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Tuesday 31 May 2022

22-123MR Former CEO of van Eyk Research pleads guilty to breaching directors’ duties

On 31 May 2022, Mr Mark Thomas, of Kanimbla, New South Wales, pleaded guilty in the Downing Centre Local Court to dishonestly using his position as a director with the intention of directly or indirectly gaining an advantage for himself.

In February 2014, Mr Thomas dishonestly used his position as director of Blueprint Investment Management Limited (Blueprint), a New Zealand-based subsidiary of van Eyk Research, to facilitate an investment of nearly $5 million by Blueprint in a separate fund, the Wholesale Enhanced Income Fund.  The funds were then loaned to another company, TAA Melbourne Pty Ltd to purchase an interest in van Eyk Research.

These transactions prevented a third party from gaining control of van Eyk Research, of which Mr Thomas was the CEO, ensuring that Mr Thomas maintained control of the company’s affairs and strategy.

By doing this, Mr Thomas used his position as a director dishonestly with the intention of directly or indirectly gaining an advantage for himself.

The matter will be before the Downing Centre District Court for mention on 1 July 2022, at which time a sentencing date is expected to be set.

The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions following an investigation and referral from ASIC.

Background

The maximum penalty for this offence is $340,000 or imprisonment for five years, or both.

Mr Thomas was charged on 26 March 2021, following an investigation by ASIC (21-107MR).

Editor's note:

The sentencing hearing has been scheduled for 9 September 2022.

Last updated: 04/07/2022 08:28