Post: ASIC bans Panacea Capital director from providing financial services

ASIC has permanently banned Brian Jacques Creigh from providing financial services or being involved in a financial service business.

Mr Creigh is the director of Panacea Capital Pty Ltd. He operated the Panacea Capital Cryptocurrency Investment Fund (Crypto Fund) between April 2021 and June 2022.

ASIC found that Mr Creigh operated the Crypto Fund while unlicensed. Further, he held out that Panacea Capital was authorised under an Australian Financial Services licence (AFSL) when this was not the case.

ASIC found that Mr Creigh provided fact sheets to investors to induce them to invest in the Crypto Fund, which gave the 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% to 150%,
Panacea Capital was undertaking trading strategies that were allegedly being undertaken by an overseas fund, and
Panacea Capital comprised teams of people with certain skills and knowledge when the only employees of Panacea Capital were Mr Creigh and one other person.
ASIC found that each of these statements were misleading and that Mr Creigh had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct.

The fact sheets contained information provided to Mr Creigh by third parties associated with an entity calling itself Liquid Assets Group (LAG). Mr 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 found that Mr Creigh was not adequately trained or competent as he failed to react to warning signs that he was dealing with scammers or people overseas who were acting dishonestly while operating the Crypto Fund.

ASIC found that Mr Creigh 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, and
created a fictious Head of Client Services to communicate with investors.
ASIC was satisfied there was reason to believe that Mr Creigh was likely to contravene a financial services law due to his fundamental lack of competence as well as his lack of fitness and propriety.

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

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