Former Continental Coal and Citation Resources director Peter Landau sentenced

On 8 December 2023, Peter Neil Landau, of Claremont, Western Australia, was sentenced before the Supreme Court of Western Australia to five years and two months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of three years and two months for five stealing offences and one offence of forging and uttering contrary to the Criminal Code (WA).

Additionally, Mr Landau was sentenced to a further 12 months’ imprisonment in relation to two Corporations Act offences which commences at the expiration of his non-parole period. Mr Landau must serve six months of this sentence prior to being released upon him entering into a recognisance in the sum of $1,000 to be of good behaviour for six months.

Overall, the total minimum time Mr Landau must serve is three years and eight months’ imprisonment.

Mr Landau was a director of former ASX-listed companies Citation Resources Limited (Citation) and Continental Coal Limited (Continental Coal).

On 17 August 2022, Mr Landau pleaded guilty to:

five counts of stealing a total of $2.2 million as a director of Citation, contrary to s 378(8) Criminal Code (WA);
one count of forging and uttering a Citation bank statement that falsely recorded the account balance as being $675,658, when the correct balance was $117.55, contrary to s 473 Criminal Code (WA);
one count of authorising the giving of false or misleading information to the ASX relating to the affairs of Continental Coal by failing to disclose that its only income-generating asset had gone into administration and by stating that shares had been issued and funds had been raised, when this had not occurred, contrary to sections 1309(1)(c) and 1311(1) Corporations Act; and,
one count of providing false information to ASIC, namely that Continental Coal had received $2.6 million from investors when they had only received approximately $57,238.30, contrary to sections 1308(2) and 1311(1) Corporations Act.
In sentencing, Justice McGrath remarked that Mr Landau’s conduct involved extended breaches of trust and went against the fundamental responsibilities of a company director.

Justice McGrath observed that the benefits of being in the corporate world were great but so too were the responsibilities and stated, ‘it is at the time of pressure arising from financial difficulties that a director must most diligently adhere to the proper performance of their duties.’

His Honour further remarked, in relation to the offences contrary to the Corporations Act, ‘the seriousness of this type of offending is the effect false and misleading information may have on the behaviour of respective investors and shareholders who erroneously believe they are making fully informed decisions.’

Mr Landau also pleaded guilty to one count of failing to hold applicant money on trust after he transferred $1,032,000 from a Continental Coal trust account into various bank accounts prior to securities being issued or the money being returned to the applicants. Mr Landau will be sentenced to this charge in the Perth Magistrates Court separately.

The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions after an investigation and referral by ASIC.

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