR 57, 2005.

[4] H. Smith, " Australia's Company Law Watchdog," ASIC and Corporate Regulation, 2015.

[5] ASIC v Stephen William Vizard [2005] FCA 1037, 2005.

[6] I. Ramsay, "Melbourne Law Masters," 2000. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 27 November 2016].

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