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ASIC prosecutes crypto lender

ASIC cryptocurrency lender

ASIC has commenced legal action against a cryptocurrency lender it claims was operating without a credit licence.

A Melbourne-based cryptocurrency lender has been charged with falsely claiming it held an Australian credit licence (ACL) when that was not the case.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) stated Helio Lending Pty Ltd, which offered cryptocurrency-backed loans to consumers using the digital currency as security over the loan, made the claim that it held an ACL in two separate statements on its website.

ASIC alleged that around 20 February 2019, Helio Lending falsely represented on its website that it held ACL 391330 and it published or allowed to be published on its website a news article dated 10 September 2018 that claimed it held ACL 391330.

The corporate watchdog also alleged Helio Lending was neither an ACL holder nor a representative of an ACL holder.

It said strict penalties apply to those who unlawfully engage in credit activities.

“Claiming that you have an ACL if you do not is a breach of section 30 of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009,” it stated.

“The maximum penalty for an individual per criminal contravention is one year imprisonment and/or a fine of $25,200.

“The maximum penalty that can be imposed on a body corporate for a criminal contravention of section 30 is 10 times the maximum individual fine.”

The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and is next listed for mention on 7 July in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

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