ASIC secures win in binary options case targeting One Tech Media and Allianz Metro Pty Ltd

Maria Nikolova

The Federal Court has ruled that One Tech Media Limited, Allianz Metro Pty Ltd, Eustace Senese and Yoav Ida breached the Corporations Act in relation to the pressure sale of binary options to Australian consumers.

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) today announced that it secured an important win in proceedings targeting a raft of binary options entities. The Federal Court has determined that One Tech Media Limited (OTML), Allianz Metro Pty Ltd, Eustace Senese and Yoav Ida breached the Corporations Act in relation to the pressure sale of binary options to Australian consumers.

OTML, based in the Seychelles and later in the Marshall Islands, offered binary options trading to customers in Australia through and but did not hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL). OTML also issued binary options without providing the necessary product disclosure statements.

Justice Davies found that OTML engaged in unconscionable conduct in relation to a financial product. Her Honour also determined that OTML misled and deceived Australian customers by making several false or misleading statements and representations, and conducted itself dishonestly.

Justice Davies noted that, ‘the evidence revealed a deliberate deception of vulnerable people to trap them into parting with their money in a way that deprived them of any opportunity to recover it’.

Australian company Allianz Metro Pty Ltd along with Eustace Senese and Yoav Ida were also found to have breached the Corporations Act by providing paying agency services to the financial services business conducted by OTML, thereby enabling OTML to collect funds from Australian customers of the websites.

Due to their individual contributions, Allianz Metro Pty Ltd along, Eustace Senese and Yoav Ida were found to have arranged for OTML to issue binary options and thereby themselves conducted a financial services business without holding the requisite licenses.

Justice Davies also determined that Mr Senese and Mr Ida had not issued the requisite product disclosure statement each time a binary option was issued by OTML.

Five other Australian defendants – Bianco Pty Ltd, IMC Holdings Pty Ltd, Sansen Pty Ltd, Transcomm Global Pty Ltd and Cameron Senese – were found to have not contravened the Corporations Act. Allianz Metro Pty Ltd was found not to have provided a custodial or depository service.

The Australian regulator will now seek orders that OTML pay civil penalties in relation to the Court’s declaration made; and disqualification orders against the Eustace Senese and Yoav Ida.

A date for the hearing on penalty will be fixed by the Court.

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