ASIC bans ex-van Eyk chief executive

ASIC ban Van Eyk Mark Thomas

ASIC has banned a former company director who was convicted of using his position dishonestly to gain an unfair advantage.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has permanently banned former van Eyk Research chief executive Mark Thomas from any involvement in financial services or credit provision following his conviction for dishonest conduct.

The corporate regulator imposed the ban on Mark Paul Thomas of Kanimbla, New South Wales, after he was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment and ordered to perform 250 hours of community service by the NSW District Court in November 2022.

The sentence was handed down after Thomas entered a guilty plea to dishonestly using his position as a director of van Eyk Research New Zealand subsidiary Blueprint Investment Management Limited with the intention of directly or indirectly obtaining an advantage for himself.

Specifically, he was found to have violated section 184 of the Corporations Act 2001 by arranging for Blueprint to invest nearly $5 million in the Wholesale Enhanced Income Fund in early 2014. These funds were then loaned to another company, TAA Melbourne Pty Ltd, for the purchase of a stake in van Eyk Research.

According to ASIC, these transactions prevented a third party from gaining control of van Eyk Research, a company of which Thomas was a director, ensuring he maintained control of its affairs and strategy.

Subsequently, the regulator has permanently banned Thomas from performing any function involved in the operation of a financial services business or credit provider, or controlling an entity that operates a financial services business or provides credit.

He has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision and his banning will be publicly recorded on the regulator’s Banned and Disqualified Persons Register.

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