23 August 2023

FMA acknowledges guilty verdict in Pushpay insider trading case

Media Release  
MR No. 2023 – 36

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) – Te Mana Tātai Hokohoko –acknowledges today’s guilty verdict in the criminal trial of an individual accused of insider conduct in relation to the sale of shares in Pushpay Holdings Limited (NZX:PPH). 

The individual, who has name suppression, was found guilty by a jury following a four-week trial at the High Court in Auckland. 

A second, civil, proceeding involving the guilty individual and another person has been filed in the Auckland High Court.   

Both proceedings centre around the resignation and sell-down of shares of former Pushpay co-founder and Director Eliot Crowther in June 2018. The FMA considered Mr Crowther’s intention in this regard to be material information, which, if generally available, would be likely to have a material effect on the price of Pushpay’s shares at the time. The FMA alleged that the individual knew of, and used, that information to advise or encourage others to trade in the lead up to Mr Crowther’s announcement. Mr Crowther’s trading was legitimate, and he was not party to the proceedings. 

Pushpay was not party to any FMA proceeding. Pushpay cooperated with the FMA during its inquiries. 

FMA Head of Enforcement Margot Gatland said: “The guilty verdict demonstrates the serious consequences for advising or encouraging others to trade when in possession of material information, not generally available to the market. The Individual took advantage of knowledge they gained as a member of Pushpay’s senior leadership team to assist those who they advised or encouraged to avoid potential losses.  

“Insider conduct is a serious offence that undermines investor confidence in the New Zealand markets and gives individuals an unfair advantage. The FMA takes all insider conduct cases seriously and will take enforcement action where it considers misconduct has occurred. Taking such cases assists in the promotion of confident and informed participation of the financial markets and promotes fairness, efficiency, and transparency in those markets.” 

The FMA cannot comment further as the matter remains before the Court.  

The maximum penalty for a person found guilty of insider conduct is an imprisonment term not exceeding five years, a fine not exceeding $500,000, or both. 


Media contacts:  

Andrew Park  
FMA Media Relations Manager  
[email protected]
021 220 6770  

Matt Chatterton  
FMA Senior Adviser, Media Relations  
[email protected]
021 241 7868