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AWB class action?

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  • AWB class action?

    Does anybody have any further information on this potential class action???

    [[AWB also is facing a class action in the United States, with growers seeking up to $US1 billion ($1.29 billion) in damages.

    The claim has been temporarily withdrawn from the US District Court but is expected to be refiled within a month.]]


    LAWYERS planning a $60 million shareholder class action against AWB say the Cole report has strengthened their case.

    Law firm Maurice Blackburn Cashman is drafting a claim that is expected to be filed in the NSW Supreme Court before the end of this year.

    It will claim AWB's payment of $290 million in kickbacks to Iraq led to shareholders losing more than half the value of their stock, with the company's share price plummeting since the Cole inquiry began in mid-January.

    About $1.3 billion has been wiped off AWB's market value this year. Lawyer Ben Slade said the Cole report added weight to the class action.

    "It's very clear in its condemnation of conduct of the senior management of AWB," he said.

    "As far as the shareholder claim is concerned, it's exactly what we needed.

    "The process we've been going through is getting instructions and obtaining some details from the victims of this scam, the shareholders, and we're now going through the report with a view to settling the pleadings as soon as possible."

    Mr Slade said the report showed AWB continuously failed to inform the market of matters material to the value of its securities, allegedly breaching the company's obligations under the Corporations Act.

    AWB's public denials of knowledge of the kickbacks had misled shareholders, he said.

    The action would seek up to $60 million in damages, with "substantial interest" in the case from affected shareholders.

    Commissioner Terence Cole's 2,000-page report on the scandal, tabled in parliament yesterday, recommended 11 former AWB executives face further investigation for possible fraud-related criminal charges.

    He found AWB deceived the Australian government and the United Nations about its payments to the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein under the UN's corruption-ridden oil-for-food program.
    As well as possible criminal charges, Mr Cole also recommended the former AWB executives be investigated for possible breaches of corporations law.

    AWB also is facing a class action in the United States, with growers seeking up to $US1 billion ($1.29 billion) in damages.

    The US claim, led by six wheat growers mainly from Kansas, was filed in July, alleging AWB used bribes and other corrupt practices to lock them out of grain markets, including Iraq.

    The claim has been temporarily withdrawn from the US District Court but is expected to be refiled within a month.

  • #2
    Re: AWB class action?

    I heard there are also US firms involved and farmers and others can join. But I have not seen too much hard information thus far.


    • #3
      Re: AWB class action?

      Google search news reports and you will see many articles out of Australia especially.


      • #4
        Re: AWB class action?

        see below

        SYDNEY, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Australia's monopoly wheat exporter AWB Ltd. (AWB.AX: Quote, Profile, Research) could face legal action in the United States after an inquiry found that AWB had misled the United Nations over payments to secure wheat deals in Iraq, U.S. Wheat Associates said.

        The Australian government inquiry, published on Monday, found that AWB broke United Nations oil-for-food sanctions against Iraq with the payment of $222 million in kickbacks to the government of Saddam Hussein between 1999 and 2003.

        U.S. Wheat Associates, which represents United States wheat exporters who have long complained that AWB's monopoly inhibits competition, said on Tuesday that AWB's subsidiary in the United States could be liable under U.S. law.

        Legal action could be taken by the U.S. Congress, possibly the Department of Justice, or possibly the regulatory agency the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a U.S. Wheat Associates official said.


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