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Former Waratah Resources chairman convicted of misleading market

The former executive chairman of Waratah Resources Ltd. was convicted of misleading the market and causing the Australian iron ore and coal miner to breach its continuous disclosure obligations.

Benjamin Kirkpatrick was convicted in the Sydney District Court in Australia on Jan. 30 after pleading guilty to charges brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, or ASIC.

ASIC claimed that Waratah Resources announced Oct. 14, 2013, that it had established a A$100 million trade finance facility with the Bank of China when no such facility had been established or agreed upon.

Between Oct. 14, 2013 and Oct. 25, 2013, Kirkpatrick failed to correct the announcement, thereby causing Waratah to breach its continuous disclosure obligations.

In pleading guilty, Kirkpatrick also admitted to an offense of having authorized false information to the market, which the court took into account in sentencing.

Kirkpatrick has been banned under the Corporations Act from managing a corporation for five years and was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment to be served as intensive correction in the community.