Margot McKay

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Margot McKay founded the Sydney-based PR firm, Margot McKay and Associates. In March 2007 she was sentenced to sentenced to 15 months periodic detention for insider trading in shares of a client company.

Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, Kate McClymont, reported that "McKay's previous roles have included head of corporate affairs at the State Bank and chief adviser to the Bulldogs rugby league club in the wake of the salary cap scandal. She also worked at George Weston Foods during the scare over cyanide in pies in the early 1990s." [1]

Insider Trading

Between July 2003 and December 2004 McKay's company provided PR consultancy advice to Aristocrat Leisure. After proof reading the company's annual report McKay urged her son and mother to buy $A148,000 in Aristocrat shares in August and October 2004. The shares were later sold for a profit of approximately $A70,000. The insider trading was reported to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission by Aristocrat Leisure Limited following an internal audit of trading. In November 2006 McKay pleaded guilty to charges of insider trading after the company investigated the trades.

In a sentencing hearing in March 2007, McKay's lawyer told the court that she had been partly motivated by her son's gambling loss of more than his $150,000 inheritance and urged the judge to sentence her to community service rather than a prison term. Her lawyer argued that she had lost her "$350,000 annual income, her house, and that her health had deteriorated." [2]

At the end of March 2007 NSW Supreme Court Justice Anthony Whealy sentenced McKay to 15 months periodic detention, beginning April 13 and finishing in July 2008. He described McKay as "a true insider". [3]

"The offences were committed deliberately and in circumstances where the offender must have known that she was acting contrary to the law," he said. Justice Whealy accepted McKay's lawyers submission that she was unlikely to reoffend but determined that her sentence "should send a clear message to those in the business and share trade community that the court simply will not tolerate offences of this kind". [4]

Whealy also made an order under the Proceeds of Crime Act of 2002 against McKay for the amount of $77,428.37. [5]

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