Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on its largest penalty ever issued in a single enforcement action.
On 16 October 2020, the Federal Court of Australia ordered that AGM Markets Pty Ltd, OT Markets Pty Ltd and Ozifin Tech Pty Ltd pay a penalty amounting to $75 million in total. This is the largest penalty for a single enforcement action in ASIC’s history. The penalty comprises $35 million for AGM Markets Pty Ltd and $20 million for each of OT Markets Pty Ltd and Ozifin Tech Pty Ltd. The defendants must also pay refunds to approximately 10,000 former clients.
The penalty follows a Federal Court decision in February 2020 in which Norton Rose Fulbright advised ASIC in successfully obtaining findings of liability for (among other things) misleading and deceptive and systemic unconscionable conduct while providing OTC derivative products to retail investors in Australia. The Court found that the companies engaged in thousands of contraventions of the Corporations Act and the ASIC Act that resulted in Australian investors losing over $30 million.
Norton Rose Fulbright regulatory disputes partner Andrew Riordan led a team with support from senior associate Sophie Wade and associate Kelvin Ng.
Andrew Riordan commented:
“With this Federal Court decision, ASIC’s proceeding sends a strong message deterring misconduct in the financial services industry while continuing to protect investors.”
To access the Federal Court of Australia’s judgment, click here.
To read ASIC’s media release following the judgment, click here.