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ASIC takes action against former Blockchain Global director

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ASIC has secured interim travel restraint orders against former Blockchain Global director Allan Guo.

Allan Guo was referred to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for potential breaches of the Corporations Act following the collapse of the company in 2021.

On Wednesday, the corporate regulator confirmed it has secured interim travel restraint orders against former Blockchain Global director Liang Guo, also known as Allan Guo.

The orders, which among other things prevent Mr Guo from leaving or attempting to leave Australia until 20 August 2024 or until further order, were made by the Federal Court after an application by ASIC.

The orders were made on an ex parte basis following a hearing on 20 February 2024.

ASIC said it is currently investigating Mr Guo and two other directors of Blockchain Global, Samuel Xue Lee and Zijang (Ryan) Xu, over their roles in the collapse of a crypto asset exchange that Blockchain Global operated.

“ASIC applied for the travel restraint orders over concerns that Mr Guo may leave the country while it continues its investigation,” the regulator said.

As the hearing was held in his absence, Mr Guo has not yet had the opportunity to respond to ASIC’s application or the basis upon which ASIC claims the orders are necessary.

The matter is next due before court on 12 March 2024.

From around January 2016 until its collapse in around December 2019, Blockchain Global operated a crypto asset exchange known as the ACX Exchange, which allowed customers to buy, sell, and store crypto assets.

On 11 February 2022, liquidators Pitcher Partners were appointed to Blockchain Global. On 1 November 2023, the liquidators lodged with ASIC a detailed report to creditors outlining potential breaches of the Corporations Act 2001 by current and former officeholders of Blockchain, including Mr Guo, Mr Lee, and Mr Xu.

In October last year, media reports alleged that the company’s collapse left more than $50 million owed to creditors.

ASIC understands Mr Lee and Mr Xu currently reside overseas.