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The Australian Federal Court has ordered Prospero Markets, a trading broker for forex and CFDs, to shut down and has appointed a liquidator to refund client money. This move follows a demand from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

On Thursday, the court demanded the closure on grounds deemed just and equitable. BRI Ferrier’s Andrew Cummins, Jonathon Keenan, and Peter Krejci are now the appointed liquidators for Prospero.

ASIC initiated this action due to a wide range of management concerns at Prospero. It pointed out possible violations of the broker’s licensing requirements and duties as a distributor of over-the-counter derivatives.

The Broker Under Fire

Offering leveraged trades in forex, metals, commodities, indices, and shares to retail and wholesale clients, Prospero Markets started its Australian operations in 2012. Catering services in English and Chinese indicate a large Chinese client base, though specific figures are not disclosed.

ASIC paused Prospero’s Australian Financial Services (AFS) license last year for not submitting financial statements and audits on time. This suspension is to last until September 26, 2024.

ASIC began investigating Prospero last year following the charging of its former officers and managers with money laundering in October 2023. They were associated with the Changjiang Currency Exchange, implicated in laundering around $229 million over three years.

ASIC mentioned it was contacted by clients worried about their funds. The regulator said it decided that assigning liquidators was the quickest way to ensure clients got their money back.

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