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SEC recommends denial of Rio Tinto motion to dismiss Mozambique fraud charges

The SEC said the District Court in Manhattan should deny a motion by Rio Tinto and two of its former executives to dismiss fraud charges filed against them in relation to coal assets in Mozambique, Reuters reported March 20.

According to the SEC, the defendants "violated multiple provisions of the federal securities laws by engaging in a prolonged fraudulent course of conduct."

Rio Tinto former CEO Tom Albanese and former CFO Guy Elliott, who filed a consolidation motion earlier in March to have the charges dismissed, must respond by March 26.

In October 2017, the regulator accused the parties of violating the reporting, books and records, and internal controls provisions of federal securities laws related to an acquisition of coal assets in Mozambique, which were later consolidated under Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission also recently started legal proceedings against the miner and its two former executives over the same case.