The Australian Securities and Investments Commission as it is relevant to the criminal law, is the agency responsible for investigating and prosecuting contraventions of the Commonwealth Corporations Act 2001.
In conducting its investigations, ASIC has wide powers very similar to the Police which extend to the ability to conduct compelled (compulsory) hearings where those being questioned cannot legally refuse to answer - see section 19 of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001.
Common types of offending behaviour ASIC will investigate and prosecute include:
- Company Directors committing a fraud upon the company;
- Carrying on Financial Services Without a Licence;
- Falsification of Company records;
- Offences against the stock market such as insider trading and market manipulation.