Clive Palmer in the spotlight.
Clive Palmer in the spotlight.

Clive Palmer could face criminal case over aliases

SUNSHINE Coast MP Clive Palmer could face criminal charges over the collapse of Queensland Nickel for the alleged use of aliases.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission confirmed it was investigating the parliamentarian at a Senate hearing.

ASIC commissioner John Price told the Senate Economics Legislative Committee that the regulator had "a number of current inquiries around a range of issues with Queensland Nickel", Fairfax reported.

Queensland Nickel owes hundreds of staff and creditors about $100 million after it went into voluntary administration.

It laid off 237 workers and Mr Palmer, once described as a billionaire,  has roundly criticised from the Prime Minister down for failing to pay out redundancies.

Mr Palmer has maintained it is not his personal responsibility to do so.

The MP has been accused of being shadow of director of Queensland Nickel and using the alias Terry Smith in his dealings with the company.

"We're looking at issues around corporate donations. We're looking at allegations around shadow directorships. We're also looking at various issues around statutory reporting requirements. We are making independent inquiries to various matters," Mr Price told the Senate.

"It's far too early to come to a concluded view."

While using an alias in Australian is not an offence there were "some exceptions" that could give rise to criminal charges including regarding information provided to ASIC about a company.

"Has there been a false statement that's been lodged with us where an alias has been used? There have been some indications that there have been aliases but we're still in the early stage of our inquiry," Mr Price said.