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Updated March 11, Corporate records have linked an Australian couple living in Perth to an international unlicensed binary options business. Binary options is a highly speculative form of trading, which experts and regulators have likened to gambling.
And many unlicensed operations are just out-and-out scams. Western Australian project manager David Steele said he first started trading with Binary Tilt in He was initially wary of the business and insisted on meeting the brokers face to face in Singapore.
He said he felt scammed. At the time when he was depositing money with Binary Tilt, Mr Steele's bank Westpac allowed him to transfer his money despite flagging the account as potentially fraudulent. In a statement, Westpac said it could not go into the specifics of this case due to customer confidentiality, but said it did alert Mr Steele to a potential scam.
Westpac said the payee was not listed on ASIC's scam watch list at the time this payment was made. However, ASIC records show it was recorded as an unlicensed operator in a media release nine months before the transaction took place. The parent company of Binary Tilt, Chemmi Holdings, lists one shareholder — a company called Depix Holdings, based in the small Caribbean nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, a country widely recognised as a tax haven and secrecy jurisdiction.
Both deny being involved with the company in the period in which complaints were made and regulators issued warnings. Mr Detata, a year-old former financial adviser with Morgan Stanley, registered the Binary Tilt website in August and said he continued to own the business until March , when he disposed of it.
He said it was registered as a financial services provider in New Zealand, while he was in charge of the company. Four days after Mr Detata said he left the company, the Canadian Securities Administrators raised the alarm about Binary Tilt, and advised Canadians to steer clear because it was unlicensed in Canada.
Mr Detata, through his lawyer, said that in the time he owned the company, he made all efforts not to trade in unlicensed countries, and people detected trading from those countries had their accounts frozen and original deposit refunded.
A fact which he said may account for any complaints. The following year, , according to corporate documents filed with the United Kingdom's business register, year-old Tamica Sharon Payne was listed as a "person with significant control" of Chemmi Holdings — a term which meant she was able to hire or fire directors.
Ms Payne, through her lawyer, said she should not have been registered as having significant control over the company. She said the UK parent company was created in order to transfer Binary Tilt to new owners and her name was recorded in error. She said she had previously written to UK authorities asking for the record.
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