Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer charged over alleged fraud

Former lawmaker allegedly used his position as a director of his mining company, Mineralogy, to gain benefits for two companies.
Image: Australian billionaire Clive Palmer speaks during a news conference in New York, about his intention to build the Titanic II
Australian billionaire Clive Palmer, pictured here in 2013, was charged with breach of directors' duties and fraud for conduct. Seth Wenig / AP file

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/ Source: Reuters
By Reuters

Australian mining magnate and former politician Clive Palmer was charged with breach of directors' duties and fraud for conduct dating back to 2013, the country's corporate regulator said on Friday.

Palmer, a former member of Australia's parliament who ran for re-election unsuccessfully in 2019, allegedly used his position as a director of his mining company, Mineralogy, to gain benefits for two companies, according to the statement by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Palmer could not be reached by phone, and his United Australia Party, formerly known as the United Palmer Party, did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

The ASIC alleged that in August and September 2013, Palmer secured benefit for his party and others by authorizing money transfers totalling A$12.2 million ($8.52 million) "contrary to the purpose for which the funds were being held."

Palmer faces a potential fine of A$340,000 ($237,000) or a five to 12-year prison term, or both, the regulator said.

In February, the ASIC laid out four charges against the Queensland businessman and launched a probe into Mineralogy, according to media reports.