Mr John Patrick Neville yesterday pleaded guilty in the Federal Court to two charges of giving evidence that was false or misleading in the course of an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigation.
The ACCC was investigating allegations that a number of real estate agents had entered into an arrangement or understanding to put pressure, through a variety of means, on local publishers of real estate advertisements not to publish the advertisements from two other real estate agents who were seeking to advertise commission rates and a flat fee commission.
In the course of this investigation the ACCC examined Mr Neville under oath, pursuant to section 155 of the Trade Practices Act 1974, about his role in the alleged conduct.
The ACCC began criminal proceedings against Mr Neville in April 2007 in the Federal Court after the ACCC formed the view that he had provided false or misleading responses to the ACCC during two separate section 155 examinations.*
Mr Neville has now pleaded guilty to providing false and misleading evidence in contravention of section 155(5)** at each of the two examinations which he attended.
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for 25 September 2007 before Justice Lindgren.
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