The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) alleges that in 2000, the then-director of Telstra breached his duties by improperly using for advantage information given to him in that role. The allegations relate to the trading of shares in listed companies Sausage Software, Computershare and Keycorp.
The civil penalty proceedings are expected to be heard in the Federal Court on July 21, with a trial expected later this year.
ASIC said in a statement it was seeking; declarations that Vizard contravened the Corporations Law three times; pecuniary penalties for each contravention and Vizard's disqualification from involvement in the management of companies for a period determined by the court.
"Mr Vizard has agreed with ASIC that it is appropriate for the Federal Court to declare that he contravened his duty to Telstra in using the Telstra information, and to make orders imposing pecuniary penalties and a disqualification order," ASIC said.
The court proceedings follow ASIC's initial investigation into Vizard's trading in July 2003.
In the first alleged incident, ASIC claims Vizard learned of a possible merger between Sausage Software and Solution 6. At the time, Telstra held minority interests in both companies. ASIC alleges Vizard used the confidential information to instruct Creative Technology Investments (CTI) to buy AU$500,000 in shares in Sausage Software, three days before the merger.
In the case of Computershare, ASIC alleges Vizard, again through his position as Telstra director, learned of the telco's decision to divest its 15 percent stake in the company. Vizard then instructed CTI to dispose of about AU$100,000 worth of shares, four months before Telstra's official announcement, ASIC claims.
ASIC also alleges that in July 2000, Vizard instructed CTI to buy about AU$250,000 in shares in Keycorp. This was after he learned of Telstra's decision to acquire a 51 percent stake in the electronic payments vendor, according to ASIC.
Recently chairman of Victorian Major Events, Vizard resigned from the position after ASIC's investigation was publicised.