The Federal Court of Australia has slapped a trading company with a $1.8 million fine, while two people have been barred from financial services for their involvement in the fraudulent binary options scheme.
The judgement comes following findings made in February earlier this year, in relation to breaches of the Corporations Act.
The Court found Allianz Metro, along with Eustace Senese and Yoav Ida, breached the Corporations Act by providing paying agency services to binary options trading company One Tech Media, allowing the firm to collect funds from Australian customers using two trading websites.
Ida and Senese also failed to issue necessary product disclosure statements for each binary option trade conducted, ASIC said, in contravention of the Corporations Act.
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Based in Seychelles and later in the Marshall Islands, One Tech Media offered binary options trading to Australian customers through the websites www.titantrade.com and hittps://tradettn.com without holding an Australian financial services licence (AFSL) and without providing the requisite PDS'.
The Court found that One Tech Media deliberately misled and deceived Australian customers by making misleading statements and conducting itself dishonestly.
Justice Davies described One Tech Media's conduct as "systemic and deliberate, targeting and exploiting vulnerable people, causing them substantial long-term financial detriment through the loss of savings and superannuation used for binary options trading", and slammed Ida and Senese for their involvement in the scheme.
As part of her ruling, One Tech Media will be permanently banned from carrying on a financial services business, and will be forced to pay up a $1.8 million penalty.
Allianz Metro will also be barred from financial services, while Senese will be permanently banned from managing corporations and from the financial services industry. Ida got off with a slightly lighter penalty, and has been disqualified form managing corporations and financial services for 15 years.