The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has obtained a court order to shut down a firm that it claims has cheated investors out of over $19 million. The founders took the money from the investors and spent it on digital currencies, real estate, and luxury automobiles.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has secured an injunction against A One Multi Services Pty Ltd for engaging in illegal activities.
Aryn Hala and Heidi Walters, the owners of A-One Multi, are accused of promising investors that they would deposit their superannuation in a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) and then lend the money to the firm. According to investigators, the two promised investors yearly investment returns of 20%.
A-One Multi received AUD25 million (US$18.6 million) from more than 60 investors. However, rather than investing the monies, the two founders used it for personal purposes. They allegedly cashed out US$4.3 million and used it to buy fancy cars and real estate, according to ASIC. They also spent $1.8 million on digital currency purchases.
According to the court ruling, the two must transfer the digital assets in their names to court-appointed receivers. They are also prohibited from traveling and must place their firm into receivership.
A portion of the digital currency has already been delivered to the recipients by Hala. However, further orders have been issued by the Federal Court in Queensland, compelling Hala to relinquish the remaining digital assets. “Given the ease with which crypto-assets may be transferred or exchanged,” the ASIC moved rapidly to get the orders.
Scammers like A One Multi are being pushed out of Australia’s digital currency market as it matures. A Brisbane legal firm recently said that it was preparing to file a $100 million class-action lawsuit against Qoin, a token project that conspired to prevent investors from cashing out. Qoin was also misled about the token’s usefulness.