Thursday, August 12, 2004

James Hardie boss could face fraud charges

The counsel assisting the inquiry into James Hardie asbestos compensation claims has recommended the company's chief executive officer, Peter Macdonald, be charged with fraud.

John Sheehan SC has recommended Mr Macdonald face fraud charges.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of eight years in prison and $350,000 in fines.

The company could also face fines of $1.75 million.

The charges would be based on a February 2001 press release in which the company claimed the adequacy of its compensation fund was based on expert advice from accountancy firms.

The documents say that advice did not relate to the adequacy of the funds and therefore the press release misled the public and the stock exchange.

By In Solidarity 12 August 04


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James Hardie inquiry told law reforms needed
A massive shortfall in funds to compensate asbestos victims has led to a call for retrospective law? reform to stop parent companies avoiding their liabilities.