Professional Misconduct

John Eugene Gay

Address: Tas, Australia
Sex: Male
Occupation: Company Director/Executive
Date: 23 August 2013


ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour said the conviction of former Gunns chairman John Eugene Gay for insider trading was a reminder the regulator was committed to combating this serious criminal offence.

Mr Gay was the most senior executive to be convicted of insider trading in Australia.

Ms Armour said maintaining confidence in the integrity of the market was ASIC’s priority.

Mr Gay was convicted on the basis that he ought to have known the information was inside information, not that he knew.

Mr Gay, who was chairman of Gunns from 2002 to 2010, pleaded guilty on August 2013. 

On 2 and 4 December 2009, while in possession of inside information relating to the financial performance of Gunns, Mr Gay placed orders to sell more than 3.4 million Gunns shares. This trading was prior to the release of Gunns’ half year results on 22 February 2010. Following this release, the Gunns share price fell substantially.

Appearing via video link at the Supreme Court of Tasmania in Launceston, Mr Gay was convicted and fined $50,000. As a result of his conviction, Mr Gay will be automatically disqualified from managing corporations for five years.