BUSINESS

Australian bourse chief Elmer Funke Kupper quits amid Tabcorp bribery probe

TAGs: ASX, Elmer Funke Kupper, Jasmine Solana, Rick Holliady-Smith, Tabcorp

Elmer Funke Kupper has left his post at the Australian Securities Exchange amid a police inquiry into bribery allegations at a gambling company he previously headed.

Australian bourse chief Elmer Funke Kupper quits amid Tabcorp bribery probeFunke Kupper was the CEO of Tabcorp before he left the Australian wagering operator and took up the reigns as managing director and chief executive of Australia’s stock market in October 2011.

Tabcorp is currently embroiled in an ongoing investigation regarding a $200,000 payment that it reportedly made to the family of Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen.

According to local media outlets, Tabcorp deposited the money into a U.S. bank account by a consulting company linked to Hun Sen’s sister in 2010, which, incidentally, was also around the same time the wagering operator was pursuing an online sports betting license in Cambodia to boost the international profile of its then-new Luxbet online betting brand.

The transaction was completed even though a Tabcorp memo had already advised that the payment could contravene corruption rules, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. When asked for comment, Funke Kupper told Fairfax Media that he couldn’t “recall anything like” the $200,000 payment.

Several days later, Funke Kupper stepped down from his position at ASX, telling the Australian Financial Review that the move was done “in the interests of good governance and the interests of strict process.”

ASX chairman Rick Holliady-Smith, who made the announcement, was quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald saying that the board had “accepted that Elmer wanted to direct his full focus to the investigations which may be made into the Tabcorp matter.”

Fairfax Media revealed that Funke Kupper was the subject of the criminal investigation headed by joint Australian and United States federal authorities. According to the report, the former Tabcorp executive was among the “small executive management team which was warned explicitly and directly by fellow senior Tabcorp staff about the legal and integrity risks relating to the payment.”

U.S. federal authorities reportedly flagged the $200,000 payment for investigation a year ago.

Tabcorp is currently mired in legal proceedings regarding alleged anti-money laundering shortcomings at its domestic wagering operations, including allowing punters to illegally wager on credit and failing to report suspicious wagering transactions.

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