COUNTRY CARE GROUP and founder Rob Hogan today prevailed in the landmark Federal Court action instigated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and brought by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).
The jury unanimously dismissed all charges against the regional business.
Country Care Group founder, Rob Hogan, said, "“This is a resounding victory for Country Care Group and myself with a full dismissal of all charges brought against us. Throughout the long process of defending these charges, dating back more than five years, I have consistently maintained my innocence.
"Today that innocence has been clearly confirmed by the jury with the ACCC and the CDPP unable to persuade a single juror of their case.
“While I am naturally pleased with today’s outcome, it should never have come to this point," Mr Hogan said. "This trial exposed the ACCC’s deeply flawed processes in investigating cartel allegations, particularly with respect to the ACCC’s approach to immunity witnesses.
"During the trial the ACCC and CDPP’s key immunity witness was exposed as a disgruntled individual who held a grudge against me and Country Care Group. He admitted under cross examination that he had misled and withheld important information from the ACCC and lied to the jury.
“Questions should be asked as to how it can be that the ACCC did not identify the obvious issues with this witness, particularly given the defence was able to uncover significant untruths in this witnesses statement from documents which had been in the ACCC’s possession for years.
“This is more than just a win for Country Care Group and me, it’s a win for all Mum and Dad style businesses around Australia, who are the lifeblood of this country. The ACCC and the CDPP need to be held to account for the significant failures in their investigation and approach to these criminal proceedings.
“It is a disgrace, but for us it’s finally time to move on,” he said.