Rivkin to stand trial on insider trading

Stockbroker Rene Rivkin is to stand trial on insider trading charges after an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, code-named Icarus.

ASIC alleges that Mr Rivkin bought 50,000 shares in Qantas using information gained after a conversation last year with former Impulse chairman Gerry McGowan about buying a house, just before the Qantas-Impulse merger. The shares were bought for $139,000, then sold on May 1st, the day the Impulse sale to Qantas was announced, when the Qantas share price jumped 26 per cent.

Counsel for Mr Rivkin argued that the section of the corporation law being used against Mr Rivkin could not sustain the prosecution and claimed the charge could not succeed. Mr Rivkin was remanded on bail for trial in the Supreme Court.
There has not been a conviction since 1997 relating to insider trading laws. Maximum penalties are five years' jail or a $200,000 fine.