ASIC closes unlicensed financial services company

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has obtained interim orders and injunctions from the Queensland Federal Court against directors of unlicensed financial services firms, A One Multi Services Pty Ltd, Aryn Hala and Heidi Walters.

According to the companies regulator, the company was suspected of engaging in illegal activities and alleged that Hala had assured investors that he could help them invest their retirement pensions in a self-administered pension fund (SMSF) , then to lend the money from their SMSF to A. Un Multi.

According to ASIC, Hala had told investors that they would receive annual returns on investment of more than 20%.

As a result, Hala used over $ 5.7 million of A One Multi’s money for her personal benefit and that of Walters, including acquiring real estate and luxury vehicles in their name, out of around 25 million dollars deposited by more than 60 consumers into A One Multi accounts between January 2019 and June 2021.

In addition, over $ 2.4 million had been transferred from A One Multi to buy cryptoassets.

In October, the court found it necessary to protect investors, and potentially others, and issued the following orders:

  • An order placing A One Multi in receivership of John Ross Lindholm and Timothy James Michael (the receivers);
  • Preservation of Assets Orders Against Hala, Walters and A One Multi;
  • An order requiring Hala to transfer cryptoassets on her behalf to receivers;
  • Orders requiring the disclosure of information to ASIC against Hala, Walters and A One Multi, including with respect to the holding of crypto assets; and
  • Travel restriction orders for Hala and Walters.

On November 1, 2021, the court issued further orders requiring defendants to attend an ASIC office to facilitate the transfer of remaining crypto assets owned or controlled by defendants to receivers.

The regulator moved quickly to get the orders given the ease with which cryptoassets could be transferred or traded.

ASIC’s investigation of Hala, Walters and A One Multi is still ongoing.

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