ASIC looks to recoup investigation costs

Wrongdoers successfully prosecuted by ASIC are more likely to have to cover any costs the corporate regulator outlays on investigations.

As detailed in an information sheet released yesterday, ASIC will "more frequently" recover the expenses of an investigation from the person who caused the expenses to be incurred.

"ASIC may make an order to recover investigation expenses and costs where that investigation has led to a successful prosecution or civil proceeding against a person," a statement issued by ASIC said.

"Accordingly, ASIC will consider making an order for the recovery of its investigation expenses and costs in each case where the legislative requirements are met," the statement said.

In 2014 ASIC was hit with a $120 million cut to its federal funding, currently being rolled out over a five-year period.

ASIC stated that to date, it has rarely claimed the costs related to its investigations.

The regulator is entitled – under section 91 of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 – to be fully or partially reimbursed for the expenses related to the investigation and the remuneration of staff involved.

The new approach will apply to investigations from 29 July 2015, as well as some investigations begun before then.

If an order is not complied with, a penalty of $8,500 or a jail term of one year may apply.

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