ANZ hoaxer facing jail despite no profit motive

THE activist who caused a $314 million temporary plunge in Whitehaven Coal's share price could face 10 years in jail, despite having no intention of personally profiting from his fake press release.

Jonathan Moylan sparked a 9 per cent fall in Whitehaven's share price by issuing a fake press release purporting to be from ANZ and claiming the bank had pulled a $1.2 billion loan from the company because of environmental concerns over its Maules Creek development.

The losses were quickly reversed later that day when ANZ and Whitehaven issued statements saying the release was a hoax.

Whitehaven Coal's chairman, former deputy prime minister Mark Vaile, says the company has been contacted by many concerned shareholders who lost money by selling shares based on the fake release.

"We see it as our responsibility on behalf of our shareholders, many of whom may have suffered some material loss because of this exercise on Monday, to pursue a number of different avenues and of course the primary focus should be the regulator, that is ASIC, in looking at what they can do as far as the corporations law is concerned," he told the ABC's 7.30 program.

Read more at ABC news online.

Topics:  anz hoax

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