Crypto firm Helio Lending gets bond sentence over false license claims



Australia-based crypto lender Helio Lending has been sentenced to a non-conviction good behavior bond for a year for falsely claiming it had a local credit license.

On Aug. 17, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission said Helio was sentenced to a non-conviction bond of 15,000 Australian dollars ($9,600) on condition of good behavior for a year.

Good behavior bonds are often granted for less serious offenses. A non-conviction good behavior bond means Helios will only be convicted if it breaks its bond. The AU$15,000 potential penalty is a significantly lighter sentence than the maximum $160,000 penalty it faced.

ASIC said Helio falsely stated it had an Australian credit license in an August 2019 news article that appeared on its website.

Helio pleaded guilty, which ASIC said was accounted for in the sentencing decision and a charge relating to a false representation of holding a license on Helio’s website was withdrawn.

Helio offered crypto-backed loans and is an Australian subsidiary of the United States-based crypto-focused public holding company Cyios Corporation, which also owns the yet-to-launch nonfungible token platform Randombly. 

ASIC charged Helio in April 2022 over the matter. In a circulating investor update from late 2018, Helio claimed it received the license by buying out Cash Flow Investments and its held license.

Related: Australia’s Bendigo Bank blocks high-risk payments to crypto exchanges

ASIC’s latest win follows other crypto-related suits its launched in recent weeks.

Earlier in August the regulator sued the trading platform eToro alleging its screening tests before offering leveraged derivative contracts to retail investors were insufficient.

Finder.com was also sued in December, with ASIC claiming the financial product comparison site’s crypto yield-bearing product was offered without the required license.

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