ASIC has obtained urgent interim orders from the Federal Court to freeze the assets of Ashley Vincent Arandez and four companies of which he is a director.
ASIC sought these orders on an urgent, ex parte, basis because it is concerned that Mr Arandez, and/or these four companies, have allegedly:
- carried on a financial services business, since June 2019, without holding an Australian financial services licence,
- obtained approximately $2.5 million from Australian investors based on false and misleading statements, including by suggesting their funds would be invested in property and cryptocurrency, and
- misused investor funds, at least in part, for personal benefit and to pay returns to other investors.
ASIC sought the orders to preserve funds available for people that might be harmed by Mr Arandez’s actions, including individuals and entities who may have invested with Mr Arandez, or paid Mr Arandez for financial services.
The four companies that ASIC has sought orders against are:
- HLK Advisers Pty Ltd, as trustee for The HLK Trust,
- NCAA Holdings Pty Ltd, as trustee for The NCAA IP Trust,
- Mindenergetix Pty Ltd, as trustee for The Mindenergetix Trust, and
- AWM Australia Pty Ltd, as trustee for The AWM Australia Trust, (together, the Defendants)
Any person who is concerned they have received financial services from, or invested with, Mr Arandez or one of the above companies can contact ASIC at [email protected]
Today’s orders come after similar action was taken to freeze the assets of company director Sasha Hopkins and two of his companies, The A Team Property Group Pty Ltd and Sash Investment Holdings Pty Ltd, which included freezing various crypto assets (22-138MR). The Federal Court also made orders against A One Multi arising from unlicensed conduct and the transfer of investor funds into crypto assets (21-289MR).
ASIC will continue to investigate and take action against unlicensed financial services businesses with a focus on misconduct involving cryptocurrency.