ASIC hands down permanent ban to crypto fund director

ASIC cryptocurrency digital assets

21 March 2024
| By Rhea Nath |
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ASIC has permanently banned Brian Jacques Creigh from providing financial services or being involved in a financial service business.

Creigh, director of Panacea Capital Pty Ltd, operated the Panacea Capital Cryptocurrency Investment Fund between April 2021 and June 2022.

The corporate regulator said he allegedly operated the crypto fund while unlicensed but held out that Panacea Capital was authorised under an Australian financial services licence (AFSL). 

ASIC alleged fact sheets provided to investors regarding the crypto fund gave the misleading impression that:

  • Panacea Capital was providing a capital guarantee on the investment.
  • The crypto fund had been in operation since 2016.
  • The crypto fund had targeted returns of 120 per cent to 150 per cent.
  • Panacea Capital was undertaking trading strategies that were allegedly being undertaken by an overseas fund.
  • Panacea Capital comprised teams of people with certain skills and knowledge, when the only employees of Panacea Capital were Creigh and one other person.

Due to this, ASIC found Creigh had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct.

It also found Creigh was “not adequately trained or competent” as he allegedly failed to react to warning signs that he was dealing with scammers or people overseas who were acting dishonestly while operating the crypto fund.

It is understood the fact sheets contained information provided to Creigh by third parties associated with an entity calling itself Liquid Assets Group (LAG).

Creigh transferred funds invested in the crypto fund overseas to invest in the LAG fund, which turned out to be an investment scam, causing investors to lose approximately $7.7 million, ASIC said.

It alleged he was not a fit and proper person to engage in financial services because he acted dishonestly and with a lack of integrity, trustworthiness and judgement when he:

  • operated the crypto fund when he knew he was not licensed to do so.
  • provided false evidence during an ASIC examination.
  • told investors not to cooperate with ASIC’s investigation.
  • created a fictitious head of client services to communicate with investors.

Creigh has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.

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