ASIC shuts down unlicensed financial services business

The corporate regulator has shut down A One Multi Services after allegedly helping investors to invest their superannuation in a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSFs) and then loaned the money in their SMSF to A One Multi.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced it obtained interim orders and injunctions from the Federal Court in Queensland against the firm and its Gold Coast-based directors, Aryn Hala and Heidi Walters, to protect investors.

ASIC said the firm was suspected to have engaged in unlawful activity and alleged that Hala had told investors they would receive annual investment returns of over 20%. 

Following this, Hala used more than $5.7 million of A One Multi’s money for his and Walters’ personal benefit. This included acquiring real property and luxury vehicles in their names, of approximately $25 million deposited by more than 60 consumers into A One Multi’s accounts between January 2019 and June 2021. 

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

In October, the court found there was a need to protect the investors, and potentially others, and made the following orders: 

  • An order putting A One Multi into the receivership of John Ross Lindholm and Timothy James Michael (the receivers); 
  • Asset preservation orders against Hala, Walters and A One Multi; 
  • An order requiring Hala to transfer crypto-assets in his name to the receivers; 
  • Orders that required the disclosure of information to ASIC against each of Hala, Walters and A One Multi, including in relation to the crypto-asset holding; and 
  • Travel restraint orders for Hala and Walters. 

On 1 November, 2021, the court made further orders that required the defendants to attend an ASIC office to facilitate the transfer of remaining crypto-assets held or controlled by the defendants to the receivers. 

The regulator moved swiftly to obtain the orders given ease with which crypto-assets could be transferred or transacted. 

ASIC’s investigation into Hala, Walters and A One Multi remained ongoing. 

 

 




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