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ASIC secures travel ban on Blockchain Global’s Allan Guo

TL;DR

  • The ASIC has issued an interim travel restraint order against Liang “Allan” Guo, former director of Blockchain Global, to prevent him from leaving Australia.
  • Blockchain Global, a once-prominent cryptocurrency firm in Australia, owes creditors 58 million Australian dollars, highlighting the financial turmoil following its downfall.
  • ASIC accuses Guo of misappropriating $1.69 million from investor accounts for personal investments and transferring 21.11 Bitcoin to a private wallet.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Federal Court of Australia, has placed an interim travel restraint order on Liang “Allan” Guo, the former director of the now-defunct cryptocurrency firm Blockchain Global. This decision, announced by ASIC on February 28, aims to prevent Guo from leaving the country as investigations into the company’s collapse continue. Blockchain Global, once at the forefront of Australia’s cryptocurrency exchange sector, owes creditors a staggering 58 million Australian dollars ($37 million).

The order, dated February 20, mandates Guo, a Chinese citizen, to surrender any passports he possesses and bars him from attempting to leave Australia until August 20. This decision was made in Guo’s absence, limiting his immediate response capacity. The next court appearance for Guo is scheduled for March 12, where further proceedings related to the case will be addressed.

ASIC targets Guo in crypto firm probe

The backdrop to this legal action involves serious allegations against Guo and Blockchain Global’s management. ASIC’s application for the travel restraint orders stems from concerns that Guo might flee the country amid ongoing investigations into his role in the firm’s financial demise. Justice Catherine Button, presiding over the case, underscored the gravity of the allegations, which include the misappropriation of investor funds. Specifically, ASIC accuses Guo of diverting $1.69 million (2.6 million AUD) from an account designated for ACX Exchange investors to personal investments and transferring 21.11 Bitcoin, valued at approximately $1.3 million, to a private wallet under his control.

Blockchain Global’s operations, particularly through the ACX Exchange from January 2016 to December 2019, are under scrutiny. The exchange’s liquidation process began on February 11, 2022, revealing the depth of financial mismanagement and legal breaches allegedly committed by its directors. Alongside Guo, Xue “Sam” Lee and Zijang “Ryan” Xu, also directors of the company, are under investigation for violations of corporate law. However, both Lee and Xu are believed to be outside Australia, making Guo the primary focus within the country for the potential recovery of misappropriated funds.

Broader implications and international connections

The case against Guo and Blockchain Global is part of a wider pattern of regulatory scrutiny facing the cryptocurrency industry. The ASIC’s probe into the company’s directors began only a month before the court’s travel restraint order, indicating a swift response to emerging evidence of corporate malfeasance. The investigation, expected to last around 12 months, highlights the complexities of regulating the digital currency space and ensuring investor protection.

In a related development, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Xue “Sam” Lee on January 29 with involvement in a $1.7-billion cryptocurrency fraud scheme, further complicating the legal landscape for Blockchain Global’s former executives. Lee’s charges, which include conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud, are part of a larger crackdown on fraudulent activities within the cryptocurrency market. These international legal challenges underscore the need for cross-border cooperation in regulating and monitoring the digital finance sector.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Mutuma Maxwell

Maxwell especially enjoys penning pieces about blockchain and cryptocurrency. He started his venture into blogging in 2020, later focusing on the world of cryptocurrencies. His life's work is to introduce the concept of decentralization to people worldwide.

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