ASIC Seeks to Liquidate Forex Broker Prospero after Money Laundering Charges

The Federal Court of Australia has ordered the winding up of forex and CFDs broker Prospero Markets Pty Ltd, appointing liquidators to unwind the firm as it faces a major money laundering investigation.

Key Insights

  • ASIC has applied to liquidate forex firm Prospero Markets after former executives were charged in money laundering probe
  • ASIC cites concerns about Prospero’s management and licence compliance in wake of federal police sting on underground currency exchange
  • Move aims to efficiently return client funds held by Prospero, appointing proposed liquidators from firm that handled another failed Aussie forex broker

SYDNEY, MarketsXplora – Australia’s corporate regulator applied on Friday to liquidate retail derivatives dealer Prospero Markets Pty Ltd after former executives were charged last year with money laundering offences related to a police sting on an underground money remitter.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said it filed an application with the Federal Court to appoint liquidators for Prospero, citing “a broad range of concerns” about the company’s management and compliance with its financial services licence conditions.

ASIC’s move came after the Australian Federal Police’s “Operation Avarus-Nightwolf” resulted in October 2023 charges against former Prospero officers over alleged money laundering linked to the Changjiang Currency Exchange chain, the regulator said.

Prospero’s licence was suspended in December after it failed to lodge mandatory updated accounts, ASIC said.

With Prospero believed to still hold substantial client funds, ASIC considers liquidation the best way to efficiently return money to clients, it added.

ASIC named Andrew Cummins, Jonathon Keenan and Peter Krejci of firm BRI Ferrier as the proposed joint liquidators. BRI Ferrier previously liquidated an Australian retail foreign exchange broker, USGFX, that went bankrupt.

The Prospero case is due before the Federal Court on March 20.

In recent years, Australian regulators have pursued increased oversight of retail derivatives and margin foreign exchange providers amid failures of smaller industry players that lost client money.

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