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Former Crypto Director Restricted from Leaving Australia Amidst Blockchain Global Collapse

source-logo  coinculture.com 29 February 2024 22:10, UTC

A former executive of the Australian cryptocurrency firm Blockchain Global, which went bankrupt and left creditors with a debt of $58 million, has been prevented from leaving Australia.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) obtained an interim travel ban from the federal court on February 20, arguing that the director, Liang “Allan” Guo, posed a risk of fleeing the country. Guo, a Chinese national, has been instructed to surrender any passports in his possession.

The court hearing proceeded without Guo’s presence, denying him immediate opportunity to contest the ruling. Guo, along with other directors Sam Lee and Ryan Xu, has been referred to ASIC by liquidators for potential breaches of the Corporations Act, which ASIC is currently investigating.

Lee and Xu were also linked to the HyperVerse crypto investment scheme, accused of defrauding investors worldwide of $1.89 billion. Lee, now residing in Dubai, faces charges in the US related to the HyperVerse scheme, described as a “pyramid and Ponzi scheme” by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Justice Button, in a federal court judgement, agreed to the travel ban until August 20, citing the severity of allegations against Guo. These allegations include misusing investor funds for personal gain, including transferring $2.6 million into his personal accounts and retaining bitcoins worth $1.8 million.

ASIC argues that Guo, being the sole director remaining in Australia following Blockchain Global’s collapse, is crucial to their investigation, which may lead to criminal prosecution. The investigation, initiated in January after a Guardian Australia investigation into HyperVerse, is expected to take approximately 12 months.

While Guo has not responded to queries regarding the allegations against him, ASIC has expressed concerns about his potential departure from the country amid their ongoing investigation.