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First criminal cartel cases against Australian defendants

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The Country Care Group

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.

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)

Alleged banking cartel

The second suite of criminal cartel prosecutions involving Australian defendants were laid by the CDPP in June 2018. The ACCC's press release states:

Citigroup Global Markets Australia Pty Limited (Citigroup), Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft (Deutsche Bank) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) have been charged with criminal cartel offences following an investigation by the ACCC.

Criminal charges have also been laid against several senior executives: John McLean, Itay Tuchman and Stephen Roberts of Citigroup; Michael Ormaechea and Michael Richardson formerly of Deutsche Bank; and Rick Moscati of ANZ.

The charges involve alleged cartel arrangements relating to trading in ANZ shares held by Deutsche Bank and Citigroup. ANZ and each of the individuals are alleged to have been knowingly concerned in some or all of the alleged conduct. The cartel conduct is alleged to have taken place following an ANZ institutional share placement in August 2015.


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)