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First criminal cartel case against Australian defendants

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Criminal cartel charges have been laid against The County Care Group Pty Ltd, its Managing Director and a former employee.

The charges against County Care Group represent the first criminal prosecution of an Australian corporation and the second criminal prosecution of a cartel (the first being NYK) under the criminal cartel provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act.

The charges against County Care Group's Managing Director and a former employee represent the first time individuals have been prosecuted under thse provisions.

The charges are listed for mention in the Victorian Magistrates' Court in Mildura on 14 March 2018.

See ACCC, 'Criminal cartel proceedings commenced against Country Care and its managers' (Media Release, 15 February 2018)

See also Ayman Guirguis, Jessica Mandla, 'Australian First: Criminal Charges Laid Against Individuals for Alleged Cartel Conduct' (K&L Gates, 21 February 2018)



Australia introduced criminal penalties for cartel conduct on 24 July 2009. The first action brought by the Director of Public Prosecutions pursuant to the criminal cartel laws involved Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha pleaded guilty before Justice Wigney on 18 July 2016. See case page for details: CDPP v Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha

Further reading

See Cartel page.

View MOU between the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Regarding Serious Cartel Conduct

View Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth


Images copyright: Image from Pixabay (CC0 public Domain licence)