Palmer slams ‘embarrassing’ new fraud charges

CLIVE Palmer has revealed the fraud charges against him relate to payments made by his company Mineralogy and linked it to his dispute with his estranged Chinese business partners Citic.

The alleged offences, revealed on Friday at parliamentary hearing, date back to 2013, the same year the billionaire was successfully elected to parliament.

Four charges have been laid against the billionaire by corporate watchdog the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, including dishonestly gaining an advantage and misusing his position as a company director.

In a statement released this morning, Mr Palmer said ASIC was targeting him because of his high profile.

"There was no merit in the ASIC summons and it would be shown to be yet another ASIC embarrassment," Mr Palmer said.

"It is of no concern to me, no concern at all because the matters set out are not true. There is no allegation that I received any payment or benefit and they have not mentioned any company because they are embarrassed to do so."

He said the charges related to two payments made by his company Mineralogy from "its own account with its own money".

"There is no claim in the ASIC summons that anyone was deprived of any money and there is no alleged victim. The only victim is the truth," Mr Palmer said.

He said it stemmed from matters in 2013, and the time he was involved in a high-profile legal stoush with Citic Pacific over mining royalties.

"The events stem from matters in 2013 when Mineralogy was dealing with its own money, no-one else's," the businessman said.

"Now six years after those announcements when no charges have been brought by either police force against anyone, ASIC, after meeting with Chinese representatives, issues a summons against me."

In 2013 Mr Palmer ran a high-profile election campaign under the Palmer United Party, which saw him elected to the seat of Fairfax.

He faced a high-profile court battle in the ensuing years from former business partner Citic Pacific, who claimed he wrongly siphoned $12 million from a joint bank account to fund his election campaign.

But a judge ruled he had no case to answer and that the money was not part of a trust. The $12 million was paid back shortly prior to the court case starting.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission commissioner John Price revealed on Friday ASIC had issue four criminal charges against Clive Palmer. Picture: Kym Smith
Australian Securities and Investments Commission commissioner John Price revealed on Friday ASIC had issue four criminal charges against Clive Palmer. Picture: Kym Smith

ASIC commissioner John Price told the parliamentary hearing Mr Palmer was charged with two counts of contravening section 408C subsection 1D of the Criminal Code of Queensland by dishonestly gaining a benefit or advantage, pecuniary or otherwise for another person.

Section 408C of Queensland's Criminal Code relates to fraud and carries a maximum penalty of five years jail.

Mr Price said he had also been charged with two counts of contravening section 184 subsection 2 of the Corporations Act by dishonestly using his position as a director of a corporation with the intention of directly or indirectly gaining an advantage for someone else.

Mr Palmer was charged three weeks ago and is due to appear before court in Brisbane on March 20. Mr Price said it related to conduct alleged to have taken place in 2013, but that he was unable to provide further detail.