ASIC has applied to the Federal Court in Sydney for orders (pursuant to section 1323 of the Corporations Act) to protect customers while an investigation is underway.
On 12 and 17 December 2019, the Court made orders against Maxi EFX Global AU Pty Ltd (trading as EuropeFX) and BrightAU Capital Pty Ltd (trading as TradeFred), both of which are Corporate Authorised Representatives of Union Standard International Group Pty Ltd (trading as USGFX) (AFSL 302792).
On 12 December 2019, the Court also made asset restraint orders against USGFX on an ex parte basis. On 17 December 2019, those orders were vacated by the Court. USGFX gave an undertaking to the Court to keep amounts of AU$182,000 and US$53,067.33 in a separate bank account. No further asset restraint orders were made against USG.
The asset restraint orders imposed on EuropeFX and TradeFred do not prevent them from making payments in the ordinary course of business to customers or creditors.
The Court also imposed orders restricting the overseas travel of John Carlton Martin (director of USGFX and TradeFred). Pedro Eduardo Sasso (director of EuropeFX) gave an undertaking that he would notify ASIC prior to leaving Australia.
ASIC’s investigation is ongoing. There have been no findings of contraventions of the Corporations Act against any party.
The matter is next before the court on 17 February 2020.
On 17 February 2020 the court ordered the matter be brought back
before the court on 28 February 2020.
Editor's note 2:
ASIC has applied to the Federal Court in Sydney to vary the asset restraint orders made on 12 and 17 December 2019 against EuropeFX and TradeFred. On 28 February 2020, the Court ordered that:
- EuropeFX provide to ASIC certain information to substantiate outgoing payments said to be bona fide business expenses, upon request by ASIC; and
- TradeFred seek ASIC’s approval before making any withdrawal from its bank accounts in the event that TradeFred’s account balance falls below $917,608.
Europe FX also made application for the asset restraint orders against it to be removed and substituted with a more limited undertaking and for Pedro Sasso (director of EuropeFX) to be released from his travel undertaking and to be removed from the proceedings. ASIC opposed these applications and the Court dismissed the applications.
The matter is back before the Court on 1 June 2020.
Editor's note 3:
ASIC has applied to the Federal Court to vary the asset restraint orders made against EuropeFX. On 14 April 2020, the Court ordered that any withdrawal of $50,000 or more by EuropeFX may only be made with ASIC’s prior approval.
Editor's note 4:
On 1 June 2020, the Court ordered the matter be brought back before the Court on 10 August 2020.
Editor's note 5:
On 6 August 2020, the hearing date of 10 August 2020 was vacated. The matter was listed for a further case management hearing at 9.30am on 22 September 2020.
Editor's note 6:
On 22 September 2020, the matter was listed for a further case management hearing on 12 October 2020.
Editor's note 7:
On 12 October 2020, the matter was listed for interlocutory hearing on 1 December 2020.
Editor's note 8:
ASIC has amended its application to commence action against each of Union Standard, EuropeFX and TradeFred for alleged contraventions of the Corporations Act and ASIC Act. See 20-319MR.