Australian regulators appeal loss in Finder Earn case

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has filed to appeal its recent loss in its lawsuit against Finder Wallet, which ASIC alleges offered the ‘Finder Earn’ product as an unregistered debenture. 

ASIC originally filed the suit against Finder Wallet in December 2022 and the case was dismissed on March 14 of this year. 

Users of the Finder Earn product from Finder Wallet converted Australian dollars into TrueAUD, a stablecoin pegged to the Australian dollar. Users could then transfer these funds to Finder Wallet in exchange for receiving a yield and Finder Wallet could use the TrueAUD for any purpose it believed would be beneficial.

Finder Wallet is wholly owned by Finder, an Australian firm that compares different financial products. Finder was founded by Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia, who have previously tangled with other regulatorily fraught corners of the crypto industry. 

Schebesta purchased a stake in Goldfields Money, an Australian bank, before announcing his intention to launch Australia’s first crypto bank. Shortly after this, his cryptocurrency trading firm, HiveEx, began advertising its ability to get other crypto firms access to banking. Then Sam Bankman-Fried bought HiveEx and started using it to bank FTX, with Goldfields Money named as a counterparty in the FTX bankruptcy.

Schebesta was also an activist for cryptocurrency regulation in Australia, arguing before Parliament that the country should provide deposit insurance for crypto lending businesses.

Read more: HiveEx, Genesis Block, and SBF’s trading desk network

Schebesta stepped down as chief exec of Finder several days before the original lawsuit in 2022, after receiving a warning from regulators. Corporate documents reviewed today still list Schebesta, as well as Finder co-founder Restuccia, as the directors of Finder Wallet. 

Got a tip? Send us an email or ProtonMail. For more informed news, follow us on XInstagramBluesky, and Google News, or subscribe to our YouTube channel.