Johnson Pty Ltd is a specialist computer security firm based in Australia. In 2019 Matthey, a disgruntled employee of Johnson Pty Ltd, launched a targeted cyberattack on Fonzo Investment Bank Inc, a Delaware (US) company, to acquire information on merger and acquisition (M&A) deals involving several Australian registered companies, including Redscope Ltd and Gyropose Ltd that are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and Pharmon Ltd that is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Matthey sells the confidential information about the proposed M&A deals to Sophia, who is head of proprietary trading at Lockquarrie Investment Bank Ltd (Lockquarrie) in Australia. On behalf of Lockquarrie, Sophia uses the information to buy shares in Pharmon Ltd on the ASX. Sophia also buys shares in Redscope Ltd and Gyropose Ltd on the NYSE. Sophia makes US$5 million in personal profits from her US trades in Redscope Ltd and Gyropose Ltd, while Lockquarrie makes AU$50 million as a result of Sophia’s trading activities in Pharmon Ltd.
SPECIFIC QUESTION Advise the Australian Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution whether Matthey, Sophia and/or Lockquarrie have committed the criminal offence of insider trading in Australia, and whether the ‘information barrier’ defence/exception is available to Lockquarrie.