John Hartman has been employed as a researcher at Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest’s philanthropic foundation since earlier this year.
Hartman spent more than a year in jail after he was convicted of insider trading. He is now the star witness against his former best friend Oliver Curtis, who is accused of running the share trading account which was allegedly used.
A spokesperson sent us the following response, after the story was first reported by The Australian:
Mr Hartman is employed at Minderoo and is a valued member of the Minderoo family.
When he was 22 years old, Mr Hartman made a big error of judgment, which he owned up to and paid the penalty for.
Mr Hartman is rebuilding his life, with the support of all the Minderoo team. Like anyone, he deserves a second chance, and that is certainly a value we at Minderoo support.
Curtis was implicated by Hartman, who co-operated with the corporate regulator once his insider trading was discovered. ASIC alleges the pair made more than $1.4 million, using information Hartman learned in his role as an analyst for a boutique investment house.
Hartman is now working as a researcher for Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation in Perth. The organisation works to improve the lives of indigenous Australians.
A spokesperson declined to comment on whether Forrest was personally involved in the hire, though said “As that comment was a spokesperson comment on behalf of Mr Forrest you can be assured that Mr Forrest supported his recruitment.”
Curtis — who is married to reality television personality and PR executive Roxy Jacenko — has been committed to stand trial in the NSW Supreme Court. At a hearing his lawyers tried to discredit Hartman, producing emails which show he and his brother, a UBS banker, discussed rigging a horse race.
The pair, who became friends while attending school at Saint Ignatius’ College in Riverview, would make trades to fund specific purchases, such as new cars and a luxury rental apartment at Bondi, Hartman said in a hearing.
The two used a set of BlackBerry smartphones to communicate, which were purchased to keep the interactions secret, Hartman said in court.
Curtis is the son of prominent businessman Nick Curtis, the chairman of Lynas Corp. Hartman’s father is Keith Hartman, a well known obstetrician “to the stars” who has delivered the children of many well known Australians.
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