Helio Faces Regulatory Penalties for Making False Licence Claims

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Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Bitfinsider

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has fined Melbourne-based bitcoin lending service Helio for making false representations about holding an Australian credit licence (ACL).

The ACL, which has been in effect since 2009 as part of the National Consumer Credit Protection Bill, imposes stringent restrictions on organisations that provide financial services to customers, including crypto lenders like Helio.

However, further examinations by Australian regulators exposed the inconsistencies in Helio’s representations. The lender’s claim that it obtained the licence by acquiring CashFlow Investments was likewise discredited.

Section 30 of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act of 2009 was violated by this activity. Helio admitted guilt in response to ASIC’s charges. In February 2019, ASIC withdrew a supplementary charge connected to Helio’s website content and sought proceedings under section 19B(1)(d) of the Crimes Act 1914.

Sarah Court, ASIC Deputy Chair, emphasised the importance of proper information transmission to both existing and new consumers. She stated that Helio’s false promises caused clients to believe they were protected by a genuine credit licence.

As a result, Helio was given a non-conviction bond and ordered to post a recognisance of A$15,000 ($9,600) for 12 months, contingent on good behaviour.

The company’s sentencing outcome suggests that it will be convicted only if it violates the bond conditions. Notably, the maximum penalty of AUD160,000 is substantially smaller than the potential fine of AUD15,000. The sentence’s leniency is due in part to Helio’s acknowledgment of guilt in the case.

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